August is the time to make core summer memories. Work is slow and school is out, making it the ideal month to take off and settle somewhere you can savour summer days. A home exchange is the perfect way to get away with friends, family, or on your own and find the comforts of home even when traveling far. It’s also a cost friendly option for accommodation at peak times where it seems impossible to travel on a budget. Whether you like to spend summer days water side, city dwelling, or reaching new altitudes, we think we’ve found somewhere for everyone on our top ten places to visit in August in the USA. Check them out before planning your next trip with HomeExchange!

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1. Aspen Colorado: The Summit of Mountain Chic

best places to visit august aspen photo by joshua sukoff

While many think of Aspen for winter sports, most locals will tell you that summer is their favorite season here in the famed Rocky Mountain resort town. The snow melt reveals world class hiking trails just begging to be explored, but that’s only the beginning. Even with skiing nowhere in sight, there are plenty of ways to get your thrills!

Many slopes are repurposed for mountain biking, and the Silver Queen Gondola runs year round to carry you up the mountain and take in Aspen’s beauty. If you’re keen to go even higher, try local paragliding to get a bird’s eye view of this mountain paradise. When you come back down to earth, stroll the Saturday farmer’s market to pick up local produce, meat, and breads perfect for cooking up at home in the comfort of your home exchange kitchen. Or, if you’re not keen on cooking, the town offers an amazing restaurant scene. This chic little city will show you all of the Rockies have to offer long after the last snow flake falls, which is why it’s one of the best place to visit in August in the USA.

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2. San Francisco, California: Summer in the City by The Bay

san francisco best places to visit usa august

Summer weather makes August high time for travel, so some destinations can seem a bit overwhelming as too many tourists come together in one place. California however, doesn’t have a particular tourist season, as its year round sunny weather entices visitors 12 months out of the year. So, don’t think twice about visiting San Francisco for your August vacation.

While the city by the bay has a reputation for expensive living, it’s actually great for those searching for cheap places to visit in August in the USA. Why is that? There are countless affordable and free attractions to see, starting with the Golden Gate Bridge of course. Take it all in from Golden Gate Park and then swing by Pier 39 to watch the sea lions. Drive down the famous winding Lombard Street for some fun, or for just a few dollars hitch a ride on one the historical trollies for some sight seeing. You an ride it all the way to the San Francisco Cable Car museum, which is another free attraction. For those unwilling to splurge on fine dining, there’s no shortage of delicious cheap eats here as well, as the city’s diversity has created an amazing sampling of Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, American, and many many more types of cuisine!

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3. Santa Cruz: A Surfer's Paradise & So Much More

santa cruz by peter thomas best places to visit usa august

Cruise down the California coast from San Francisco and you’ll find another one of our best places to visit in August — Santa Cruz. Known for it’s natural beauty, this coastal paradise is praised by surfer’s from around the world who come to enjoy its wake. So if you setup a home exchange here in August, don’t forget your board!

If you don’t yet know how to catch a wave, no stress! Its numerous surf schools and instructors will be happy to teach you. Summer is in fact the ideal time to learn with when the waves are smaller than those in winter. If you prefer to stay on land, hike into the hills behind to take in the enormous Red Woods, who have called this place home for centuries well before those surfers showed up. For family fun, the boardwalk offers amusement parks, rides, and casual seafood dining, as well as sweet treats like local salt water taffy. Santa Cruz is a great home base to take in California’s coast, as you can drive up and down the Highway 1 to see in spectacular views and new sites nearly everyday.

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4. Lake Tahoe, California: One of the Best Places to Visit in August

lake tahoe best places visit august, photo by tim peterson

If you like the sound of a summer mountain paradise but don’t want to forego the beach, look no further than Lake Tahoe. The sight of its crystal clear turquoise waters are enough to convince anyone that it’s one of the best places to visit in August in the USA.

Don’t be fooled by the snow capped mountains that surround the lake, August here is warm and welcoming for anyone wanting to take part in water sports. Water skiing and wake boarding are just two options, but you can also opt for something more relaxing by signing up for a cruise on sail boat. At 22 miles like and 12 miles wide, there’s plenty of space to accommodate sunbathers and swimmers along its beaches, even in busy summer months. If you want to be in walking distance to great shops and restaurants, search for a home exchange in North Lake Tahoe. South Lake Tahoe also has some walkable areas, and is in great proximity to some of the best outdoor offerings of area. Lastly, the West and East shores are ideal for the most outdoorsy types, where you can most easily take in some of Tahoe’s most beautiful cliffs, beaches, and forests.

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5. Glynn County, Georgia: Enjoy East Coast Island Hopping

 jekyll island best places to visit august photo by zach reiner

Glynn County is an idyllic East Coast destination at the south tip of the Georgia where you’ll find the state’s most prominent sea islands perfect for soaking up summer. You can check off tons of activities on your summer bucket list on Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island, and Sea Island, starting with swimming and sunset strolls along their wide open beaches.

Glynn County is one of the most best places to visit in August in the USA for family fun, as it offers everything from family friendly dining, to miniature golf, a water park, playgrounds and more, all of which little ones will enjoy. Not to mention many opportunities to learn about and discover local wildlife like sea turtles and alligators! Local sports include cycling, tennis, golf, sailing, and swimming. That will give you enough to work up an appetite. For lunch to go (picnic on the beach anyone?) stop into the Jekyll Market gourmet grocery store and deli on Jekyll Island, or sit down and enjoy sea side dining at a wide range of waterfront eats. Kid’s will also love the Golden Isle’s ice cream shops! While Glynn County is a great place to bring the family, it’s also an ideal destination for a couple’s getaway, and has been voted one of the most romantic destinations this side of the Mississippi.

