Vineyards in the Cape Winelands, South Africa

This September, head to the Cape Winelands for some excellent vino. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tips + Trends

From Lively Cities to Lush Vineyards, Where to Travel in September for Every Type of Traveler

September can mark the start of fall or the start of spring, depending on which hemisphere you call home. It’s also one of the best months to travel, with fewer crowds, lower prices and moderate temperatures.

Whether you’re all about spa and wellness, arts and culture, or something else, here are the destinations that are calling your name for a well-deserved getaway in September.

As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.

The Food and Drinks Lover

Cape Winelands, South Africa

An easy one-hour drive east of Cape Town lie the lush valleys of the Cape Winelands. September heralds the start of spring, so the region will be replete with early blooming flowers and budding grape vines.

Explore beautiful wine estates and savor the region’s wines, which are said to be among the finest in the world. Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are noted wine regions in the Cape Winelands. Sample a glass of pinotage, a signature red wine that is unique to South Africa.

Kyoto, Japan

Get ready to treat your taste buds with a flavorful vacation in Kyoto, Japan. Not only is Kyoto an exceptional vacation spot, but September also marks the start of the fall matcha harvest season, an optimal time for a tea farm tour. A quick internet search will surface many tea farm tour options, where you can handpick tea leaves and savor flights of seasonal teas, like hojicha, a nutty, roasted green tea, paired with Japanese sweets called wagashi.

Wander Nishiki Market — also known as Kyoto’s Kitchen. This vibrant and bustling marketplace brims with fresh produce, seafood and local delicacies, like senbei (rice crackers) and tamagoyaki (Japanese omelet).

The Sports Fan

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

A boy playing with a soccer ball in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
From soccer to beach volleyball to surfing, Rio de Janeiro’s sports scene doesn’t hold back. (Photo: Getty Images)

In September, watch a soccer match when temperatures are mild and the atmosphere is electric at one of Rio de Janeiro’s iconic stadiums, like Maracanã Stadium. This cultural landmark was built to host the FIFA World Cup in 1950. It’s also one of the best places to experience Brazil’s passionate soccer culture, which is on full display in early fall.

As a coastal town, Rio is also the place for beach volleyball on the iconic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, but you should also consider seeking out some of Rio’s lesser-known beaches while you’re visiting. It’s prime surfing season at this time of year, so plan to catch a few waves.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston really loves its sports teams, making Beantown a must-visit destination for sports enthusiasts. In September, watch a baseball game on a celebrated fan appreciation night or take a tour of Fenway Park, the oldest and arguably most iconic baseball stadium in the United States. Explore the Sports Museum, a long-standing museum that celebrates the city’s sports heritage and athletic achievements.

Boston, home to MIT, Boston College, Northeastern, Boston University and more, is also a college sports hub. It can be easy to take in a game every night of the week in September thanks to the proliferation of college teams.

The Wellness Buff


A woman swimming underwater in a Aruba
Dive into the natural beauty of Aruba. (Photo: Getty Images)

A low risk of hurricanes makes Aruba a top pick in the Caribbean in September — as do off-peak rates and cultural events like the Aruba Art Fair. The island is also a favorite among wellness seekers due to its pristine beaches, luxurious spas and spiritually invigorating land and water activities, like hiking, stand-up paddleboarding and snorkeling.

Revel in the natural beauty of this island, both from the water’s edge and from a high peak, like the summit of Hooiberg, a small mountain at the center of the island.

Tucson, Arizona

With an abundance of world-class spas, yoga retreats and serene desert landscapes, Tucson is a dream getaway for wellness lovers.

In September, more moderate temps allow for hikes at Saguaro National Park, surrounded by countless cacti. Walk the lush oasis at the Tucson Botanical Gardens to connect with your inner self.

After dark, enrich your soul with an evening of stargazing. Tucson has one of the darkest night skies in Arizona thanks to minimal light pollution, clearer air and a generally dry climate.

The Outdoor Enthusiast

Aspen, Colorado

Three colorful hot air balloons floating at the Snowmass Balloon Festival in Aspen, Colorado
The Snowmass Balloon Festival in Aspen is a true spectacle. (Photo: Getty Images)

Aspen may be best known for world-class skiing, but this mountain town has all the fall feels in September.

Ogle colorful hot air balloons at the Snowmass Balloon Festival. Then set off on one of numerous hiking trails that lead to lofty summits, alpine lakes and tumbling waterfalls. The iconic Maroon Bells, which are among the most photographed mountains in the United States, are stunning against the golden aspen groves.

Auckland, New Zealand

September marks the start of spring in Auckland, an ideal time to explore the city’s coastal beauty and diverse landscapes.

Set off on foot on the Coast to Coast Walkway, a 10-mile path that meanders north to south, from Waitematā Harbor to Manukau Harbor, with such highlights as Mount Eden and One Tree Hill. Also enjoy a scenic ferry ride to Rangitoto Island, which is home to Auckland’s youngest and largest volcano.

The Arts and Culture Seeker

Quebec City, Canada

Aerial view of Quebec City, Canada
September is the perfect time of year to wander the quaint streets of Quebec City. (Photo: Getty Images)

Quebec City is a wonderful destination to explore on foot, especially in late September as near-peak fall colors transform the town. Wander through Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site best known for historic architecture, lively street performances and picturesque alleyways, like the Rue du Petit-Champlain and Rue Sous-le-Fort.

Pop in and out of notable arts institutions, like the Musée de la Civilisation and the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec. September is replete with festivals, too, like the Quebec City Film Festival.

Barcelona, Spain

In September, Barcelona hosts La Mercè, the city’s largest street festival, which boasts street parades, synchronized fireworks and dance troupes.

Plus, warm weather and sunshine extend well into the fall in Barcelona, allowing visitors to comfortably walk the beaches and explore iconic landmarks, like Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. Stroll artistic neighborhoods like El Born and El Raval, both filled with galleries, studios and creative spaces.

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