As a September child, I may well be biassed but September has always been one of my favourite months. And, In a Northern hemispheric culture, September is THE autumnal month symbolising maturity and reflection or as Simon and Garfunkel once sang “September I remember, a love once new has now grown old”.
Yes, the September days grow cool but they are truly bright, and the waning foliage turns a splendid shade of golden in Europe. By the time September rolls around, summer holidays are already a distant memory for many who are already looking for an autumn getaway. September can indeed be a FANTASTIC month to travel, after all as the crowds have thinned out after the summer session in fact, if you know where to go September can be THE best month to travel.
To highlight this, we have set out our guide to the very best places to visit in September.
The Best Places in The USA To Visit in September
Let’s kick off with our top picks for the best places to visit in September in the US. Whether you are a US native looking for a perfect fall domestic break or a foreign visitor wanting to check out the best of the States, you will love these places.
New England, USA
If you happen to be anywhere near the States this September, then New England is the premier destination to consider. The region is renowned for its stunning fall foliage, which typically peaks around late September into early October (though climate change is making that harder to predict).
The colours are just breathtaking, with shades of red, orange, and yellow blanketing the countryside. As well as the autumn leaves, there are plenty of charming small towns and historic sites too. New England was one of the earliest parts of modern America that was settled and you can check out historical places such as Salem, Massachusetts, and Plymouth Rock.
Oh, and outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of the mild weather to go hiking, kayaking, or biking. September is the perfect time for a New England road trip!
New England is also a great place to visit in October if your trip happens to be a little later than planned.
Big Sur, California
September is one of the best times to visit beautiful Big Sur in California. This rugged, rugged, stretch of coastline is home to some of the most majestic scenery in the United States, including towering redwood forests, dramatic cliffs, and some pristine beaches.
In September, the Pacific weather is mild and comfortable, with the irons hovering around the 60s and 70s. Visitors can explore the stunningly scenic Pacific Coast Highway, hike through the forests, or just hit the beach.
Big Sur is also known for its vibrant arts scene, and there are a few galleries and cultural events going on. There are also plenty of great places to camp along Big Sur too if you’re on a budget.
I toured Big Sur myself 5 years ago and it remains one of my travel highlights. I promise that you will not regret coming here.
Best Places To Holiday in September For Good Weather
For those of you who are desperate for that last bit of sunshine before winter rolls around, these are the best places to go in September for the weather. If you hit the sun lounger hard enough, you may even get a deep enough tan to last you until Halloween…
Bali is a hot and happening travel destination year-round and there is never really a bad time to visit. However, September offers a unique Bali experience – it is the beginning of the dry season, which means you’ll have fewer crowds and less humidity.
By visiting Bali in September you can enjoy the beautiful rice paddies, hike Mount Batur at dawn, or explore the dramatic beaches of Uluwatu all without the crowds.
If you are headed to Bali, then why not call in at Tribal Hostel and say hi to The Broke Backpacker commander-in-chief himself?!
Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa’s Cape Town is a gorgeous, hip city with perhaps the most stunning natural landscapes of any city that we have visited. Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope are just too many of the natural wonders located in or near central Cape Town.
September is the perfect time to visit too – in the southern hemisphere, it’s the start of spring, and the flowers are in full bloom. If you want to take in Cape Town’s culture you can also take in the city’s museums, art galleries, and restaurants. There’s plenty more to do in Cape Town too and it’s the perfect time of year to soak it all in.
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Best Places in Europe To Visit in September
It is true that Europe’s tourism season peaks in summer and has truly subsided by fall as the nights begin to draw in. But nevertheless, the majestic continent offers some absolutely stunning September scenes.
Santorini is one of the most popular Greek islands (largely thanks to Instagram), known for its stunning white-washed buildings, blue-domed churches, and breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea.
September is a cracking time to visit too – the overwhelming summer crowds have begun to dissipate, making it easier to explore the island’s quaint villages and pretty beaches. The weather is still very warm and bright and perfect for swimming and soaking up the Mediterranean sunshine.
While September is a cheaper time to visit Santorini than the summer, you should still brace yourself for high prices. Thankfully, there are some pretty sweet hostels in Santorini to keep things affordable.
Krakow, located in southern Poland, is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture. The city’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, filled with stunning architecture, charming cafes, and bustling marketplaces. September is a fantastic time to visit because the weather is mild, and the summer crowds have thinned out, so you’ll have all those epic things to do in Krakow to yourself!
