Best September Destinations (and Why)

2023-03-12 00:47:20 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Planning a trip for the month of September but don't know where to go? There is so much to do this time of year, from hiking in the Andes and lounging in the sun in Big Sur, California, to visiting the baby gorillas of Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park and enjoying Oktoberfest in Munich.

Many places experience their shoulder season in September, making it a great time to travel. While it's still relatively warm outside, the summer tourist hordes have long since dispersed. California's wine region is just starting to reap its harvest, while New Zealand is shedding its winter coat and the Albanian Riviera is enjoying a calm and serene season. The month of September is a fantastic time to take a trip.

It can be challenging to choose just one of the many amazing destinations open in September. To assist you, we have compiled a list of the top 14 destinations to visit in the month of September. You can have a great vacation at any of these places because of the pleasant weather, the lack of other visitors, and the many exciting events taking place right now.

  • Top 14 September Travel Destinations
    • Patagonia, Argentina, and Chile [[1]]
    • State of Arizona, Grand Canyon
    • Thru-Hiking the Trans-Bhutan Trail, Bhutan
    • Big Sur, California ([[4]])
    • Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park, number [[5]]
    • Bavaria, Germany
    • The California Wine Country, Area Code 7
    • Hawaii's capital city of Honolulu (population: ]]8)
    • Montana's [[9]] Glacier National Park
    • Kruger Park in South Africa, [[10]]
    • [[11]] The French region of the Loire
    • New Zealand's Fiordland National Park is in [[12]].
    • Albania's Riviera (13), Albania
    • The Berkshires, New England, and Connecticut

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Argentine and Chilean Patagonia

What Places to Visit in September: Patagonia, Argentina & Chile

If you want to have Patagonia all to yourself, September is the perfect time to go. This month marks the official start of spring, but Patagonia is notoriously slow to catch on.

The weather is mild to cool, and there aren't many people around because the hotels haven't opened yet after the winter season. Because there aren't as many tourists around, you can find excellent hotel and sightseeing deals.

Best Cities to Visit in September: Patagonia, Argentina & ChileBest Places to Visit in September: Patagonia, Argentina & Chile

Some of the world's most breathtaking landscapes can be found in Patagonia. Trekking through the Andes Mountains, passing enormous glaciers, and taking in breathtaking vistas is possible here. This time of year is ideal for taking pictures because there won't be any other people in them besides you and your fellow photographers.

Patagonia in the spring is a sight to behold. The grass will be green, the bushes will be bursting with violet lupin flowers, and the sky will be a brilliant blue. The first penguins to arrive in the area to mate do so in September, giving you an excellent opportunity to see these cute little birds.

Plan a Patagonia Hiking Trip Today!

Arizona's Grand Canyon is Number Two

Must Visit Places in September: Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is a fantastic American destination in September, especially if you've never been there before. While it's always busy, this month sees fewer visitors than the busiest times of year.  

Dimensionally, the famous landmark is 277 miles in length, 18 miles in width, and 1 mile in depth. Unless you're standing right in front of it, you simply cannot fathom its enormous size.  

Where to Vacation in September: Grand Canyon, ArizonaWhat Places Have Shoulder Season in September: Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Colorado River has been instrumental in the 6 million-year growth of the Arizona landmark. And for hundreds of years, people from all over the world have been flocking to the enormous chasm to gawk at its orange and red splendor.

The National Park Service, who oversees the Grand Canyon and does an excellent job of protecting this UNESCO World Heritage Site, has earned the site the distinction of "World Heritage" status. Despite the fact that there are about 6 million visitors annually, September is a good time to go if you want to avoid the masses.

The South Rim, where Bright Angel Trail and Grand Canyon Village can be found, is a popular destination for hikers and tourists alike. Spend more time at the North Rim to get away from the crowds. You can find some of the best places to camp and hike in the world here.

Plan a Trip to the Grand Canyon

Thirdly, Bhutan's Trans-Bhutan Trail

Bhutan is a great destination in September if you're looking to test your limits to the fullest. After being closed for 60 years, the legendary 250-mile-long Trans Bhutan Trail will reopen to hikers and mountain bikers in 2022.

From Haa in Bhutan's westernmost district all the way to Trashigang in the country's easternmost district is a hiking trail that promises to change your life. The trail covers 400 historical sites across Bhutan, providing a unique opportunity to learn about the country's rich past as you hike.

