The autumnal equinox and the fall season officially begin on September 22, signaling the start of the school year for kids and a return to normal work routines for the rest of the country. Despite the end of lazy summer days, September is a great month for traveling—crowds will have dissipated, but the sunshine and warm weather remain for most of the month. Simmering August temperatures mellow into crisp, clear days in September.
Depending on where you are, the majority of the month will still feel like summertime. Coastal locations like Los Angeles and Florida remain beach-worthy with temperatures in the 80s and 90s, while New England and the Midwest regions start to drop into the lower 70s.
Labor Day Weekend Events
Kick off September with Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday of the month. It's a great excuse to take one last vacation. Many destinations host festivals and other events to mark the changing of the seasons. Chicago puts on its annual jazz festival when fans looking for an excuse to spend the last few minutes outdoors, flock to Millennium Park for four days of free music from great jazz artists. If you’re looking for one last beach visit, head to the Northern California-Reno border at Lake Tahoe to spend a day on the lake and catch the annual Labor Day fireworks show.
September Chill Brings Fall Colors
In the latter part of September, the greenery of summer starts to fade to the brilliant oranges and yellows of the fall season.
New York and Massachusetts colors won’t reach their peak until the beginning of October when the temperatures really start to drop, but places that get chilly quickly, like northern Maine and the mountain areas of Colorado, will see a dazzling fall show in mid- to late-September.
June 1 signals the beginning of hurricane season for both the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific regions.
Hurricanes that form in the Atlantic Ocean will likely affect the coastal states from Florida to Maine, as well as along the Gulf Coast, so keep that in mind if you're planning a September beach vacation in those areas. Storms that form over the Eastern Pacific rarely make landfall, but if they get close enough can soak the Southwestern states and Hawaii. Traveling to coastal destinations like Florida during hurricane season can be treacherous as flights are often delayed due to the storms. If possible, consider taking a road trip instead of flying in September.
Average September Temperatures
- New York City: 76°F / 61°F (24°C / 16°C)
- Los Angeles: 82°F / 63°F (28°C / 17°C)
- Chicago: 74°F / 55°F (23°C / 14°C)
- Washington, DC: 80°F / 57°F (27°C / 13°C)
- Las Vegas: 95°F / 66°F (35°C / 19°C)
- San Francisco: 73°F / 56°F (23°C / 13°C)
- Hawaii: 89°F / 74°F (31°C / 24°C)
- Grand Canyon: 76°F / 47°F (24°C / 8°C)
- Orlando: 90°F / 72°F (32°C / 22°C)*
- New Orleans: 91°F / 74°F (32°C / 24°C)