Visitors can check the city’s many museums and galleries, hit the old Jewish Quarter, sample traditional Polish cuisine (great for cold days), or take in a performance at one of the city’s historic theatres. A day trip to Auscwitz is also guaranteed to be a sobering experience which you will never forget.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most picturesque destinations in Italy. September is the perfect time to visit, as the crowds have dispersed, and the weather is still warm enough to enjoy the beaches. You can explore the charming towns of Positano and Amalfi, or take a boat tour to the nearby islands. With the thinner crowds, you’ll also find some great places to stay on the Amalfi Coast that would otherwise be booked out over the summer.
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Best Places To Travel in September For Festivals
For those of you looking to eat, drink and merry your way into the latter part of the year, these are the places to go in September for festivals.
The Emerald makes for a beautiful country to visit pretty year-round, but September is a particularly grand time to go. Galway, perched on Ireland’s wild West Coast is a charming, lively city with a rich cultural heritage. The city is perhaps best known for its colourful buildings, epic pubs, traditional music, and vibrant arts scene, there are so many awesome things to do in Galway and beyond.
We have nominated September as the best time to visit as the city hosts its annual Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival – one of the biggest food festivals in Ireland. Visitors can dive into the city’s thriving seafood scene, check out the live music and maybe find a nice bar to watch the all-Ireland hurling final.
Germany’s coolest city is another year-round gem (though winter is cold) but September is perhaps the perfect time to visit Munich on account of the famous Oktoberfest (yes we know).
During the legendary Bavarian beer festival, the city comes alive with beer tents, traditional German food, and live music all across the city. If you’re not a fan of crowds (or beer) then you can still enjoy the city’s architecture, museums, and parks… there’s still plenty to do in Munich once that hangover had worn off!
My top tip for Munich is to try and catch a Bayern Munich match and check out the Kunstbar after dark.
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Best Places To Visit in September on a Budget
In case you blew the bank over the summer, these are the best places to visit in September on a budget. But rest assured, you can still have a lot of fun for very little.
September is also the perfect time to explore the atmospheric and heady city of Marrakech. The summer heat is way too intense but by September the temperatures are mild, the city is less crowded and many of the awesome places to visit in Marrakech are just that little bit less frantic!
Head to Marrakech and wander through the busy souks, visit the beautiful gardens, or maybe even take a hot air balloon ride over the Atlas Mountains.
When you hit the souks, be ready to barter like you have never bartered in your life and be careful navigating the maze-like medina alone!
Tulum, on the famous Mexican Riviera, is a beach paradise packed with turquoise waters and white sand beaches. Recent years have seen Tulum blossom as Mexico’s hippy paradise too and visitors can fill their days with yoga classes/ retreats, breathwork sessions and maybe even a bit of ecstatic dance.
September is the best time to visit Tulum as the crowds have dispersed, and the prices have dropped. You can explore the Mayan ruins, snorkel in the cenotes, or relax on the beach with greater intimacy.
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Best of The Rest – Where To Go in September
And finally, these are the best places to travel in September just for the hell of it!
September is the best time to visit Kyoto for the autumn leaves. The city’s temples and shrines are surrounded by beautiful red, orange, and yellow foliage. You can also experience the city’s traditional culture, including tea ceremonies and geisha performances.
Kyoto represents a much subtler side of Japan than the neon-lit Tokyo and feels especially poignant in September. Don’t worry though, there are heaps of awesome things to do in Kyoto and the cooler temperatures will mean walking around all day will be pleasant rather than unbearable!
September is the beginning of spring in Sydney and the perfect time to visit. You can explore the city’s iconic landmarks, including the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. You can also enjoy the city’s beaches, museums, and restaurants.
The only criticism I have of Sydney is that it’s seriously expensive to get there from anywhere that isn’t Australia and then even more expensive once you land. Having said that, the epic places to visit in Sydney and Australia as a whole make it a worth while trip of a lifetime!
September is the perfect time to visit Vancouver for the mild temperatures and beautiful fall foliage. You can explore Stanley Park, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge, or take a scenic drive up to Whistler, as well as exploring the many other incredible things to do in Vancouver in the fall.
Fall in Canada is truly beautiful but bear in mind that the winter chill lands a little early this far north so remember to wrap up warm!
Final Thoughts on Where To Go in September
Rightio, as you can see September really is a bloody fantastic month to travel. There are plenty of destinations around the world offering mild weather, fewer crowds, unique festivals and beautiful vistas.
Whether you’re interested in seeing some stunning fall foliage, exploring some rugged coastlines, vibrant cities, or just pretty little islands, there’s a destination out there for you to explore.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!