As we say farewell to summer, it doesnâ€™t mean your travels have to be over for the year. When the heat fades and the crowds lessen in the fall, some destinations are even more beautiful and appealing. Here are some top picks for places to travel in September for wine lovers, culture cravers, and wildlife fans.
Napa Valley, California
Ask a wine aficionado about their favorite time of year to visit a winery and most will tell you harvest time â€“ usually August through October. In Napa Valley, the vineyards are abuzz with activity, gathering and crushing the grapes. Napaâ€™s 400 wineries each create wines with individual personalities derived from their vineyardâ€™s distinctive soil and climate. During the crush, visitors can see the process in action and sample wines from previous seasons.
Beyond wine tasting â€“ or as an accompaniment to â€“ you can view the gorgeous rolling hills of Napa from above on a hot air balloon ride or a from a vintage rail car on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Exceptional meals are part of the Napa experience and you’ll find many fine restaurants from casual to upscale scattered throughout the six charming towns of Napa Valley. Travel Maestro tip: Yountville, located in the middle of the 30-mile long valley, is a great base for exploration.
Barcelona is one of the best places for culture lovers to visit in September when its largest annual festival, Fiesta de la Merce spills into the streets throughout the colorful Catalonian capital. Known as the â€śFestival of Festivals,â€ť this three-day street party (Sep. 20-24, 2019) is filled with events, parades, and Correfoc (fire runs) in honor of the Patron Saint of Barcelona. One of the highlights is the Catalan tradition of building a human tower â€“ a truly amazing sight. Another favorite is the nightly free projection show cast onto a building in PlaĂ§a St. Jaume.
Barcelona is also known for the architecture of its celebrated son, Antoni Gaudi. Donâ€™t miss his fantastical creations of La Sagrada Familia, Park GĂĽell, La Pedrera, and Casa BatllĂ˛. And be sure to stroll Barcelonaâ€™s most famous street, Las Ramblas, a shady boulevard of shops, restaurants, and street performers. Travel Maestro tip: A walking tour is a great way to learn about the cityâ€™s history and Catalonian culture.
Kenya and Tanzania, East Africa
If Nat Geo is your favorite TV station, the best place to travel in September is to East Africa for a wildlife safari during the Great Migration. During the dry season of June to early October, the temperatures are warm, thereâ€™s very little rain, and millions of animals head north from Tanzania into Kenya on their annual pilgrimage in search of food and drink. Bagging the Big Five of lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo on game drives â€“ with your camera, of course â€“ is a dream of an adventure youâ€™ll never forget.
Safari accommodations range from intimate lodges to well-appointed hotels to luxury tented camps. Often a safari will include a mixture of these as you travel through East Africa. Travel Maestro tip: Use a responsible safari tour operator who practices sustainable tourism so that your grandchildren will also have the opportunity for this life-changing trip one day. Ask for recommendations from your travel advisor.
These are three of my favorite places to travel in September but are by no means a complete list. You might also consider Hawaii (30 Days of Aloha Festivals), Singapore (Grand Prix season), a quaint Vermont inn (fall foliage), Buenos Aires (itâ€™s springtime there, as if you need an excuse!), Los Angeles (LA Times annual food and wine festival), U.S. National Parks (cooler weather, less crows) or Iceland (still 14 hours of sunlight a day). Wherever you choose to travel, work with your Covington vacation advisor to ensure stress-free trip planning and meaningful travel experiences.