With cooler weather, fewer crowds and some of the leaves beginning to change early in the month, September is one of the easier and most beautiful times to travel around the USA.
From cozy mountain retreats to visiting breweries and farmers’ markets in a trendy city, here are my favorite and best places to visit in September in the USA…
1. North Cascades National Park, Washington – a gorgeous wilderness to explore in September
Reasons to visit North Cascades National Park in September – fewer crowds, climate warm and more comfortable and leaves will start to change at the end of September
North Cascades National Park is a vast wilderness area in northwestern Washington. The park region, commonly referred to as the North American Alps, covers scenic mountains, snowfields, glaciers, alpine meadows, cascading waterfalls, and other unique natural features in the North Cascade Range.
The park has two units extending to the Canadian border in the north and Lake Chelan in the south. North Cascades is home to diverse and abundant wildlife such as the mule deer, black-tailed deer, black bars, rodents like marmots, pikas, and squirrels, several species of bats, elk, and mountain goats.
With rain from the Pacific in spring and fall, the summer months from mid-June to mid-September are prime visiting times. September is a good time to explore because the temperatures are still warm, with fewer chances of rain and most of all, fewer crowds after the peak of summer.
- Visitor Center Address: 7280 Ranger Station Rd., Marblemount, WA 98267
- Average temperatures for North Cascades National Park in September – 8 degrees
My must-do highlights of North Cascades National Park, Washington
- Visit the breathtaking Diablo Lake View Point to admire the stunning landscape surrounding the area.
- Rent a boat to enjoy some time out spent on the vibrant blue waters of the lake.
- Explore through the Cascade Pass by hiking along the most scenic trail, a popular activity by many.
How to get to North Cascades National Park, Washington
The closest major city to North Cascades National Park is Seattle which is a two hours drive away. It’s easily accessible with a car from Seattle, Vancouver Canada and many of the smaller towns in between.
If you’re flying in then the closest big international airports are Seattle-Tacoma and Vancouver.
2. Kenai Fjords, Alaska – one of the best vacations in September for gorgeous scenery and wonderful wildlife
Why visit Kenai Fjords, Alaska in September – there are often lower prices and good deals on hotels and excursions, no pesky bugs, fewer crowds, you’ll see fall colors, and also the chance of northern lights too by mid-September.
Kenai Fjords National Park is known for maintaining the Harding Icefield, with its iconic 40 outflowing glaciers, and coastal fjords and islands.
In September, the temperatures are not yet too cold, and the days are still long, and most of all, nature is in full bloom. Amidst the crisp air, filled with energy, in the icy waters and lush forests, the park’s diverse wildlife thrives.
The icy waters are home to seals, whales, puffins, and activities include whale-watching, hiking the icefield, kayaking, and boat tours and cruises.
It is one of Alaska’s most popular wildlife and glacier cruises known for its abundant wildlife, extraordinary mountains, and tidewater glaciers.
- Visitor Center Address: (open mid-May to mid-September) 1212 4th Avenue Seward, AK 99664.
- Average temperatures for Kenai Fjords in September – 5 degrees
My must-do highlights of Kenai Fjords, Alaska
- To experience the nature surrounding the area in the best way, a perfect activity to do is kayak across the waters.
- Take a helicopter tour over this location for a unique birds eye view of the landscape.
- Visit Exit Glacier, the main one within Kenai Fjords, which offers several hiking trails to explore.
How to get to Kenai Fjords, Alaska
Most head to the city Seward which is located 130 miles south of Anchorage, either by driving a car or by taking the Alaska Railroad (a Class II railroad that operates freight and passenger trains).
Anchorage can be reached by flying into the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, and you can fly directly here on a variety of carriers connect Anchorage with many major U.S. cities.
If you want to go by sea instead Many one-way Alaska cruises begin or end in Seward as well.
3. Seattle, Washington – a fantastic US city to visit in September
Why visit Seattle, Washington in September – fewer crowds, better prices on hotels, a comfortable climate, whales can be seen and there are also some great annual festivals too (Bumbershoot is an awesome music and art festival held in this month).
The seaport city of Seattle is well-known for its chilly weather and incredible food. The best way to enjoy its typical weather without being too cold to explore its array of attractions is to visit Seattle in September or October.
Summer does offer warmer temperatures but comes with higher prices and limited availability.
Prime attractions include Pioneer Square (its oldest neighborhood), Space Needle, Pike Place Market (its most visited landmark), Museum of Art and Pop Music, Seattle Great Wheel, Seward Park, and more.
Fun experiences include coffee classes at the Barista Academy, catching a show at the entertaining part-cabaret, Teatro Zinzanni, trying fusion food at the popular Marination Ma Kai food truck, taking the intriguing beneath-the-streets tour or future of aviation Boeing tour, going to a professional baseball game, etc.
Home to a magnitude of breweries and farmers’ markets, the city’s culture attracts locals and tourists alike. Additionally, the city’s gorgeous natural beauty can be seen in its Japanese Garden or through its exquisite fall color display at the Washington Park Arboretum.
- Visitors Center Address – 701 Pike Street; Suite 800. Seattle, Washington 98101
- Average temperatures for Seattle in September – 20 degrees
My must-do highlights of Seattle, Washington
- Take a trip to Craven Farm and have some fun getting lost in their corn maze.
- Taste the unusual flavors of fall-seasoned beer (and more) on a brewery tour in the city.
- For those who love sports, a must-do attraction is to watch a sports game at the stadium.
How to get to Seattle
As a major city in the USA there are many ways to reach Seattle, many drive and stop off at Seattle as part of a road trip. You can also fly and there are there three major airports in Seattle, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, King County International Airport, and Renton Municipal Airport.
