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Where to Travel in September: The 20 Top Destinations

The summer months might have come to an end, but your holidays haven't

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An aerial view of Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps in the sea at sunset, Cornwall, England, UK

The summer months may have come to an end, but your holiday is just getting started. Travelling in September is an excellent way to avoid the swathes of tourists that would inevitably be brushing your shoulders in summer, and is also an opportunity to travel to those destinations that have been crowding your bucket list for too long. Here at Plum Guide, we pride ourselves on going above and beyond for our guests, which is exactly why we've curated this expert guide - so you don't have to lift a finger. Read on to discover exactly where to travel in September.

1. Joshua Tree, California, USA

Large boulders and small trees in Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

Large boulders and small trees in Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

Let's face it; you don't want to go to Joshua Tree in the summer. It's the desert, and temperatures can reach a scorching 100˚F (38˚C). If you're planning a California summer road trip, leave Joshua Tree to the end - temperatures are still hot in September, so we'd recommend going later in the month. The air at night is still warm in September too, making it ideal for stargazing. Those who visit this month can attend the annual Night Sky Festival.

Modernist Cabin, Plum Guide home in Joshua Tree, California, USA

Modernist Cabin, Plum Guide home in Joshua Tree, California, USA

2. Ethiopia

A view of tall green mountains from a hiking trail in Ethiopia

A view of tall green mountains from a hiking trail in Ethiopia

Ethiopia might not have been on your bucket list for where to travel in September, but this month is special for two reasons. Ethiopia actually follows its own calendar, and the 11th of September is their New Year or "Enkutatash" - this word means "gift of jewels", and represents the end of the rainy season. At this time of year, the Ethiopian landscape is covered with bright yellow flowers, and you can find these blooms across the foothills of Addis Ababa. Take this time to explore The Omo and Rift Valley and The Bale Mountains.

3. Utah, USA

Large brown rocks in front of tall snow-capped mountains, Utah, USA

Large brown rocks in front of tall snow-capped mountains, Utah, USA

The fact that Utah houses some of the USA's most dramatic national parks is not a well-kept secret. Zion National Park is the second most visited national park in America. So if you'd rather not sit in a traffic jam, we'd recommend visiting when the summer crowds have dissipated. But don't let your visit to Utah stop there. This state packs a serious punch when it comes to scenic landscapes. Take an autumn road trip to Salt Lake City, the Bonneville Salt Flats, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion.

River Rock, Plum Guide home in Utah, USA

River Rock, Plum Guide home in Utah, USA

4. Crete, Greece

A bench next to the sea on the edge of a town in Crete, Greece

A bench next to the sea on the edge of a town in Crete, Greece

September in Crete signals the end of a scorching summer and, perhaps more importantly, kids' return to school. As tourists leave, prices for flights, car rental, and accommodation go down - visitors can now experience a more authentic side of Crete. Venture off the tourist path and head into Crete's White Mountains, or the quieter south. Use Chania as your base to explore Crete's best beaches - after months under the sun, the sea is the perfect temperature for swimming.

Spinalonga Vistas, Plum Guide home in Crete, Greece

Spinalonga Vistas, Plum Guide home in Crete, Greece

5. Peruvian Amazon

A view of trees from the Amazon River at sunset, Peruvian Amazon

A view of trees from the Amazon River at sunset, Peruvian Amazon

We think the Peruvian Amazon is one of the most amazing places to visit in general, let alone just in September. While the rain never ceases here, June to November is "dry season" - though it'd be careless to forget your waterproof. During these months, the floodwaters recede, allowing the wildlife to concentrate in certain areas and be more spottable. The mobs of mosquitos are less tiresome, and hiking trails open up to allow visitors deeper into the jungle on foot.

6. Nepal

A low-angled view of two tall buildings with colourful patterns in Nepal

A low-angled view of two tall buildings with colourful patterns in Nepal

With the monsoon rains abating, Nepal is a great place to travel to in autumn - we'd recommend visiting towards the end of the month to miss the occasional shower. The clouds start to lift in September, and the rains have washed away the pollution to reveal startlingly clear vistas. This is also a great time to visit Kathmandu, so is a brilliant option when you're wondering where to travel in September.

7. Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

A view of clustered, colourful buildings on the side of a hill in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain

A view of clustered, colourful buildings on the side of a hill in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain

The Canary Islands may be part of Spain, but they're geographically closer to Africa - a location that gives it year-round balmy weather. So while tourists in Northern Europe will be putting on jackets in September, you'll still get those summer temperatures here. We recommend making a beeline for the beach - the two-kilometre stretch of golden sand isn't hard to miss.

Alice In Canaria, Plum Guide home in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain

Alice In Canaria, Plum Guide home in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain

8. The New Forest, England, UK

A river flowing through a forest with autumnal colours and tall trees, The New Forest, England, UK

A river flowing through a forest with autumnal colours and tall trees, The New Forest, England, UK

Early autumn is the perfect time to visit The New Forest - we can't promise sunshine in the UK, but September can bring clear skies and cool temperatures. These conditions are perfect for hiking and cycling in The New Forest, so you can even get some exercise done (or not, we won't judge). Across The New Forest National Park's woods, heathlands, and fairytale villages, you can find free-roaming ponies and donkeys, and you'll even catch a glimpse of some free-roaming pigs during Pannage season, which just happens to start in September.

Botanicals, Plum Guide home in the New Forest, UK

Botanicals, Plum Guide home in the New Forest, UK

9. Zimbabwe

An elephant drinking from the Zambezi River at sunset, Zimbabwe

An elephant drinking from the Zambezi River at sunset, Zimbabwe

The best time to visit Zimbabwe for wildlife spotting is in the dry season, from April to October. September marks the end of winter, and temperatures begin to climb, making it the perfect time to visit. The weather will have been dry for a few months, so you'll find wildlife congregating around the rivers and remaining waterholes. Get your binoculars ready, though you'd be hard-pressed to miss those elephants.

10. Massachusetts, USA

A bird's eye view of red, green, and yellow trees around a river in Massachusetts, USA

A bird's eye view of red, green, and yellow trees around a river in Massachusetts, USA

In September, one of the best places to visit in the USA is Massachusetts. It isn't only our experts that think this - Atlantic sea life does too. The lingering warm waters off the coast create the perfect conditions for whale watching, and during this month, the whale calves are at their most playful. Get a tour from Cape Cod or Boston to see a humpback whale. While the water may be "warm," be sure to pack a sweatshirt - it is September, after all.

Sea Urchin Escape, Plum Guide home in Massachusetts, USA

Sea Urchin Escape, Plum Guide home in Massachusetts, USA

11. The Cinque Terre, Italy

A view of colourful buildings on a large green hill from the sea on a sunny day in Cinque Terre, Italy

A view of colourful buildings on a large green hill from the sea on a sunny day in Cinque Terre, Italy

It's not surprising that Cinque Terra is one of Italy's most popular tourist destinations - it is hard to find a more picturesque collection of fishing villages than the five perched above the Italian Riviera, however. Though charming, the narrow streets mean a chaotic tussling of elbows in the summer, so if you want to see the vistas without the crowds, make your way here in September. The mild, sunny weather is also perfect for hiking the trails connecting the towns. Don't take a car - trust us.

Sunset Over Sassi, Plum Guide home in Italy

Sunset Over Sassi, Plum Guide home in Italy

12. Cornwall, England, UK

An aerial view of cottages by the sea in front of a forest, Cornwall, UK

An aerial view of cottages by the sea in front of a forest, Cornwall, UK

We wouldn't be surprised if you forgot that Cornwall was part of the UK - it has a far more tropical feel than the other counties. The Gulf Stream brings with it damp, warm weather, so while it can be wet, you also get unique temperate rainforests and lush botanical gardens. In September, you can make the most of the uncrowded beaches and the warm (as it can be) ocean waters. And if it does rain, we recommend chasing that tropical feel to the Eden Project.

The Bluest Sight, Plum Guide home in Cornwall, UK

The Bluest Sight, Plum Guide home in Cornwall, UK

13. Munich, Germany

A castle standing tall above orange and brown trees behind a river in Munich, Germany

A castle standing tall above orange and brown trees behind a river in Munich, Germany

Despite the name, Oktoberfest doesn't happen in October. Confusing, right? It actually starts towards the end of September, lasts two weeks, and typically finishes on the first Sunday of October. If beer is your thing, Munich is the spot for you. Oktoberfest takes place on the Theresienwiese, a large field reachable by the U-Bahn train line, and it's a celebration of all that is Bavarian - beer, brats, and the use of bustiers.

14. Venice, Italy

A table and chairs at a restaurants next to a canal being used by a gondola, Venice, Italy

A table and chairs at a restaurants next to a canal being used by a gondola, Venice, Italy

Venice is a fairytale landscape of 118 small islands and over 400 bridges, all separated by canals - so the best way to get around is by gondola. If you want to see the gondoliers at their best, the best time to visit Venice is undoubtedly in September, with the Venice Historical Regatta taking place every year on the first Sunday of the month. Go to experience a parade of hundreds of sixteenth-century multicoloured boats, with gondoliers dressed to the nines, and get hooked by the exhilarating races.

The Palace By The Canal, Plum Guide home in Venice, Italy

The Palace By The Canal, Plum Guide home in Venice, Italy

15. China

An aerial view of the Great Wall of China in September with brown and orange trees, China

An aerial view of the Great Wall of China in September with brown and orange trees, China

September marks the start of Autumn in China, and with it comes comfortable temperatures and fewer travellers. Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an are all worth a visit during this month, but if you want to enjoy those crimson and gold fall colours, we recommend exploring Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve in the Sichuan province. The Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, also takes place in September - the most important festival held to celebrate the harvest. Families gather for dinner, light paper lanterns, and eat mooncakes.

16. New York City, USA

A low-angle view of Brooklyn Bridge from behind orange bushes in September, New York City, USA

A low-angle view of Brooklyn Bridge from behind orange bushes in September, New York City, USA

New York City is a city of extremes. The locals play hard and work hard, which means you can do as much at night as you can in the day - but the weather matches the city in intensity. Winters bring freezing temperatures, and in summer, the heat and crowds can be unbearable. Early autumn is the perfect time to visit, and in September, it's still warm enough to do activities outside. The locals are transitioning into an autumn frame of mind, the city has a calmer rhythm, and the trees are beginning to change colour in Central Park.

Frida & Friends, Plum Guide home in New York

Frida & Friends, Plum Guide home in New York

17. Hermanus, South Africa

The tail of a whale sticking out the top of the sea in Hermanus, South Africa

The tail of a whale sticking out the top of the sea in Hermanus, South Africa

Late September in Hermanus means one thing - the return of the southern right whales to the coastal waters of Southern Africa. Pack your binoculars (and a warm jacket) and make your way to this scenic coastal town for the Hermanus Whale Festival. You don't even need to get a boat to see these gentle giants, as you're almost guaranteed to spot them from the coast. Hermanus is a mere 90-minute drive from Cape Town, and the road to get there marks the last and most scenic part of the Garden Route.

18. Sonoma Valley, California, USA

A close up view of a Sonoma Valley signpost at a vineyard, Sonoma Valley, California, USA

A close up view of a Sonoma Valley signpost at a vineyard, Sonoma Valley, California, USA

Get your wine glasses at the ready; September marks harvest time in the Sonoma Valley, making it one of the best months to visit. Though there can be some heat spikes during September - temperatures generally fall to the mid-'80s, and there's no more fog to dampen your morning walks. The vineyards turn from green to gold to red, before the grapes are harvested, crushed, and put into barrels to ferment.

Willow Cove, Plum Guide home in California, USA

Willow Cove, Plum Guide home in California, USA

19. Buenos Aires, Argentina

A view of Casa Rosada (Pink House), presidential Palace on a sunny day in Buenos Aires, Argentina

A view of Casa Rosada (Pink House), presidential Palace on a sunny day in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires sparkles all year round, but if you'd rather avoid sticky summer heat or cooler winter temperatures, we'd recommend the pleasant in-between seasons. September marks the official transition from winter to spring in Buenos Aires. Temperatures during the month are a comfortable 22 degrees celsius, meaning you won't get hot and bothered as you stroll through the city's characterful neighbourhoods or kick back in one of the charming parks. Flat, and with over 130km of bicycle lanes, Buenos Aires is the perfect city to explore on wheels. Catch the famous street art as you whizz past.

20. Milan, Italy

A white bridge reflecting in the canal on a sunny day in Milan, Italy

A white bridge reflecting in the canal on a sunny day in Milan, Italy

September in Milan means fast cars and fashion. Locals are returning from their holidays, tourists are leaving, and the city has an energetic buzz as it welcomes Women's Fashion Week. If you are looking to get inspired for next year's looks, or want to see and be seen, now's the time to visit. It's the perfect time to shop at the city's beautiful boutiques, flagship stores, and iconic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Test drive your new outfits at the Italian Grand Prix.

Rifugio d'Artista, Plum Guide home in Milan, Italy

Rifugio d'Artista, Plum Guide home in Milan, Italy

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