Destinations

The Best Places to Go in September

Explore the Galapagos on a yacht, relax in the French countryside, and more.
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With summer coming to a close, it's tempting to squeeze in one last vacation. But where on earth should you go? Allow us to help. Here are ten wanderlust-worthy vacation ideas to put on your radar for September.

Barcelona


One of the most lively times to visit this colorful city is during the month of September, as it's largest annual festival—Fiesta de la Merce—is in full swing. "Parties, parades, and more fill the streets of the fun-loving Catalonian capital as it honors its patron saint from the 21-24 of September," says Tamara Lohan, the founder of travel club Mr & Mrs Smith.By the end of August, many of the summer tourists have left, but the warm weather sticks around for the month ahead so you can still enjoy the scenic views from one of the city's rooftop bars.
BOOK NOW Alma Barcelona
BOOK NOW The Serras

Portland, Oregon


This quirky city, which has amazing views of Mount Hood, offers something fun for every type of traveler. Take a hike in the morning, go shopping downtown, then drive to the city to have dinner at the futuristic, rooftop restaurant, Departure. No trip to Portland would be complete without stopping by the infamous Voodoo Doughnuts, where they garnish their delicious treats with unexpected toppings such as cereal, cookies, or bacon.
BOOK NOW Sentinel

Buenos Aires


Make your way to Buenos Aires for an electrifying, cultural experience. Similar to Barcelona, September is a big month for fiestas in this vibrant city. Festival Ciudad Emergente, which takes place at the end of the month, celebrates emerging culture through street art, dance, photography, and more. With so many attractions to see in the city, you can chose to book a room in the heart of of it all at Be Jardin Escondido or step away from the chaos and head to Estancia la Bamba de Areco for a more reserved escape. Lohan describes the relaxing property as "a historic ranch with horses and stables, 90 minutes from Buenos Aires, in the Argentinian Pampas."
BOOK NOW Estancia la Bamba de Areco
BOOK NOW Be Jardin Escondido

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Aix-en-Provence, France


While summer might seem like an idyllic time to visit the South of France, in-the-know travelers typically flock here in September, when temperatures are mild and the crowds have died down. “The light in the late summer/early fall can also be particularly lovely, as can the provisions from local farmers and growers, as well as foraging, that make their way onto menus," says Nancy Novogrod, the co-founder of Essentialist, a bespoke travel planning company. Novogrod specifically recommends a stay at Villa La Coste just outside of Aix-en-Provence in the French countryside. "The contemporary-style villa suites with terraces are surrounded by spectacular gardens, biodynamic vineyards, an art park with work by blue-chip contemporary artists, and pavilions by Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, and Tadao Ando." The property, located on the 500-acre Chateau La Coste vineyard, also has an onsen and Michelin-starred chef. Novogrod says, "It brings a whole new meaning to Provençal style."
BOOK NOW Villa la Coste

Riviera Maya, Mexico


Looking for a tropical getaway in Mexico that's somewhere other than Tulum or Cabo? This stretch of the Caribbean coastline is known for its stunning beaches and powder fine sand. For a trip that'll awaken your spirit and help you recharge for the fall, head to Rosewood Mayakoba, just an hour south of Cancun. The luxury hotel just launched a new retreat focused on self-love and wellness, called Marry Oneself. This four day journey was inspired by ancient Mayan traditions and aims to reconnect guests with their inner selves, which will last long after you return back home.
BOOK NOW Rosewood Mayakoba

The Galápagos Islands, Ecuador


September falls within the Galapagos' "cool season" which isn't, in fact, all that cool—expect weather in the mid to high 70's. "The water temperature tends to be a bit lower during these months as well, but it's precisely these conditions that make wildlife more plentiful, as the waters around the islands are swirling with activity when food is in abundance," says Santiago Dunn, the President of Ecoventura, a top expedition company in the Galapagos. "You’ll likely end up seeing dolphins and whales, and swimming with a great deal more marine life including penguins, fur seals, sea turtles and rays." It also happens to be mating season, making excursions all the more interesting.

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While there are dozens of tour operators and cruises to choose from, the most luxurious experience can be had onboard a yacht—specifically the MV Origin. The 20-person ship gives guests the feeling of being on a private chartered vessel, complete with 14 staffers, two full-time naturalists, and itineraries designed to ensure you won't be competing with 100 tourists for the perfect penguin shot. Staterooms are incredibly spacious and feature sea-to-ceiling windows, so after a long day exploring, guests can "sightsee" without ever leaving bed. Does it get any more luxurious than that?
BOOK NOW Ecoventura

Hudson Valley, New York


New York's scenic Hudson Valley—just a two hour drive from Manhattan—makes for a perfect early Fall escape, catering to food lovers, nature lovers, wine lovers... and well, pretty much everyone. The city of Hudson (or "upstate's downtown") is home to a mind-numbing number of antique shops, galleries, farm-to-table restaurants, and B&B's—but if you're in the market for a more unique experience, reserve one of the five luxury tents at Collective Hudson Valley, a seasonal "glamping" retreat located on Liberty Farms (15 minutes outside of Hudson) that runs through November. To be sure, these aren't your average canvas tents—each is outfitted with 1,500-thread count linens, a French Press coffee bar, and a private deck with sweeping views.
BOOK NOW Collective Hudson Valley

Chesapeake Bay, Maryland


"Maryland’s eastern shore—specifically, Chesapeake Bay, America’s largest estuary—is the place to sink back into an Adirondack chair this month and watch sailboats skirt the water," says Lohan. Booking a room at the Inn at Perry Cabin allows you to be a part of the sailing action because of its stunning waterfront location. Lohan loves that the hotel has a private sailing academy and a fleet of luxury yachts, "ready to whisk you off on chartered tips and in-depth courses." Be sure to bring along a pair of binoculars as you'll likely see tundra swans, river otters, and osprey from your boat.
BOOK NOW The Inn at Perry Cabin

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Madagascar


Located just off the southeast coast of Africa, the island nation is quickly becoming a bucket list destination for the well-traveled set. September marks the end of whale watching season in Madagascar, so if you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of humpbacks by the coast. Book one of the 14 solar-powered villas at Miavana, the country's first-ever luxury resort, which opened in 2016 on a breathtaking private island. The safari company Time + Tide (who run the resort) will take guests on underwater excursions—or "Blue Safaris"—to explore shipwrecks, coral reefs, and marine life.
BOOK NOW Miavana

Los Angeles, California


Those looking for an easy, warm-weather weekend trip should perhaps consider Los Angeles, a city that has plenty on offer during the month of September. Over Labor Day, the LA Times hosts its annual food and wine festival, The Taste, where Los Angeles' top chefs come together for cooking demos, seminars, and events. There's also Shakespeare in Griffith Park and Cinecon, the 54-year-old Classic Film Festival. Book a room at the swanky Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hillswhich is one of LA's places to see-and-be-seen. And while you're in town, grab drinks at Filifera, a rooftop bar above the Kelly Wearstler-designed Hollywood Proper Residences, followed by dinner at Beauty & Essex, Hollywood's hotspot.
BOOK NOW Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
BOOK NOW Viceroy Santa Monica

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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