Places to Vacation in September and October

Where to Go When Autumn Falls

Natadola beach, Viti Levu island, Fiji Beach
A deserted beach in Fiji. Jens Kuhfs/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Wondering where to go for the best vacation experience in September or October?

If you plan to get away early in September, you can still visit many state fairs, which run through Labor Day. In southern states, some are even held in October.

As soon as Labor Day passes, the travel world pauses and takes a deep breath. Suddenly there are more hotel rooms available at better-than-summer rates, and flight deals proliferate for couples able to travel at this time of year. 

With the arrival of the autumnal equinox around the third week in September, the temperature drops a few degrees and the weather becomes optimal in many spots. Come October, and nature puts on a show of colors that delight the eye in leafy regions.

And that's not the only reason to plan a honeymoon or romantic vacation at this time of year: It's couple season! Kids are in school, so you're unlikely to encounter the hordes of family travelers who fill popular destinations during summer vacation time.

Odds are you will find some of the best fall weather in the United States and Canada:

Autumn in Montreal downtown
Olga_Stanis / Getty Images

North America

As summer turns to fall, foliage emerges and trees transform hills into a patchwork of colors. Crisp fall days are perfect for leaf-peeping, apple picking, the last state fairs of the season, and romance.

  • Best Resorts for Fall Foliage - At the end of the day, take refuge in a fine resort with a spa, good restaurant, and grounds worth strolling together.
  • Romantic Getaways in the Mid-Atlantic States​ - Even if you only have a few days to get away, spend them in a destination where there's plenty to do and see.
  • Montreal, Canada - Take a leisurely drive through the northeast to Montreal or view leafy Canada from the sky on a brief flight or head to the beach.
Curacao, Willemstad, View of St Anna Bay with colonial buildings at Punda waterfront
Jane Sweeney / Getty Images

Tropical Destinations

Yes, much of the Caribbean remains under a hurricane watch during the early autumn months (it's not lifted until November 30). Yet you can still find a place in the sun, and under the hurricane belt, in the Caribbean's A-B-C islands.

  • Aruba - a haven for beach lovers, Aruba is dry as a desert and ringed with sandy shores.
  • Barbados - home to some of the best resorts in the Caribbean, Barbados is also a beach lover's dream destination.
  • Curaçao - colorful Curaçao features Caribbean flair.
  • Los Cabos, Mexico - this peninsula at the southwestern tip of Mexico is home to great beaches and romantic resorts.
Exterior view of a 17th century country house from a garden with flower beds, shrubs and trees
Mint Images / Getty Images


September and October are perfect months to visit Europe. The weather has cooled down from summer and the crowds are noticeably smaller. Places that you couldn't get into just a few months ago are now likely to welcome you.

The bloom is still on the gardens of England, the sun continues to warm the beaches and waters of Greece, Spain, and Italy—and France is a romantic's dream year round.

M Swiet Productions / Getty Images

South Pacific

Close to the equator, there's little variation in temperature. Yet couples find even this part of the world less crowded in September and October.

  • Tahiti - consider a cruise around these paradisiacal islands.
  • Fiji - it's a long flight, but that's the price to pay for escaping civilization.
Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head resorts in Oahu
M Swiet Productions / Getty Images

Sure Things

  • Year-round, the weather's just about perfect in Hawaii. Consider visiting more than one island when you go.
  • Somewhere around the world, every month of the year, a cruise ship is sailing some place wonderful. Whether you opt for a big ship with all of its amenities and restaurants or a river cruise that sails into the center of a new city each day, being on the water couldn't be more romantic in early fall.
Lighthouse on Nugget Point
Anupong Sakoolchai / Getty Images

Beat the Crowds

  • South America - the seasons are reversed, so these nations are approaching summer.
  • Australia - discover why travelers fall in love with the land Down Under.
  • New Zealand - these two islands are heaven for adventurous couples who love the outdoors.
  • Theme parks - kids are back in school, so lines are shorter.

Not the Best Time to Visit

  • Hurricanes may threaten Florida, the Eastern seaboard, the Western Caribbean, and Mexico’s Gulf Coast.

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