The 8 best places to travel in August
Editor’s note: This guide has been updated with the latest information.
Before you know it, summer will be over. That means if you haven't planned that getaway, now's the time.
Take advantage of those final weeks before school starts and autumn weather kicks in to hit the road in August. There are lots of destinations close to home and abroad that offer much-deserved rest and relaxation — or adventure.
We can't ignore the fact that flying can be pretty stressful these days, with cancellations and delays happening daily. Plus, COVID-19 is still spreading, with some experts saying a sixth wave is on the horizon.
So, it's important to leave some extra time to get where you're going. Also, check the latest recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as any protocols or restrictions in place in international destinations.
The good news is more countries have loosened or removed their COVID-19 testing and entry requirements — including the U.S., which no longer requires a negative COVID-19 test for incoming flyers. This makes it easier to jet set now more than ever. But, where should you go?
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Here are TPG's eight best places to visit in August (some of which aren't traditional hot spots to hopefully save you a travel nightmare).
Ok, Scotland might not be your first thought regarding a summer getaway. That's what makes it so special, though.
A Scotland beach gateway isn't your average sun-scorching, palm tree sighting, pina colada drinking beach experience. In Scotland, they do things differently.
You'll find more than 800 islands, sandy coastlines and some of the most beautiful beaches in the U.K. It makes for the perfect summer vacation for any seasoned beach goer or enthusiastic outdoor adventurer.
For example, Aberdeen Beach is just a short walk from the city center and close to Greyhope Bay Centre, which is the best place to spot bottlenose dolphins from land.
Also, Tiree – known as the Hawaii of the North – provides a tranquil paradise for vacationers to relax and unwind.
With white-shell beaches and turquoise waters, Balephuil Bay is the perfect place for a swim and a firm favorite for surfers, thanks to the warm waters brought in by the Gulf Stream.
TPG tip: If you want to use points, book a stay at the Residence Inn Aberdeen from just 13,200 Marriott Bonvoy Points per night. Tiree doesn't have many points hotels from which to choose, but you might also consider a stay at the Scarinish hotel or Tiree Lodge hotel.
Related: The whisky drinker’s guide to Scotland
Everyone is talking about Baz Lurhman's new film "Elvis." So, why not experience the magic of The King by heading to the Tennessee town that made him famous?
In fact, August is the month the city hosts Elvis Week. From Aug. 9 to 17, music lovers can visit Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, to honor the 45th anniversary of Elvis' death and celebrate the music, movies and legacy of the King of Rock' n' Roll.
The week's lineup of events includes appearances by celebrities and musicians, live concerts, panel discussions, meet and greet opportunities, parties and the annual candlelight vigil where fans gather in quiet remembrance of Elvis.
Not to be missed, the Elvis Tribute Artist Contest is your opportunity to watch amazing artists imitate the sound and moves of Presley and compete for the top cash prize.
TPG tip: Stay at the Crowne Plaza Memphis Downtown for about 25,000 IHG Rewards points per night or the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Memphis Downtown for about 47,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
Related: Hyatt’s 1st Caption hotel is open: My time walking (and sleeping) in Memphis
Founded almost 800 years ago, Porvoo is known for its old wooden structures with adorable cafes. In the more modern era, the city is home to flea markets, art exhibitions, festivals and fairs.
While there, go seaside for a swim at Kokonniemi Beach, dine at one of the charming restaurants and stroll through Old Town. And foodies, take note: SMAKU Porvoo, an award-winning food festival, occurs over two weeks in late August.
TPG tip: Although Porvoo is just 45 minutes from Helsinki, making it an easy day trip. But you can also book a hotel right in the city. Our picks: the Hotel Haikko Manor or the Hotel Sparre, both of which can be found through your credit card's travel portal.
San Jose, California
San Jose is always a good bet for tech lovers looking for another California getaway besides San Franciso. Not to mention, there's a bustling art scene and incredible hiking.
August is a particularly great month to visit because Silicon Valley's premier annual music event, the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, takes place from Aug. 12 to 14. As one of North America's foremost music events, the San Jose Jazz Fest features nearly 100 acts across 10 stages with acclaimed headliners for the 2022 lineup like Ledisi, Lee Fields & The Expressions and Stanley Clarke, to name a few.
