Summer’s expiration date is fast approaching. Once it passes, you can say goodbye to those extra hours of daylight, when the sun hovers lazily above the horizon like a lingering house guest. Why not pay your final respects to this year’s season of sun with an end-of-summer vacation? We have created a list of the top six places to see in August to inspire just such a journey. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling with family, as a couple, or hitting the road solo: These destinations make the perfect playground for a last hurrah.
If you can’t help but let your leg tap a little when you hear “Jailhouse Rock,” you’re not alone. Memphis welcomes Elvis fans from around the world each year during Elvis Week in the middle of August. Graceland Tour Tickets grant you access to his former digs, where the events of Elvis Week include music, tribute artist contests, and a 5K. After you have paid homage to the King, why not indulge in some mouthwatering barbecue and catch a live performance on Beale Street?
Sturgis, South Dakota
If your idea of the perfect summer getaway involves wind across your face, you may just want to join the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™, which takes place at the beginning of August. If you don’t want to get on your own motorcycle and take to the highway, hang out at rally concerts and bike shows. The event is also a popular wedding venue for motorcycle enthusiasts.
This Dutch city is teeming with energy come August, and many of the events are open to the public. In fact, the largest public event in the Netherlands, SAIL Amsterdam, takes place near the middle of the month every five years. This free nautical celebration features hundreds of ships in the North Sea Canal.
If the arts feed your soul, make your way to the Grachtenfestival toward the end of the month when more than 100 classical music concerts take place over the course of 10 days. Amsterdam Gay Pride also happens at the end of July and early August, so prepare to party and cheer alongside the vibrant parade. Amsterdam hotels may be hard to come by when there is a major event, so book early!
Isle of Skye, Scotland
Viewfinder tip: The migration of wildebeests in Kenya can be unpredictable. Book a safari at least four days long to increase your chances of spotting the creatures at a relatively close distance.
In the north end of the United Kingdom, you can enjoy a bounty of natural beauty this August. Rolling hills, majestic cliff sides, and glistening lochs all await you in Isle of Skye, Scotland. After making your way through the island’s castles, you can attend the free Skye Festival traditional Ceilidh dance during the first week of the month, and cheer on boats in the Plockton Regatta for a fortnight (two-week period) that ends in early August with street parties and live local music.
If you want to get active on the island, take a ride at what feels like the ends of the Earth when you partake in the Skye Sportif Cycle Road Race. Flights to Isle of Skye will have you soaking up the beauty of unparalleled landscapes in no time.
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Some experiences are of the once-in-a-lifetime variety, and African safari tours are in this category. If you’re feeling adventurous this summer, a trip to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southwest Kenya can result in one of the most memorable vacations you ever take. The wildebeests of Africa, a genus of antelope, make their way through the Maasai Mara National Reserve during the month of August. The sight of thousands of these wild animals on their natural migration is a breathtaking scene, to be sure.
In the French West Indies, the Guadeloupe Islands host a delicious tradition that will excite foodies. If you love a good culinary vacation, head to Point-à-Pitre during early August for the Fête des Cuisinières (Festival of Women Cooks) and devour the best Creole meal of your life. A warning: The tickets to this event sell out quickly. If you can grab a seat, you will be presented with five hours of mouthwatering courses.
Which of these August adventures most appeals to you?