Fall Destinations: Best Places to Visit in Autumn
As autumn arrives, the bustling tourist season gradually eases into a more relaxed rhythm, presenting an ideal opportunity for you to discover some of the most captivating autumn destinations worldwide.
Whether you're inclined towards an energetic adventure or a tranquil retreat, the decision is entirely yours to make. If you find yourself pondering over your next travel destination, use my thoughtfully selected options and make your choice for this autumn getaway.
Even though autumn technically starts in September, many places still feel like summer. This is the time when school has started and most vacations have finished. Because there are fewer people around (and things are cheaper), it's a really good time to go on a trip.
Balearic Islands’ Gem - Mallorca
Balearic islands are situated in the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern side of Spain. The biggest one is Mallorca, which has sandy beaches and opportunities for water activities. In the main city of La Palma, you can visit the Old City to see old-fashioned buildings. You can live in many options: in an opulent hotel or a cozy Airbnb.
Why should you go there in Spain? It remains comfortably warm, making it ideal for beach activities and exploration during that time. Since the peak summer tourist rush has subsided, you can savor a more relaxed and authentic experience of the island. The beaches are less crowded, allowing you to enjoy the pristine shorelines with more space and tranquility. This is also an excellent time to engage in water sports and outdoor adventures without the long queues or heavy activity competition.
Moreover, September marks the beginning of the grape harvest season, giving you a chance to explore the local vineyards and participate in wine-related events.
Throughout the year, Napa Valley's beauty captivates, but a trip during the vibrant harvest season when mother nature colors landscape. The region comes alive with wine tastings and lively celebrations, as the vineyards teem with grapes ready for the winemaking process. Experience the joy of cycling along the Napa Valley Vine Trail, drifting over the vine-studded landscape in a hot air balloon at sunrise, or indulging in a gourmet culinary experience paired with exquisite wines aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. Well yeah, this fall destination is a great choice for foodies.
In September, Napa Valley experiences pleasant and warm weather. The average high temperature during the day typically ranges from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (around 24-30°C), while the evenings and early mornings tend to be cooler, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to mid-60s Fahrenheit (around 13-19°C). Blissful weather.
While the name suggests Oktoberfest is in October, it actually kicks off in the latter part of September and continues into October. Despite its global celebration, Munich is the ultimate Oktoberfest destination. Beer takes center stage, featuring an array of brews from across Germany, ranging from renowned brands to small family-owned microbreweries. Even for non-beer enthusiasts, Oktoberfest offers a fantastic experience with various traditional German foods like pretzels, sausages, pork knuckles, and potato pancakes. The festival's essence is enjoyment, and it's impossible not to get caught up in the vibrant atmosphere.
If you are not into beer, Munich has a lot to offer: don't miss the historic Marienplatz square with its iconic Glockenspiel (plays music every day at 11 a.m. and 12 o'clock noon), Munich city Rezidenz (The Renaissance Antiquarium will leave you breathless) the impressive Nymphenburg Palace, the serene English Garden, and the thought-provoking Dachau Memorial Site. Also, explore the art at Pinakothek museums and savor the local culture and cuisine.
For an exciting September trip, Munich unquestionably stands as one of the top destinations to consider!
Park City, Utah
While Park City is well-known for winter getaways, September offers perfect weather for outdoor adventures, sans the snow. Engage in fly fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and rafting. With over 450 biking trails and an extensive hiking network, you'll encounter alpine lakes, towering granite peaks, and aspen groves transitioning to golden hues as the month progresses. Immerse yourself in downtown Park City, and don't miss the Park City Museum for insights into its silver mining past. Experience the final Park Silly Market Sundays, featuring local crafts, food trucks, and live music. Please note that this destination is more for those who seek active holiday.
As September graces Japan, the entire nation opens its colorful embrace, bidding you welcome. The country finds relief from the summer's heat and bursts into life with the cool and vibrant Koyo, Japanese for autumn.
Among the pivotal events, Ultra Japan stands tall as the largest music festival, where the world's foremost DJs mesmerize with their melodies. Other notable festivities encompass the Kitazawa Hachiman Festival, Karasu-zumo, and the Choyo no Sechi-e Festival.
