Editor’s note: This guide has been updated with the latest information.
August is a wonderful time to embark on a memorable journey and explore new destinations worldwide. Whether you are a sports enthusiast, a foodie or a music lover, numerous destinations offer exciting experiences during this summer month.
From the artsy streetscapes of Providence, Rhode Island, to the serene landscapes of Norway and the Indigenous culture of Santa Fe, New Mexico, here are 12 of the best destinations to visit in August.
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence bursts with life in summer, its walkable artsy downtown brimming with activities.
The pinnacle of summer attractions is WaterFire, an extraordinary art installation by local artist and Brown University graduate Barnaby Evans. Occurring several times over the summer, with an event on Aug. 19, WaterFire draws hundreds of thousands visitors annually.
Nearly 100 bonfires seemingly float on Providence’s downtown rivers, creating a multisensory marvel. The crackling fires, the soothing melodies of curated music, and the bustling crowd enhance the spectacle. Street performers and musicians contribute to the magical atmosphere. This unique, mesmerizing experience is entirely free.
To elevate your experience, book a Venetian gondola, skimming close to the flames while enjoying the captivating blend of fire, water and music on the Providence and Woonasquatucket rivers.
TPG tip: The Graduate Providence is conveniently located near major attractions and is available from just $174 per night.
Tahiti in August is the ideal destination for a remarkable adventure. This tropical paradise’s captivating charm invites travelers to enjoy its pristine beaches, powdery white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. August offers favorable weather with plenty of sunshine and minimal rainfall. It is perfect for thrilling water activities like snorkeling and diving among vibrant coral reefs teeming with exotic marine life.
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Take advantage of the breathtaking sunsets that adorn the sky with a kaleidoscope of colors while you relax with a tropical cocktail. Explore the lush rainforests, hike along trails leading to hidden waterfalls and immerse yourself in the tranquility and natural beauty. To experience Tahitian culture, visit local markets bursting with vibrant colors and flavors, and indulge in traditional Polynesian cuisine featuring fresh seafood and tropical fruits.
TPG tip: Hilton Hotel Tahiti is available from just $303 or 80,000 Hilton Honors points per night. Pristine beaches and clear blue waters are available here, and it’s just five minutes from Faaa International Airport.
Australia and New Zealand
Sports fans should mark their calendars for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship taking place in Australia and New Zealand. The highly anticipated event will captivate fans as matches unfold across nine cities from July 20 to Aug. 20.
The tournament’s thrilling climax will occur at Sydney’s Gadigal Stadium, where the two top teams will battle for glory. This sporting spectacle offers the chance to witness world-class women’s football and experience the electrifying atmosphere of the games.
Aside from the thrilling FIFA Women’s World Cup championship, these countries offer a plethora of attractions and experiences during this month. In Australia, the winter season brings cooler temperatures, making it a great time to explore the stunning landscapes of the Outback or embark on a road trip along the picturesque Great Ocean Road.
Meanwhile, New Zealand showcases its natural beauty, with snowcapped mountains perfect for winter sports enthusiasts. Both countries boast vibrant cities, unique wildlife, and rich indigenous cultures, providing endless opportunities for adventure and exploration.
TPG tip: Consider staying at the hip, locally-owned QT Hotels & Resorts, which offers luxurious boutique accommodations in seven of the nine host cities from around 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points or $222 per night.
Trondheim, Norway, has emerged as an exciting culinary destination, and August is the best month to appreciate it. From Aug. 3 to 5, the city hosts the Trondelag Food Festival and Trondheim Brewery Festival. The food festival attracts over 250,000 visitors who can savor the diverse flavors of more than 200 local food producers.
The festival also offers cooking classes, where participants can learn about regional specialties and food preservation techniques. Meanwhile, beer enthusiasts can indulge in the Trondheim Brewery Festival, with 30 breweries showcasing their craft beers, ciders and more.
TPG tip: Stay in the heart of Trondheim at the budget-friendly Hotel Bakeriet — set in a charming, former 19th-century bakery — which can be redeemed for 32,000 Best Western points or $154 per night.
Quebec, Canada, offers a taste of France without crossing the Atlantic.
In August, two exciting developments will lure adventure seekers and visitors focused on sustainable travel.
The Riki Bloc climbing cooperative will transform a former church into an indoor climbing center, providing a more unconventional experience for active minded travelers.
Additionally, Alstom’s Coradia iLint, the first green-hydrogen-powered passenger train in North America, will operate between Charlevoix and Quebec City, offering an eco-friendly mode of transportation for exploring the region.
Beyond these exciting initiatives, Quebec offers a taste of France without the need to cross the Atlantic. Immerse yourself in the Francophile charms of Quebec City, where cobblestone alleys, historic architecture and lively cafes transport you to the heart of Europe. Indulge in the city’s culinary scene, savoring delectable French-inspired cuisine and local specialties that will delight your taste buds.
TPG tip: Quebec City Marriott Downtown — available from 46,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or $250 per night — is a great home base for exploring the area.
Hamilton County, Indiana
August is the ideal time to visit Hamilton County, Indiana, with many attractions and events to delight visitors.
One highlight not to be missed is the new Carmel Jazz Festival on Aug. 11 and 12. This multiday, multistage event showcases exceptional jazz, blues and R&B talents, offering music enthusiasts an immersive experience filled with soulful melodies and rhythmic beats.
In addition to soaking up the vibrant atmosphere of Hamilton County, visitors can enjoy recreational activities amid beautiful landscapes. Spend a thrilling day at Strawtown Koteewi Park to indulge in zip lining, horseback riding, or test your archery skills.
