6 Long Weekend Getaways to Take This August
Get in on the OOO avalanche with breaks to the beach, the mountains, the countryside, and city. We've rounded up our favorite long weekend getaways to take this August, including an island hop to Bermuda and a peak-season (but worth it) visit to Montana’s Glacier National Park.
The Outer Banks, NC
A quintessential American beach destination, North Carolina’s Outer Banks region is a treat of surfable ocean beaches and family-friendly sound-side shores. Aim to kick off your long weekend on Thursday knowing that most weekly rentals run from Friday to Friday when traffic slows to a crawl. Stake out your perfect beach spot along the Nags Head shoreline or drive farther south to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a protected preserve known for its wild coastline and native grasses. Active types can trek the enormous dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park for views across both the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound; here you can also join the scores of hang gliders on a lesson from nearby Kitty Hawk Kites. The famous Wright Brother’s Memorial is still under renovation (scheduled to reopen in the fall), but the 40th annual Wright Kite Festival will kick off as planned on July 14th with kite demos, flying and making from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In pet-friendly Duck, wander the shop-lined boardwalk to dinner with a sunset view at seafood-favorite, AQUA, and don’t miss a stop at the famous Bodie Island Lighthouse, just south of Nags Head. Scale the steps to the top, or wander the unspoiled nature preserve overlooking the Pamlico Sound.
Bermuda for the weekend? Why not. Just a 90-minute flight from NYC, getting to this remote island, which is not technically part of the Caribbean, is faster than crawling along the Long Island Expressway to the Hamptons. Temperatures peak in the mid-80s throughout July, inviting lazy days on the famously pink-hued beaches like Horseshoe Bay Beach and Elbow Beach along the South Shore, or family-friendly picnics in quiet coves such as Astwood Cove and Somerset Long Bay. In the capital, Hamilton, July brings a party atmosphere during the DJ-led Wine Down Wednesday celebrations and for the Harbour Nights Festival, which shuts down restaurant-lined Front Street each Monday from 7 - 10 p.m. to make room for the island’s Gombey dance troupes, local arts and crafts stalls, and food tents selling must-try fish sandwiches and chowder. For fishing enthusiasts, July is also the time to catch highlights of the Triple Crown Billfish Championship, a three-week contest that awards the largest catches by the world’s best anglers. Or, for some more low-key boating experiences, join the Sunday “raft-ups” in Paradise Lake. An aquatic tailgate, boats and rafts of all sizes weigh anchor in the Great Sound, open a picnic and some beers, then blast reggae until the sun sets.
In the summer months, Philly scores top marks on all city break essentials: walkability, cultural diversions, hotspot restaurants, and top hotels. In the last two years, the city’s welcomed long-stay sleep, ROOST to its central Rittenhouse locale; the high-style, low-service hotel, Lokal, in Old City, and Wm. Mulherin's Sons Hotel, a restaurant-with-rooms concept in hip Fishtown. Next up, a W Hotels debut in June 2019 and the reopening of the city’s revamped Four Seasons Hotel. But resist the temptation to hole up en casa and make plans to see Lauryn Hill perform at Festival Pier on Friday, July 13th, or Beyonce and Jay-Z play their OTR II set at Lincoln Financial Field on July 30, or join the crowds at the seasonal Spruce Street Harbor Park for waterfront eats and games. Beer lovers should follow the roving hops fest, Parks on Tap, which sets up in a different city green space each week, or check out the latest concert or art installation during a four-week arts festival at the Eakins Oval. From July 27 - 29, indie music lovers will get their fix at the XpoNential music fest, with performances by David Byrne, Ryan Adams, and Angel Olsen in the waterfront Wiggins Park.
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The North Fork, NY
Unlike its ritzy South Fork sibling, the North Fork retains its rural roots, world-class vineyards, and mom-and-pop shops. In Greenport, long a destination for antiquing and hopping the ferry to Shelter Island, relative newcomers American Beech (opened in 2015) and Sound View (a summer 2017 debut) have upped the sleep stakes, offering simply dressed, beachy bedrooms, and destination restaurants at American Beech’s namesake restaurant and Sound View’s, Halyard eatery. For romantic water views, know that all of the Deluxe Rooms and Suites at Sound View have private balconies overlooking the calm Long Island Sound, and there’s an outdoor pool overlooking the hotel’s private beach. Beyond Greenport, don’t miss the region’s bounty of vineyards, including bubbly specialists, Sparkling Pointe, and the family run Bedell Cellars, with its handcrafted blends and custom labels by renowned contemporary artists. For a memorable meal, book in advance at the North Fork Table & Inn, where the menu is a celebration of all local organic produce, seafood from the Peconic Bay, and award-winning duck. July also marks the start of the Dances in the Park festival, with live bands playing in Mitchell Park overlooking the harbor every Monday from July 2.
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Plum Island, MA
An hour north of Boston on Massachusetts’ North Shore, Plum Island is just 11 miles long but packs a punch with golden sand beaches, bird-filled salt marshes, and miles of biking trails. While most of the island is a protected nature reserve, the northern tip is home to local institutions like Bob Lobster (lobster rolls and marsh views) and the Plum Island Grille, as well as the island’s only hotel, Blue. Formerly Walton’s Ocean Front Inn, it reopened as part of the Lark Hotels family in summer 2016, with revamped interiors and an outdoor lounge for guests, but the real treat of staying here remains unchanged: spectacular sunset views and sleeping just steps from the sand. For bird lovers, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge should be at the top of the to-do list, home to over 300 species of resident and migratory birds, plus miles of marked trails and wildlife photography outposts, while active types will get their fix on kayaking adventures with Plum Island Kayak and whale watching tours in the Gulf of Maine. A 10-minute drive across the turnpike, the neighboring town of Newburyport offers a more eclectic dining scene, the must-visit Newburyport Brewing Company, and the 19th-century gardens of Maudslay State Park.
Glacier National Park, MT
Around a three-hour drive from Missoula and impassable for much of the winter, Montana’s Glacier National Park comes to life during the warmer summer months, when temperatures peak at a balmy 70 degrees. And while summer 2017 saw a record-setting one million visitors during July, the one-million-acre-plus park has space for everyone. Plan on renting a car and driving the Going to the Sun Road, a narrow, winding route that will take you past waterfalls, the busy but breathtaking Logan Pass, and iconic Wild Goose Island viewpoint. Or pack for a beach day (really) and head to the shores of Lake McDonald — the water’s freezing but worth a paddle. To get farther off the beaten path, drive west to the Many Glacier region where you’ll find its namesake hotel and a well-stocked deli, plus access to beautiful hikes to the Apikuni Falls and the part-boating, part-hiking Grinnell Lake Trail. There are campgrounds throughout the park, plus the Swiss-style Many Glacier hotel and cozy Lake McDonald Lodge, just remember to be on the lookout for wildlife — mountain goats, moose and bears are all spotted throughout the park.
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