Here are three destinations to put a final exclamation point on your summer adventures! August means two of the world’s largest festivals; experience theater-mania at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and everything-on-a-stick at the Minnesota State Fair. Or escape it all in off-peak but still beautiful Hawaii.
3,002 reasons to visit Scotland’s capital this August: The Pound’s historically low exchange rate. Great loads crossing the pond. And 3,000 unique performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! Pack for melancholy UK weather and a grungy nightlife scene.
What The Fringe?
Let me back up a little bit. In 1947, the Edinburgh International Festival was created as a way to show off post-WWII European culture. Think stuffy opera fest. When some alternative theatre groups showed up uninvited to perform, they were relegated to the “fringe” of the festival, giving birth to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The idea caught on, and now the Fringe is the largest performing arts festival in the world.
The shows, encompassing many genres including theatre, dance, and comedy, still hold true to the founders’ alternative intent. They are cheap, ranging from free to around £10, and set up all over town from large historic buildings to small hole in the wall performance spaces. Last year, I saw everything from a standup comedy routine in the attic of an old castle, to a guy rap exclusively about climate change on the floor of a church. For last-minute discounts to the pricier shows, check out the Half Price Hut.
The land of 10,000 lakes features the country’s biggest state fair. Taking place August 25 – September 5, the Minnesota State Fair features the best of everything you would expect at a fair. There’s food, rides, games, exhibitions, music, and of course, plenty of dairy. The fairgrounds are located a quick 20 minute ride from bustling Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, making it an ideal day-trip. Or spend the night and check out the rest of the Twin Cities under beautiful summer weather.
Big Island & Kauai, HI
Honolulu is the main thoroughfare in and out of Hawaii. It’s home to the biggest airport on the islands with the most flights. I’m here to tell you, however, the real deal can be found on the outlying islands. After hearing some horror stories about non-revving through HNL, I opted to skip Oahu. I found open flights with fewer standbys from the US mainland to the outlying islands and focused my trip on the Big Island and Kauai. Open loads should continue through August as the kiddies head back to school and vacation travel declines for the fall.
- Read more about the Big Island and Kauai: Hawaii Non-Rev Guide
- Lava Flow Updates from National Park Service