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cbmsmath Apr 11th, 2008 10:44 AM

Best Vacation Spot in August? Not on the West Coast. :)
My sister and I are wanting to take a vacation in August. We live on the West Coast and want to go somewhere else, East Coast, South, Central, etc... but someplace with water. Any ideas? We will be traveling with my baby (8 months at that time). We probably won't have a car, so someplace that has beauty, nature, hiking or walking, some city life, restaurants, etc... would be great. Also, high humidity kills me, so somewhere that won't be horribly humid in August would be awesome. All suggestions would be great. We are also on a budget, so where the rich and famous play are probably not on our list. Thanks so much! Cindy.

dfr4848 Apr 11th, 2008 11:00 AM

Well, you'd need a car, but consider the north shore of Minn. [].

Beautiful, hilly/rocky coastline (think of Maine), nice weather and usually in the 50s at night, great hiking and biking (there are dozens of really nice state parks along Hwy 61), and lots of outdoor activities, sailing etc. Most of the cities are small, but some have some very good restaurants. Might be a little quieter than you're looking for, but its a great escape and very reasonable in terms of prices. Worth a look.

aucho53 Apr 11th, 2008 11:12 AM

Hi cindy,

Not having a car might be a bit of an issue but my vote would most definitely go to Maine.

I personnaly enjoy Old Orchard Beach (many feel it is honky tonk lol) but its got a cute downtown, arcades, amusement park, pier, 7 miles of beautiful beach, etc. I know that there's an Amtrak station not far from downtown so maybe you guys could take the train in? It is definitely an AFFORDABLE family holiday. My boyfriend and I normally rent a cottage at Elmwood Motor Court for 540$ for the week, and if you havent got a car there's a shuttle that stops just down the street (Saco Ave.) that takes you to the beach and around town.

Good luck!

Layla %%-

bnbtraveler Apr 11th, 2008 11:30 AM

JMHO - August in Maine can be terribly humid! I have a place in southern Maine and the past several August have been brutal for me. AND I live in Florida!

NeoPatrick Apr 11th, 2008 12:04 PM

Don't laugh -- Duluth, Minnesota. We found it an interesting place. And we did take a drive along the lake which was simply breathtaking. Maybe you could rent a car one day. There were some interesting waterfront hotels that seemed like incredible bargains.
In fact, I'd think Great Lakes. Saugatuck or Grand Harbor, Michigan -- not far from Chicago?

The vacation "paradises" along the ocean in August are really going to be expensive, and that seems to be an issue.

WannabeinaMontserrat Apr 11th, 2008 04:07 PM

Maine (but you'll need a car) & Kelley's Island, Ohio (ditto w/the car) or Montreal ?

karens Apr 11th, 2008 04:30 PM

Cape Cod.

yellowbyrd Apr 12th, 2008 05:32 AM

I'll second Cape Cod. Here are two options for the Cape without a car. Fly into Logan airport in Boston and take the Plymouth and Brockton bus ( to Hyannis. Stay in Hyannis (mid-cape) or Falmouth/Sandwich (upper-cape) taking public transportation ( and perhaps a day trip via ferry ( OR ( to Nantucket from Hyannis or Martha's Vineyard from Woodshole in Falmouth.
Or, fly into Green airport in Providence. Take the new Harwich-Providence airport shuttle ( to Harwich. Get around using the Flex bus ( with a possible day trip to Nantucket out of Harwichport ( Plenty of beaches nearby or take the Flex bus to the National Seashore on the outer cape. Using the Flex bus ($2) you can go all the way to Provincetown for a day trip.

yellowbyrd Apr 12th, 2008 05:38 AM

Hi again cbmsmath, Just found this link that gives you all the info you need about traveling to Cape and round Cape Cod by land. It has most of the links I posted a minute ago all in one place!

andrew8 Apr 12th, 2008 05:59 AM


NeoPatrick Apr 12th, 2008 06:00 AM

I've only been to Cape Cod once in July/August and it's been a few years. We found the hotels and motels to be the most overpriced of anywhere we have ever stayed in the US (compared to similar accomodations). And getting any accomdations at all took months of pre-planning as there is almost nothing available on Cape Cod in August. This is not a complaint, but simply a fact. If I'm not mistaken the height of the tourist season on Cape Cod is July and August. Everything is at its most crowded and most expensive at that time. I can't imagine even attempting to look for any hotel discount rates for August. I remember that after Cape Cod (and Nantucket) we went to Boston for a weekend at the Ritz Carlton. Our room at the Ritz in Boston was LESS than any of the four places we stayed on the Cape or Nantucket! And we did NOT stay at the top places!

Cbmsmath mentioned that they are on a budget. Cape Cod (although I really love it) does not seem a "budget" destination for August! Now please don't go into the usual "yes, but if you look, cheaper alternatives can be found." Of course, that is true anywhere you go, but compared to many other destinations, you'll be getting a lot less for your money accomodation wise at that time. And while I love taking a day trip to Nantucket, realize that just the round trip ferry for the two of you to get there will be something like $ 150 added for the day.

