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Seven Destinations to Discover in Autumn 2019

by Maia Muttoo Aug 26, 2019

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Not everyone takes a vacation in the summer.

If you’re looking for a fall getaway, look no further than our roundup of seven destinations to discover in September, October and November.

New Hampshire, USA

Image via New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival.

If you love a cosy autumn aesthetic – red and yellow leaves, pumpkin patches, apple picking and cider – you need to visit New Hampshire.

During October, this state in the American northeast comes alive with vibrant colours and events that celebrate all things fall.

On 18 and 19 October, the city of Laconia will host their annual pumpkin festival. Over 40,000 people attend the event every year. Enjoy pumpkin carving, food and craft vendors, a beer garden, horse-drawn hayrides, a zombie walk, and a many other autumn-themed activities.  

Munich, Germany

In Germany, perhaps nothing is more synonymous with fall than Oktoberfest. From 21 September to 6 October, millions of people will flock to Munich for this Bavarian folk festival, which is now in its 186th year.

Don your dirndl or lederhosen and enjoy the best German brews at a traditional beer tent. If you’re not a drinker or have children to entertain, hop on one of the many carnival rides, from swing carousels to Ferris wheels and rollercoasters. 

Paris, France

Image by Sophie Robichon via Time Out Paris.

The city of romance is thrilling year-round, but in October they host one of the world’s finest art events.

Paris awakens on 5 October for Nuit Blanche, an all-night contemporary art experience. Galleries around the city open for extended hours, artists erect installations in the streets, and art-enthusiasts can explore the city by moonlight. Public transportation stays open all night so viewers can build their route around the venues.

Even if you’ve been to Paris before, Nuit Blanche allows you to explore it from a whole new perspective.

Cape Town, South Africa

In the southern hemisphere, temperatures start to rise in October and November. With winter coming to a close, temperatures in Cape Town average 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it a great time to visit South Africa’s so-called Mother City before summer crowds, and searing heat descend in January.

Nature lovers can hike to the top of Table Mountain or stroll along Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens’ treetop walkway. If you like animals, you’ll have the opportunity to snorkel with seals, see African penguins at Boulder’s Beach, or cage dive with sharks.

Those with interest in history shouldn’t miss the chance to tour the Robben Island prison museum, where Nelson Mandela was held captive during the South African apartheid.

Belize                                 

Image via My Beautiful Belize.

Throughout September, Belize celebrates its independence. Vibrant cultural events take place all across the country from Belize City to Belmopan and Orange Walk Town.

The festivities kick off on 10 September with the Battle of St. George’s Caye Day. The event re-enacts the historic battle between Spanish and British forces that brought Belize under British rule. After this, it’s Independence Day on 21 September; enjoy patriotic parades, concerts, and plenty of red, blue and white.

If you want to truly experience Belizean culture, there’s no better time to visit the country.

Barcelona, Spain

Image via Suite Life.

Every September, Barcelona honours their patron saint, Our Lady of Mercy, with a four-day festival called Mercé. 2019’s event takes place from 20 to 24 September.

While wandering through the labyrinthine streets of the city’s historic Gothic Quarter, you may stumble across several events and shows. Planned activities include pop-up concerts, traditional Catalonian dance circles, human towers, and light projection shows.

Correfoc, the fire run, is one of the best events of the Mercé season and an absolute must-see. Revellers dressed as devils, fools and dragons parade through the streets with fireworks, sparklers and fire sticks. If you want a close-up view of the parade, be sure to wear protective clothing as the sparklers can be intense.

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Image via Pirates Week Festival.

Brush up on your pirate vocabulary and head to the pristine shores of Grand Cayman for the annual Pirates Week festival. Taking place every November, the festival observes the islands’ history of piracy in a lighthearted way. This year’s festival occurs from 7 to 11 November.

A firework show will light up the night sky over the George Town harbour on Friday 8 November. The next day, a band of rowdy marauders make landfall in a mock pirate landing, which is followed by a colourful float parade and food festival.

Stay throughout the week for events highlighting Caymanian culture including streets fairs, the festival queen competition and an underwater treasure hunt.

Autumn travel offers so many opportunities for exploration.

Visit one of these seven destinations this September, October or November and enjoy their seasonal festivals, natural beauty and heritage.

Sources: Forbes, Travel and Leisure, AFAR, Travel Channel, Escape Here, American Express Essentials, Travel Away, CN Traveller, Lakes Region Chamber, NH Pumpkin Festival, Oktoberfest, Paris Info, Cape Town Magazine, Barefoot Services Belize, Barcelona Tourist Guide, and Pirates Week Festival.