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The 8 best places to travel in September

Aug. 17, 2022
9 min read
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Sadly, summer is coming to an end. That can actually be good news for travelers, however, because as the kids head back to school and the crowds thin, prices start to drop.

The decrease in demand also means you can hopefully avoid the travel chaos of this past summer. Plus, temperatures in many destinations remain pleasant, making it easy to explore a new spot comfortably.

Of course, we can't forget about COVID-19. The BA.5 subvariant is still spreading rapidly, but hospitalizations remain under control for now. Even as more and more destinations roll back testing and vaccination requirements, making it easier to travel, it's still important to review the latest recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and any restrictions in international destinations.

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Now that it's hopefully less stressful and costly to travel, where should you go? Here are TPG's eight best places to visit in September.

Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock, Vermont. (Photo by DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images)

This destination offers small-town charm and fall foliage views without the crowds, and the bounty of the harvest season is incomparable. It was even once voted the prettiest small town in America.

Travelers can stroll through bucolic New England gardens and working farmsteads, including Billings Farm & Museum. Visitors can tour the dreamy Sunflower House (through September) or take in the Gourdwalk (through October) to weave their way through the tunnels of funky green gourds. In addition, you can sample some world-renowned cheeses at the fully operating dairy farm. Some notable fall events include She Casts — A Women's Fly Fishing Weekend (Sept. 28 and 29) and the Billings Backyard Canning and Preserving Class (Sept. 24).

TPG tip: To take in Vermont's farm-to-table legacy, visitors should try a Red Barn Dinner hosted by Kelly Way Gardens' master gardener Benjamin Pauly.

The dinner party-style events feature the local artistry of Vermont's cheesemakers, farmers and beekeepers. As far as where to stay, Woodstock Inn & Resort (from $559 per night this fall) is one of Vermont's getaway gems and is the former estate of the Rockefeller family.

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Lima, Peru

September is the ideal month to visit Lima to avoid throngs of tourists. (Photo by Nizam Ergil Eyeem/Getty Images)

Lima's summers are full of tourists, so September is the ideal month to take advantage of moderate temperatures and fewer crowds.

In fact, it's one of the driest times of year to visit and, according to new Priceline data, one of the cheapest too. It's the second-most-affordable international destination, with an average hotel rate of just $76.99 per night. Lima is also the 12th cheapest destination to fly to, with average round-trip tickets costing $602.60.

Just because it's not high season doesn't mean there aren't things to do. On Sept. 11, Peru will celebrate the Dia de la Cocina y Gastronomia Peruana (the Day of Peruvian Cuisine and Gastronomy), when many restaurants in Lima will offer special tasting menus.

TPG tip: Book a room at Hilton Lima Miraflores for 47,000 Hilton Honors points per night (or $214) or the Sheraton Lima Historic Center for just 16,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night (or under $100).

Related: 7 best ways to get to Peru on points and miles

Westchester, New York

Westchester, New York. (Photo by Alex Potemkin/Getty Images)

If you're considering popping into New York City for Fashion Week in September, you should also head north to Westchester.

The area is full of fun fall activities like the JazzFest White Plains (Sept. 14 to 18), Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst Mansion (Sept.16 to 18) and the annual Yorktown Grange Fair. This year’s fair returns from Sept. 9 to 11 for its 98th annual celebration filled with rides, local farm animals, live entertainment, creative contests and exhibits by local vendors and artisans.

TPG tip: In White Plains, just 35 minutes from the heart of New York City, The Opus is a hip hotel that rivals most luxury properties in the city. It even has an indoor rooftop pool and is available for 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, or $449.

Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca, Spain. (Photo by Mariusz Kluzniak/Getty Images)

One of the best times to visit this tropical island destination is during its September-to-October shoulder season when the weather is still warm but crowds are sparse.

The biggest crowds come to Mallorca for summer beach vacations and festivities like Nit de Foc. However, autumn in Mallorca is ideal for lower prices and outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking and golfing.