Feel free to tell me I'm wrong.

china_cat Apr 12th, 2008 06:14 AM

Patrick, you're not wrong. the Cape in July and August can be expensive and very crowded. And while cheaper alternatives can be found, they will be far enough off the water that a car WILL be required. In fact, July and August on the Atlantic cost is going to be expensive. Plus, the no-car requirement makes it difficult.

My recommendation would be to go furthur north. Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island are gorgeous in August. Can be humid, but not as bad as the south east. And I've found rentals are much more reasonable in Canada, even with the exchange rate.

that said, its still really difficult without a car.

the only place I can think of which would meet your requirements, but be doable without a vehicle might be Bar Harbor/Acadia. Because you can get around to hiking trails in the national park by shuttle, and you could stay in Bar Harbor and walk around to dining options. The problem here is most of the budget options will be a little distance out of town, and once again, you need a car.

like_2travel Apr 12th, 2008 08:46 AM

Your requirements:
Not West Coast
Infant friendly
Some city life
Low humidity
and budget

My opinion: the Midwest
Michigan: The state is surrounded by water and the interior is infested with lakes of every size. Michigan is much, much cheaper than the East Coast. You can't go wrong on a budget there. Summer - August in particular, is very beautiful in Michigan:

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Traverse City, the Leelanau peninsula.
Large interior lakes, such as Houghton Lake. Cabins can be had for $500 - $660 per week.

Avoid the South. Its humid.

Why not rent a car? A one week economy rental in August is $210.

cbmsmath Apr 12th, 2008 08:47 AM

Thanks everyone! It looks like it would be easier to rent a car. How far is Boston from Cape Cod? Also, how far is Acadia from Portland, ME? I will have to fly into a major airport and don't want to drive more than a couple hours to our destination. What about Michigan? Any thoughts on nice vacation spots around Lake Michigan or Superior?

Thanks again,


NeoPatrick Apr 12th, 2008 09:26 AM

It's about 70 miles from Logan Airport (Boston) out onto the Cape -- or about a 12 hour drive in August.

(Only kidding, but not by much -- especially if you'd arrive on a Friday afternoon!)

like_2travel Apr 12th, 2008 09:36 AM


see my comments above about michigan.

mmouse52 Apr 12th, 2008 10:14 AM

My vote would be Bar Harbour Maine and Acadia National Park. August shouldn't be that hot and you are right on the water so that should help. Very walkable town many restaurants. You can get the shuttle bus to Acadia and beyond. Many things to do boat tours hiking rent bikes Lighthouses. The shuttle makes it very easy to get around. You could fly into Portland or bangor but I guess Portland would have better flights from the west coast. Portland to Bar Harbour probably two hours.

uhoh_busted Apr 12th, 2008 10:30 AM

That recommendation of Saugatuck MI is a good one. We used to vacation up there when I was a young teenager. You could probably find a "cottage" to rent for a week or so. Again, you will need a car but driving around up there is EASY. You could fly into Chicago and the drive is only about 3 hours. The town is cute, with a harbor and boats, and the beach -- well this is still part of the Michigan Dunes area and the beaches are really cool. There are also lots of woodsy areas around for hiking.

OR you might want to check out the Wisconsin Dells area -- again, a pretty easy drive from Chicago.

andrew8 Apr 12th, 2008 10:43 AM

Your not wrong about the prices on Nantucket. Ritz and Four Season(during the summer) in Boston at times offer lower rates on the weekends as many in the surrounding area head to the Cape.

yellowbyrd Apr 12th, 2008 04:29 PM

If you want to stay in a hotel on the Cape, or at one of the expensive resort-type places you certainly will pay dearly. BUT....if you want to stay in a small B+B or inn you certainly can easily find reasonable accommodations. Perhaps what is reasonable to me is expensive to you, but for $150-$200/night you can find nice lodging in a town like Eastham or Wellfleet. Check out the Chamber of Commerce web sites at and There are not many big hotels on the outer cape which means it is not as crowded as the mid-cape area. In fact, there is only one real hotel, the Four Points Sheraton, in Eastham. Once you are there (I'll have more to say about that!) much of your activities can center around the Cape Cod National Seashore, where free tours, prisitine beaches, fresh water ponds, hikes etc abound. Take a Flex bus for $2 for a day-trip to Provincetown (you can even pay and additional $2 for it to pick you up at your door!) or Orleans or Harwich if you don't want to drive and pay for parking. Go to the drive-in Theater, boutique shop in Wellfleet, watch the sun set over Cape Cod Bay as you munch on seafood at Wellfleet Pier. You could easily spend a day in Chatham if you have a car. There are lots of things to do on the outer cape! And of course there are those fabulous beaches...both ocean and bay.

If you have a car it is a 2+ hour ride to Eastham and another 10-15 minutes to Wellfleet. Patrick is correct that Friday night and Saturday traffic can slow things down considerably (It could take you 4 hours to drive the normal 2 hour ride) but if you travel on a week day or early/late on any day you should not have much of a problem.

Cape Cod National Seashore is something to experience. Warm summer days, cool sea-breeze nights, clam shacks, theater, ice cream, sand, sea, sun...and you do not have to be rich and famous to enjoy what we all own in our National Parks!

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