TPG tip: At the center of the city is Hilton's recently debuted hotel, the Signia by Hilton San Jose (with rooms from about 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night). The boldly redesigned hotel features a stunning lobby, intriguing bar and a soon-to-open rooftop pool, inviting festival-goers to enjoy their time away from the music to relax and unwind.
Related: TPG’s 16 favorite hotels in California for every type of traveler
August marks Salzburg's Annual Music Festival, where you can expect more than 150 performances of classical and operatic works at the legendary Felsenreitschule. Of course, there's plenty to do beyond the festival.
Visit Salzburg Fortress, explore Old Town and tour Mirabell Palace and Gardens. The weather is also ideal, with highs in the 70s during the day. Just be aware that it's high season here, so, you won't be alone. However, the festival and attractions are worth sharing with other travelers.
TPG tip: There are so many beautiful accommodations in Salzburg. Some options include Grossarler Hof, which can be booked from 25,000 World of Hyatt Points per night. There's also the Sheraton Grand Salzburg, which has rooms from 31,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
There's a reason the Gilded Age's VIPs traveled to Rhode Island in the summer: It's simply magical.
Beach-dwellers can look forward to iconic toes-in-the-sand experiences in Newport and Watch Hill, offering perfect-sized waves for swimming and surfing. There are also seemingly endless clam shacks.
Rhode Island even has a remote, private island: Block Island. It's only accessible by boat and offers dining, activities and beaches. History buffs step back into the Gilded Age with a visit to Newport's iconic mansions, home to some of the U.S.'s most notable properties.
Plus, activities are endless on and off the water. Visit one of the state's 50-plus museums or head to Providence for delectable dining.
Also, check out WaterFire, the 1.5-mile stretch of fire-lit river parks lining downtown Providence. There, you'll find various seasonal festivals and ample outdoor art dotting the scenic landscape.
TPG tip: The tiny state is just a short drive from most major cities in New England. It's also a direct flight from most major airports with the all-new, low-cost airline, Breeze, which has fares starting at just $50. You'll find plenty of great places to stay here, too, including Hotel Viking, Ocean House and The Chanler. In Providence, accommodations range from luxury to budget-friendly, with hotels like The Beatrice, the Graduate and the Aloft Downtown Providence (from 31,000 Marriott Bonvoy rewards points a night).
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Get big city vibes without high-season crowds and scorching temperatures in Rio de Janeiro. The months of June, July and August are the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, but it never truly gets cold (highs in the mid- to high 70s), thanks to Brazil's tropical climate.
Winter is also the dry season, so sunning on the beach can be a part of your plan. It's also when Rio Gastonomia happens, marking Brazil's most famous culinary event on Pier Mauá. You can expect tastings, workshops, cooking lessons and concerts.
TPG tip: Since it's not considered high season, you can score some pretty good deals on stays. For example, book the Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro for around 20,000 Hilton Honors Rewards points per night or the Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro for just 9,000 World of Hyatt points a night.
The Adriatic Sea is simply perfect in the summer. While plenty of destinations line the coast, Montenegro is incredibly inviting.
The country's coastal region is known for its natural beauty, restaurants, beaches and history. August is also when the International Summer Carnival begins in Kotor. During the festival, visitors and locals enjoy concerts, food events and a parade.
Additionally, the Montenegro Film Festival occurs in Herceg Novi during the first week of August. Attendees can view various domestic and international films in the 400-year-old Kanli Kula fortress turned amphitheater.
That's not all. Montenegro plays host to Polo in the Port in mid-August when the world's best polo players compete. Other events include horse parades and live music. Soak up luxury with a view of superyachts parked in the harbor.
TPG tip: On the Adriatic in the heart of Boka Bay, the luxurious One&Only Portonovi features a private sandy beach, world-class dining, dramatic views and Chenot Espace for unique wellness experiences. You can even receive 1 Emirates Skywards Mile for each $1 eligible spent on accommodation.