For nature lovers, the Monon Trail offers a scenic trek from Sheridan through Westfield and Carmel to Indianapolis. Don’t forget to take a break in Carmel’s Midtown Plaza or the Carmel Arts & Design District, where you can explore galleries, restaurants and local shops, providing ample opportunities for eclectic dining and shopping. With over 90 local restaurants, Hamilton County satisfies all culinary cravings.
Visit the Noblesville Cultural Arts District or the Nickel Plate District in Fishers to discover more artistic and cultural gems.
TPG tip: For families, the stylish Embassy Suites by Hilton Noblesville Indianapolis Conference Center provides plenty of amenities and space to spread out, with rates starting from 50,000 Hilton Honors points or $190 per night.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
August is the peak season for encountering whale sharks in the waters around Isla Mujeres, making it an ideal destination for snorkeling or diving with these majestic creatures.
The Isla Mujeres Foundation Festival, celebrating the island’s founding, also takes place in August and provides a glimpse into the vibrant local culture. Not to mention, this car-free island’s beautiful white sand beaches lie just across the Bahia de Mujeres (Bay of Women), a short ferry ride from Cancun.
TPG tip: Consider staying at the luxurious, recently unveiled, Impression by Secrets Isla Mujeres Resort & Spa, which offers an exclusive adults-only retreat with world-class amenities from 72,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, or $1,310 per night (based on double occupancy).
Hot Springs, South Dakota
Hot Springs, South Dakota, is an exceptional destination to explore in August, particularly because it hosts the much-awaited annual Fall River Hot Air Balloon Festival from Aug. 25 to 27.
Witnessing over 30 vibrant and magnificent hot air balloons soaring through the sky creates a breathtaking spectacle that captures the hearts of visitors. However, the festival is not the only highlight; attendees can revel in the delightful combination of live music, mouthwatering cuisine and various activities suitable for the entire family.
Beyond the festival, Hot Springs boasts a wealth of attractions to enjoy. The town’s historic architecture and colorful murals reveal its rich past and artistic spirit. Nature enthusiasts can indulge in the town’s natural hot springs, providing a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. For those seeking a touch of history and adventure, The Mammoth Site and Wind Cave National Park offer intriguing insights into prehistoric life as well as intricate, honeycomb boxwork formations (the largest concentration in the world).
TPG tip: To stay in the heart of the historic small town, opt for Baymont by Wyndham Hot Springs, which has rooms from $88 a night or 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points.
Asbury Park, New Jersey
Experience a quintessential New Jersey summer in Asbury Park, the hometown of legendary musician Bruce Springsteen.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Springsteen’s debut album, this shore town offers stunning beaches, a revitalized boardwalk, unique shops and gourmet restaurants.
Explore historic spots like The Osprey and Madam Marie’s “Temple of Knowledge.” Take advantage of the restored Paramount Theater and Convention Hall for unforgettable performances. Experience the lively downtown scene, Zagat-rated restaurants, art galleries and antique shops. Visit The Stone Pony, Springsteen’s favorite hangout, and try to score tickets for the Springsteen & E Street Band Tour at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 30 and Sept. 1.
TPG tip: Book a room at the hip Asbury Ocean Club Hotel from 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points or $652 per night.
Calling all music lovers! Chicago is buzzing this month because of the famous Lollapalooza music festival. It’s a four-day extravaganza from Aug. 3-6 that boasts an incredible lineup of artists.
While there, you can also dive into the vibrant arts and culture scene by visiting iconic spots like Millennium Park and the Cloud Gate sculpture (aka “The Bean”). Plus, you can catch a free concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. If you’re an art enthusiast, the Art Institute of Chicago is a must-visit, thanks to its extensive collection of masterpieces. And let’s not forget about the food! Chicago is a paradise for foodies, with its deep-dish pizza, gourmet hot dogs and a range of delicious eats to satisfy any craving.
Related: The 17 best Chicago hotels
TPG tip: Conveniently located near Lollapalooza (it’s a 5-minute drive from Grant Park), Pendry Chicago — available for around 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points or $474 per night — makes for a perfect home base. Plus, experience the rooftop Chateau Carbide’s new absinthe-inspired cocktail bar and botanical garden showcasing sweeping views of the city — a classic Chicago summertime activity.
Speaking of music, Zurich is teeming with exciting festivals, events and open-air activities in August. Street Parade, an electronic music extravaganza, draws thousands of global fans. Engulfing the Lake Zurich basin in techno vibes from hundreds of DJs across seven stages, it’s an immersive experience unlike any other.
Meanwhile, the Zurich Openair music festival showcases over 80 top international acts, including big names like The Killers and Florence & the Machine. The last weekend of August is reserved for Dorflifascht, a family-friendly fest featuring live music, DJ performances and diverse street food.
TPG tip: Stay at the Zurich Marriott Hotel, which has renovated rooms from 59,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or $278 per night.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe, known as “The City Different,” blossoms into a cultural hub in August. The diverse city, marked by over 400 years of Native American, Spanish and Mexican influences, hosts the renowned Santa Fe Indian Market, celebrating its 101st anniversary in August.
This event draws more than 800 Native American artists from across North America, converting the historic Santa Fe Plaza into the world’s largest and most prestigious juried Native American art market. Visitors can experience various Indigenous art, from beadwork, textiles and sculptures to jewelry and carvings. Adding to the allure are performances that include a fashion show, music, dance, storytelling and comedy. The Santa Fe Indian Market brings Native art, culture and heritage to life in a vibrant, festive atmosphere, making August an ideal time to explore this unique city.
TPG tip: Put those Marriott Bonvoy points to good use by staying at La Posada de Santa Fe, a Tribute Portfolio Resort & Spa. From 54,000 points or $225 per night, you can enjoy a family resort set on 6 acres but close to downtown.