It's also the time of year for Palma's annual ​​Nit de l'Art. Art galleries and museums come together to celebrate the beginning of the arts and culture season. So, there are plenty of art-themed events happening throughout the city's historic quarter.

TPG tip: There's a new hotel in town. The Kimpton Aysla Mallorca is expected to open soon and will be the Kimpton brand's first resort hotel in Europe (IHG award bookings will be available). Or, book a stay at AC Hotel by Marriott Ciutat de Palma for around 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, or $175.

Related: 5 reasons why families should travel to Spain: Madrid, Barcelona and beyond

Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu, Hawaii. (Photo by annamarkiewicz/Getty Images)

As Hawaii's most-visited island, Oahu is best visited when there are fewer people and more room to explore.

September in Oahu offers travelers tolerable temperatures, warm waters and exciting cultural events, including the Aloha Festivals, a series of events that comprise the only statewide cultural festival in the nation.

In addition, there are plenty of activities throughout the month, like Na Mele O Ko Olina on Fridays, where slack-key and ukulele musicians play and 30 Hawaiian artists have their pieces on display. There are also classic attractions such as Diamond Head State Monument, Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Iolani Palace and the famous Waikiki Beach.

TPG tip: You have your choice of places to stay. Try the Holiday Inn Express Waikiki for about 29,000 IHG Rewards points per night (from $186) or Embassy Suites by Hilton Oahu Kapolei for 80,000 Hilton Honors points a night (from $277).

Related: The best ways to get to Hawaii using points and miles

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina. (Photo by Walter Bibikow/Getty Images)

The mountains and foothills surrounding Asheville in western North Carolina begin transforming into fall foliage heaven as early as September.

Crowds often flock to New England in October. However, the Blue Ridge Mountains enjoy one of the longest autumn color seasons in the country, which begins in September — and is best enjoyed from a high-elevation drive (at 6,000 feet) along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Tour Biltmore Estate or check out one of the many events it hosts in September. On display that month is the Biltmore Gardens Railway and "Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius."

TPG tip: Stay at the famous Omni Grove Park Inn (where F. Scott Fitzgerald, Albert Einstein and several U.S. presidents stayed) from $459 per night. Or, book a room at Hotel Indigo Asheville Downtown, which is within walking distance of the vibrant downtown area of the historic city, for around 30,000 IHG One Rewards points per night (approximately $162).

Related: Why Asheville should be at the top of your travel list

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by Daniel A. Leifheit/Getty Images)

The temperatures and prices cool down in September, making it a perfect time to visit Albuquerque. According to new Priceline data, the city takes the No. 2 spot for the most affordable U.S. destination in terms of hotel prices (an average of $128.65 per night).

Stroll along the Paseo del Bosque Trail or check out events like the New Mexico Prickly Pear Festival, Globalquerque! and the famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

TPG tip: Rooms at the ​​TownePlace Suites Albuquerque Old Town are available for around 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, or $179.

Kakheti, Georgia

Kakheti, Georgia. (Photo by saiko3p/Getty Images)

This region is known as the birthplace of winemaking, with a history of the practice dating back 8,000 years to the Stone Age. Now, Kakheti has emerged as one of the world's most exciting wine destinations, with more than 200 indigenous wine varieties.

That's why for wine seekers, September is the ideal time to visit. It's Rtveli, the local term for the grape harvest season. Also, the region is just over an hour from Tbilisi International Airport (TBS), where round-trip flights from New York in September are as low as $769, according to a recent Google Flights search.

TPG tip: The most enticing property for guests to stay at while exploring Kakheti and the Rtveli grape harvest is the newly revamped Lopota Lake Resort & Spa, with rates around $209 per night. The property has an indoor spa and wellness center, an on-property wine chateau, multiple restaurants, a horse stable and a vineyard.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees