Autumn is my favorite season, and September is the perfect month to enjoy Fall. The weather is almost perfect, and the crowds and prices haven’t risen to October harvest season peaks.
While deciduous forests and wine regions dominate September, you could also opt for a fantastic beach trip this month.
So here are the best destinations to visit in September!
The Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia and North Carolina
The nearby Smoky Mountains often overshadow the Blue Ridge Mountains, but the Southern Blue Ridge region is a spectacular destination. I’d recommend making Hiwassee, Georgia or Highlands, North Carolina your “home base” for exploring the area.
This region’s waterfalls, rolling hills, winding rivers, and deciduous forests make for a stunning landscape. So make sure you plan a couple of hikes when you’re here, and find some scenic drives to enjoy the views.
I highly recommend visiting Nottely River Valley Vineyards in the Upper Hiwassee Highlands. There’s also incredible rafting in this part of Georgia and North Carolina.
Many people don’t know that Austria is a premier wine destination, and September is a peak month for wine harvesting. But (luckily for us) this isn’t a peak travel month. Prices and crowds will have tapered off from the summer rush, and everything will still be fully open and accessible.
The lakes will be chilly for swimming, but the weather is perfect for hiking and outdoor activities. You should have moistly sunny days with a low chance of rain, and you’ll want a layer for the mornings and evenings.
Make sure you experience at least a couple of these festivals when you’re here in September: Grafenegg Music Festival, St. Rupert’s Fair, Wiener Wiesn-Fest, Vienna Wine Hiking Days.
September in Napa is the peak grape harvest season. Experience fun seasonal activities like harvest dinners, balls, and grape smashing. Temperatures will be perfect with highs in the upper 70s (25°C).
This is Napa’s peak travel season, so make sure you book your accommodation, tours, tastings, and activities ahead of time to ensure availability and lower prices.
Between your winery visits, spend some time in the outdoors. You can hike some of the fantastic trails in the region, paddle the Napa River, go horseback riding, bike between wineries, and take a hot air balloon ride.
September is still the peak tourism season for Istanbul, but the rest of the country will have relatively few crowds and lower prices. And sites, transportation, and accommodations will still be fully open and accessible.
Climate and weather vary significantly within Turkey, and September is one of the few times a year when the weather is excellent throughout the entire country. It will be cooler and more bearable at the ancient inland sites, Cappadocia won’t be cold yet, and it’ll still be warm enough for the coasts and seas.
September is the perfect month for Italy if you want to enjoy the beaches and wine country. Start your trip on the coast or islands earlier in the month when everything is still open and accessible, and the water isn’t too cold for swimming.
Then head to Tuscany, Chianti, or one of the other the wine regions to enjoy the beginning of the harvest season.
This is the shoulder season for Italy, so there will be fewer tourists and lower prices throughout the country. Plus, the temperatures will have cooled. You won’t be sweltering like in July and August, but it’ll still be sunny.
September is part of China’s shoulder season, so there will be fewer tourists and cheaper prices this month throughout the country.
There’s a low chance of rain, so you should have clear skies most of your days. The temperatures will be warm and pleasant, and the mountain and highland destinations will still be open and accessible.
When you’re here in September, you need to plan your trip around the Mid-Autumn Festival. This is one of the most important events of the year. Also known as the Moon Festival, this celebration involves lots of moon cake and floating lanterns, and it’s a fantastic way to experience authentic Chinese culture.
If you want a tropical September destination, then French Polynesia is for you! Tahiti and Bora Bora are the most popular islands here, but you should also check out Mo’orea, Taha’a, and Raiatea.
French Polynesia’s peak months are July and August. So in September, you’ll have more accommodation options, lower prices, and fewer tourists. The rains won’t come until later in the Fall, and the humidity won’t have set in yet.
When you’re not lounging in your overwater bungalow, do eco-excursions with local guides. You could visit pearl farms, help with coral reef restoration, e-bike, and monitor aquatic populations.
In September, the weather will have cooled to pleasant mid-60s during the day (18°C). And the tourist numbers and prices will be on the decline.
Fewer crowds mean you’ll be able to get into the best restaurants and have a good chance at unobstructed views from the tower on Charles Bridge and the lookout in Old Town Hall.
The Old Town, which is mostly accessible by foot, is also more pleasant and enjoyable in the shoulder-season month of September. Plus, you’ve got the Birell Prague Grand Prix, multiple music festivals, and lots of wine events to choose from this month.
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What are your favorite places you’ve visited in September? Tell me in the comments below!
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