Picturesque view of the Mount Rainier and the blue Eunice Lake, one of the best places to visit in September

31 Best Places to Visit in September (2023)

👉 Jump to: Places to Visit in September in USA | International Places to Visit in September | FAQ

I’m a travel expert who can guide you to the best places to visit in September, both in the USA and abroad. 

Many of these domestic and international destinations were selected based on seasonal festivals and timely activities.

Find out the top places for leaf-peeping, Northern Lights viewing, and celebrating fall harvests. I share options for every preference, from big cities to remote national parks, and several hidden gems where you can make the most of the shoulder season.

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. See our Advertising Policy for further explanation. Thank you!

Best Places to Visit in September in the USA

Denver, Colorado

The Mile High City celebrates fall with food and drink festivals and leaf-peeping in the foothills. 

The author Laura Falin, posing at a park in Denver on a sunny day
You’ll still get blue skies and sunny days in September!

✈️ Flights to Denver | 🛎️ Hotels in Denver | Where to Stay | Places to Visit | Things to Do | Restaurants 

September is one of the best times to visit Denver! Enjoy pleasant days and cool evenings, and admire fall colors on foothill hikes. Top city attractions like Larimer Square and Dairy Block see fewer visitors this time of the year.

Plus, some of Colorado’s best festivals occur in September, including the Great American Beer Festival. 

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Beat the heat and summer crowds with a fall visit to the largest canyon in the USA. 

Travel Lemming editor Abigail Bliss admiring the view at Grand Canyon National Park
Travel Lemming editor Abigail at Grand Canyon National Park

✈️ Flights to Flagstaff  | 🛎️ Hotels in Tusayan | Places to Visit 

I’ve hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back, and it’s not something you want to do in Arizona’s summer heat! Cooler temps make any hike more pleasant, whether you’re walking along the rim or to the canyon floor. 

Grand Canyon Village is also less crowded after Labor Day. In fact, you’ll get fewer crowds at most national parks this time of the year! 

Chicago, Illinois

Miss the summer humidity and winter chill by hitting The Windy City in the fall. 

A train crossing the bridge over the river with a cruise in Chicago
Enjoy a river cruise with fewer crowds…
View of the crowd at The Bean in Chicago
as well as other popular attractions like The Bean

✈️ Flights to Chicago | 🛎️ Hotels in Chicago | Where to Stay | Things to Do | Restaurants 

The best time to enjoy the Chicago lakeshore is in September when the humidity finally dissipates! Visit Navy Pier and admire the city’s architecture on a river cruise. September is also a wonderful time to snag an outdoor table (preferably on a rooftop!) at one of Chicago’s many bars, where you can soak up the last of the sun. 

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Relax in this seaside town dotted with lighthouses and charming cottages. 

A lighthouse near the cliff at New England Coast in Martha’s Vineyard
Plan a vacation to the New England coast

✈️ Flights to Martha’s Vineyard | 🛎️ Hotels in Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts is a summer vacation hotspot, meaning there will be fewer tourists once Labor Day rolls around!

The off-season grants cheaper prices on airfare and top-rated hotels as well. See the Gay Head Lighthouse and the gingerbread cottages in Oak Bluffs, a national historic landmark. 

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

This scenic park has a short visitor season — experience its grandeur before the weather turns! 

Picturesque view of the Mount Rainier and the blue Eunice Lake
Mount Rainier looms over this stunning national park

✈️ Flights to Seattle | 🛎️ Hotels in Ashford | Places to Visit | Things to Do

Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park turns cold and snowy early and remains that way for half of the year. September is on the tail end of when you can visit and be (mostly!) assured of warm days. Enjoy hiking and mountain biking amid colorful autumn foliage, a bonus to visiting late in the season. 

San Francisco, California

The city’s fog finally lifts in September, a great time to experience outdoor activities and cultural attractions. 

