Jetting off to a sunny, exotic locale is fabulous anytime of year, but autumn is an especially good time to travel. Many destinations are cooler and less crowded. Plus, for hundreds of hotels, resorts, and B & Bs, it’s shoulder season, which means you can score luxurious accommodations for less than you’d pay at the height of tourism.
Here are five destinations worth exploring this fall.
1. New England
Admittedly, you won’t find many places to surf or sunbathe, but fall in New England has its own charms. Visitors flock here from all over the world to enjoy leaf peeping, apple picking, and other delightful seasonal activities. You could might choose a quaint bed & breakfast in Vermont or New Hampshire or book a downtown Boston hotel if you prefer an urban escape, complete with shopping, fabulous dining, and picturesque walks through Boston Commons.
2. Rome, Italy
Italy is renowned for its rich culinary traditions. But for foodies, harvest is the best time to visit Rome, because it’s when chestnuts, truffles, and mushrooms are at their peak, taking a starring role at many of the city’s best restaurants. Harvest also brings sagra, a community feast beloved by the Romans (like they say, “When in Rome …”). September and October also bring some of Rome’s best weather with temperatures in the seventies. (Keep in mind that most hotels don’t have AC, so summer can be swelteringly hot.)
September to mid-December is considered Maui’s off-season, which means fewer families and tourists. It’s also when you’ll find some of the most consistently beautiful weather with temperatures generally hovering in the eighties. On top of that, the Festivals of Aloha runs in September and October, when parades, pageants, street parties, and concerts celebrate the island’s distinctive culture and history.
4. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
October is an excellent time to visit Puerto Vallarta, because of the temperate weather and natural barriers against fall hurricanes. This charming Mexican town features some of the best art galleries and restaurant in the country, as well as outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and scuba diving. Also consider traveling to Puerto Vallarta in November, when an array of festivals, including the International Gourmet Festival and the Day of the Dead celebration, bring the area to life.
5. Northern California
September is grape-crushing season in California’s wine country, which means visitors have the chance to participate in festivities like drinking, stomping, dancing, and listening to live music. If you’re looking for a more subdued vacation, consider visiting Napa or Sonoma Valley before or after harvest season (Sonoma Valley wineries are more spread out, but they also tend to be less crowded). Fall is a beautiful time to visit, as scenic vineyards and aromatic wines beckon. Northern California also has its share of casual, yet classy restaurants and intriguing museums.
Whatever destination you choose, you’re bound to return home with a renewed sense of well-being and a readiness to tackle the next challenge.
© 2010 Ali International, LLC
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