Table of Contents
- 1. Yellowstone National Park, WY
- 2. Lake Tahoe, NV
- 3. Berkshires, MA
- 4. Lake George, NY
- 5. Sanibel Island, FL
- 6. New York City
- 7. New Orleans, LA
- 8. The Grand Canyon, AZ
- 9. Kauai, HW
- 10. Santa Fe, NM
- 11. Napa Valley, CA
- 12. Asheville, NC
- 13. Williamsburg, VA
- 14. Woodstock, VT
- 15. Seattle, WA
- 16. Zion National Park, UT
- 17. Carmel, CA
- 18. Orlando, FL
- 19. Salem, MA
- 20. Shasta Cascades, CA
There’s no question that many of us are excited for the fall season. Aside from pumpkin spice everything, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and the approaching holidays season, USA has spectacular places to visit, no matter if you’re a citizen or a tourist spending a few weeks here. There are always things to do when the weather is not as hot, but not quite cool either, so let’s dive into the best 20 places to visit in September in the USA.
1. Yellowstone National Park, WY
The pleasant weather makes this one of the best spots to visit in September, since it’s an outdoor adventure for the entire family. All the hiking trails are accessible until the end of October, animals are active, and you can’t beat the scenery. The leaves change colors during this time, changing everything into a multicolored fall festival of nature, perfect for your yearly family photos. Bugs are gone too. The only downside would be the changing weather, which turns quite unpredictable.
2. Lake Tahoe, NV
This wonderful destination is more enjoyable in September because the temperatures drop in the 70s during the day. At night, it gets quite chilly, so make sure to pack some extra layers, especially if you go camping. During the first part of September, you will be able to enjoy every water activity popular during the summer, but will fewer tourists around. The accommodation facilities in the area will be less crowded, making it feel more intimate for you. Fall colors start making their presence seen, and you’ll enjoy the natural change while hiking in the mountains surrounding the lake.
Another significant thing about visiting Lake Tahoe in September is the abundance of festivities. The Food and Wine Festival and the Genoa Candy Dance are two of the most popular ones.
3. Berkshires, MA
If you’re looking for one of the most spectacular fall colors in the USA, The Berkshires is the place to be. Aside from the outdoor activities and the pleasant weather, tickets to events and accommodations cost less. It’s the perfect time to splurge on a room in one of the local resorts and spend your afternoon baking in the September sun.
4. Lake George, NY
Lake George and the surrounding areas are beautiful to visit at anytime of the year, but September comes with several special events, the public favorite being Adirondack Balloon Festival. This festival has been celebrated for over 40 years, and it receives participants from all around the world. The Adirondack Nationals Car Show is also celebrated around this time, and what’s best is that it’s kid-friendly.
Even if you don’t visit the Lake George Area for these events, you’ll still get to enjoy outdoor activities and the beautiful foliage change in September.
5. Sanibel Island, FL
A very popular tourist attraction during the summer, Sanibel Island becomes the perfect getaway once fall comes and the crowds disperse. The weather remains hot, but usually the prices for accommodations drop at the end of summer. Swimming, tanning on the beach, wildlife spotting, boat/kayak rides have are some of the wonderful activities you can take part here in September. It tends to storm when evening comes.
6. New York City
NYC is great to visit at anytime of the year, and it’s always full of tourists, however, September brings a few events that you shouldn’t miss if you have the chance to be there. The Tribune of Light happens every year on September 11, and marks the anniversary of the well-known terrorist attacks. The Memorial and Museum of 9-11 are crowded at this time, but it’s well worth it.
US Open is another big event happening in September, so if you love tennis, that’s the place to be.
Labor Day brings plenty of events by itself including the Metropolitan Opera, the West Indian Parade, free museum admissions for Museum Day, and much more. This year, your little ones will get to see the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, which normally takes place in June.
7. New Orleans, LA
One of the most vibrant and colorful cities in the USA, New Orleans welcomes visitors yea-round, but September has its perks. Leaving aside the fact that it’s warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities, this month comes with a few interesting events. September is the Hispanic Heritage Month and in many restaurants you’ll be able to enjoy the Hispanic cuisine.
The Southern Decadence is probably the most vibrant event of the month. It celebrates the LGBT community between September 2-6, with parties, colorful parades, and all sorts of smaller events all across the city. It has been celebrated in the French-Quarter for over 40 years.
8. The Grand Canyon, AZ
September is by far the best month to visit this spectacular natural attraction in the USA. Over 6 million people visit it yearly, so it’s crowded no matter when you decide to visit it, but not as crowded as in summer. The temperatures are cooler, but you can still use the camping grounds if you don’t want to splurge on a hotel, as they can be quite expensive.
9. Kauai, HW
This beautiful location in Hawaii is usually pricey, even though it is not as popular as other areas. After the peak season, at the beginning of fall, the prices for accommodations and airfare drop significantly. Until November when the rain season starts, the weather is pleasant with temperatures in the 80s, and you won’t have to share the island with too many other tourists.
If you like Hawaiian culture, September comes with a few events revolving around music and dancing, which are normally hosted at the Performing Arts Center. There’s also a Jazz & Wine festival hosted at the Westin Princeville Hotel.
10. Santa Fe, NM
The city with Spanish influences is one of the best ones to visit in September. It’s brimming with life and color year-round, but September is the month of festivals and interesting events. The Burning of Zozobra (September 3) is one of the most interesting activities you can take part in. After that, Fiesta de Santa Fe starts on September 4 and runs until September 12, and it includes various events, such as concerts, Mariachi extravaganza, parades, dancing, and much more.