The Tiger's Nest Monastery is without question one of the world's most remarkable religious sites. This famous landmark was established in 1692 and consists of a handful of buildings that look like they're perched precariously on the edge of a cliff that drops off into the ocean from a height of 10,000 feet.

If you happen to be in Bhutan on September 7 (or are feeling adventurous, you can even join in on the fun!) the Dragon's Back Roads This one-day, 160-mile cycling race is an extreme endurance test. It begins in Bumthang, travels over four mountain passes, and finishes in Thimphu's central square.

Big Sur, in California

Best Cities to Visit in September: Big Sur, California

The Big Sur area is more than just a tourist attraction; it's a way of life. In search of personal growth, solace, or fresh ideas, people from all over the world have flocked to the region's mellow way of life. All artists, from photographers and writers to musicians and painters, can find something in it that will help them improve their craft.  

The 90-mile stretch of coast from Monterey Bay to San Simeon is the center of California's coastal hotspot. In September, when most people have returned home from their summer vacations, you can enjoy the area's unparalleled natural beauty without having to contend with any other visitors.  

Best Places to Visit in September: Big Sur, CaliforniaWhat Places to Visit in September: Big Sur, California

The Pacific Coast Highway, which is the primary thoroughfare through Big Sur, is widely considered to be one of the world's most beautiful drives. The highway skirts the edge of the cliffs, high above the waves, providing drivers and passengers with breathtaking views of the coastline that seems to go on forever.

You'll find more than breathtaking vistas along the PCH. Spas, art galleries, and innovative restaurants from around the world can be found along this stretch of road.  

Discovering the hidden treasures of Big Sur is one of the most rewarding aspects of any road trip. Some natural landmarks are purposefully left unmarked to prevent them from becoming overrun. This ensures their continued seclusion, tranquility, and pristine condition. Big Sur is an absolute must-see if you're in California in September, so keep that in mind if you're still trying to decide where to go.

Set up a Big Sur trip today!

Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park is our number five pick.

Must Visit Places in September: Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park is the best place in the world to see endangered mountain gorillas. But if you go in September, not only are you almost guaranteed to see these incredible animals, but there is also a good chance that you will see baby gorillas for the first time!

Rwanda's dry season officially concludes in September. During this time, the paths are less treacherous and the foliage is less thick, making it simpler to move around and locate gorillas. To attract wealthy tourists, the government has invested heavily in eco-friendly and morally uplifting destinations like Volcanoes National Park.

Where to Vacation in September: Volcanoes National Park, RwandaWhat Places Have Shoulder Season in September: Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

The month of September in Rwanda is ideal because of the Kwita Izina festival. The week-long festivities culminate in a beautiful naming ceremony for the newborn gorillas. There will be a huge party after the naming of the 12 or so infant gorillas, so don't miss out on the festivities!

The naming ceremony is sometimes held on September 24th, World Gorilla Day. Of course, it can happen whenever you like during the month.

Plan a Day Trip to Gorillas

Location No. 6: Munich, Germany

Best Cities to Visit in September: Munich, Germany

Even though the month "October" is in the name, Oktoberfest actually starts in the middle of September and continues into the beginning of October. The best place to experience Oktoberfest is in Munich, Germany, though it is celebrated all over the Western Hemisphere.

The festival is named after beer, and it features hundreds of different beers from all over Germany. Here you can find a wide variety of German beers, from popular brands to those brewed by small, independent breweries.

Best Places to Visit in September: Munich, GermanyWhat Places to Visit in September: Munich, Germany

You can still have a fantastic time at Oktoberfest even if beer isn't your thing. Pretzels, sausages, pork knuckles, and potato pancakes are just a few of the traditional German foods available. Everyone at the festival is there to have a good time, and it's hard to resist joining in on the celebration.  

While festivities for Oktoberfest can be found all over the streets of Munich, the official events are held at the Theresienwiese, the city's largest fairground. Aside from the numerous beer gardens and food stands, you can also enjoy the carnival games and performances.  

In September, Munich is one of the best destinations in the world if you want to have a good time.

Arrange a Trip and Ticket to Oktoberfest

The California Wine Country Comes in at #7

Must Visit Places in September: Wine Country, California

Grape harvest typically begins in September in California's Wine Country. Because of potential weather differences between Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma counties, some locations may need to begin earlier or later than others. It's best to double-check the opening date of your preferred winery before making any firm plans.  

