7 Best Cheap Places to Visit in August in the US

August is the perfect time to hit the road and explore some of the best destinations in the US without spending a fortune. In this post, we’ve rounded up the top destinations to add to your summer bucket list that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

From iconic national parks to energetic cities, there are plenty of cheap places to visit in August. It also happens to my my birthday and anniversary month! My husband and I typically take some sort of trip in August every year to celebrate these occasions, so I can give you the inside scoop on what it’s like.

If you’re new here, you should know that this blog is not just about travel. I also LOVE a good deal and I’m obsessed with good food. So of course we’ll be exploring how to travel cheap and the best food options to find in each spot.

cheap places to visit in August in the US

This post is all about the best cheap places to visit in August in the US.

What month in the summer is cheapest to travel?

Depending on the location and other factors such as large conventions or events, early June or late August tend to be the cheapest times to travel in the summer.

Based on recent searches on Skyscanner in the US, August 23-30 specifically appear to be the most cost-effective time to book flights and hotels.

What are the least expensive days to fly?

Tuesday and Wednesday are typically the least expensive days to fly with Friday and Sunday ranking the most popular and most expensive days to book flights.

The most important tips for traveling on a budget

  • Always look for cash back when booking hotels or rental cars. Rakuten is my favorite. I’ve earned over $400 back so far!
  • Use my 7 Secret Hotel Booking Hacks to make sure you’re getting the best deal on hotel stays.
  • Look for happy hour at restaurants you want to try.
  • Travel during the weekdays as much as possible for huge savings. Use that PTO!
  • Use a rewards credit card like the Southwest Rapid Rewards card with a companion pass for nearly free travel. My husband and I have paid only the $5.20 taxes and fees for all of our flights for the last three years using this card!
  • Use the WayAway app to search for deals on flights and hotels and earn cash back when you signup for the plus membership.

Best Cheap Places to Visit in August in the US

1. Las Vegas, Nevada

Known For: Casinos, Shows and Chef-Driven Food Scene
Average August Temps: high of 102°F (39°C) and low of 76°F (24°C)
Best places to visit

Despite its reputation for luxury and glamour, Las Vegas can be a surprisingly affordable destination in August. Some tourists avoid the summer desert heat, making it less crowded and more affordable.

Hotel rates drop significantly during this off-season month, making it possible to snag a room on the Strip for less than $100 per night. For the best rates, plan your visit during the weekdays when rooms are SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than weekends.

Beyond the casinos and nightlife, there are plenty of free things to do in Las Vegas. Plus, you can catch happy hour at many of Vegas’ well-known restaurants for a great deal on meals and cocktails.

Things to Do:
  • Watch the fountain show at the Bellagio
  • Visit the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden exhibit
  • Relax by the pool
  • Hike or take a tour through Red Rock Canyon
  • Walk around the Venice Canal shops in the Venetian
  • Peek at the world’s largest chocolate fountain (beside the Bellagio Botanical Garden)
  • Walk around the LINQ shops
  • Take a trip around the tallest observation wheel in North America, the LINQ, for insane views
  • Snap a picture at the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign
  • See the flamingos at the Flamingo Hotel’s Wildlife Habitat
  • See the Viva Vision Light Show at Fremont St in downtown
  • Grab a drink at Legacy Club bar at the top of the Circa Hotel at sunset
  • Visit the Hoover Dam
Places to Eat
  • Happy hour at Kassi Beach Club at Virgin Hotel – incredible drinks and Mediterranean food
  • Happy hour at Bottiglia at the Green Valley Ranch Resort – the ceasar salad is insane!
  • Flights restaurant in the Miracle Mile – airplane themed restaurant serving flights of food and drinks. Great for sharing!
  • Happy hour at Golden Tiki cutely themed tiki bar off the strip serving boozy Dole whips!
  • Happy hour at Yardbird Southern
Where to Stay

I could give dozens more great recommendations in Vegas! There is so much to see and do, and this is a great place to treat yourself to an August getaway without breaking the bank.

2. San Antonio, Texas

Known For: Downtown Riverwalk and the Alamo
Average August Temps: high of 97°F (36°C) and low of 74°F (23°C)
San Antonio Riverwalk

San Antonio is known for its colorful and energetic Riverwalk downtown that offers plenty of fun activities for travelers on a budget. The River Walk is a must-visit activity that is free to explore, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and sight-seeing along the way.