It’s also possible to get there by train and one of the popular is the Coast Starlight which travels between Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles.
4. Lake Placid and the Adirondack Mountains – for a beautiful and cozy September mountain break
Why visit the Adirondacks in September – the dreaded black fly season is long gone, the climate is comfortable, at the end of the month you’ll get a chance to see peak colors and in September the region takes on an early fall cozy ambience!
Looking for September vacation ideas? The Adirondacks offer a spectacular natural backdrop, perfect for any occasion — from family vacations to romantic getaways and outdoor excursions – throughout the seasons.
However, a visit in September is ideal for those avoiding the black fly season crowds and looking for breathtaking foliage. As the autumn begins, the rolling hills, high peaks, serene nature look like a painting in fall colors.
And it is truly mesmerizing to view Lake Placid amongst this beautiful autumn foliage.
Lake Placid offers fresh mountain air and majestic views. It’s known as a Winter Olympics venue and a hub for snow sports and other outdoor pursuits.
While September may be too early for some snow activities, the plethora of other adventures, restaurants, and shops make its nearby town a popular attraction in September.
- Address of Visitors Center – I-87 N (Between Exits 17 &, 18, Queensbury, NY 12804
- Average temperatures for Lake Placid in September – 20 degrees
My must-do highlights of Lake Placid and the Adirondack Mountains
- Ride up the Cloudspitter Gonola on Whiteface Mountain to witness spectacular views overlooking the colorful fall foilage.
- Travel up to the top of the Olympic Ski Jumps to experience how skiers feel before they head down the slides.
- Explore through the High Falls Gorge that is filled with nature walks, footbridges and waterfalls.
- Stay at one of the many beautiful Lake Placid hotels on offer many of which overlook the water for a tranquil and special stay.
How to get to Lake Placid
Lake Placid is within a drivable distance of New York City (around 5 hours so many choose to stop over at the halfway point Albany), Boston (5 hours), Montreal (around 2 hours) and Ottawa (around 3 hours).
The nearest airport is the Adirondack Regional Airport (which is a 20-minute drive to Lake Placid, car rentals are available) and is served by Cape Air, American Airlines, United, JetBlue Airway.
Alternatively, other airports nearby include Saranac Lake Adirondack (SLK), Plattsburgh Intl (PBG), Burlington (BTV) or Massena Richards Field (MSS).
It’s also possible to get there by train, just take an Amtrack to Westport Station, New York and from there get the handy Amtrak shuttle to the village of Lake Placid.
5. Cape May, New Jersey – one of the best beach vacations to take in September
Reasons to visit Cape May in September – the weather is still wonderful with pleasant ocean temperatures, less humid and fewer crowds.
Once a town based on whaling and fishing, now the destination has been a magnet for all types of vacationers. People visit for the charming old architecture, the pretty harbor, the great range of places to stay, the fine collection of restaurants and of course the amazing beach.
The food is something every visitor has to try. There are some restaurants on Schellenger’s Landing at the base of the canal bridge and some others along the beachfront and into West Cape May.
The temperatures in September average around a very fine 25 degrees and the summer crowds would have also disappeared too!
- Address: New Jersey 08204, USA
- Average temperatures for Cape May in September – 25 degrees
My must-do highlights of Cape May, New Jersey
- Check out some of the most beautiful beaches in New Jersey, Poverty Beach is a favourite.
- Wander down the popular Washington Street Mall, featuring an array of great shops and restaurants.
- Embark on a Salt Marsh Safari for a fun and unique way to explore the town.
How to get to Cape May
You can fly into nearby Atlantic City using Spirit Airlines (they are the only carrier that offers commercial flights directly into this airport) and from here it’s about an hour’s drive to Cape May.
From the airport you can travel by rental car, taxis or by a shuttle.
If you want to take the bus, head to NJ Transit Bus Station in Atlantic City and you’ll find buses going directly into Cape May.
6. Colorado Springs, Colorado – a beautiful place to visit in the US in September for outdoor lovers
Reasons to visit Colorado Springs in September – Fewer crowds than the peak tourist season, the weather is still warm and pleasant and the leaves are starting to turn.
Based at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs and its nearby glacier-carved Pikes Peak, are magical in the fall. In September, temperatures are pleasantly cool, crowds are fewer, and rates are better (cheaper).
Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region are covered in vibrant autumn-colored leaves. Every year, visitors and locals alike set out into the wilderness to experience the natural beauty and serenity of the changing aspen leaves.
The Pikes Peak region features scenic hiking trails and a cog railway through the national forest to its 14,000 ft-summit. The Garden of the Gods park hosts iconic red-sandstone formations and mountain views.
Besides trails and railway, there are Segway tours, bike rides, and jeep tours to explore and appreciate the magnificent autumn foliage.
- Visitors Center Address: 515 S Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
- Average temperatures for Colorado Springs in September – 24 degrees
My must-do highlights of Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Hike to Garden of the Gods, a national landmark created by unusual natural rock formations.
- Cycling along a biking trail to get a good view at the Red Rock Canyon, located near downtown along the highway.
- Visit the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum to learn about the history of the area as well as find old photos and artifacts.
How to get to Colorado Springs
Many take a road trip to Colorado Springs but flying is also one of the quickest and easier ways to get there. Visitors fly in from Colorado Springs Airport and also Denver International Airport which is located about an hour and a half drive from Colorado Springs.
Denver is also a major hub on the Amtrack East-West rail route.
7. Zion National Park, Utah – one of the best national parks to visit in September
Reasons to visit Zion National Park in September – fewer crowds, still warm temperatures, and you may have a chance to see the leaves turning.
