You might say that September is one of the best months of the year to travel. The summer crowds in popular places have thinned, weather is pleasant in much of the world, and high (peak season) prices drop.
If you’re looking to experience a destination through experiential activities, food or fitness – here is where you should go in September.
Surfing in Portugal
Choosing Portugal for your European surfing vacation is the best choice you can make. The large coastline (1800km) has some of the best waves in Europe. There is a large variety of waves along the coast, making it a good spot for surfers of all abilities. There are also tons of surf camps along the coast at each of the popular surf spots.
Why Visit? Majority of Europeans on holiday have returned home, leaving the typically crowded tourist sites a bit emptier. The weather is warm with lots of sunny days.
Find out More: Top 10 Must Surf Spots in Portugal
Hiking in Wutai Shan – Northern China
Wutai Shan is a temple complex with over 53 monasteries spread out over 5 peaks. It’s an UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the four sacred Buddhist Mountains of China. Spend a few days hiking through the complex; visit the temples, climb to the highest point in northern China (3000 meters), and watch the sunrise from the East Peak.
Why Visit? The summer humidity has passed and the air is cooler and dryer. It is also no longer summer vacation for Chinese tourists, so less people.
Swim in the Devil’s Pool – Zambia
Devil’s Pool is the ultimate natural infinity pool – a rock pool on the edge of a massive sheer cliff. You can only go swimming in the Devil’s Pool when the water level in the Zambezi is at it’s lowest (so during dry season). With a licensed guide/tour group let your adrenaline spike as you swim up to the edge or even jump into the pool.
Why Visit? September is in the middle of dry season – about 27 during the day and cool at night. The water level of the river is low.
Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado
There are five campgrounds scattered throughout Rocky Mountain National Park. Combine a camping trip with hiking, fishing, wildlife watching and good ol’ outdoor fun; you’ve got the perfect outdoor adventure trip. Start your trip in Estes Park for some hiking (also visit the famous haunted hotel from The Shining). Then head to Bear Lake to set up camp. Make sure you book your campsite well in advance.
Why Visit? Some of the best weather – no summer heat or winter cold.
Explore San Francisco on Foot – California
There’s no better way to explore the unique neighborhoods and hills of San Francisco than by the power of your own body. Pack some comfortable walking shoes and discover SF on your feet. Pick up a map (Hidden SF has tons of different neighborhood walks) and hit the town. You should also consider joining a walking food tour to learn about the SF cuisine while getting some exercise.
Why Visit? One of the sunniest months. Kids are back in school so the city is more manageable.
Learn More: Hidden San Francisco Free Walking Tours
Play in the Outdoors in Big Bend National Park – Texas
Not many people know that September is one of the best months to visit anywhere in Texas. The brutal summer heat has passed and there is pleasant weather all over the state. Spend your September vacation playing in the outdoors in Big Bend – one of the least visited national parks in the US. You can mountain bike, go fishing and boating, and hiking and camping.
Why Visit? It’s the best month to visit Texas as the summer heat waves are gone and the cooler nights are pleasant.
Skiing in New Zealand
The ski season in New Zealand begins in the middle of June and lasts through the end of September and even into October (depending on the winter). Hitting the slopes in September means it is spring skiing conditions (think April slope conditions if you’re from the US) – so warmer temperatures, and slushier snow as the day goes on.
Why Visit? It is warmer, so less clothes you need to bundle up in when hitting the slopes. There is also something special about spring skiing – worth trying if you’ve never done it!
Safari in Namibia
September falls into the range as one of the best times to visit Namibia for a safari. It is the middle of the dry season which means there is less vegetation, so more chance of seeing animals congregate around a water souce. Namibia is home to ⅓ of the black rhino population as well as tons of other African animals (on par with safaris in the Serengeti and Masai Mara). Go on a DIY excursion, or join a tour company.
Why Visit? It is dry season, sunny everyday, and even though it’s high season the parks don’t feel too crowded.
Kayak with Beluga Whales in Churchill – Manitoba, Canada
Every year between the end of June and the end of September beluga whales gather in Hudson Bay (over 57,000 of them throughout the season!). Join with a tour company to get as close to these animals as you can- keeping your safety and their safety in mind. You can kayak or even snorkel with these friendly sea creatures. This is an experience at the top of my list of things to do!
Why Visit? September is one of the few months of the year where you will be able to see beluga whales!
Find Out More: Kayaking with Beluga Whales
Marathon du Medoc – Pauillac, France
This is more than a running marathon, it’s an eating and drinking one too! How does sipping wine at every aid station sound? Probably like it will take you a long time run the marathon! Even if you don’t opt for the wine tastings at the 23 spots along the run, it’s a beautiful course through scenic vineyards. Plus, oysters, ice cream and cheese (and more wine) at the end.
2016 Dates — September 10th, 2016
Learn More: Marathon du Medoc
Camp Nerd Fitness – Clayton, Georgia, USA
Head to Clayton, Georgia with Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness and his nerd rebels for a long weekend of fitness, food and fun. There are group classes and events (like hiking), fitness competitions, games, and time to relax. There is a sweet lineup of people in the food and fitness world who come to camp to teach what they know! It looks like an incredible event with a really active and fun community. 2016 tickets are almost gone – get them now!
Learn More: Camp Nerd Fitness
2016 Dates — September 21-25
Patagonian International Marathon – Chile
Thousands of runners gather in Torres del Paine National Park for an epic run through some of the most majestic scenery in the world. The route is a mid-mountain run along vehicle roads so expect twists and turns and ups and downs. The closest city to the marathon zone is Puerto Natales.
Learn More: Patagonian International Marathon
2016 Dates — September 24th
Jay Peak Trail Running Festival – Jay, Vermont
Jay Peak celebrates the end of summer with a running festival. Choose from 3 different 5K runs; black diamond trail (expert), a blue square trail (intermediate), and a green circle trail (beginner) – or run all three of them! You can also run a 25K trail race, or a 50K ultra race. I will be heading to this event this Labor Day – let me know if you go!
2016 Dates – September 3rd – 4th
Learn More: Jay Peak Trail Run
Roxy Fitness: Run, SUP, Yoga – Netherlands, Spain, & New Zealand
Roxy Clothing hosts these fitness events throughout the year; they are full day events including fitness , food and fun. It’s kind of like a twisted version of a triathlon. The day kicks off with a yoga session, then heads into a 5 kilometer run. After lunch, join a 1 kilometer stand up paddle board competition. Choose one event or all of them.
Learn More: Roxy Fitness Events
September 4th – Ouddorp, Netherlands
September 10th – Tarifa, Spain
September 25th – Queenstown, New Zealand
Wellfest – Dublin, Ireland
Have a day of wellness this September in Dublin, Ireland. Choose various fitness classes, workshops, and seminars throughout the day. You can try tons of different kind of workouts at the hands of experts, like TRX training, yoga and lifting.
2016 Dates — September 17-18
Learn More: Wellfest
Do you travel in September? Which one of these places or events intrigues you the most?
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