Here’s some suggestions on what you can visit while exploring Japan during September: Commencing your Japanese journey, the Rikugien Garden in Tokyo beckons its lush trees and blossoms setting the tone for the autumn season. The allure of evenings and nights is heightened by sunsets and an annual illumination event, which paints the space in vivid hues. Beyond this, essential places to visit in September span from the majestic Mt. Takao and Hachioji to the breathtaking landscapes of Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido, Oze National Park, Nikko in Tochigi, serene Lake Towada, the enchanting Tohoku Iya Valley in Tokushima, and beyond.
Jazz in October
As you know, October can be quite a chilling month. Something about the shift between seasons entices you to discover distant lands and savor autumn delights like warm tea and colorful foliage. Unsure about where to head this coming October? No need to fret – I am here to assist. These options promise affordability, a lack of crowds, and a range of tourist attractions to captivate your interest, allowing you to finally embark on that postponed family journey or seize your solo adventure. Let's go, my dear travel-punkers!
This year October emerges as the hope month for a Greek island adventure, with gems like Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, and Kefalonia beckoning. Late spring & whole summer were months when there were crowds in every Greek island, place, and attraction. So I really believe that Oktober is the right time to travel there. The weather retains its warmth while the tourist masses dwindle, creating an ideal atmosphere. During this shoulder season, travel expenses can plummet by around 20%, adding value to your journey. Greece effortlessly secures a spot among Europe's finest October getaways.
It's an opportune time for both thrill-seekers and culture enthusiasts. Delve into adventurous pursuits, from traversing scenic island trails to engaging in birdwatching, and a host of other outdoor endeavors, perfect to share with your loved ones. Moreover, Greece's rich cultural tapestry unfurls before you, presenting remarkable historical sites that are an absolute must for those with a penchant for history.
Beyond being an unconventional destination, Hawaii also ranks among the prime October getaways. The month sees diminished rainfall in contrast to the wetter winter months, making it an optimal choice. Airfare and lodging (even the best hotels) costs also are lower during this period. Ideal for water enthusiasts, October offers prime conditions for surfing, snorkeling, and swimming. Hawaii boasts some of the globe's most remarkable hiking trails, particularly on Kauai (the picture below). While hiking is doable year-round, autumn stands out due to extended daylight hours and drier trails. If you’ll find affordable flight tickets, you should definitely traveler there.
Cape Town, South Africa
October marks the arrival of spring in Cape Town, bringing mild temperatures and beautiful blooms. The city's landscapes are rejuvenated with colorful flowers and the famous Table Mountain provides a fantastic backdrop. This month also marks the beginning of the whale-watching season in nearby Hermanus, where you can witness the majestic southern right whales as they migrate along the coast. This presents a unique opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat.
Moreover, Cape Town's bustling markets, outdoor festivals, and lively cultural events kick into gear during this time, offering an authentic glimpse into the local culture and traditions. The milder weather allows for comfortable strolls along the waterfront, visits to historic sites like Robben Island, and indulgence in the city's renowned culinary scene.
As the scorching summer heat subsides, the city basks in milder temperatures, creating an inviting environment for exploration and leisure. One of the most captivating factors of an October visit is the opportunity to fully immerse oneself in the city's architectural wonders. Barcelona's unique skyline is a testament to the genius of Antoni Gaudí, with his masterpieces like the Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, and Park Güell taking on a new enchantment against the backdrop of the temperate autumn climate. Exploring these iconic landmarks becomes an unhurried, immersive experience, unburdened by the hustle of peak tourist season.
For those seeking relaxation, Barcelona's pristine beaches beckon with a sense of tranquility. The Mediterranean waters remain invitingly warm, inviting you to indulge in leisurely strolls along the shore, sun-soaked afternoons, and refreshing dips in the sea without the usual summer crowds.
Gourmands and culinary enthusiasts find themselves in paradise during October in Barcelona. The city's renowned culinary scene offers an array of delectable options, from bustling local markets like La Boqueria to charming tapas bars where you can savor authentic Spanish flavors. The cooler weather makes al fresco dining even more delightful, allowing you to savor each bite in comfort. Adding to the allure, Barcelona's cultural calendar is brimming with events and festivals during this period. The Montjuïc Magic Fountain hosts captivating light and music shows, while local celebrations, such as the Barcelona International Jazz Festival, infuse the city with an electric energy.
