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25 Amazing Places To Visit In The USA In September (2023)

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Last Updated on January 18, 2023 by Nicole

In most places in the world, September is a beautiful time of year. The heat of the summer has subsided but the days are still long and warm. The busy tourist season is over but everything is still running at full tilt offering you the same experiences and opportunities as those available in June, July and August. In many cases, prices have come off of their highs and are now settling into a more reasonable range. All of this is particularly true for many places in the United States. Here are the best places to visit in the USA in September.

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Other Fantastic US Destinations

If you dream of a summer vacation exploring or lounging on amazing islands, please see 21 Beautiful US Islands To Visit In Summer.

For American destinations in summer that offer lovely mild temperatures, please see 28 Best US Destinations To Escape The Sizzling Summer Heat.

If you are traveling on a tight budget, check out 25 Best Cheap Places In USA For A Summer Vacation.

For those of you not settled on traveling in the USA, please see:

Not sure when you might want to travel? There are a lot of fun, beautiful, and interesting places to visit in the USA. Here are articles that highlight the best cities, towns, beaches, national or state parks in each month:

For a list of some of the best US cities with pro tips for when to go or avoid, hotels, directions, and other recommendations, check out 20 Best Cities To Visit In The USA.

For beautiful and warm beach destinations in the USA in winter, please see 50 Best US Beach Destinations For A Warm Winter Getaway. Alternatively, for snowy getaways, please see 24 Best Snowy Winter Wonderlands To Visit In The USA.

Best Places For A September Vacation In United States

Here are the 25 of the best destinations in America for a September holiday. The include exciting cities, charming small towns, beautiful beaches, and stunning national parks from all over the United States, including Hawaii.

When relevant, I have included any special annual events or festivals that make September a particularly fun or interesting time to go. Expected weather and international airports are listed so that you can plan properly. Lastly, if there are any remarkable hotels, those are described as well.

best places to visit in the USA in September
Burlington, Vermont (Photo Courtesy By Karen from Outdoor Adventure Sampler)

Burlington, Vermont

By Karen from Outdoor Adventure Sampler

September is fall foliage season in Vermont and Burlington is one of the most beautiful places in the USA to enjoy it.

The splendid colors can be seen from many vantage points. Rent a bike on the Burlington bike path to pedal along Lake Champlain with incredible views of the Adirondack mountains across the lake. Or hop on a cruise on the Spirit of Ethan Allen to see the shoreline colors from the boat. 

Numerous hiking trails in the city limits lead to great views of the flaming leaves. Hike up the tower at Ethan Allen Park to see a mosaic of reds, yellows and oranges in the trees below your feet.

The farm to table market in Burlington is at its peak in September. Visit the downtown Burlington Farmers Market for “just picked” garden treasures. Stroll over to the pedestrian mall of the Church Street Marketplace for open air dining. Many restaurants specialize using fresh local produce. While you are exploring Church Street, enjoy the street performers and one of a kind shops.

Craft brew, ciders, and spirits are popular in this New England spot. Stop by one of the many microbreweries or distilleries for a tasting. Most will feature special fall focused flavors.

Top off your day in Burlington with a visit to Waterfront Park to view the best sunset in the Northeast over Lake Champlain. The golden light that melts over the water as the sun disappears confirms that visiting Burlington in September is the best time.

Weather

Expect average highs in September of 70 °F with evening lows of 53 °F. There will be around 3″ of rain during the month.

How Best To Reach Destination

Fly into Burlington International Airport for a short drive to downtown Burlington. If you have a passport and are looking for a larger international airport, you can also fly into Montreal, Canada and drive 72 miles across the border.

best places to visit in the USA in September
Seattle, Washington (Photo courtesy of Thom Milkovic of Unsplash)

Seattle, Washington

By Erica of Trip Scholars

Another great holiday destination in September in America is Seattle, Washington. Indeed, most locals will let their friends and family know that September is the best time for traveling to the Emerald City! Summer crowds are gone allowing you to visit the museums, Pike Place Market, parks, and beaches with ample space to explore. Conveniently, room rates also drop after Labor Day. 

September is also one of the best months for both visitors and locals to enjoy festivals in Seattle. Bumbershoot is one of the nation’s best international music and arts festivals. It takes place every Labor Day weekend in Seattle Center.

Another quintessential festival is the Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival. This takes place towards late September and visitors are treated to free boat rides, viewing of historic boats, and all things nautical. Seattle Fremont Oktoberfest is a popular attraction to celebrate the renowned local craft breweries at the city’s largest beer festival.

During your visit, be sure to explore the iconic Pike Place market. Then, take the stairs or elevator down to sea level and enjoy a day on the waterfront. Hop on a ferry for the most affordable way to get out into Puget Sound. Make sure you keep your eyes open for orcas!

September is a lovely month to ride up the Space Needle since many of the leaves in the region are putting on a fiery show. (Note that the Skyview Observatory offers a more affordable option to get an aerial view.) Finally, a scenic drive to one of the surrounding National Parks is a must for all nature lovers! 

Weather

September weather is beautiful, averaging 67’-55’ F, with temperatures cooling as the month progresses. Although Seattle leads the nation among major cities with overcast days (averaging 226), September is still sunny, often with less than a week of rain sprinkled throughout the whole month. 