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6. Seattle, Washington: Perfect Summer Days in the Pacific Northwest

seattle best places to visit usa august

If you’re more into beating the heat in August, the Pacific North West is always a good idea. Here, Seattle is one of the best places to visit in August for so many reasons beyond its mild sunny summer weather in the low 70’s. As you stroll or bike the city’s waterfront, stop and enjoy endless options for outdoor dining with water views.

For some romantic moments when the sun sets, Seattle doesn’t disappoint on a summer’s night. We love the idea of heading to Golden Gardens for a beach bonfire, taking in a Saturday night film outdoors with Movies at the Mural at Seattle Center, or enjoying one of the candlelight string concerts offered in the city in August. Definitely don’t miss popping into Pike Place for a coffee pick-me-up either. It’s a great way to get going before visiting Seattle’s many museums, galleries, and shops. When you had your fair share of the city, you can always venture out for some island hopping in the area on the Puget Sound. Sailing here is a great way to see local wildlife and enjoy the coastline, with many cruises offered right out of Seattle Harbor! For sea, city, and mild summer sun, Seattle is hard to beat.

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7. Outer Banks, North Carolina: Something for Everyone on this String of Islands

the outer banks best places to visit august photo by bonnie kittle

Speaking of amazing American island hopping, North Carolina’s Outer Banks area is a string of barrier islands offering expansive beaches and spectacular wildlife. Beginning at the Virginia Border and ending at the beautiful Ocracoke Island 120 miles south, this area is especially attractive in summer for vacationers looking to enjoy the beach. Dare County and Currituck County here are among the best places to visit in August in the USA for anyone looking to enjoy the East Coast outdoors.

Swimmers and fisherman will find their delight along the waterfront. Nature lovers will love walking local trails for bird watching and spotting local wild horses roaming freely, as well as the look of the exotic grasslands just insane of the shore. Plus, history buffs can also get their kicks here, with dozens of local museums and sites to learn about local American history covering everything from the Civil War, to moonshine, to pirates and more. The Outer Banks is spacious enough to comfortably welcome all of the 5 million visitors that come here each year, so go ahead and search for a home exchange here for your great escape this summer.

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8. Ocean City, Maryland: Best Place to Visit in August in the USA for Family Fun

ocean city cheap places to visit august photo by jeff mclain

Ocean City offers all types of fun for summer vacationers, with a variety of amusement parks and attractions. Head straight to the beach boardwalk for a first dose of rides and arcades and stay for a sunset ride on the Jolly Roger ferris wheel at the pier. Enjoy the warm weather swimming at the beach or slashing around at the Splash Mountain Waterpark.

Ocean City also offers many free family fun options, for those searching for cheap places to visit in August in the USA with their family. You won’t need your wallet to enjoy things like kids crafts at the City Hall, the daly Kite Show on 5th St, Sunday night free fireworks, and even movies on the beach. This Maryland resort town’s motto is “every day is Saturday all summer long” and doesn’t disappoint. From disco, to dancing, to gambling, and good eat and drinks up and down the shore, in Ocean City you’ll be sure to get a summer vacation full of smiles, which is why it’s on our list of best places to visit in August in the USA.

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9. The Smoky Mountains, Tennessee & North Carolina: Spend Summer off the Beaten Path

the smoky mountains best places to visit august photo by mj tangonan

If you want to get off the beaten path for your August vacation, try The Smoky Mountains spanning Tennessee and North Carolina for something unexpected. This lesser known summer destination is also a great option for cheap places to visit in August in the USA, with spectacular free activities like swimming in local lakes and rivers, and cycling through Cades Cove.

Also a must see in this tranquil valley nestled in the mountains are the twinkling fireflies that come out each night. Another must do is visiting the highest point in all of Tennessee at Clingman’s Dome for scenic views over the region and the perfect panoramic picture to take home as a souvenir. Appalachian culture and the Smoky Mountains are also known for music, and August visitors are in for a treat with the annual four day Songwriter’s Festival in August that offers free concerts. Both Tennessee’s Sevier County or North Carolina’s Jackson County are great locations for a home base to explore The Great Smoky Mountains. For one of the best places to visit in August go ahead and search for home exchange here!

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10. Washington DC: Museums & Much More in the Nation's Capital

washington dc best places to visit in august usa

Even with kids out of school, you can take advantage of squeezing in a bit of American History by visiting the nation’s capital in August. August is a relatively quiet time in Washington DC that tourists tend to like, as locals have left for summer vacation. That means the roads are quiet and traffic is light, so getting around is as easy as it will ever be to see the endless monuments, museums, and more the city has to offer.

Washington DC is home to all of the major political sites like the White House, The Lincoln Memorial, The Library of Congress, and so on. But it’s also a museums lover’s delight. The city’s plethora of museums are the perfect place to cool of on hot days with a bit of air conditioning. From the famous Smithsonian Natural History Museum, to the International Spy Museum, to the Unites States Holocaust museum, Washington DC is a true hub for history. That’s why for history lovers and curious youngsters it’s one of the best places to visit in August. As a city typically filled by politicians with discerning palettes, you can also benefit from its great culinary scene, so you won’t be disappointed by its eateries either!

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Make Amazing Summer Memories Across the USA with HomeExchange

August is the perfect time for your great escape. Savor special summer moments in a home away from home for the duration of your vacation. HomeExchange is the world’s largest home exchange network, offering you enticing options across the US from to East to West. Whether you fancy having your toes in the sand, exploring the city, or flying high above the mountains, with HomeExchange you’ll find the perfect place to rest your feet all around the best places to visit in the USA in August.

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