Most schools in San Antonio start mid- to late-August, so if you time your visit right you should expect smaller crowds and better prices around that time.

Although San Antonio is a popular destination, I found the prices in the San Antonio area to be generally reasonable (or maybe it was the shock of coming in from LA). Some touristy areas can be more expensive, but overall this is a great place to enjoy without over-spending.

Pearl District San Antonio
Things to Do:
Places to Eat
  • Umiyathe bang for your buck at this delicious all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant cannot be matched!
  • The Box Street Socialincredible brunch with homemade donuts (photos below)
  • Sangria on the Burgcatch their Taco Tuesday, $6 burger Wednesday or happy hour
  • Check out the Pearl District and Hotel Emma, then grab food from the Food Hall at the Bottling Department
  • Summer Moon Coffee
  • Bar 1919fun speakeasy bar near downtown offering happy hour
  • Breakfast from Magnolia Pancake Haus – omg you must order the apple Dutch baby pancake! Photographed below.
Where to Stay
  • If you want to splurge a little, I highly recommend the Canopy Riverwalk Hotel! The rooms are comfortable and cute, and the restaurant and bar on property are outstanding. Great location on the River Walk too!
Canopy Hotel San Antonio

3. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Known For: Vacations near the Great Smokey Mountains
Average August Temps: high of 85°F (29°C) and low of 63°F (17°C)
Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Let’s head over toward the east coast for a minute and give some love to the charming mountain town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg’s perfect summer weather and mountain vibes make it perfect for a cheap August getaway. There are plenty of free things to do, or you can spend your time strolling the downtown streets or getting lost in the forest. This location is great for a romantic getaway or a family trip with kids (surprisingly yes, it works well for both of those things).

Things to Do:
Places to Eat
Where to Stay

4. Astoria and Seaside, Oregon

Known For: Small Beach Town
Average August Temps: high of 68°F (20°C) and low of 50°F (10°C)
Welcome to Oregon

Seaside is a charming small town with a beautiful coastline, shops, and plenty of outdoor scenery, all at affordable prices. The August weather will provide a lower chance of rain and more opportunity to soak in the nature around you.

I recommend also checking out Astoria, which is just a short 30-minute drive north with even more things to explore.

Things to Do:
  • Seaside Aquarium
  • Seaside Inverted Experience
  • Hike the trails at Ecola State Park
  • Climb the observation tower in Astoria
  • Tour the Flavel House Museum in Astoria (photos below)
  • Play Plunko in downtown Seaside
  • Fly a kite at the beach
  • Explore Lewis & Clark National Park
  • Try some of the 172 flavors of salt water taffy from the Seaside Candyman
  • Shop at the Seaside Outlet Malls
  • Take walks on the beach at sunset
Places to Eat
Where to Stay
  • Inn at the Prom -oceanside view from the property, great location. Some rooms have spa baths and ocean views.
  • Rivertide Suites – pull out sofa in each room, makes it great for families
  • Gaea Vacation House – great for groups or families, sleeps 6

5. Yosemite National Park, California

Known For: World-Class Hiking and Nature Views
Average August Temps: high of 84°F (29°C) and low of 50°F (10°C)
Yosemite National Park

Whether you’re an avid hiker or not, everyone should visit Yosemite at least once! The views are absolutely stunning. There is truly nothing else like it.

This ranks nicely on cheap places to visit in August because the temperatures make it great for hiking and exploring. And because you’ll spend most of your time in the park, the cost for lodging and transportation are the majority of your total costs.

Things to Do:
  • For an advanced hiking adventure, check out the Half Dome Cables. You’ll need to get a permit in advance, but this is an epic hike and worth the effort!
  • Hike up to Nevada Falls (the first portion of the journey to Half Dome). You do not need a permit for this portion.
  • Rent a bike and explore the park
  • Approach the park from Wawona Road on the south to catch Tunnel View
Places to Eat
  • Breakfast at the Ahwahnee Dining Room – gorgeous dining room (photos below)
  • Ahwahnee Bar
  • 1850 Restaurant – gastropub in Mariposa
  • June Bug Cafe – Midpines
  • Pizza Deck at Curry Village
Where to Stay

6. New Orleans, Louisiana

Known For: Nightlife, Mardi Gras, and Cajun Cuisine
Average August Temps: high of 90°F (32°C) and low of 74°F (23°C)
New Orleans
Image via Aya Salman

New Orleans, Louisiana is a unique and energetic city that is particularly lively in the month of August.

