Where to go in September

Written by  larapiegeler

Now is the time to visit Europe's hotspots; after the first week of September, historic cities and rural gems are for grown-ups...

In the peace of the mellow, early Autumn sun, it's easy to see the ancient glory peeping from beneath the layers of everyday bustle in Rome, to project your romantic fantasies onto Venice and Paris, to see why painters are so drawn to Provence and Tuscany, or to marvel at how modernist architecture defined Barcelona (where the glorious Festes de la Merce takes place on 24th of September). And be sure to make an early start on Oktoberfest, which begins in super-friendly, architecturally-blessed Munich, towards the end of September.

The Continent's seaside holiday classics come into their own now, too: the cream-coloured beaches of Greece and its islands are the perfect backdrop for some relaxing, off-season fun. There's an island to suit everybody, from those offering buzzing nightlife and modern resorts, such as Corfu and Santorini, to those where traditional culture reigns alongside unspoiled nature or ancient history, for example on Delos and Alonissos. The sea is warm and the crowds are largely gone.

Meanwhile, the last of the State Fairs are kicking off in the US, and it's a delicious time to visit New England for its crisp, clean coastlines, celebrated Fall foliage and perfect cycling, hiking and sailing weather. What's more, the lobster season isn't quite over yet. Harwich's floating cranberry harvest and its associated festival take place this month – a surreal and beautiful spectacle.

Bear in mind that just because the children have gone back to school doesn't mean you have to be sensible: the queues for the world's scariest theme park rides will be much shorter now – and maybe a day at the zoo, sans the screaming, is in order? San Diego's and Berlin's are some of the best, and New York has a spectacular one, too, in case you happen to be there already for the Metropolitan Opera season. The same applies to iconic museums such as the inspirational MoMA, the Picasso Museum or maybe even Mexico's intriguing Anthropology Museum as part of a longer trip, since it's perfect in Western and Central Mexico now and you'll be in for some breathtaking cultural surprises.

The South Pacific is close to infallible in terms of weather for most of the year. But if this is your time to stock up on sunshine before the Autumn chill arrives, then there are plenty of unspoiled, unique destinations and activity options: try bluewater fishing or scuba diving in Fiji, snorkelling with humpback whales in Rurutu or sailing amongst tiny, palm-decked islands.

Finally, if you can't get away and the bad weather's already swept across the British Isles, console yourself and get set for Winter with a cosy spa break and a spot of shopping in one of our own historic cities such as Edinburgh, York or Oxford.

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