There are more than 139 viticultural areas dispersed throughout Wine Country, ranging from large commercial vineyards that supply the wine in supermarkets to small, family-owned wineries.

Where to Vacation in September: Wine Country, CaliforniaWhat Places Have Shoulder Season in September: Wine Country, California

The weather in September is usually mild, making it perfect for sightseeing in picturesque vineyards and dining al fresco with good friends. This time of year also features a plethora of exciting activities.

There is something for everyone in wine country this September, from outdoor music concerts to celebrity chef-hosted dinners to wine pairing seminars to local art exhibitions to wine auctions to guided walks. Even stomping grapes as part of the winemaking process is an option at some vineyards.

Reserve a Trip to Wine Country in Napa Valley Today!

8 Honolulu, Oahu

Best Cities to Visit in September: Honolulu, Oahu

Honolulu is a great American destination in September. Even though summer is fading away, the weather is perfect for any outdoor activity you might have in mind.

September is a bit cooler (and a lot quieter) if you plan on spending your time exploring volcanoes and mountains. than the busiest summertime Daytime highs are in the 80s, but it cools off significantly as you ascend.

Best Places to Visit in September: Honolulu, OahuWhat Places to Visit in September: Honolulu, Oahu

The beach is calling your name, and now is the time to go! In September, you can swim in the ocean at its warmest. Long, relaxing evenings can be spent basking in the glow of a beach bonfire as nighttime temperatures remain in the pleasant 70s.

A trip to Honolulu is like getting the best of both worlds. Historic and cultural landmarks like Pearl Harbor and Iolani Palace sit alongside natural wonders like the azure waters and hidden hiking trails of the North Shore.

The rainy season on Oahu begins in the fall, but September is still one of the driest months. A tourist could stay in the capital for 14 days and not experience a single drop of rain.

Reserve a Honolulu City Tour

Glacier National Park in Montana is Number 9 on the List.

Where to Vacation in September: Glacier National Park, Montana

In September, Glacier National Park is the ideal destination for those seeking a connection with nature. You won't run into many other tourists during this time of year, so you'll essentially have the place to yourself.

The forests in September are full of leaves in every imaginable shade of red, yellow, orange, and gold. Seeing local wildlife in the process of getting ready for the winter's temperature drop and hibernation is much more likely when there are fewer humans around.

What Places Have Shoulder Season in September: Glacier National Park, MontanaMust Visit Places in September: Glacier National Park, Montana

The great outdoors awaits you on a camping trip if you're longing for a true reconnect with nature. Reservations are notoriously hard to come by in the summer because the campsites are first-come, first-served. In contrast, by the end of September, campsites are rarely full, and making a last-minute reservation is a breeze.

Additionally, because there are fewer people around, traffic is much less of a hassle. Consequently, you can take in the park's natural beauty and tranquility even if you're just passing through on your way somewhere else.

Reserve a Rafting Trip in Glacier National Park

Ranks #10: South Africa's Kruger National Park

Best Places to Visit in September: Kruger National Park, South Africa

Make plans now for the vacation of a lifetime to Kruger National Park in South Africa in September. The end of the dry season, when plant life is at its most minimal, occurs this month. The permanent watering holes in Kruger National Park make it one of the best places to visit in September, despite what you might think.

The Big Five are the park's namesake rhino, lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo, and they attract the majority of visitors to Kruger National Park. The park's central and southern regions are your best bets for seeing wildlife. The animals typically congregate in these areas during this time of year.

What Places to Visit in September: Kruger National Park, South AfricaBest Cities to Visit in September: Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger National Park is not only home to the Big Five, but also to hippopotamuses, Nile crocodiles, and a variety of avian rarities like lappet-faced vultures and ground-hornbills. Both the wildlife and the natural scenery here are absolutely breathtaking.  

Taller than you are, the giant baobab, marula, and fever trees dot the park's savanna. Ancient Masorini and Albasini ruins can be found in the park's Nxanatseni and Marula areas; these are thought to have been the sites of trade between the indigenous Ba-Phalaborwa people and Portuguese colonists.

Plan a Full-Day Safari in Kruger Park

11 - The French Loire Valley

What Places Have Shoulder Season in September: Loire Valley, France

If you're looking for a place to visit in September, look no further than France's Loire Valley. The region hosts a wide variety of festivals. The Festival of Tomatoes and Flavors is held annually at the Chateau de la Bourdaisière and is a must-attend event for any gourmand. Delicious samples of regional fare and exciting cooking demonstrations are part of this gourmet extravaganza.