One of the most spectacular parks in the US, Zion National Park is located in southern Utah. Known for its natural beauty and contrasting colors, Zion in the most scenic season, fall, is a dream come true.
There’s nothing quite like the vividly colored leaves around Zion’s red sandstone cliffs. The brilliant reds, bright yellows and blazing oranges of the foliage offer the most picturesque views.
September is the best time to visit because of its sunny days and comfortable mild temperatures fluctuating between 50-90 degrees fahrenheit on average. Moreover, the crowds are fewer, the scenery is less saturated by sunlight and the contrast in the leaves and cliffs really catches your eye.
Famous hikes in this Park include Angels Landing, Observation Point, and Emerald Pools and the park offers numerous other outdoor activities.
- Visitors Center Address: Zion National Park, 1 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767
- Average temperatures for Zion National Park in September – 25 degrees
My must-do highlights of Zion National Park, Utah
- Wade through the Virgin River water and walk through a canyon in The Narrows, one of the coolest hike to do.
- Discover the Canyon Overlook to admire an incredible view overlooking the red sandstone park.
- It is always a great idea to take the Highway Scenic Drive, the most beautiful journey you can do.
How to get to Zion National Park
Many people drive to Zion National Park as part of a road trip and Highway 9 gets you to the park. The closest town to the park is Springdale in Utah.
You can also fly and the nearest airport is St. George Regional Airport, which is about 45 miles drive away and the airport is serviced by several major airlines.
8. Beaufort, South Carolina – travel here in September for beautiful scenery and historic architecture
Reasons to visit Beaufort, South Carolina in September – cooler temperatures and lots of fun events taking place such as the Dragon Boat races and the Bluffton Boiled Peanut Festival.
Experiencing this small, salt air city on Port Royal Island is a must-do for your autumn vacation.
The temperatures get as warm as 29 degrees here in September, so you can enjoy a walk on the streets, viewing the historic mansions that have been standing since before the American Civil War.
The city is filled with Victorian and Antebellum architecture and you can take tours to visit some of them. Some have even been used in classic Hollywood movies.
After a long day, you might decide to see the Beaufort National Cemetery or join locals on the Intracoastal Waterway at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, then end your day with delicious cuisine at Plums Restaurant. For a gorgeous and very laid-back September break!
- Visitors Center Address: 713 Craven St, Beaufort, SC 29902
- Average temperatures for Beaufort in September – 29 degrees
My must-do highlights of Beaufort, North Carolina
- Take a walk down Front Street to soak up the picturesque views of the water, whilst enjoy a variety of shops and restaurants.
- Visit the Historic Site which features nine interesting buildings with the Old Burying Ground located nearby.
- Indulge in delicious Southern food at some of the best and award-winning eateries in the city.
How to get to Beaufort, South Carolina
Some travel to Beaufort as part of a road trip but the quickest way to reach there is by flying into Savannah/Hilton Head Airport which many well-known airlines fly into.
To get there by train head to Yemassee where Amtrack North-South service stops and is around 30 minutes drive or taxi to Beaufort.
9. Asheville, North Carolina – make a wonderful early fall US break
Reasons to visit Asheville in September – warm temperatures and the leaves start changing towards the end of the month at higher elevations.
If you’re looking for where to go in September then the best time to visit Asheville, NC is either spring (March to May) or fall (September to early November) because of its amicable temperatures between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
My most favorite time to visit Asheville is September as you get to witness the start of the leaves changing and view its lovely autumn foliage.
Asheville is home to several scenic fall drives such as the Blue Ridge Parkway that winds around some of the highest peaks in this region and passes through patches of wildflowers of goldenrod, witch hazel, aster and mountain ash.
Extreme elevations, and over 100 species of deciduous trees lend the Blue Ridge Mountains one of the longest and most vibrant leaf seasons.
Along with one of the most dramatic foliage displays, Hendersonville, known as the “Apple Alley”, with its seasonal apple orchards, Sky Top steaming donuts and bamboo forests, corn mazes, and spiced cider, pumpkin patches, open their doors.
Besides nature, this town with its restaurants, bars, music and art culture has some serious big city vibes.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 36 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
- Average temperatures for Asheville in September – 25 degrees
My must-do highlights of Asheville, North Carolina
- Embrace the spookier side of this city with a scary ghost tour that takes you back in time.
- Admire the wonderful fall colors and panoramic views at the Swinging Bridge located on Grandfather Mountain.
- Sip on a pumpkin spiced latte and enjoy a freshly baked muffin at the cozy World Coffee Cafe.
How to get to Asheville
The quickest way to get here is by flying into Asheville Regional Airport which is connected to large US airports (and where you can fly nonstop from) such as Atlanta, Newark, Chicago, LaGuardia and Baltimore/D.C. From here you’ll find rental cars, taxis or shuttles so you can travel into the downtown Asheville (takes about 25 minutes).
Asheville isn’t on an Amtrack stop but there are stops at nearby Charlotte, Greenville and Spartanburg so there you travel to Asheville from these places.
10. New England – a very popular and beautiful place to visit to see the early fall leaves change
Reasons to visit New England in September – the leaves begin to change towards the end of the month in the Southern New England states, the weather is still fairly warm and pleasant and fruit picking is also a great activity.
New England in the northeastern U.S, comprising the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, is known for its Colonial past, Atlantic coastline, forested mountains, and changing autumn foliage.
September marks the start of the leaf-changing season and the region showcases peak autumn colors by the end of the month.
The region’s forests and mountains display a riot of colors and its charming towns are filled with a fall-themed atmosphere. The countryside offers various scenic trails for hiking, biking, and cozy lodges for camping.
Seasonal farms and farmers’ markets, fresh cider donuts, apple orchards and apple picking, pumpkin patches, corn mazes are commonly found during this season in the nearby towns. Also, check out our best places to visit in Vermont.
