25 Best Places to Visit in September
September is, for a lot of tourists, the end of the season, perhaps because their children must return to school or because they only prefer to travel during the peak of summer. Because of this lull in tourism, many destinations that rely on visitors to fuel their economy offer lower prices during September, and guests who travel to these places are likely to experience similar weather to the preceding months without having to share the restaurants, hotels, hiking trails, beaches, and other amenities with as many guests. No matter where the destination is, September is typically a turning of seasons, and that alone offers a unique experience when exploring a new area. Photo: csterken/Fotolia
»Glacier National Park, USA
A visit to Glacier National Park during the month of September is likely to leave visitors with the feeling of a closer connection to nature, since by this time of year tourists have thinned out, the leaves are starting to turn colors, and wildlife is typically more active as they make preparations for the winter season. Camping in the park during September is most often first come first served, but campsites hardly ever fill up, as many of them become more primitive and concession and other services in the park begin to shutdown by the end of September. For visitors to the park who wish to see it by car, they will be happy to learn that road congestion tends to taper off in September, allowing for more of the park to be seen in less time.
As the summer begins to taper off and the wet season starts to show its intentions, September in Glencoe can swing either way with weather. Because of this, prices are often cheaper and there are less tourists in the area. Glencoe is a small city in the west of Scotland, and it gets its name from the steep valley it rests in, Glencoe Valley. The area is a destination spot for outdoor enthusiasts as it is rich in waterfalls, hiking trails, and peaks with great vistas, such as Bidean nam Bian. Glencoe itself showcases a few museums and heritage sights to highlight the Glencoe massacre that happened in 1692. Also popular in the area is wildlife viewing, as red deer and golden eagles can be spotted with relative ease.
Visiting Vienna during September offers the opportunity to take walking tours and explore vineyards during the harvest season’s busiest month. Many walking tours are available, and they afford participants the chance to see behind the scenes where some of Vienna’s best wine come from and how it is harvested. You can also get answers to any questions you may have about the process. For a chance to glimpse Austrian fashion, upcoming and from the past, Vienna Fashion Week contains fashion shows, pop up stores, and exhibitions to offer insight. Vienna participates in European Heritage Day, giving locals and tourists alike the chance to explore a variety of museums and heritage sights for free.
The start of fall marks the start of theater season in Boston, and with many theaters scattered throughout the city, it is easy to find a show or play that everyone will love. As the weather starts to cool off, many locals and tourists prefer to start finding indoor activities to pique their interests, which is why a visit to the Adams National Historic Park is perfect for the fall season. Another popular museum is the Museum of African American History, which is actually the largest museum in New England dedicated to preserving the trials and tribulations of African Americans throughout history.
Photo: Natalia Liubinetska/Fotolia
As children return to school, summer tourist season comes to an end and deals on flights and accommodations become easier to find, visiting Budapest during September just starts to make sense. The weather during this month is typically still very pleasant, though sometimes a light jacket may be needed in the evening, and a variety of outdoor and indoor festivals pop up to keep guests and locals entertained. The Wine Festival takes place in Buda Castle and offers some of the finest Hungarian wines along with music, food, and activities. For the more food centric visitor, the Hungarian Food Faire features around 70 booths of local farmers and artisans offering local goodies to enjoy or take home.
As the tourist crowds head home after the summer season, Chicago’s warm fall days are limited, which is what makes a visit to the Windy City during September one of the best times to go. For the music lover, the Chicago Jazz Festival features local artists, national artists, food, beer, and plenty of space for dancing – just make sure to pack a light jacket if the weather is brisk. As most students will be back in school at this time, it makes it the perfect time of year to visit one of Chicago’s many museums, from the Shedd Aquarium to the Science and Industry Museum, the Field Museum, or even the Museum of Contemporary Art.
One of Poland’ largest cities, Gdansk lies in the north of the country along the Baltic Sea, whose waters often bring about the brisk winds of winter a bit sooner than is typical for the rest of Poland. However, this does not stop visitors to this artistic city in the month of September, as there are many events to draw crowds of locals and tourists alike. The Sopot Festival is one of the older music festivals in the Europe and draws huge crowds with its annual appearance. For families, the Kite Festival is a must, as children are often mesmerized by the thousands of kites flown during this open air family picnic.
Most well known for its extremely high prices, exclusive dance clubs, and expensive all inclusive resorts, Ibiza throughout most of the year is considered to be inaccessible to anyone but the wealthy. However, September is a bit of a magical time in Ibiza as the summer crowds head home and the winter crowds haven’t shown up yet. Clubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, and resorts are all looking to get customers in the door, oftentimes by offering steep discounts on services and experiences. September still offers the same gorgeous sunshine and weather, so beaches are quite accessible, and with the lack of crowds visitors at this time might have a bit more room to relax.
»Lake Tahoe, USA
Being the largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is known both for its stunning beaches as well as its ski resorts. Because it is both a summer and wintertime retreat, it is no surprise that guests visiting during the off season are likely to see heavily discounted lodging prices as the weather starts to cool off. The real perk of visiting in September, however, is the lack of crowds since children have returned to school and the summer tourists have gone home. This gives visitors a chance to explore the local trails and mountains at their own convenience and see Lake Tahoe in a state of calm that is normally disrupted by hundreds of boats and other water vehicles.
