By Meda Kessler
Your kids are more needy before the start of school, you have barely made a dent in your summer reading list and the refrigerator decided to stop working. Oh, and it seems Texas has moved a little closer to the sun.
What you need is a quick getaway, without the kids and maybe even all by yourself. You’re OK with temps in the 70s, even low 80s, in the daytime, but you want to wear a sweater and sit by a fire pit at night. Because August is still prime vacation season, going during the week will help you to avoid crowds. Here are a few suggestions to help you keep your cool.
The California Coast
Any spot along the Pacific Coast Highway north of Santa Barbara works for us: Big Sur, Morro Bay, Santa Cruz. The shoreline scenery is spectacular, the beaches unspoiled and there’s plenty to do during the day, should you want to limit your book reading to the evenings. Renting a car is a must; make plenty of pit stops to take in the view and sea air as you journey. Check out Vrbo for cozy cabins and luxurious retreats.
British Columbia, Canada
Whistler is a skier’s paradise, but it’s still a draw in the summer for outdoorsy types. Moderate temperatures mean you can hike, bike, walk or zip line on wooded mountains or take in the scenery by seaplane. When you want to slow down, check out the charming farmers market in town or grab a prime patio seat at an outdoor cafe and people-watch. Whistler.com offers basic info.
The Oregon Coast
While daytime temps in this part of the Pacific Northwest will still be warmish, the sea air and lack of humidity make it feel cooler, especially the farther north you go. Oregon’s coastline defines what it is to be “wind-swept,” and we can sit for hours watching and listening to the Pacific Ocean (swimming is a challenge due to the cold water and wave conditions). But most towns, even those inland, offer great scenery along with plenty of local brewpubs and restaurants. Check out traveloregon.com for ideas.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The days are long in August, but the scenery is spectacular and the night air is refreshing. Everyone goes to Yellowstone, but there’s so much more to see and do. Jackson Hole hosts an incredible classical music festival, and the town’s popularity with celebrities makes it more cosmopolitan than you’d expect. There’s also a chance the temperature could dip into the 30s. Check out jacksonholechamber.com for some basic information.
Colorado is a no-brainer in the summer, save for the fact that you might run into your neighbor there, thanks to the state’s popularity with Texans. Skip Aspen and Vail this year and check out Ouray. The charm of the great outdoors is everywhere you look, so make time for a hike — even an easy one — as it’s one of the simplest pleasures here. The flowers are beautiful, there are wonderful places to eat and drink, and the locals are friendly. Check out visitouray.com for more info.