Off Peak Travel, Here’s A List Of 10 Appealing Places To Visit In September

Marking a return to school and the official end to the lazy days of summer for many people in the world, September heralds one of the most distinct transitions of the calendar year.

This is also when off-season rates and fewer crowds can make shoulder-season travel particularly appealing for people who can wrangle a weekend (or longer) away.

Here is an appealing list of places to visit in September.

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


There’s no bad time of year to visit Mexico’s birthplace of tequila and mariachi. But September ushers in some of the most pleasant temperatures of the year in the capital of Jalisco, with Guadalajara’s daytime highs in the 80s and temperatures that dip into the 60s at night.

The world’s largest celebration of mariachi music takes place here every September during the 10-day International Mariachi and Charrería Festival that draws thousands of spectators and hundreds of bands to the city’s streets and stages.

If you sidle up to just one tequila bar in town, make it Cantina La Fuente, which has been here since 1921 and draws locals, students and tourists to its long wooden bar.

Breckenridge, Colorado

If you visit “Breck” later in the month, you may have a chance to see fall colors. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sitting 9,600 feet above sea level, the pretty, pedestrian-friendly small town of Breckenridge sees some of Colorado’s earliest changing leaves, making it a great option for some early-autumn leaf peeping.

Thick groves of aspen trees get their golden glow starting mid-month and are best enjoyed with a pumpkin spice latte in hand or while hiking along the more than 200 miles of trails surrounding town. For drive-through views, the Boreas Pass Scenic Road is a favorite route for mountain views and tunnels of aspen trees.

September is also prime fly-fishing season in the area’s many rivers, and Breckenridge Outfitters can show you the ropes (or, rather, knots).

Mark your calendar for the annual Breck Film Festival this month, too.


reykjavik church
Reykjavik is inspiring in September. (Photo: Getty Images)

Even during the busier summer season in Iceland you can expect four seasons in a single day.

And while there’s no telling what the weather will be doing on the island come fall, visiting in September brings mostly mild (compared to winter) temperatures with an added bonus — the chance to see the northern lights. They’re visible in Iceland’s skies primarily from September into April before the chills of winter make you well and truly bundle up.

Iceland’s arctic autumn gets painted in yellows, oranges and reds. It’s perfect weather for hitting the thermal pools and fjord-front sauna just outside of downtown Reykjavik at Sky Lagoon (an urban answer to the Blue Lagoon), touring one of the island’s active volcanoes or snorkeling the glacier fissure at Silfra (with more than 300 feet of visibility!) withTroll Expeditions.


Located below the hurricane belt, Bonaire is considered a hurricane-free place to visit — even while September is still technically storm season elsewhere in the Caribbean.

Summer crowds have thinned out by this time of year, when you might also get lucky enough to catch the annual coral spawning event that looks like an underwater snow storm on Bonaire’s colorful coral reefs (the island is a paradise for scuba divers year-round, with many sites accessible right from the shore).

September marks the start of Bonaire’s light season for wind, so newbie windsurfers might find it better for taking lessons this time of year, too.

Count on lots of celebrating on September 6, Bonaire’s Flag Day, when parades and parties fill the streets around Kralendijk, the capital city.

French Polynesia

humpback whales
Swim alongside humpbacks in French Polynesia. (Photo: Getty Images)

How do we love Tahiti (and Moorea and Bora Bora)?

Let us count the ways — starting with the incredible overwater bungalows, atolls with the world’s most epic scuba diving, and the tastiest answer to ceviche ever, called poisson cru (the Tahitians make it with raw fish and fresh coconut milk).

While you can snorkel with sharks and rays in French Polynesia’s sapphire waters year-round, these islands are among the only places in the world where you can actually swim alongside humpbacks.

September is peak calving season for the mammals as they migrate through and also coincides with the best time of year for whale watching and entering the water alongside the giants.


Still warm enough for maximizing the island’s beaches but without the full-on crush of the summertime masses, September is prime time to shine on Spain’s legendary party island of Ibiza.

Don’t think for a minute that the parties have gone dark this time of year. September’s schedule of closing fiestas is not to be missed — the island’s hottest clubs often go out with a bang in the form of surprise guest DJ appearances.

Detox from the fun with some cycling or walking around the Parc Natural de Ses Salines — a nature park on the southern tip of Ibiza where hundreds of flamingoes arrive this time of year to settle in for the winter.


oman south coast
Oman’s south coast is surprisingly lush. (Photo: Getty Images)

Summer’s scorching heat in Oman finally starts to abate a bit in September when the south coast’s hills are surprisingly lush and green from the khareef (the southeastern monsoon)

The Sultanate is known for having some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in all of the Arab world, with September heralding the start of the season of the best underwater visibility.

At sites around Muscat, you might even spot sea turtles, mobulas and whale sharks while finning along the colorful reefs.

Manitoba, Canada

Autumn settles into Canada’s Manitoba province in September with a nip to the clear, crisp air as summer ebbs away.

It’s an atmospheric time to visit Winnipeg to see migrating Canada geese (and hear their cacophonous sunset calls) along the lakeshore at FortWyhte Alive, a prairie nature preserve home to bison, with boardwalks and trails to explore.

Make time to visit Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which explores the country’s oppression of its own indigenous people, as well as other powerful international topics.

When it’s time to relax, dive into a Scandinavian-inspired sauna and thermal wellness at Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature, with its beautiful indoor and outdoor relaxation areas — including soaking pools, cold plunges, four saunas and an exfoliation room — all just a few miles from Winnipeg.

Fez, Morocco

fez souk
Shop for colorful souvenirs in Fez. (Photo: Getty Images)

Morocco’s most cultural and spiritual city, all rolled into one fascinating package you can stroll through, Fes is home to one of the best-conserved ancient medinas in the world.

On UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Fes el Bali’s walled and car-free streets teem with donkey and human traffic and are busy with souks selling all manner of spices, food, clothing and souvenirs.

It’s a feast for the senses that’s much more pleasant to partake in once the scorching temperatures of summer have begun abating in September, when limited rainfall means mostly blue skies.

Whatever you do during your explorations of the medina, make time to see the view of the mazelike streets from above at one of the many rooftop cafés and restaurants offering freshly squeezed orange juice and mint tea brimming with bunches of the bright-green leaves.

Phuket, Thailand

If you’re looking to avoid visiting tropical Thailand at its steamiest, September is one of the coolest months on Phuket, the country’s largest island.

And while Thailand’s west coast gets its share of monsoon rain this time of year, blue skies do appear — along with low-season prices and fewer crowds in many places.

The island’s Chinese community holds the Phuket Vegetarian Festival in late-September or early October each year, too (it falls during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar).

A tradition since the 1800s, it brings a carnival-like atmosphere to Phuket’s streets and temples, full of eye-popping traditions of purification that include the piercing of body parts with swords, fishing rods and more.

By Terry Ward for Marriott BonVoy

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