Photo: Mariusz Blach/Fotolia
Almost every September in Michigan begins with the Michigan State Fair, a gigantic event that takes place in Novi and touts itself as the number one family event in all of the state. With a wide array of entertainment and attractions dotting the fair, including animals and livestock, pig races, a circus, amusement park style rides, games, and all sorts of food, families are sure to find joy at this massive event. A change of pace from the Michigan State Fair is the Detroit Jazz Festival, a free event that occurs annually in Detroit and draws music lovers in from all over the region with big name performances.
Exploring the great outdoors is easy under Montana’s wide open skies with rolling prairie plains and lonely highways. As the weather starts to cool off in September, it becomes even easier to enjoy all the treats that Montana has to offer without the summer tourist crowds. Given the northern location of this state, winter tends to come a little earlier than it does throughout the rest of the country, and because of this some roads and attractions may be closing for the season in September, weather depending. When scheduling any long distance trips or wilderness based activities in the many national parks and forests that exist in Montana, it is recommended to check with local authorities for any road or park closures.
Photo: Nick Fox/Fotolia
»Mt. Rushmore, USA
With nearly three million visitors each year, a visit to Mount Rushmore often includes heavy crowds, long entry lines, and peak prices during the summer. To avoid these inconveniences, guests are advised to plan their trip for one of the shoulder seasons instead, and given the weather conditions, September is one of the best choices. As the Black Hills start to cool off with the changing of the seasons, as well as many students heading back to school and families ending their summer vacations, it is no surprise that a visit to Mount Rushmore during September will cost less and give visitors a more intimate experience on the Presidential Trail.
Even with chillier weather and all of the summer tourists heading home, there is still one major event in Munich during September that draws over seven million visitors each year: Octoberfest. It begins annually on the second to last Saturday in September at noon, with the mayor of Munich tapping the first barrel of beer and declaring the festival to be open. Guests come from all over the world for this ginormous festival, and visitors can expect to have to book accommodations up to a year in advance for some of the more sought after hotels.
Photo: Sergii Figurnyi/Fotolia
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A town that is no stranger to summer crowds and crowded beaches, Narragansett is situated in Rhode Island and tries to make the most of the summers since winter is cold and long. Visiting a beach destination during summer, albeit appealing, isn’t always the best choice since all of the attractions and hotels are likely to be filled with tourists, making it harder and more expensive to plan a trip. During September, however, it is often the case that students have gone back to school, prices have fallen, and there is still enough warm weather for you to enjoy a few more beach days before autumn chills really set in.
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»New Orleans, USA
When folk usually think of visiting New Orleans, they think of Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, and spring break celebrations. However, this Southern gem has more to offer than springtime adventures, and many potential visitors overlook it, especially during the month of September. The weather in New Orleans is still fairly pleasant during this time of year, and there are plenty of festivals to keep everyone entertained. The Louisiana Seafood Festival is always a huge hit during September, as well as New Orleans Restaurant Week. For guests who are seeking Southern cooking during their trip, the Fried Chicken Festival is a must.
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»New York City, USA
With a city as large and vast as New York City, it is hard to run out of things to see, do, and experience during a trip. Often times, visits to the city encompass walking for hours on end, and during the peak of summer heat this can be exhausting, not to mention crowded with tourists. Visiting the Big Apple during September will award guests with cooler temperatures, and with the addition of a few key events a trip during this time could lead to the dream vacation. On September 11th, the Memorial Site hosts Tribute in Light, displaying two massive beams of light that can be seen up to 60 miles away from any direction. Sports lovers will enjoy attending the U.S. Open Tennis Championship and seeing world class athletes compete for the title.
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With days during September still averaging over 14 hours of light, visiting Reykjavik during this month might require a light jacket and occasionally an umbrella, but it could be worth it to see the island when it isn’t full of tourists. The road into Landmannalaugar is typically still open through the end of September, and with all of the summer tourists heading back home, the traffic on this adventurous trail is considerably lighter as the season progresses. Film fans won’t want to miss Reykjavik International Film Festival, while fans of the great outdoors will enjoy the chance to observe the Northern Lights from the outskirts of the city.
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»Rotorua, New Zealand
As spring rolls around and Rotorua begins to bloom once again after the winter season, tourists travelling to the city at this time will find fewer crowds, slightly cheaper prices, and the possibility to explore the great outdoors with proper preparation. Rotorua is filled with museums, theaters, restaurants, and other urban attractions, and outside city limits guests will find access to exciting places like thermal parks, lakes, streams, and even hiking trails. A day trip outside of the city can take visitors to White Island, which is an active volcano located off the Bay of Plenty coastal region.
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Riding the tail end of peak tourist season, September in Santorini comes with slightly cheaper prices though you will still be able to enjoy warm beaches, pleasant weather, and plenty of sunshine. The ferries at this time of year still run with enough frequency that island hopping is easy and does not need to be scheduled far in advance, while hotels aren’t at max capacity so booking a room can be done with relative ease. There will be some businesses closing as the season ends, but plenty of restaurants and other establishments will remain open to customers well into October.