New England, USA
The region's dense forests, charming small towns, and rolling landscapes are draped in a breathtaking canva of colors that draws visitors from around the world. Every twist and turn of the road reveals a new vista, an exquisite masterpiece of nature that encapsulates the essence of the season. Embarking on a scenic drive through the byways and highways of New England is akin to traversing a page from a storybook. From the famous Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire to Vermont's Route 100, the roads wind through forests ablaze with autumnal hues, offering a cinematic experience that lingers in memory.
Engaging with local culture takes on a unique charm in New England during October. Apple picking, wandering through pumpkin patches, and sipping freshly pressed cider become immersive activities that connect you with the heart of the season. Historic towns and villages host charming harvest festivals, where you can immerse yourself in artisanal crafts, traditional music, and farm-to-table feasts.
For outdoor enthusiasts, October in New England is an invitation to explore the vast network of hiking trails that crisscross the region. The cool, crisp air and clear skies make for ideal conditions to tackle challenging summits, such as New Hampshire's Mount Monadnock or the iconic Mount Washington.
As November unfolds, the imminent arrival of winter becomes evident. This means leaving for home in the dark, often in heavy rain. Even the warmest coats can't keep out the damp cold of the season. The best way to deal with this weather is to take a vacation. It helps you survive until the sun starts showing up again around March.
The Maldives maintains its warm climate throughout the year, but its prime weather aligns with the dry season. November initiates the shift from the rainy period, delivering sunnier days that are perfect for unwinding on the nation's pristine white beaches and participating in water activities like windsurfing and Jet Skiing. This month offers improved water clarity, enhancing the appeal of snorkeling and scuba diving. For a change of pace, a speedboat ride to the capital city, Malé, provides access to various attractions, markets, and dining options awaiting exploration at reasonable prices.
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In contrast to its bustling and hot summer, November presents a delightful period for a journey to Marrakech. The daytime temperatures settle in the comfortable low 70s(17°C -23°C), and the crowds of tourists thin out notably. This allows you to navigate the lively Moroccan city with ease, taking in its diverse attractions.
Hone your haggling abilities at the vibrant outdoor market, Jemaa el-Fna, explore the opulent Bahia Palace, or relish a leisurely walk through the Majorelle Garden. Make sure to allocate time for an enriching desert excursion by either camel (seek out operators with animal welfare guidelines) or all-terrain vehicle. Whichever activity you opt for, remember to dress modestly in keeping with local customs.
By November, this Mexican town bids farewell to its rainy hurricane season, ushering in clear, sun-drenched skies and comfortably warm temperatures with a touch of humidity. Embrace this wonderful climate by basking on the exquisite Playa Paraíso beach and engaging in snorkeling and diving adventures at El Gran Cenote, a renowned natural swimming haven in Mexico.
The month of November also presents an excellent opportunity to delve into Tulum's historic treasures, from the ancient Muyil archaeological site, boasting the towering El Castillo, to the nearby Cobá archaeological site, often regarded as some of the country's most authentic ruins. You can read more about Mexican ruins - here.
Prague, Czech Republic
November casts Prague in a unique, enchanting light, creating a captivating ambiance that lures travelers. As the autumn leaves blanket the city's historic streets, the crisp air adds a sense of coziness to the atmosphere. The weather is chilly but pleasant, making it ideal for strolling through the charming Old Town Square and across the iconic Charles Bridge, all without the summertime crowds. Additionally, November hosts the Jazz Prague International Music Festival, infusing the city with captivating melodies in various venues. The Czech cuisine takes on a new allure during this time, with hearty dishes like goulash and traditional roasted meats that warm the soul. Exploring Prague's historic castles, churches, and museums becomes an immersive journey into the city's rich history and cultural heritage.
Forget the heat. November comes to Lisbon with a mild, temperate climate, offering an escape from the scorching summer heat and the tourist peak. The city's charming streets, colorful tiles, and stunning views over the Tagus River retain their allure under the soft autumn light. With fewer crowds, exploring the historic neighborhoods of Alfama and Bairro Alto becomes a leisurely, intimate experience. Lisbon also boasts a vibrant arts scene, and November presents the Lisbon & Sintra Film Festival (LEFFEST), attracting film enthusiasts from around the world. The local cuisine, highlighted by fresh seafood and pastries, beckons to be savored in the welcoming ambiance of local Portuguese taverns and cafes. Additionally, a day trip to Sintra, with its fairytale-like palaces and mist-covered forests, becomes an unforgettable journey into Portugal's enchanting landscapes.