If you can get the time off, September is one of the best months to travel. In the northern hemisphere, the weather is still warm, but most kids have returned to school, thinning out the most crowded destinations.
While this is quite vague, don’t worry — our travel experts have done the hard work of rounding up the best places to visit, including why we love each and some must-see sights in each. Let us be your guide!
The 14 Best Places to Visit in September
While there are dozens of excellent places to visit in September, these fourteen destinations stand out above the rest.
1. Toronto, Canada
September is at the tail end of the busy season in Toronto, and it’s one of the best times to visit the city. The Toronto area is below peak temperatures for most of the month but still warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities.
In Toronto, you can enjoy various top-tier tourist activities, including the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, city views, museums, and many excellent restaurants. You’ll also be just a short distance to Niagara Falls, which you can see from the Canadian side or the American side.
2. Barcelona, Spain
From some of Europe’s best beaches and restaurants to iconic cathedrals and historical landmarks, Barcelona is one of Europe’s busiest tourist destinations for a reason.
The busy season ends in August, so you’ll get the perfect mix of warm weather and fewer crowds by visiting in September.
One of the most popular things to do when visiting Barcelona is to see various buildings designed by famous nineteenth-century architect Antoni Gaudí.
Gaudí’s buildings, such as the La Sagrada Familia, are famed for their deep symbolism and astounding beauty. By booking a tour in September, you’ll be able to see these buildings and more without being shoulder-to-shoulder with other tourists.
3. Athens, Greece
Athens is a city steeped in history that draws in millions of tourists every year. Athens is often called the birthplace of western civilization and is home to the Acropolis, The Temple of Zeus, the Parthenon, and many other ancient Greek ruins.
If you prefer less history-based travel, Athens is also home to gorgeous white-sand beaches along the Mediterranean Sea, fine dining restaurants, and bars to enjoy.
4. Dublin, Ireland
Ireland is an excellent tourist destination, but it’s also known for its heavy rain and year-round chilly weather. Even though September in Ireland still sees plenty of rain, it’s also just past the busy season and the warmest month in the region.
Dublin streets are older than many American cities, and there are many tourist activities, bars, and restaurants. Many visitors stop and see the Guinness Storehouse, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, or any number of old churches and castles in the area.
If you’re the outdoorsy type, the Dublin area is also home to incredible cliffside views of the Irish Sea. There are dozens of fantastic hikes within a short drive of Dublin- just be prepared for intense hills and heights.
5. Tokyo, Japan
September is one of the least expensive times to visit Tokyo, though the weather is still hot and muggy at the beginning of the month. Tokyo sees more than ten million tourists annually and is a popular destination for international travelers.
Tokyo is packed with green parks and historical Japanese architecture shoulder-to-shoulder with futuristic buildings and modern amenities.
If you visit Tokyo, you can watch a sumo wrestling match, participate in a traditional tea ceremony, shop in a modern mall, and stop at a Michelin-star restaurant– all in one trip.
6. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, United States
September is the ideal month to visit Grand Teton National Park. Most tourists have thinned out, and the hottest weather has cooled (but not so much that you’ll freeze outside).
The Grand Tetons see nearly four million visitors yearly but rarely feel overcrowded. There are about 250 miles of trails and more than 1,000 campsites available.
The Grand Tetons have activities for people of all fitness levels, including climbing and mountaineering opportunities, ranger-led programs, fishing, biking, and scenic drives.
7. Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Hawaii is a bucket list destination for many people, and September is one of the best times to visit. Despite technically being a part of Hawaii’s fall, September still has Honolulu’s summer activities and weather with fewer crowds.
Honolulu is Hawaii’s capital, located on the island of Oahu. The city of Honolulu itself has many activities for tourists, but everything on Oahu island will be within your grasp if you stay there.
Oahu has world-famous beaches, hiking trails, Aloha festivals, museums, and Diamond Head State Monument– a park nestled in the crater of a once-active volcano.
8. San Francisco, California, United States
September is the sweet spot for visiting San Francisco. As fall is just beginning, San Francisco in September still has summer warmth, but many crowds begin to dwindle, bringing prices down.
If you stop by San Francisco in September, you will likely have a perfect, fogless view of the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also visit Alcatraz Island by ferry and take in a spectacular view of the skyline from the water.
San Francisco is also home to Ghirardelli Square, an iconic shopping square, piers with restaurants and shopping, museums, and the United State’s most iconic Chinatown.
If you get tired of the city, you can head out of town to nearby wineries or Muir Woods National Monument to see the iconic California Redwoods.
9. Sicily, Italy
Sicily — a region of Italy — is the biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s famous for its vineyards, fine wine, beaches, architecture, and Catholic cathedrals. Its warm climate makes it perfect for growing citruses like lemons and oranges.
September is one of the best months for tourists to visit Sicily. Crowds dwindle out as summer ends, making it more affordable and a little quieter, but the weather stays ideal until mid-October.
