Put off the back-to-school crunch just a little while longer and squeeze in one last summer getaway. These five places are absolutely ideal for an August escape.
Door County, Wisconsin
Late summer is positively heavenly on Wisconsin’o s magnificent Door Peninsula, a narrow finger of land that reaches 80 miles into Lake Michigan. You’ll find some of the dairy farms and thick forests for which Wisconsin is famous, along with fields of enormous sunflowers, lighthouses, beaches of pink sand and, of course, spectacular water views everywhere. August days tend to be dry and clear with temperatures into the high 70s, but bring a light sweater for cooler evening bike rides.
High in the northeast corner of the U.S., the Pine Tree State relishes every moment of August, kicking off the month with the Maine Lobster Festival (in Rockland through Aug. 4, 2013) and ending it with the Camden Windjammer Festival (Aug. 30-Sept. 1). Sandwiched in between are four weeks when beaches are irresistible, coastal towns are bustling, and two of Maine’m s most quintessential foods—lobsters and blueberries—are widely and inexpensively available.
Santa Monica, California
Much of Los Angeles is an urban sprawl, yet Santa Monica delivers a truly classic California beach experience, with its spectacular vintage pier, generous stretch of clean white sand, stylish oceanfront hotels, and plentiful nearby cafes. The chance of rain is miniscule this time of year, and daytime temperatures hover in the low 70s.
With daily highs fluttering around 80 degrees, late summer is a sweet spot for Minneapolis residents and visitors alike, who get outdoors and onto the miles of shoreline and scenic bike trails. Spend your evenings dipping into this city’s thriving arts scene, which boasts more theater seats per capita than any other U.S. city besides New York.
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Just 100 miles south of Seattle, this wondrous park beckons with its old-growth Ohanapecosh forest and high mountain meadows that bloom all summer. August offers the highest annual daytime temperatures (in the mid 60s) along with the lowest rainfall, making it an ideal month to visit. For the most stunning wildflower displays, head to the section of the park aptly named Paradise.
Suzanne Rowan Kelleher contributed this to MiniTime.com.