- Location: New England is found in the northeastern region of the United States and includes the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
- Average temperatures for New England in September – 22 degrees
My must-do highlights of New England
- For a memorable experience, take a hot air balloon ride for a unique view of the fall foliage covering the lands of Connecticut.
- Enjoy a ride on the Lake Winnipesaukee Foliage Train, taking you from New Hampshire to Plymouth for a buffet lunch.
- Before hooping on the train at New Hampshire, taste the delicious flavors of a homemade breakfast at Polly’s Pancake Parlor.
How to get to New England
One of the best ways to get to New England is to fly into o Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) where you can fly directly from all the major airlines.
If you’re planning a road trip then several interstate highways serve New England and if you want to travel there by plane then it’s also well served by Amtrack routes two running to Vermont, one to Maine, and another across central Massachusetts.
11. Charleston, South Carolina – a gorgeous and charming city to visit in September
Why visit Charleston in September – fewer crowds, better deals on hotels but still temperatures that would be considered ‘hot.’
The beautiful Charleston is home to five of the happiest seaside towns in America. The sandy beaches are ideal for relaxing, scenic strolls or splashing in the waves. The region is known for its avenue of ancient oaks and the fall season is filled with interesting activities and events.
From Charleston’s garden gates and seasonal farmers’ markets, fall in Charleston includes festive corn mazes, hot air balloon festivals, fall tours, and more.
The Gibbes Museum of Arts, Netherworld First Theatre and Freshfields Village Cars & Coffee are some other amazing sites in this rich historic city.
The best time to visit Charleston is from March to May (spring) or from September to November (fall), when temperatures are mild and inviting. We prefer fall to spring, because hotel rates, in spring, especially around Easter are quite high.
- Address of visitors center: 375 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403
- Average temperatures for Charleston in September – 28 degrees
My must-do highlights of Charleston, South Carolina
- Head over to scenic waterway at Shem Creek for a spot of paddle boarding.
- Cruise around in a PediCab bike taxi to get from one place to the next around the towns.
- Walk over the Ravenal Bridge which is located over the Cooper River offering gorgeous views of Charleston Harbor.
How to get to Charleston
Many choose to drive to Charleston on a coastal road trip but if you want to fly Charleston (CHS) Airport is around 10 miles away and is serviced by 12 airlines. From here you can get a rental car, taxi or shuttle.
If you want to travel there by train then Charleston is on the Amtrack Silver Service/Palmetto route.
12. Acadia National Park, Maine – for tranquillity and gorgeous Fall scenery
Reasons to visit Acadia National Park, Maine in September – fewer crowds, the mosquitoes have gone, there are pleasant temperatures perfect for hiking and you may get a chance to see some changing leaves.
Home to some of the most picturesque landscapes and diverse wildlife on the coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is an all-year-round destination, but particularly attractive in September, because of the ideal weather conditions and relatively less busy time just after Labor Day and just before the leaf-peeping crowds arrive.
Explore this 47,000-acre park through its renowned Hulls Cove Visitor Center or its less-crowded Welcome Center at Rockefeller Hall. The park stretches across Mount Desert Island, which is home to the first rays of daylight to touch the United States for half the year, making it the perfect place to catch a scenic sunrise.
The magnitude and serenity of this majestic mountain are a major attraction of the park. Activities like hiking, biking, animal and bird spotting, guided tours and camping are offered in the park.
- Visitors Center Address: 25 Visitor Center Rd, Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, ME 04609
- Average temperatures for Acadia National Park in September – 20 degrees
My must-do highlights of Acadia National Park, Maine
- Hike along the coast via Great Head Trail by Sound Beach, where you can enjoy fascinating views on a sunny or misty day.
- Stop off at Jordan Pond to see the Bubble Rocks, here you can also walk around the water or just pop in to the tea house.
- For cycling enthusiasts, ride down the Carriage Road. This route leads you around the entire park.
How to get to Acadia National Park, Maine
Many visit as part of a longer scenic road trip but you can also fly. Take a direct flight to Boston’s Logan Airport to Hancock County Airport and find yourself just 10 miles away from the park.
Alternatively, fly into Bangor International Airport which is only an hour’s drive away. National Airlines serve this airport.
From here car rentals are available (at both airports). If you want to travel by train Amtrak travels to Maine daily and stops at six stations.
13. Dauphin Island, Alabama – one of the best islands to visit in September for a tranquil, hot and relaxing vacation
Reasons to visit Dauphin Island in September – temperatures are still considered ‘hot’ but there are fewer crowds.
With a temperature that peaks around 30 degrees in September, Dauphine Island on the east coast is home to various sea animals and avian species including gorgeous playful dolphins.
Dauphin Island is a prime family destination with fascinating tourist attractions such as the Historic Fort Gaines and the Audobon Bird Sanctuary. The Fort located here also has original cannons, a blacksmith shop, kitchens, a museum, a gift shop, and tunnels.
On your visit, guides in period uniforms usually bring history to life to the tourists. At the Audobon Bird Sanctuary, a birdwatching area, you can view the springtime migration.
There are also numerous boating charters for families, giving you accessible trips in and around the Gulf and Mobile Bay.
One of the best places to travel in September if you’re looking for a low-key and peaceful break.
- Visitors Center Address. 109 Bienville Boulevard Mobile County 36528 Dauphin Island Alabama
- Average temperatures for Dauphin Island in September – 30 degrees
My must-do highlights of Dauphin Island, Alabama
- Head down to the public beach which is also pet-friendly, here you can admire the spectacular surrounding landscape.
- Organise an educational or leisurely boat tour to explore around the offshore waters.
