Best of September: Where to Be this Month

  • Aspen, Colorado

    September is quite literally golden month in Aspen, as the region's signature trees tend to put on their most spectacular colors during the last two weeks of the month. While some hotels close up shop during this shoulder season, others offer great rates and sometimes even last-minute deals. For movie buffs, Aspen Filmfest kicks off at the end of the month (Sept. 25-30).

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Cappadocia, Turkey

    Nowhere is shoulder season more appealing than in Europe, and in the visually spectacular region of Cappadocia in Turkey, September is perhaps the most pleasant month weather-wise as well. Book yourself a cave hotel and a hot air balloon flight to get the full Cappadocia experience.

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Cincinnati

    As temperatures begin to cool in Cincinnati – average highs this month hover in the upper 70s – the social calendar begins to heat up. September brings some of the city's biggest events, including Riverfest (Sept. 6), Oktoberbest Zinzinnati (Sept. 18-20) and the MidPoint Music Festival (Sept. 25-27). With NFL and MLB seasons in full swing, this is the perfect month for sports fans to catch a Reds or Bengals game.

    Photo courtesy of Amanda Rossmann

  • Fairbanks, Alaska

    In honor of America's highest peak reverting to its original name (Denali), celebrate with a trip to Fairbanks, the gateway to Denali National Park. This Alaskan city is also one of the best spots in the world to spot the Northern Lights, and September falls in the middle of peak viewing season.

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Capitola, California

    September in California brings numerous grape harvest celebrations to the state, but high-profile Napa and Sonoma aren't the only places to get your wine on this month. The cozy seaside village of Capitola, California's oldest seaside resort, hosts the Capitola Art & Wine Festival (Sept. 12-13) with 23 Santa Cruz area wineries pouring alongside the work of some 160 artists.

    Photo courtesy of Henry Zbyszynski / Flickr

  • New Zealand

    There's no place on the planet more appropriate for celebrating Hobbit Day (Sept. 22), the fictional birthday of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, than in New Zealand. The real-life stand-in for Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings films offers visitors the opportunity to tour iconic sites like Hobbiton, complete with all its spring flowers.

    Photo courtesy of New Zealand Tourism

  • Coastal Maine

    September falls within Maine's lobster season, and with school back in session, you're more likely to have your choice of lobster shacks to yourself while still enjoying mild weather perfect for outdoor adventure. Speaking of the great outdoors, September visitors might get lucky and catch some early fall foliage while touring the state's 3,478 miles of coastline.

    Photo courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul

    There are so many great reasons to visit the Twin Cities this month, it's hard to narrow it down. To start, September 22 is World Car-Free Day, Minneapolis was voted by 10Best readers as one of the best cycling cities in the nation. Days can get brisk this season, but you can always warm up in one of many restaurants that earned Minneapolis-St. Paul the title of Best Local Food Scene. If that's not reason enough to visit, St. Paul hosts the Minnesota State Fair in September (Aug. 27-Sept. 7).

    Photo courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

  • St. Augustine, Florida

    International Talk Like a Pirate day falls on September 19, and St. Augustine – the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the USA – is chock-full of pirate history. Explore the city's swashbuckling heritage at the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum. Plus, weather remains warm enough for the beach but without summer's crowds.

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Halifax, Nova Scotia

    Stellar temperatures (all you need is a light jacket), thinning summer crowds, the first hints of fall foliage and some great events make September a fine time for visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia. Those looking for an autumn wine experience north of the border can partake in the Port of Wines Festival (Sept. 23-27). This 20th installment of the event will feature wines from around the world in what has become Nova Scotia's most popular wine event.

    Photo courtesy of Wally Hayes