While you can lounge and enjoy drinking wine and sandy beaches, there are also tons of historical sites on the island. Many tourists stop by The Valley of the Temples, which is one of the best-preserved pieces of ancient Greek architecture.
10. Paris, France
September is the best time to visit Paris to balance crowds and weather. While October through April is the least crowded, they can also be cold and wet, making September and May better options for those that prefer to stay warm.
You can walk along ancient city streets and see classic European Architecture mixed with modern buildings and technology. If you want a classic tourist experience, you can stop by Disneyland Paris and see some iconic rides and restaurants not available at Disneyland in the US.
If you want to avoid crowded tourist destinations, you can also walk the densely packed city streets and find amazing restaurants, shopping, bars, and much more.
11. The Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States
The shoulder seasons (spring and fall) are generally considered the best times to visit The Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most iconic destinations, and September perfectly balances crowds and temperature.
The Grand Canyon stretches 277 miles and is 18 miles wide. It boasts more than 132 trails that take you up and down through the gorge.
If you don’t mind a bit of a drive (about four hours or 270 miles), you can even stay in Las Vegas to enjoy fine dining, gambling, and one of the biggest party cities in the world before heading out into nature.
12. Mackinac Island, Michigan, United States
Mackinac Island is an island in Lake Huron off the coast of Eastern Michigan. This hidden gem is one of the only places in the United States that is completely car-free.
Their no-vehicle policy has ensured that they kept the small town quaint and quiet. Mackinac is known for its ice cream and world-famous fudge, romantic streets, horse-drawn carriages, bike tours, boat tours, and more.
You can even get a fantastic island view by sailing, paddleboarding, or kayaking into Lake Huron. Despite only having 600 local residents, Mackinac Island hosts more than 1 million people from around the world every year.
September falls after the busy season, which lasts from June to August, but is still warm enough to enjoy your evenings outside.
13. Seoul, South Korea
Seoul, which is formally known as the Seoul Special Metropolitan City, is the capital city of South Korea. It is known for its modern skyscrapers and shopping malls which sit right next to ancient royal palaces and temples.
Many tourists stop by the Bukchon Hanok Village, a preserved old-world Seoul neighborhood with tightly packed streets and traditional architecture.
You can also visit historical places, like the Changdeokgung Palace and the Gyeongbokgung Palace, or just stop by street markets and try incredible local dishes. September is the ideal time to visit Seoul.
Many months in South Korea are intensely hot, with temperatures reaching the high 90s, but the winter months are cold and wet. September has highs in the mid to high 70s and is generally drier than October and November.
14. Banff, Canada
Banff is a small town in Alberta, Canada, but it is one of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations. Banff is home to Banff National Park, crystal blue waters, hiking, and many other outdoor activities.
Banff has plenty of hotels and luxury stays, but more adventurous travelers can camp in glacier-eroded valleys and view gorgeous mountains. If you stay in Banff, be sure to take a soak in their incredible hot springs overlooking the Rocky Mountains.
If you catch Banff in the right week of September, you’ll be able to see the iconic fall colors of Canada come into the mountains, all while enjoying the last of the season’s sunshine.
Things to Consider
No matter where you decide to go in September, there are some considerations you should factor into your planning. Keep these tips in mind to ensure you have the best vacation possible.
If you plan to travel abroad, remember to prepare far in advance. You may need to exchange currency, inform your cellphone provider and credit card company, apply for a passport, and much more.
To make sure you’re not stuck in a foreign country without everything you need, start planning early and research the country you’re heading to.
Traveling to the Caribbean or other destinations in their off-season is a great way to save money, but remember that they’re often less busy for a reason. To ensure you make the most of your travel plans, always research seasonal specifics about your destination.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are the most commonly asked questions about traveling in September:
Where has the best weather in September?
Greece (average of 75°F), Spain (79°F), Ireland (60°F), Japan (83°F), and Canada (63°F) have some of the best weather in September.
Where is the best tropical vacation in September?
September is rainy in most tropical regions, but the Caribbean side of Costa Rica gets less rain, making it one of the best tropical vacation destinations for September.
Where is the cheapest place to go abroad in September?
The Caribbean is in its wettest and hottest season in September, so it’s avoided by many tourists, and prices go down.
Is September an okay time to go to the Caribbean?
September is an okay time to visit the Caribbean if you don’t mind the hot weather and rain.
What beaches are best in September?
Spanish and Greek beaches tend to be quiet, with great weather in September.
So, Where Should You Visit in September?
There is no one best September vacation, but there are tons of excellent options for every kind of traveler.
You can stop in Spain or Greece if you want to lounge on warm beaches, visit Tokyo to see history intermingled with modern architecture, or head to Canada or Ireland to enjoy the beginning of fall.
No matter what you’re looking for, any location on this list will make for a fantastic September travel destination. So what are you waiting f0r — book your trip today!