Summer may be coming to a close but that doesn't mean the fun has to end! In fact, September is a fantastic month to travel nearly anywhere in the world. As summer temperatures linger on and most of the crowds have gone home, most attractions remain open and welcome 'shoulder season' visitors. After Labor Day you can still squeeze that last little bit of family fun out of the waning warm season by taking a vacation, whether close to home or far away. Here are our top picks for fabulous travel destinations in September.
The vibrant colors of Vermont's fall foliage on display within its lush forested land draws visitors from far and wide but there's more than one reason to visit this charming corner of New England during the month of September. The landscape here evokes a time from long ago. Vermont's quaint villages, historic inns and uncrowded trails and roads provide more than enough space for you to hike or bike to your heart's desire. You can relax by the fire at the end of a long day, enjoy a glass of cider with some hand-crafted cheese, or simply savor the view of the colorful leaves from the best seat in the house: the peaceful porch of a historic hotel. Add all this to the plethora of cultural offerings already available--from apple festivals to conventions of literature to meetings of bird-watchers--it's easy to see how Vermont is the perfect destination for a hiking or biking getaway in September.
Read more about our Vermont tours here!
2. Piedmont, Italy
Italy is the 5th most-visited country in the world. It's divided into twenty different regions, each celebrated for its own special cultural and natural wealth. For example, the glamorous Veneto region, receives the most visitors in all of Italy. The spectacular city of Venice, the region's capital, is obviously a huge draw for visitors, as is the city of Verona, the setting of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Lazio is Italy's 3rd most popular region, with the city of Rome as its bustling capital. With so many fantastic destinations in Italy, sometimes the lesser-known regions get overlooked by international visitors. The Piedmont region in northwest Italy is one of those places that seems to perpetually fly under everyone's radar. Situated between the towering Alps and the welcoming Mediterranean, this is one place you won't want to miss! A famous wine region and the home of the original Slow Food Movement, Piedmont is a place to indulge your desires... from magnificent dining to challenging hiking routes and bike rides. Although summers here can be hot, September brings an almost perfect climate. It's also the time of year when the locals take opportunities to show off their culture to visitors with a variety of fairs and festivals celebrating everything from wine to the region's famous white truffles. Hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails are waiting to be enjoyed and the peaks of the Alps are a hardy challenge for any cyclist. This mountainous region is also a paradise for walkers of any level and the Mediterranean is always there to soothe your muscles after a hard day. Get a taste of the good life in Piedmont in September.
Learn more about Backroads Piedmont Italy Bike Tour.
3. Catalonia, Spain
Tucked into the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, the Spanish region of Catalonia is among one of the country's richest and most independent-minded. A vibrant and diverse culture extends from the booming metropolis of Barcelona to the peaceful beaches and sleepy tourist towns of the Costa Brava and the majestic peaks and traditional mountain culture in the Pyrenees. It's not an exaggeration to say that Catalonia is an active traveler's dream destination. It's got cliffside hiking trails with dramatic ocean views and towering mountain peaks just begging to be summited on the seat of a bicycle. Catalonia's mouthwatering cuisine, which includes fresh seafood on the coast and handmade cheese in the mountains, is the perfect addition to any end-of-summer sojourn. And let's not forget the famous Spanish wine culture! In September, the weather in this part of the world is comfortably warm and the diminishing tourist crowds brings you the opportunity to spend time with locals on and off the trails. Consider a trip to Catalonia this fall for an authentic and stress-free travel experience.
4. North and South Carolina
Appalachia is a distinctive 205,000-square-mile cultural region that extends from southern New York to northern Mississippi. With the Appalachian Mountain range--once home to bison, elk and wolves-as its unifying geologic characteristic, the region is divided into northern, central and southern parts. Southern Appalachia is always beautiful, but it takes on a special feeling in the month of September when the heat of summer slowly transforms into an ambiance of cool tranquility that imbues everything with a special feeling of nostalgia and wonder. The varied landscapes of North and South Carolina harbor a variety of natural landscapes that range from peaceful green pastures to dramatic rocky cliffs. Equally, the culture of Southern Appalachia that is found in the Carolinas is just as vibrant and diverse as the setting it occupies. In September, you'll relish the comfortable weather as you make your way around on two wheels or two feet. The cultural offerings won't disappoint either. From the early-fall apple festivals in both states to the Colour of Music festival in Charleston that highlights African American culture and music to the popular Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh... September in the Carolinas is an exciting time for anyone to visit.
Learn more about our North & South Carolina trips here!
If you want to take to the sea in September, consider an aquatic adventure in Croatia. The aptly-named Dalmatian Coast is dotted with large and small islands, making it the perfect place to combine an active vacation on land with a relaxing journey at sea. In September, the heat of the Croatian summer is just beginning to dissipate which means that you'll be comfortable during the day whether you're biking or hiking. And the evenings bring opportunities to cool off with a dip in the sparkling waters of the Adriatic. There's also plenty going on in Croatia in September. Zagreb hosts the Food Film Festival and the Istrian peninsula promotes the Parenzana Bike Race which also offers a recreational race for amateurs. The beauty of the Croatian landscape will enthrall you while the trails, roads and beaches inevitably become your playground. Whether you choose to hike or bike, it's all that much more delightful when you've got that beautiful blue sea as a backdrop!
Backroads has more than 18 different trips in Croatia...which one strikes your fancy?
Want to see more tips for traveling to the right place at the right time? See our expert recommendations for every month of the year: