6 August Vacations That Won't Be Bananas Expensive and Overcrowded

One last summer getaway

If you’re heading to Nantucket or the South of France this August, we envy you. But if you’re trying to book an affordable, last-minute summer getaway that won’t be swarming with tourists, here are six under-the-radar ideas.

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Paso Robles, California

Just north of San Luis Obispo, you’ll find a wine country that’s a far cry from Napa. Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, Paso Robles’ climate is ideal for growing Bordeaux, Rhone and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The unpretentious tasting rooms cost a fraction of Sonoma prices, and the thermal springs at River Oaks and Franklin are a perfect way to unwind at the end of the day.

Ogunquit, Maine

A summer vacation in the Northeast can cost a pretty penny, but this Maine coastal town is more affordable than touristy spots like Bar Harbor and Kennebunkport….and it’s just as alluring. Here, you’ll find one of the most gorgeous public beaches in the country, casual lobster shacks and a handful of modestly priced bed-and-breakfasts, like the adorable Puffin Inn, starting at about $125 per night.

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Bogota, Colombia

Cartagena has experienced a huge surge in tourism over the past years. But Bogotá, the oft-forgotten Colombian capital city, is also due for a comeback. Now safe for travel, Bogotá has a vibrant arts scene, striking Colonial architecture and top-tier restaurants on par with many European destinations. Crowds die down when the annual carnival ends the first week of August, and round-trip flights dip to about $500.

Key West, Florida

Yes, it’s hot. But don’t be so quick to overlook Florida as a summer vacation spot. In August, you’ll find super-affordable rates (the Pier House Resort & Spa is only $215 per night) and fewer crowds and tourists--especially if you can hold out until schools go back into session. 

Door County, Wisconsin

Known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest, this peninsula off the northeast coast of Wisconsin boasts over 300 miles of pristine shoreline, dotted with cherry orchards, waterfront cottages and picturesque lighthouses. The town of Fish Creek is home to a handful of quaint, affordable guesthouses (this one is available all month!), and nearby Egg Harbor is filled with quirky shops selling everything from chutneys to pottery.

Isla Holbox, Mexico

Imagine Tulum ten years ago, before it became a hippy-chic, global hot spot. In Holbox, Mexico’s best-kept secret, you won’t find five-star hotels, upscale restaurants or even many cars. Book a last-minute trip now to kick it in a hammock, swinging between palm trees and no-frills seafood shacks serving up freshly caught grilled lobster and ceviche. Oh, and did we mention it’s cheap? A round-trip ticket from NYC to Cancun is only about $330.

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Freelance PureWow Editor

From 2015-2017 Hannah Loewentheil held the role of Editor covering entertainment, food, travel and all things nyc.