Other events you can enjoy in the area during September are the Baloon Fiesta Week, Rodeo de Santa Fe (15-18), the Renaissance Fair and the High Road Art Tour (18-19), and the Wine Festival (22-26).
11. Napa Valley, CA
Fall in Napa means the Harvest Season, which means it’s the peak of tourism in the area and the prices are much higher, but you’ll also have the most fun. Grapes and wine making are old traditions in the area, and of course, everything in September will be related to this. You’ll get to enjoy all sorts of food festivals, grape smashing events, wine tasting, and concerts. However, if you decide you want to visit the Napa Valley in September, make sure you make reservations for accommodations and events in advance, especially during the pandemic.
12. Asheville, NC
Nothing compares to visiting a mountain city in September when the foliage starts to change. Asheville has a mix of beautiful fall scenery and urban events, so a little for everyone. It’s proximity to the Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway makes it a perfect romantic destination when couples can go exploring the wild nature during daytime, and enjoy the comfort of a city in the evening.
Aside from that, the month of September is rich in events, such as Goombay Festival (3-5), Labor Day Weekend events, RockFest (4-5), Mountain State Fair (10-19), WNC Bigfoot Festival (17-18), Blue Ridge Pride Festival and Autumn in the Mountains Car Show (25th).
13. Williamsburg, VA
This old town makes for a perfect fall escape for couples, because as we know “Virginia is for lovers”. The whole town of Williamsburg changes to beautiful autumn colors, and it celebrates the end of summer with many events. The Busch Gardens, one of the most popular places in town, starts its annual Howl-O-Scream event in September, with haunted houses, live shows, story time, and everything else Halloween.
Another great event that takes place between September 14-21 is the Season of the Witch, an immersive experience related to the witchcraft trail in Virginia. Other interesting events are the Spirits Month, the Coddiwomple Local Music Festival (7th), and the Patriots Triathlon Festival (7-8).
14. Woodstock, VT
If you love escaping to a farm for a few days, September is the perfect time to do so in Woodstock. The foliage change makes everything much more exciting in the area, the state being well-known for its scenic beauty, so going hiking is the main outdoor activity.
Visitors can also visit farms and breweries, dine at local farms and eat local produce, or sample local cheese. If you love cheese, you can even take part in demonstrations and see how it’s made.
15. Seattle, WA
If you don’t mind chilly weather, Seattle is an amazing city to visit in September. It’s well-known to be more rainy than other places, but it’s worth it because there are fewer crowds and the prices for accommodations tend to drop at this time. It might be fall, but there are many things to do around.
With Halloween approaching, you can visit the Haunted Pub, a popular establishment built on the site of a former mortuary. It’s natural to have become an attraction for paranormal enthusiasts. If you catch a sunny day, you can visit Lake Washington and take part in some water activities, or simply try to tan a bit. Another nature escape close to the city is the Snoqualmie Falls where you can admire the foliage change and go hiking. Kubota Garden is also a great spot for that.
A few of the events you can enjoy in September are Fremont Oktoberfest (17-19), Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival (25-26), Day In Day Out Music Festival (4-5), and Pancakes and Booze Art Show (25th), aside from many other one time events that you can check on the local calendar
16. Zion National Park, UT
Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful locations in the USA no matter the time of the year, but September is the best month to visit it for those who love fall colors. The foliage change is spectacular and it contrasts with the high cliffs like in no other region. The temperatures are great for hiking and discovering the national park, because this is done much easier when the sun is not blazing. However, the weather might be fluctuating, so make sure to bring a couple of extra layers just in case.
17. Carmel, CA
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a beautiful location in North California. This charming small town seems to have come out of an old fairy tale book. Despite having very warm weather in September, the town sees fewer visitors during this time, and the weather is dry enough to enjoy outdoor activities and a day at the beach.
The Harvest Season is a big deal here, and it brings lots of events to enjoy, such as wine tasting, farmer markets with much organic produce, and if you enjoy the beach, you can join the Annual Sandcastle Contest.
18. Orlando, FL
Nothing screams Halloween as the beginning of fall events in September, in Orlando. They start events early here, not just at Disney World, and you don’t even need to have children to go enjoy a world of fun. Every year, the Universal resort in Orlando opens their Halloween themed park with tons of themed events, haunted houses, and classic horror movie rides for every age. Disney World is targeted more for children and those who don’t quite enjoy scary events. Also, Disney becomes the location for the Food and Wine Festival where adults can take a well-deserved break.
One thing to keep in mind if you want to visit these two world-famous attractions is they get very crowded, and you’ll have to book your tickets in advance.
19. Salem, MA
Salem becomes extremely busy in October, right before Halloween, and if you want to avoid the crowds and still enjoy fall it’s best to visit in September. There are plenty of things to do and visit at this time, and you might find you enjoy it more, especially at the end of the month when Halloween events start.
Some of the things you can visit in a more relaxed manner are the House of the Seven Gables, the Witch Village, the Witch Dungeon Museum, the History Museum, and the cemetery.
20. Shasta Cascades, CA
Before the weather turns cool, take a trip to this hidden gem of the US. The best part is that this region is one of the most affordable ones. Put on your hiking books and take advantage of the mild weather to discover waterfalls, lakes, volcanos, forests. It’s one of the most beautiful places you’ll find in the US and the price for accommodations is a bonus, as they tend to stay under the $100 mark.