A tram on the track with scenic San Francisco view in the background
Clear and sunny San Francisco views in September

✈️ Flights to San Francisco | 🛎️ Hotels in San Francisco | Where to Stay | Places to Visit | Things to Do 

Summer is one of the foggiest times to visit San Francisco, so wait until September when “Karl the Fog” finally lifts. Book a bay cruise, explore the piers, and pose for a picture where you can actually see the Golden Gate Bridge behind you. 

Big Island, Hawai’i

Take advantage of lower prices and fewer crowds during Hawaii’s shoulder season. 

A boy playing the sand at the beach on a sunny day
One of my children enjoying an uncrowded beach

✈️ Flights to Kona | 🛎️ Hotels in Kona

September is part of Hawai’i’s shoulder season, between the summer vacationers and those of us fleeing frigid winters! You’ll get cheaper rates on the best hotels and discounts on other amenities. You’ll also get less crowded beaches. Be sure to check out Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for a fascinating glimpse of the volcanic activity that created the islands. 

Las Vegas, Nevada

Sin City keeps summer alive with rooftop pool parties, nightclubs, and more entertainment. 

The iconic signage and LED at the Las Vegas Strip
Book a hotel on the Strip for convenience
View of The Cosmopolitan Hotel and other buildings in Las Vegas at night
Venture outside at night to stay cool

✈️ Flights to Las Vegas | 🛎️ Hotels in Las Vegas | Where to Stay | Things to Do | Restaurants 

Not quite ready to say goodbye to summer? Average temperatures in Las Vegas stay in the upper 90s in September! Cool off in one of the many gorgeous hotel pools or venture out at night to enjoy incredible Vegas clubs. Shows, casino games, and other exciting attractions make up the entertainment capital of the world. 

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Enjoy time on the lake before the winter season, taking long bike rides and soaking up the sunsets.   

View of the docked boats and greenery in Mackinac Island
You can still enjoy time on the water in Mackinac

✈️ Flights to Chippewa County | 🛎️ Hotels on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is another place that clears out after Labor Day. September visitors can enjoy summer weather for much of the month without peak season crowds. Spend a day visiting quaint shops, take a carriage ride, or tour the island by bike. 

New York City, New York

Take a harbor boat ride, enjoy an urban trail, and explore endless cultural attractions.

Aerial view of the Central Park and Manhattan in New York
New York City is one of the best places to visit anytime of year!

✈️ Flights to New York City | 🛎️ Hotels in New York City | Where to Stay | Restaurants 

New York City’s summer humidity begins to lessen in September, so it’s a pleasant time to do lots of walking and sightseeing. Explore High Line Park and enjoy the many things to do in Central Park. Visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and several other iconic monuments and cultural attractions.  

Lake Tahoe, California & Nevada

Enjoy boating, hiking, and other lake activities with far fewer crowds. 

A kid looking at the Lake Tahoe with a binocular
One of my children taking in the sights at Lake Tahoe

✈️ Flights to Reno | 🛎️ Hotels in Lake Tahoe | Where to Stay | Things to Do

Tahoe tourists clear out like clockwork after Labor Day each year. You can still swim in the lake in early September, depending on your tolerance for cold! Boating is always a pleasant activity, as is hiking in one of California’s best mountain towns. Incredible restaurants and casinos in Nevada add reasons to visit. 

Glacier National Park, Montana

Admire fall foliage on hiking trails and along Going-to-the-Sun Road before frigid temps set in.

A hiker admiring the scenic view of the lake and the landscape in Glacier National Park
Enjoy the last few days on the lake!

✈️ Flights to Kalispell | 🛎️ Hotels in Kalispell

Glacier National Park welcomes winter early! September is a delightful time to visit, before Going-to-the-Sun Road closes for the season and the freezing temps set in. You may also see beautiful fall foliage, as the leaves turn here earlier in the year than in many places. Get out and hike or paddle and enjoy the natural beauty of this national park in fall. 

Moab, Utah

Explore two stunning national parks and other outdoor spaces when desert temperatures are more moderate. 

Travel Lemming editor Abigail Bliss and her friend mountain biking at Dead Horse Point State Park
Abigail and her friend mountain biking at Dead Horse Point State Park in Moab, Utah

✈️ Flights to Moab | 🛎️ Hotels in Moab | Where to Stay | Places to Visit | Things to Do

Daytime temperatures in Moab, Utah drop by almost ten degrees from August to September, averaging a pleasant 88°F. Head here in the fall for mountain biking, hiking, whitewater rafting, and other outdoor activities. Some of the best places for these adventures are Arches and Canyonlands, two of Utah’s top national parks.

Sonoma County, California

Celebrate the harvest season at world-class wineries.

View of the sunset over the vineyard in Sonoma County during fall season
Vines seem to stretch for miles in California’s wine country!

✈️ Flights to Sonoma County | 🛎️ Hotels in Sonoma County | Where to Stay | Things to Do

Harvest season in the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa County runs from August to October — and really gets going in September! Take a harvest tour to learn about the journey from grape to award-winning wine. Eat at a farm-to-table restaurant that uses seasonal autumn vegetables, and head to a California festival that celebrates the season.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Admire the changing aspens while walking around Santa Fe, full of art galleries and boutique shops. 

Aerial view of the greenery and buildings in Santa Fe in early fall
Enjoy the weather as the leaves begin to turn

✈️ Flights to Santa Fe | 🛎️ Hotels in Santa Fe | Where to Stay | Things to Do 

Cooler weather and golden aspens make September a wonderful time of year to walk around Santa Fe, New Mexico. Stop at the Santa Fe Plaza and wander in and out of the surrounding shops and art galleries. Save some time to see Santa Fe attractions like the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. 

Coos Bay, Oregon

Dine on fresh seafood and peruse boutique shops on this relaxing coastal getaway.  

View of the rocky cliff in Coos Bay
Coos Bay is one of the best places to visit along the West Coast shore

✈️ Flights to Coos Bay | 🛎️ Hotels in Coos Bay

Find fewer crowds along the coast come September, a great time to visit Coos Bay, Oregon. This quaint, seaside town is perfect for a weekend trip. Shop, browse art galleries, and sample seafood at local restaurants, one of the best things to do in Oregon. You can also participate in the downtown Coos Bay Wine Walk on the first Friday of every month.  

Puerto Rico

Take a shoulder season trip to a tropical USA territory. 

Colorful houses in the street of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico
Old San Juan is full of colorful, historic homes

✈️ Flights to Puerto Rico | 🛎️ Hotels in Puerto Rico | Where to Stay | Places to Visit | Things to Do | Restaurants

Summer vacationers are gone and holiday travelers have yet to arrive, making September a good month for a last-minute trip to Puerto Rico!

Temperatures are warm, but usually not unbearably so. Comfortably explore sites like San Felipe del Morro and enjoy walking the streets of Old San Juan. You can even snorkel and swim along Puerto Rico’s best beaches this time of the year. 

Just be aware that September is the peak hurricane season in Puerto Rico, but a storm does not hit every year. But this means, if you’re willing to stay flexible and book last minute, September can be the most affordable month to visit Puerto Rico.

Best Places to Visit in September (International)

Munich, Germany

Celebrate Oktoberfest and enjoy fall in Bavaria. 

Picturesque view of the sunset over the buildings in Munich
Buildings in Munich look like they’re straight out of a fairytale

✈️ Flights to Munich | 🛎️ Hotels in Munich

The name might fool you, but Oktoberfest begins in September! Head to Munich for the epic celebration and sample German beer and food. You can also explore Neuschwanstein Castle, watch the cuckoo clock on Marienplatz, and enjoy many other unique experiences. 

Seoul, South Korea

See the leaves change in South Korea’s capital, which hosts several festivals through September. 

