The hot list for U.S. travel this August

Historic heatwaves across the United States have people cranking up A.C.s and guzzling ice-cold lemonade. Now is the time to seek cooler climes and experiences to keep your mind off the scorching weather. From a musical milestone in the east to a crafts showcase in the west, here are four ways to escape the sky-high temperatures.

Epic bike ride in Michigan

On August 12, cyclists (2,600 in 2022) will descend on the Upper Peninsula in Michigan’s largest mass start, point-to-point mountain bike race, known as Ore to Shore. Cheer them on as they roll out from Negaunee, a historic mining town where organizers are setting up campsites for race day. Celebrate the finish on the shores of Lake Superior in Marquette, where you can kayak and take your own spin on surrounding mountain bike trails. Try local outfitters like Superior Kayaking Company and Because Trails.

Responsible travel tip: The Great Lakes State has more lighthouses than anywhere else in the U.S. Visiting helps support local preservation efforts. Learn more about their history and preservation, find maps, and even book a stay in one.

(Here’s how Michigan breaks down barriers to outdoor adventure for people of color.)

Music milestone in Philadelphia

This month marks the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, the influential music genre birthed in a Bronx, New York, rec room. Philadelphia has its own trailblazers in artists like DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (aka Will Smith), who won the music its first Grammy award. Now, the city raises the roof with events across town. Best bets include a house party starring ace turntablists DJ Cash Money and DJ Aktive, on August 10, and an old-school roller skate jam, on August 18.

Responsible travel tip: This historic city is so steeped in music that an Office of Music could open at city hall. In the meantime, support the local scene by visiting nonprofit venues including the Mann Center and World Café Live. There are also many organizations that help foster the next generation of classical musicians, rappers, and jazz singers. PMAY Artists’ Initiative, Play on Philly, and Rock to the Future are just a few.

(A mecca for rap has emerged in the birthplace of jazz and blues.)

Major fashion moment in Brooklyn

At New York’s Brooklyn Museum, “Africa Fashion” explores the explosion of creativity that emerged on the continent after colonialism. On view through October 22, the landmark exhibition, which debuted at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, stars designers from 20 countries and more than 180 fashion pieces—some on view for the first time in the U.S. Music, film, literature, and other multimedia elements help stitch together the story of African identity.

Responsible travel tip: Brooklyn’s multicultural community includes many Black-owned businesses. Learn more at sites like Black-Owned Brooklyn, an online publication run by Cynthia Gordy Giwa, a journalist and filmmaker, and her partner, Tayo Giwa, also a filmmaker and a documentary photographer.

Ultimate craft show in California

Founded in 2013, the twice-a-year West Coast Craft is now one of the biggest makers’ markets in the western U.S. More than 175 local crafters showcase their ethically made handiworks, from woven blankets to pottery, gemstone jewelry, and denim aprons that evoke a California vibe. The August 19 show again sets up shop at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, a former military outpost.

Responsible travel tip: Fort Mason Center is part of the National Park Service’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Explore the UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve, hike a coastal trail, or check out some local art. But don’t forget to tread lightly—stay on trails, leave no trace—in this popular park that’s visited by 15 million people annually.

Anne Kim-Dannibale is a senior travel editor at National Geographic. Follow her on Instagram.

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