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. After checking off the famous Wright Brother’s Memorial, head over to pet-friendly Duck, where you can wander the shop-lined boardwalk to dinner with a sunset view at seafood-favorite AQUA. 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 August, 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, August 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 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 few years, the city has 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. But resist the temptation to hole up en casa and make plans to join the crowds at the seasonal Spruce Street Harbor Park for waterfront eats and games. At the end of the month, music lovers will get their fix at the Made in America Festival, with performances by Travis Scott and Cardi B, among others, along the scenic Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
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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 and Sound View have upped the sleep stakes, offering simply dressed, beachy bedrooms, and destination restaurants at American Beech’s namesake restaurant and Sound View’s Halyard. 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.
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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 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 each summer continues to draw in record-breaking numbers, 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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