August falls at the end of the summer season in New Orleans, but the city’s hot and humid climate continues through the fall. This doesn’t stop New Orleans from celebrating with plenty of festivals and events during August.

New Orleans is also a great city to visit on a budget in August. While the summer is considered peak tourist season, August however is actually considered the city’s shoulder season, meaning hotel prices tend to drop significantly. Also, New Orleans is a great city to explore on foot or with a bike, allowing you to take in the culture of the city for free.

Things to Do:
  • Stroll around Bourbon Street
  • Take a swamp and bayou boat tour
  • Ride the old fashioned streetcars around town for only $1.25
  • Listen to live music on Frenchmen Street
  • Visit the French Quarter and Garden District
  • Tour The Sazerac House distillery and enjoy samples
  • Rent bikes and wander around the waterfront
Places to Eat
  • Cafe Du Mondethe obvious New Orleans favorite! The beignets are really quite delicious.
  • St. Roch Marketa food hall with award-winning chefs
  • Brennan’supscale Creole cuisine, serving unique flavors like turtle meat soup and their world famous banana’s foster
Cafe Du Monde
Where to Stay

7. Portland, Oregon

Known For: Breweries and the Willamette River
Average August Temps: high of 80°F (27°C) and low of 59°F (15°C)

With its hipster vibe and endless food options, Portland is a foodie’s paradise. Food carts are a staple here, offering a wide range of cuisine options that are not only affordable but also delicious.

August is a great time to visit because of the near-perfect weather for exploring the beauty of the Northwest and it’s many wineries. If you’ve ever watched Portlandia, you’ll understand the hipster and quirky vibes that you are sure to find in Portland, Oregon!

Things to Do:
Places to Eat
Where to Stay
  • About 30 minutes outside of Portland toward the Gorge you’ll find McMenamins Edgefield Hotel . This is a renovated old boy’s orphanage which now houses a quirky brewery, hotel, spa, winery, and amphitheater.
  • Moxy Hotel Downtownclean, affordable and great location. Plus, free welcome drinks!

Other Travel Articles You Might Like

Travel Tip Tuesday – A Collection of Great Travel Tips

How to Fly Nearly Free

Best Hotel Hacks to Save You Money

Hiking Half Dome in Yosemite

Which of these cheap places to visit in August are going on your travel list?

Well, who says you can only pick one?

These destinations are all great choices for cheap places to visit in August when the weather and crowds are just right. In addition, the prices are also great during this time of year. So start booking your next August trip now and enjoy all the wonderful things these cities have to offer.

Happy travels!


This post was all about the best cheap places to visit in August in the US.

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Plate & Compass is a food and travel blog written by Hannah Falkosky. After quitting her job and spending 8 weeks in Europe on just a few thousand dollars, she found her love for budget travel and sharing tips to help others explore the world. She also spent 15 years working with award-winning chefs and developed a love for artful food and cocktails. Hannah is now based out of Los Angeles, and when she’s not traveling she makes it her mission to explore the best restaurants and cocktail bars while living life to the fullest.


  • Brittney

    This was such a helpful post! I’m always looking for the last little vacation to end the summer and I love these options for cheap places to visit in August! I’ll definitely have to consider them in the future!

  • Amanda

    This is such a great guide! Two of my favorite summer destinations are on this guide – Las Vegas and New Orleans! Many people shy away from NOLA during the summer, but the heat isn’t that bad and the prices are so much lower. I haven’t been to Astoria yet, but I’m a HUGE Goonies fan so I’d love to visit!

  • Josy A

    I am most drawn to the beautiful places in Oregon! All those beautiful places to hike, followed by good food. That is a perfect August holiday! Yosemite is also a dream destination for me at any time of year. <3

  • Marga

    Ooooh choices choices… I think I’d pick either place in Oregon! I always wanted to visited this state and the landscape looks awesome!

  • Michelle

    I have been to Yosemite in August twice and it is a great time to visit as there are fewer crowds. I agree with your list of things to do and have done all of them except hike Half Dome. I will be checking that off the Yosemite bucket list this fall. We were lucky enough to get a permit! I agree, if you can visit Yosemite in the fall, then you should do it!

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