- On your boat tour, visit the historic Sand Island Lighthouse, built over 150 years ago.
How to get to Dauphin Island
The closest airport to Dauphin Island is Mobile (MOB) which is served by United Airlines and Delta Air Lines and is about a 45-minute drive away. You can drive to the island via a car ferry to Dauphin Island.
If you want to travel by train Mobile is also an Amtrack stop.
14. Santa Fe, New Mexico – makes a great alternative September US break
Reasons to visit Santa Fe in September – the temperatures are still very warm but more pleasant, there are some great festivals and better deals on hotels too.
The best time to visit Santa Fe is between September and November when the temperatures range from 20 to 70 degrees.
While summer is probably the busiest and spring possibly offers similar weather conditions, the fall-time festivals make Santa Fe especially attractive in the autumn months.
Festivals include Fiestas de Santa, Wine and Chile Fiesta and the eye-catching Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, and the harvest festival at El Rancho De Las Golondrinas. The historic harvest festival features a pumpkin patch, a chance to make cider, live animals, music, and entertainment.
With fewer crowds and plenty of adventure activities, music and art festivals, food, and drinks, visiting Santa Fe in the fall is a great destination!
- Address for Santa Fe Visitors Center: 491 Old Santa Fe Trail Santa Fe, NM 87501.
- Average temperatures for Santa Fe in September – 25 degrees
My must-do highlights of Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Witness the gorgeous color change of the leaves at the picturesque Santa Fe Mountains.
- Discover a variety of local produce and handmade crafts at the year round farmers market.
- Explore around the art galleries, shopping boutiques and historic homes along the cultural Canyon Road.
How to get to Santa Fe
The city has its own airport (The Santa Fe Municipal Airport) which receives direct flights from Denver, Dallas or Phoenix, alternatively, the city of Albuquerque is a 45-minute drive away and is an international airport.
Santa Fe also has an Amtrack stop if you want to travel there by train.
15. Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada – for cooler temperatures and wonderful views
Reasons to visit the Valley of Fire State Park in September – although it’s still hot the temperatures in the summer months are almost unbearable and it makes a great tag on to a Las Vegas trip.
Valley of Fire State Park is famed for its 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops that are tucked in gray and tan limestone.
This historically renowned park is home to ancient, petrified trees and petroglyphs that date back more than 2,000 years.
Summers in the Nevada region can be extremely hot and harsh, making autumn and winter recommended times to visit.
The sunny days with cool temperatures in September are ideal for hiking or trekking through the incredible Valley of Fire State Park and exploring its key natural attractions like the Rainbow Vista, Pink Canyon, Fire Wave, White Domes, Seven Sisters, Fire Cave and Beehives Cave.
- Visitor Center Address – Valley of Fire State Park 29450 Valley of Fire Road Overton, Nevada 89040.
- Average temperatures for Valley of Fire State Park in September – 37 degrees
My must-do highlights of Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
- Capture some Insta-worthy shots at the viewpoint of Mouse’s Tank Road.
- Hike along the Seven Wonders Loop where you will discover the Pink Canyon, Fire Wave and other scenic natural rock formations.
- When it gets a bit too hot, turn the AC up and drive through the breathtaking roads to soak up the landscape.
How to get to Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
The best way to visit the Fire State Park is to fly into Las Vegas and then hire a rental car. The park is 55 miles northeast and there is only one main road Highway I-15. Once in the park, then The Valley of Fire Scenic Byway will take you from the east and west entrances in just under 11 miles.
16. Carmel-by-the-Sea, North California – for a quaint and charming September break
Reasons to visit Carmel in September – warm clear days often with sunshine, cool nights and a special kind of early Fall atmosphere!
This postcard-like village of Carmel-by-the-Sea is made up of tree-lined streets, charming buildings, boutique stores, gourmet restaurants, and a beautiful beach at the end of town.
Calm and picturesque, Carmel is known for its amazing sunsets overlooking the Pacific Ocean, rolling sand dunes that lead to the ocean, and huge Monterey Pine and cypress trees.
Fall is surprisingly the sunniest time of the year, bringing warm clear days and cool breezy nights. September offers refreshing weather conditions and is ideal for sunbathing, strolling, and relaxing on the soft beach.
Besides the beach, Carmel has world-class shopping and dining, exquisite wine-tasting rooms, art galleries, quaint inns, and a natural historic landmark, a historic California mission, called Mission San Carlos Borromeo del río Carmelo.
The town also has an 18-mile bike path that passes through some breathtaking views and beautifully landscaped gardens and reaches Carmel Point, for spectacular views.
- Visitors Center Address: Ocean Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921, United States
- Average temperatures for Carmel-by-the-Sea in September – 22 degrees
My must-do highlights of Valley of Carmel-by-the-Sea, North California
- Well known for being a gem of California, explore around Point Lobos. You can walk through trails or scuba dive for the underwater world.
- Experience the taste of the state’s best wines with a tour around Monterey County’s vineyards.
- Play a round of golf on the famous course at Pebble Beach, surrounded by stunning views.
How to get to Carmel
One of the most popular ways is to take one of the most beautiful and scenic road trips in the world along the Pacific Coast Highway and making a stop here.
Alternatively, fly into Monterey airport (15 minutes drive away) or San Francisco airport which serves International flights as well (two and half hours drive away).
17. Na Pali Coast, Hawaii – for a warm US September getaway
Reasons to visit Na Pali Coast in September – it’s a hot and dry time perfect for sunbathing and swimming,
The ruggedly scenic coastline of Na Pali has one of the most beautiful views in all of Hawaii. Historians believe this beautiful coast was the first area of Kauai where ancient Hawaiians settled.
