Not so fast, autumn … we’re not ready for scarves and pumpkin lattes quite yet. With a few precious days of summer left, there are still still plenty of opportunities to make the sunshine count. And August might just be the best time for it, with thinning crowds and dropping prices. So get out the sunscreen and gas up the car for these 5 last-minute late summer road trips.

1. Make a splash

It’s not summer without a day at the beach or lake. But if you haven’t made it to the shore just yet, all hope isn’t lost. August is a great time for a last-minute road trip. As peak season starts to wane, you might find some incredible deals on hotels and enjoy a quieter stretch of sand.

2. Take a hike

Love to hike? You’re in luck. Hiking in late summer often means cooler temperatures, fewer bugs, and lighter crowds, so the time to hit the trail is now. Wherever you go, make sure you pack lots of water and snacks and take plenty of breaks in order to stay alert and hydrated.

3. Go car-camping

If you missed the chance to enjoy a full-on backcountry hike this summer, you might have better luck car-camping instead. Check out your favorite campground’s website to score any last-minute reservations and learn about the latest fire restrictions or closures. And with a few simple must-haves, you’ll be on your way to relaxing under the stars.

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4. Catch a state fair

State fairs are one of those special late-summer treats. Depending on where you live, some don’t even get started until mid-to-late August (or September). Fairs are often full of family-friendly activities, which might be free for the kids, and some even allow visitors to bring in their own snacks. (But if you ask us, funnel cake is always worth the extra cash.)

5. Host a barbeque

If the thought of driving anywhere in the heat sounds less than appealing, then make your backyard the destination. A BBQ is a great way to send off summer (and a potluck is a great way for your guests to showcase their best dishes). By staying organized, prepping your proteins and marinades a day ahead, and making sure your beverages are stocked, you’ll be on track for a fun time. And when it comes to charcoal versus propane? We’ll let you make that choice — just make sure to keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of sand nearby for safety.

And before you hit the road, make sure your car is protected. Get a free quote today.

Enjoy the last days of summer!

Travel hacks | Destinations

about Chris

Chris has written everything from fiction manuscripts to pretend newsletters about pirates. He's even edited numerous volumes of work written entirely by kids. As a freelance writer at Esurance, he strives to bring out the whimsy and heart of insurance. Outside of Esurance, Chris is an audiophile, visual artist, and explorer of late-night taquerias.