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Even with the warmest weather of the year coming to an end, Sedona still boasts very comfortable temperatures throughout September without the scorching heat that much of Arizona experiences in July and August. Set in the hills, Sedona has an extensive network of hiking and biking trails to explore, and for those who wish to see the city and surrounding area in a unique way, there are options for helicopter tours as well. It is always recommended to prepare for the sun when in Sedona with sunscreen and hats, and if you are headed to Slide Rock State Park, bring a towel and swimsuit as well.
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Getting a glimpse of local life in Sicily is a lot easier after peak tourist season winds down in August and many of the locals return to their regular routines. The sunshine is still warm and the weather often still beautiful during September, so the option to grab a coffee or a slice of cake and spend time sitting outdoors at a cafe will give you a taste of what it’s like to be a local. Many restaurants during this time of year still allow outdoor seating, and if you want more than just delicious food there are plenty of historical destinations around the island, seven of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
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»Sleeping Bear Dunes, USA
Located a convenient 20 minutes from Traverse City, Sleeping Bear Dunes is a spectacular Lake Michigan coastal destination to visit after the peak tourist season in September. With cheaper accommodations and more availability in nearby hotels as well as more options for camping, visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes during September is a great way to see this park. Guests can climb the 400 foot dunes and enjoy swimming in the pristine and refreshing waters of Lake Michigan, hike the many miles of trails, or see spectacular vistas from many locations, all without having to share the park with nearly as many tourists as you would see during peak season.
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Despite the turning of the seasons, spending September in Valencia will still feel like summer time, just without the huge crowds of tourist season. The waters are still swimmable and suntanning on the beaches is still very much an option, but if the days cool off there are plenty of city attractions to occupy visitors. If the day isn’t warm enough for a swim, booking a walking city tour is a great alternative way to spend the day outside while learning about this timeless location. If it happens to be raining, a trip to the City of Arts and Sciences will keep the whole family entertained until the inclement weather passes.
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One of the more wealthy suburbs in Paris and also the home of the Palace of Versailles, this popular destination is a favorite spot of tourists, and booking tickets can be difficult during peak season. However, as many families and students end their vacations in August, visiting this historic location in September will afford guests the opportunity to see it without the immense crowds, which may allow the experience to feel more personal. Guests who aren’t staying near the palace can easily access it through the Paris Metro, and you can often find package deals by visiting the tourism website.
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September is one of the best times to visit Zimbabwe for a selection of reasons, primarily because it is the dry season, but this does tend to draw large crowds so booking may be difficult. During the dry season, taking a safari tour in Zimbabwe provides you with higher chances of seeing wildlife since animals tend to be more concentrated around watering holes and rivers. There are also significantly clearer, bluer skies, and that combined with the lack of rain means that mosquitos are much less present in September. Visits to Victoria Falls, albeit more crowded in September, offer more spectacular views because of the lower water levels creating less mist.
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25 Best Places to Visit in September
- Glacier National Park, USA, Photo: Courtesy of sschremp - Fotolia.com
- Glencoe, Scotland, Photo: Courtesy of robertkelly - Fotolia.com
- Vienna, Austria, Photo: Courtesy of stillforstyle - Fotolia.com
- Boston, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Natalia Liubinetska - Fotolia.com
- Budapest, Hungary, Photo: Courtesy of Fotolia.com
- Chicago, USA, Photo: Courtesy of lucky-photo - Fotolia.com
- Gdansk, Poland, Photo: Courtesy of Artur - Fotolia.com
- Ibiza, Spain, Photo: Courtesy of jovannig - Fotolia.com
- Lake Tahoe, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Mariusz Blach - Fotolia.com
- Michigan, USA, Photo: Courtesy of digidreamgrafix - Fotolia.com
- Montana, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Nick Fox - Fotolia.com
- Mt. Rushmore, USA, Photo: Courtesy of sframe - Fotolia.com
- Munich, Germany, Photo: Courtesy of Sergii Figurnyi - Fotolia.com
- Narragansett, USA, Photo: Courtesy of sbgoodwin - Fotolia.com
- New Orleans, USA, Photo: Courtesy of f11photo - Fotolia.com
- New York City, USA, Photo: Courtesy of ting83 - Fotolia.com
- Reykjavik, Iceland, Photo: Courtesy of Dmitry Naumov - Fotolia.com
- Rotorua, New Zealand, Photo: Courtesy of Sorang - Fotolia.com
- Santorini, Greece, Photo: Courtesy of Patryk Kosmider - Fotolia.com
- Sedona, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Steven Love - Fotolia.com
- Sicily, Italy, Photo: Courtesy of mRGB - Fotolia.com
- Sleeping Bear Dunes, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Alexey Stiop - Fotolia.com
- Valencia, Spain, Photo: Courtesy of twindesigner - Fotolia.com
- Versailles, France, Photo: Courtesy of JAN KASZUBA - Fotolia.com
- Zimbabwe, Photo: Courtesy of vladislav333222 - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of csterken - Fotolia.com
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