The Na Pali Coast comprises dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches, rocky hiking trails and extensive archaeological sites.
Exploring the undisturbed terrain of Na Pali is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can fly over, boat around or hike this region. It’s difficult to reach, Hanakapiai Falls are truly mesmerizing. The region offers numerous hiking paths, with “Hanakapiai Trail” leading to this famous waterfall.
The best time to visit Hawaii is between March and September when it sees the least rain and enjoys the highest temperatures, ideal to enjoy its clear sea waters and soft sandy beaches.
September temperatures are not as hot as the summer, making it a more comfortable time to explore the region.
- Location: the area is a 16-mile coastal stretch from the remote and wild Polihale Beach on the west to Kee Beach on the north shore of the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
- Average temperatures for Na Pali Coast in September – 27 degrees
My must-do highlights of Na Pali Coast, Hawaii
- Hop on a sunset boat tour to explore around the coast whilst having a magical evening view.
- For a fun, unique and very memorable experience, book a helicopter tour to discover untouched terrain.
- Relax and slow down with an afternoon (or day) spent sunbathing along the beach.
How to get to Na Pali Coast
You’ll need to fly to Kauai and from there is no road on the coast so you’ll need to arrange a guided boat tour or a Catamaran Cruises.
You can hike via a trail but The Kalalau Trail has been ranked as one of the most difficult trails in Hawaii and the United States so be prepared!
18. Anna Maria Island, Florida – one of the best beaches to visit in September
Reasons to visit Anna Maria Island in September – hot temperatures, fewer crowds and deals on accommodation.
It’s often said the best way to experience Florida is from the water. On the Florida Island, Anna Maria, kayaking is a major leisure time activity.
The weather averages at 29 degrees so this makes it a gorgeous hot beach vacation to explore in September and not surprisingly, relaxing on one of the wide, sparkling white sand beaches is a favorite past-time.
There are plenty of great things to do in September in Anna Maria. Whether you want more relaxed sightseeing, like museums and exhibits, or a children-friendly attraction, like “Tales Under the Tree” which is both children and adult-friendly.
- Visitor Center Address: 6105 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
- Average temperatures for Anna Maria Island in September – 32 degrees
My must-do highlights of Anna Maria Island, Florida
- Stroll down the sandy shores of Coquina Baywalk, an easy but lovely walk to do.
- Take a guided kayak tour through the lush mangroves for a fun activity.
- Visit the historical museum which is housed in a building that served several other purposes before becoming the museum.
How to get to Anna Maria Island
Fly into Sarasota Bradenton International Airport which is 20 miles away from the island. Many of the major airlines fly into this airport including Delta, US Airways, Continental, and AirTran.
When driving to the island, there are three entrances a northern bridge entrance at 64, Manatee Ave, an eastern bridge entrance or for a very scenic route, you can enter the island directly south at 789 and by the southern bridge entrance by Bradenton Beach.
19. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho – September is a great time to visit this famous US park
Reasons to visit Yellowstone in September – fewer crowds, a chance to see the change of the leaves towards the end of the month and cooler temperatures perfect for longer hikes.
Arguably the most popular national park is the US, Yellowstone is known for its scenic natural beauty, remarkably diverse wildlife and its fall foliage.
Though summers are most popular, fall is a better time to visit the national park because of the colorful foliage, thinning crowds, and better chances of spotting iconic animals that tend to move to lower elevations in cooler temperatures.
In the fall, Yellowstone bears can often be spotted from the road, as they forage for food in preparation for hibernation.
In the sky, it is common to see the annual fall migration of hawks and other raptors from the Hayden Valley. At Mammoth Hot Springs, you can find bull elk bugling and competing for female attention with elk mating season in full swing in the fall.
Yellowstone’s landscape showcases golden aspens, honeyed grasses, and orange-red shrubs.
The vibrant foliage is at its peak at the end of September and Yellowstone has several hiking and biking trails to enjoy panoramic views of the fall foliage. Popular spots include the Lamar Valley, Blacktail Plateau Drive, and Lewis River falls, and Lewis River Canyon.
- Location – Yellowstone National Park is a huge park located in the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. There are several visitor centers located throughout the park.
- Average temperatures for Yellowstone National Park in September – 17 degrees
My must-do highlights of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho
- View the magical and vibrant Grand Prismatic Spring from the overlook on Fairy Fall Trails.
- Check out the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone to see the tallest waterfall in the park which stands at 308-feet high.
- Visit Yellowstone Lake where you can go kayaking or take a boat tour.
How to get to Yellowstone National Park
There are many airports within a drivable distance of Yellowstone. The closest and easiest to get to is Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) in Montana which has nonstop flights to 21 U.S. cities.
20. Ozarks, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma – for a beautiful and rustic September vacation
Known for its summer fun, Lake of the Ozarks is just as popular in the fall. As summer ends and temperatures cool, the region offers unique attractions and fun opportunities. With clear skies and rainless days, September is a popular time to visit Lake of Ozarks.
Its Cave pumpkin patch includes wagon rides, children’s play areas, corn cribs, miniature pumpkin painting and water balloon shooting.
Ha Ha Tonka State Park comprises 300 steps wooden stairway from its castle that leads to alluring blue springs. The State Park has several trails across its varying terrain.
The region (the Ozark Mountains) is filled with numerous wineries, that look simply stunning in vivid autumn colors. The foliage against the lake offers spectacular landscape views.
- Location of the Ozarks: the region stretches across Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the extreme southeastern corner of Kansas.
- Average temperatures for Ozarks in September – 23 degrees
My must-do highlights of Ozarks, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma
- Stop by one of the several wineries for a tasting tour and spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
- Visit Cave Pumpkin Patch for some Autumn fun, filled with pumpkin painting and wagon rides, there is something for everyone.
- Climb up 300 steps at the Ha Ha Tonka State Park Castle to reach the magical blue springs.
How to get to the Ozarks
If you’re flying in then the nearest airport is Fort Leonard Wood (TBN) Airport (44 miles away), alternatively, other airports within a drivable distance include Springfield, Columbia and Fayetteville (XNA).
When driving US Highway 54 coming from Jefferson City is a good route to take, from the west take US Highway and from the south, you can reach the region from the Missouri Route 5 near Camdenton.
21. Big Bend National Park, Texas – one of the best places to visit in September in the USA
Why visit Big Bend National Park, Texas in September – although it’s still very warm, temperatures are cooler and there’s also the chance of some refreshing rain showers.
Big Bend National Park, situated in the southwestern Texas, preserves the largest tracts of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States. The park’s geological structures date back millions of years, and it is home to 1200 species of plants and 450 species of birds.
Offering plenty of activities, the park boasts 150 miles of hiking trails through its mountain desert terrain as well as along its rivers, scenic driving routes, park rangers’ programs and stargazing opportunities.
This 1250 sq. mile park consists of vegetation belts of Rio Grande, the sparseness of Chihuahuan Desert, the peaks of the Chisos Mountains, and the limestone outcrops of Persimmon Gap and Boquillas Canyon.
Being a desert land of extremes, summer heats up to 100 degrees and winters dip below 30s, making fall and spring the best times to visit.
September’s mild warm days and cool nights are perfect for outdoor adventures like hikes, treks, and camping.
- Visitors Center Address – Chisos Basin Visitor Center 1 Panther Junction, Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
- Average temperatures for Big Bend National Park in September – 26 degrees
My must-do highlights of Big Bend National Park, Texas
- Relax in the natural hot springs of Rio Grande Village and then cool off with a dip in the river.
- Check out the interesting Fossil Discovery Exhibit to learn about the impressive history of the park.
- Hike along the Santa Elena Canyon for breathtaking views overlooking Rio Grande.
How to get to Big Bend National Park
There are two airports located within a (pretty long) driving distance of the park, these are Midland/Odessa, Texas and El Paso. Major airlines fly into both but they are both located over 200 miles away so be prepared for a long drive from them to get to the park. You can easily rent a car from both when you’ve landed.
If you’re looking to travel by train then Alpine Texas is the nearest Amtrack stop and that’s about 100 miles drive from the park headquarters.
Once driving there are two major roads that will get you to the park – the I-10 and the US 90.
22. Bend, Oregon – head here for mild weather and beautiful natural scenery
Reasons to visit Bend in September – the weather is still warm but much more pleasant for hiking and water activities and there are fewer crowds.
Based on the Deschutes River, the small city of Bend is surrounded by the lakes and peaks of the Cascade Mountains. A trail from the town leads up to Pilot Butte, an extinct volcano.
Other attractions include hiking to Tumalo Falls, visiting the local Fall Festival, trying out locally grown seasonal dishes, stargazing on a canoe trip by night, and witnessing the lovely fall colors at Drake Park.
The town’s High Desert Museum exhibits the local history, environment, and live wildlife. Fall (September and October) is the time of year in Bend as you can enjoy the best of summer and winter weather conditions. Moreover, crowds are smaller, prices are lower, and the weather is still mild.
- Visitors Center Address: 750 NW Lava Rd #160, Bend, OR 97703
- Average temperatures for Bend in September – 23 degrees
My must-do highlights of Bend, Oregon
- Taste an array of craft beers at several award-winning breweries on the famous Bend Ale Trail.
- For those who love to cycle, choose from over 500-miles of trails to ride along and have a fantastic experience.
- Browse through the shops located in downtown and even purchase something nice for yourself.
How to get to Bend
Many people drive from the nearby major city of Portland and from there it’s around a scenic three-hour drive taking mostly Route 26 then 97.
If you don’t fancy driving then there are also direct flights going into Roberts Field Airport (RDM) which takes you to just 20 mintues from downtown Bend. This airport is serviced by a lot of major airlines including American Airlines and Dela and is connected to some major cities.
Amtrack also stops at Bend and it’s also possible to get buses from Portland too.
23. The Hamptons, New York State – September makes a great alternative month to visit this summer retreat
Reasons to visit The Hamptons in September – fewer crowds, more of an authentic ‘local’ feel and much better deals on hotels and other accommodation.
While the Hamptons are popular for summer weekend getaways and filled with tourists on Memorial Day, Labor Day or Fourth of July weekends, we think it’s a great destination in the fall. The region is not yet as cold as the winter, but also not as crowded as in the summer.
Besides enjoying the town’s exclusive charm, you can relax and take in the last rays of sun at the Flying Point Beach, visit the Channing Daughters Vineyard for wine tasting and people watching, check out some popular attractions like the scenic Wölffer Estate Vineyard, the impressive Montauk Lighthouse and the Parrish Museum.
Hamptons also has boating, pumpkin patches, luxury boutique shops, and fine dining establishments.
- Location: The Hamptons are a scenic string of seaside communities located on the eastern side of Long Island’s South Fork.
- Average temperatures for The Hamptons in September – 23 degrees
My must-do highlights of The Hamptons, New York State
- Go on a hike around the beautiful Shadmoor State Park in the perfect weather conditions.
- Taste the delicious flavors of the well known Hamptons Lobster Roll at The Clam Bar.
- Sip on a refreshing margarita whist admiring a vibrant sunset go down at The Beacon.
How to get to The Hamptons
If you’re flying the nearest airports to the Hamptons are MacArthur, La Guardia, and Kennedy, private or chartered planes can fly into the local (and much smaller) East Hampton airport.
If then takes a nearly two hours drive from New York to the Hamptons straight up Route 495.
You can also travel from New York by train by taking the Long Island Railroad or by bus using providers Jitney, the Ambassador and the Luxury Liner.
24. Saugatuck – Douglas, Michigan – an awesome choice for a unique and laid back September getaway
Reasons to visit September – fewer crowds, a chance to see the changes of leaves and an early Fall cozy atmosphere.
The small city has just about 850 people, so this is a great choice for a very low-key, relaxed vacation in September. A temperature of 23 degrees also gives you the freedom to have plenty of outdoor adventures.
The location is also a good choice for a cozy romantic getaway. Highlights of this area include Oval Beach, Water Street Gallery and Douglas Beach Park.
With art galleries to al fresco dining, and sunny days to cozy nights, especially in September, it’s easy to see why Saugatuck/Douglas makes a unique early Autumn break.
- Visitors Center Address: 95 Blue Star Hwy, Douglas, MI 49406, United States
- Average temperatures for Saugatuck/Douglas in September – 24 degrees
My must-do highlights of Saugatuck – Douglas, Michigan
- Check out a live music event at one of the several entertainment venues across the area.
- Pick apples, drink cider and get lost in a 20-acre corn maze at the fun Crane Orchards.
- Hop on the Star of Saugatuck water tour for amazing views along the Kalamazoo River.
How to get to Saugatuck – Douglas, Michigan
The nearest large city to Saugatuck/Douglas is a 40-minute drive away and if you’re taking a road trip from Chicago then it’s just over a two-hour drive away. The pretty area is also within driving distance of Detroit (2 hours 40 minutes), Cleveland (4 hours 50 minutes, Fort Wayne (2 hours 50 minutes), Indianapolis (3.5 hours) and Milwaukee (3.5 hours).
If you’re flying in then the nearest airport is Muskegon (MKG) Airport which is around a 35 mile drive away.
The nearest Amtrack station is Holland which is a 23 minute drive or taxi ride away.
25. Wallace, Idaho – for spectacular September scenery
Reasons to visit Wallace, Idaho in September – fewer crowds, very warm temperatures, and a unique early fall atmosphere!
One of the best places to visit in Idaho, The Wild West mining town of Wallace is situated in the legendary Silver Valley of North Idaho.
Wallace boasts spectacular mountain views, natural beauty and a beautifully preserved downtown of Queen Anne buildings. Wallace truly is what America West once was.
Surrounded by towering mountains, thick pines and huckleberry bushes, Wallace makes an optimal base camp to explore the wondrous Silver Valley and amazing Bitterroot Mountains.
These uniquely scenic spots not only offer attractive views but also various one-of-a-kind trails and experiences. Months from July to September have limited rainfall and pleasant temperatures.
- Visitor Center Address: River St Wallace Visitor Center, Wallace, ID 83873-2142
- Average temperatures for Wallace in September – 29 degrees
My must-do highlights of Wallace, Idaho
- Hike or cycle along the 15-mile Hiawatha Trail, a great activity for people of all ages.
- Join a Sierra Silver Mine Tour to learn about the history of town whilst riding on a retro trolley.
- Fly through the sky on the Silver Streak Zipline, get your adrenaline pumping on this thrill seeking activity.
How to get to Wallace, Idaho
If you want to fly the nearest major airport is Spokane International Airport which is an hour and a half’s drive away and is serviced by five airlines: Delta, Alaska, American, Southwest and United.
If you want to travel by train the nearest Amtrack stop on the Empire Builder Route is Sandpoint. From Sandpoint you can hire a car and then it’s an hour and half drive to Wallace.
Frequently asked questions
Where should I go in September in USA?
There are many great places in the USA to explore in September, head to Lake Placid in New York State for a cozy mountain break, Colorado Springs for incredible outdoor scenery or Charleston in South Carolina for sandy beaches and scenic strolls down oak-lined streets.
Where should I go for a beach vacation in September?
Head to Charleston in South Carolina in September for sandy beaches and scenic strolls down oak-lined streets, the Florida Keys for stunning beaches and temperatures ranging from 25 to 26 °C or Hawaii for a beautiful warm beach vacation.
What is a good state to visit in September?
Visit New York State in September for stunning outdoor scenery, Alaska – for gorgeous scenery and wonderful wildlife or Utah for jaw-dropping national parks.
Where should I fly in September?
Hawaii makes a fantastic September vacation if you’re looking for gorgeous beaches, alternatively fly to Nassau in the Bahamas where the temperatures rarely fall below 84F.
Where is it warm in September in US?
Some of the warmest states in the USA in September include California, Florida, Hawaii and Texas.
We also have posts on…
- Best places to visit in August
- Best places to visit in October in the USA
- Best places to visit in November
- Best places to visit in December
- Best places to visit in January
- Best places to travel in April
- Best places to visit in March
- Best places to visit in May
- Best places to visit in June
- Best places to visit in July in the USA
- Best places to visit in Autumn in the UK
- Best places to visit in the UK in the winter
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Beth Pinches – writer and photographer
Beth was born under a wandering star, with drama in her veins and ink in her pen. After stints studying theatre in Dublin and Utrecht she used her creative streak to see as much of the world as she could on as little money. She toured Italian Schools with a children’s theatre troop, lived as an au-pair in both Rome and Washington DC, explored the British countryside, worked her way through much of Europe, Salsa danced in Cuba and road tripped down America’s west coast where she discovered her spiritual home; Portland, Oregon. Other places she loves include Croatia, Finland, Japan and India. In between adventures, travel writing and performing she resides peacefully with her family, cats and ukulele. Find Beth on Linkedin or Facebook.