View of the modern and traditional structures in Seoul
A mix of the modern and traditional in Seoul

✈️ Flights to Seoul | 🛎️ Hotels in Seoul

Seoul is a bustling metropolis, but you’ll find lots of trees turning striking colors if you get outside of the city center. Hike among the foliage at Bukhansan National Park, just a short subway ride from downtown. Seoul also has art, music, and cultural festivals in September including Taste of Seoul, a great way to be introduced to the city’s dining scene. 

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Enjoy spring in the southern hemisphere, when wildlife becomes active at this scenic national park.  

View of the mossy rocks at Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park during sunset
Milford Sound at sunset

✈️ Flights to Queenstown | 🛎️ Hotels in Te Anau 

Spring at Fiordland National Park is still chilly, but it’s a nice change from a USA summer! It’s also the time of year when animal babies are born and their parents are waking from a long slumber. Watch penguins, seals, dolphins, and other marine life become active. 

Save time to explore the lakes and waterfalls that make this destination on New Zealand’s South Island worthwhile! 

Vancouver, Canada

Take in the fall foliage, go whale watching, and enjoy other unique experiences in this Canadian coastal city.

View of the bridge and the skyscrapers in Vancouver on a sunny day
Clear skies and crisp daytime temperatures make this a lovely city to visit in the fall

✈️ Flights to Vancouver | 🛎️ Hotels in Vancouver

September weather makes Vancouver, Canada an excellent destination choice! You’ll likely get daytime highs in the 60s and cool nights that will remind you that winter is just around the corner.

Explore the city, go whale watching, and take a day trip to Vancouver Island. Don’t miss hiking the popular Grouse Mountain before the snow moves in. 

Dublin, Ireland

Walk around the city in comfortable temperatures and take part in an iconic festival. 

The Ha'penny Bridge over the river with the colorful buildings in Dublin
Visit the Ha’penny Bridge to take pictures of the city

✈️ Flights to Dublin | 🛎️ Hotels in Dublin | Where to Stay | Things to Do | Restaurants 

Crowds are clear and temperatures are mild in September, a great time to visit Dublin, Ireland. During this month, visitors can experience the Dublin Fringe Festival and comfortably walk to various attractions on one’s Dublin itinerary. Explore castles, cozy up in pubs, and take in the Irish music scene. 

Machu Picchu, Peru

Trek through the mountains or arrive at Machu Picchu by train during this low tourism season.

Aerial view of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Machu Picchu, Peru
This UNESCO World Heritage Site can get crowded, but less so in fall

✈️ Flights to Cusco | 🛎️ Hotels in Cusco

Machu Picchu is always going to have crowds, but you’ll find fewer of them in September. The rainy season has not yet moved into the Andes Mountains. Clear, sunny skies continue through at least mid-September, allowing visitors to hike the multi-day Inca Trail or ride the train to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Prague, Czech Republic

Admire architecture and attend a two-week classical music festival in this cultural city. 

View of the illuminated Tyn Church and Old Town Square in Prague at night
The Church of Our Lady before Týn is a gorgeous place to visit!

✈️ Flights to Prague | 🛎️ Hotels in Prague

Prague is one of the greatest places to visit in September. It’s known for its stunning architecture, which visitors can admire on walking tours of the city. The Dvořák International Prague Music Festival also takes place in September. See the city come alive during this two-week cultural event, which highlights classical composers. 


See stunning Buddhist temples and natural beauty at a lower cost starting this September. 

View of the buildings in the cliff and the colorful buntings in The Tiger’s Nest Monastery
The Tiger’s Nest monastery is perched on the side of a mountain

✈️ Flights to Paro | 🛎️ Hotels in Paro

Travel Lemming named Bhutan one of the best places to travel in 2023! The government’s imposed daily fee helps keep the country from overcrowding. This means visitors can see the Buddhist temples and the natural beauty of the mountains without too many other tourists around. 

👉 Pro Tip: The government is expected to cut their daily tourist fee from $200 to $100 per day in September 2023.

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Wildlife crowds at watering holes during this warm and humid month. 

A herd of elephant drinking water on the river at sunset
The park is home to elephants, lions, rhinos, and other African animals

✈️ Flights to Johannesburg | 🛎️ Hotels in Johannesburg

September can be humid and warm in South Africa, but it’s also when wildlife tends to gather around water sources in Kruger National Park. Visiting those watering holes means you have a greater chance of seeing the animals as they emerge this time of the year. 

London, United Kingdom

Join one of several festivals and experience key attractions with fewer tourists. 

View of the Big Ben and other London sites from across the river
Big Ben and other London sights tend to be less crowded in September!

✈️ Flights to London | 🛎️ Hotels in London | Where to Stay | Things to Do | Restaurants 

September is one of the best times to visit London! The weather is warm, tourists are mostly gone, and many events are still happening in the city, including the Turning Tides music festival and London Design Fair. Take a Thames River cruise, explore an array of museums, and enjoy an autumn afternoon at one of several London parks

Sicily, Italy

Enjoy authentic Italian food and wine under the warm September sun. 

Scenic view of the sunset over the Ruins of Taormina Theater
The Ruins of Taormina Theater are a must-see

✈️ Flights to Palermo | 🛎️ Hotels in Sicily

Italy is one of the best places to visit in September because the summer heat is on its way out! Tourist attractions will be less crowded, and you may even score some deals on flights and top hotels. See Mount Etna, take in a performance at Teatro Massimo, and enjoy Sicily’s delicious food and wine!


Search for the Northern Lights, explore national parks, and experience other outdoor adventures. 

Picturesque view of the sunset over the mountain and waterfalls in Iceland
There’s lots to see in Iceland, even if you don’t catch the Northern Lights

✈️ Flights to Reykjavik | 🛎️ Hotels in Reykjavik

Iceland is one of the best places to visit to view the Northern Lights! The viewing season begins in September and lasts until March. You’ll find lots of other things to do in September, too. Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon, visit one of the country’s national parks, or embark on a waterfall tour

Bruges, Belgium

Experience autumn in a romantic city featuring lovely architecture and cobblestone streets.  

View of the fall foliage framing the colorful buildings near the canal in Bruges
The canals of Bruges framed by fall foliage

✈️ Flights to Bruges | 🛎️ Hotels in Bruges | Things to Do 

Bruges, Belgium is a breathtaking place to welcome fall! Take a boat tour along the canals or rent a bike to ride the cobblestone streets. You can also see historic structures like the Belfry of Bruges and the buildings in Burg Square. 


Take a dip in the still-warm sea and experience lesser-crowded Greek islands. 

Aerial view of the white buildings in Chora Town with the deep blue Aegean Sea in the background
Chora, the capital of Ios island, is striking against the blue Aegean Sea.

✈️ Flights to Athens | 🛎️ Hotels in Athens | Places to Visit | Things to Do

The water is still warm if you visit Greece in September, so you can enjoy the sea before the colder months set in. Consider Travel Lemming founder Nate’s advice to skip Santorini for the lesser populated islands in Greece, like Koufonisia and Anafi. 

FAQs on Where to Travel in September

Where should I travel in the USA in September?

Places you should travel in the USA in September include Denver, Colorado; Grand Canyon National Park; and San Francisco, California. Enjoy fewer crowds at popular attractions, autumn weather and foliage, and many unique experiences. 

Where should I travel internationally in September? 

Places you should travel internationally in September include Greece; London, United Kingdom; and Sicily, Italy. Travelers should also consider Munich, Germany, as its iconic Oktoberfest begins in September. 

📅 Month-by-Month Travel Inspiration:


I hope this guide has given you some interesting ideas for places to visit in September! 

Next up, read about the best places to visit in October.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate (you can leave feedback after clicking submit)

Help us help you travel better!

Your feedback really helps ...

What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?

Leave a Reply

All comments are moderated for compliance with our community guidelines. Most importantly be kind & be helpful!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.