Tours-sur-Loire is a more kid-friendly option that runs from May to the end of September. This exciting and varied celebration features alfresco dining, a movie under the stars, giant games, and art classes for people of all ages.

Where to Vacation in September: Loire Valley, FranceMust Visit Places in September: Loire Valley, France

If you take a drive through the countryside, you're sure to come across countless vineyards where you can sample their fresh, sparkling wines. Most will also let you tour the vineyard and learn about the winemaking process. In September, the weather is ideal for sight-seeing with a clear head, so you can see everything the valley has to offer.

Every inch of the UNESCO World Heritage Site will enchant you, from the aristocratic castles and 500-mile cycling routes to the incredibly gorgeous towns and stunning gardens that have been beautifully maintained for centuries.

Tour the Loire Valley by Reserving a Trip Today!

Located in New Zealand's South Island, Fiordland is the country's 12th national park.

Best Places to Visit in September: Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

The Fiordland National Park is a fantastic destination for a September getaway. This park, found on New Zealand's South Island, experiences temperatures in the 50s during the spring. That may not sound too inviting, but it's perfect for the marine life in the area.

To see fur seals, crested penguins, and dolphins, September is the best month. You should take a cruise across Milford Sound now to see if you can spot any, as this is when they are most active. Consider renting a kayak and going on a hunt for them in the lake if you want a chance to get up close and personal.

What Places to Visit in September: Fiordland National Park, New ZealandBest Cities to Visit in September: Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Fiordland National Park is stunningly beautiful regardless of the amount of wildlife you encounter. There are countless examples of dramatic scenery all around this stunning piece of nature, from lakes with mirror-like reflections to snow-capped jagged mountains to thundering icy waterfalls to one of the clearest night skies you've ever seen.

Schedule a trip to Fiordland National Park

Riviera d'Albania, Albania, No. 13

Must Visit Places in September: Albanian Riviera, Albania

Visit the Albanian Riviera for some late-winter rays. This laid-back part of Albania is home to powdery golden sands, mesmerizing cobalt waters, historical Greek ruins, and charming rustic villages.

There are plenty of activities to choose from in Greece, whether you want to spend your days relaxing on the beach, island hopping on a yacht, or exploring ancient Greek sites, and your nights either partying at beach clubs, mingling with locals in tavernas, or appreciating the quiet life in a seaside village. It's best done on the Albanian Riviera.

Where to Vacation in September: Albanian Riviera, AlbaniaWhat Places Have Shoulder Season in September: Albanian Riviera, Albania

Here you will discover some of Europe's most dazzling and obscure artifacts. There are national parks out there with more breathtaking views than you can count, waterfalls that look like they were digitally enhanced, and natural hot springs that are more relaxing than any spa.

The Albanian Riviera is one of the least expensive European destinations in September, making it a good choice for those on a tight budget. Though many summer visitors have left by this month, the weather has remained gloriously warm and sunny, so prices have dropped. The Albanian Riviera is a great choice if you're looking for a sunny getaway in September.

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Number Fourteen: Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Berkshires

Best Places to Visit in September: The Berkshires, Massachusetts & Connecticut

The Berkshires, which span western Massachusetts and northwest Connecticut, are a fantastic destination in September for those in search of scenic beauty and outdoor activities. The red, gold, and orange trees atop the towering mountains will take your breath away as you wind your way through the region.

This rural area is extremely well-liked by city dwellers in search of a respite from their busy lives because it provides the ideal blend of pure relaxation and endless fun. To satisfy your need for adventure, you can choose from a wide variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain climbing, and ziplining. In addition to swimming, fishing, and boating, you can also go kayaking, fishing, and paddleboarding on one of the many pristine lakes.

What Places to Visit in September: The Berkshires, Massachusetts & ConnecticutBest Cities to Visit in September: The Berkshires, Massachusetts & Connecticut

Visit one of the Berkshires' picturesque villages for a low-effort alternative. Tourists tend to avoid these quiet towns in September. Consequently, you won't have to waste time waiting in long lines at mom-and-pop establishments. The lack of people means you'll have an easier time snagging last-minute deals on great seats to shows at the theater.

So there you go. During the month of September, these 14 locations are where you should be. Where do you recommend going this September, if you're going on vacation?

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