How Best To Reach Destination

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is only 14 miles from the city center.

Hotel Recommendation

Erica says, “Enjoy historic lodging in the heart of the city at The Fairmont Olympic Hotel. The hotel was built in 1924 and retains a unique old-world charm while boasting many modern amenities. It offers easy access to the main attractions in Seattle.”

Booking.com
best places to visit in the USA in September
Horseshoe Bend, Arizona (Photo by Bert Goers from Unsplash)

Grand Canyon, Arizona

By Debbie from World Adventurists

The Grand Canyon, one of the seven wonders of the world, is a mind-blowing sight. With its incredible size, scale, and views that look more like a painting than reality, visiting the Grand Canyon is a must for any lover of national parks. It is also a fantastic spot for a September getaway in the USA.

The most popular attraction inside the Grand Canyon is to take a self-drive scenic drive around the South Rim. There are several pull-out areas along Desert View Drive where you can admire the natural beauty of the Canyon from different viewpoints. The route starts one mile east of Grand Canyon Village and ends at Desert View near the east entrance of the Park. At a leisurely pace, the drive takes about 4 hours to do.

While you can see the Grand Canyon in a day, to enjoy a full experience, you should set aside 2-3 days. Several hikes will take you into the Canyon for a different perspective of its grandeur on day or multi-day trails. You can also ride a mule through the Grand Canyon or enjoy a bird’s eye view from a helicopter flight.

While the summer months are peak season for visitors, spending time in the Grand Canyon in September is the best time of year to go. The weather is cooler and more enjoyable, and there are fewer crowds. Plus, on shorter days it is easier to see a Grand Canyon sunset.

Weather

Average highs should be around 75 °F with cool evening lows around 42 °F. There should be very little rain.

How Best To Reach Destination

Since the Grand Canyon is over 277 miles long, and 4 to 18 miles wide, several cities are a reasonable drive away. Two of the major ones are Phoenix and Las Vegas. Both have international airports. 

Hotel Recommendation

Debbie says, “Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins has a charming rustic feel and is also a National Historic Landmark.”

Booking.com
best places to visit in the USA in September
Maui, Hawaii (Photo courtesy of Nayeb Faheem)

Maui, Hawaii

By Jess of I’m Jess Traveling

If you are looking for a tropical September beach getaway, hop on a plane and head to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to the island of Maui. One of the best times to visit Maui is September during its shoulder season because there are fewer crowds and cheaper accommodations. But, you don’t sacrifice on weather. Since the Hawaiian Islands sit on the edge of the tropic zone, the temperature is warm all year round.

There are several awesome and epic adventures to have all over the island. A few of the best things to do on Maui include taking a road trip on the road to Hana. It is an amazing 52 miles of one lane bridges and hairpin turns. It winds through a lush rainforest dotted with ocean views and road side waterfalls. There are plenty of opportunities to pull over, hike and discover hidden gems.

Explore one of Maui’s world class beaches. With over 52 miles of coastline, it’s hard not to find the perfect beach. Snorkel and watch from afar as giant turtles swim or boogey board on some crazy fun waves.

Then, watch a sunrise atop Haleakala Crater. This is a once and a lifetime experience seeing the sun rise above the clouds atop a volcano summit at 10,000 feet. Make sure you dress warmly for this early morning experience.

Weather

Maui offers summer temperatures all year round. In September, expect average highs of 87 °F and average lows of 71 °F. There will be around 3.5″ of rain and lots of humid days.

How Best To Reach Destination

Fly into Kahului Airport and rent a car. It will take around 40 minutes to drive to Kaanapali.

Hotel Recommendations

If you want the best of both worlds – gorgeous beaches and access to some fantastic restaurants in Lahaina – then stay in Kaanapali. There are some beautiful international hotels and condo rentals. Check out the interactive map below to find the right accommodation for you.

Booking.com
best places to visit in the USA in September
Bar Harbor, Maine (Photo courtesy of Miro Vrlik of Unsplash)

Bar Harbour, Maine

By James of Parks Collecting

Bar Harbor in Maine is one of the best small towns to visit in America. It is most well-known as the gateway to nearby Acadia National Park, but it is also a wonderful destination in and of itself.

Acadia National Park has amazing hikes and a famous scenic drive. Hike or drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain to see the first sunrise in the United States.

However, there is much more to do. The entire area is a major lobster fishery in the US. There are plenty of lobster shacks where you can eat incredibly fresh, reasonably priced lobster right by the water. You should also take a local ferry to the nearby Cranberry Islands. While there, explore a tiny New England fishing village and the pebbly beaches along the shoreline.

September is the best time to visit Bar Harbor because this is when the entire area turns ablaze with the famous New England fall foliage. The trees turn fiery reds, oranges and yellows and it is one of the most beautiful sights you will ever see. 

Bar Harbor also hosts the annual Acadia Night Sky Festival in late September. There are workshops, speakers, fun experiences, and, of course, star gazing!

If you are visiting earlier in the month, the first half of September is also the blueberry harvest season. There are several blueberry farms nearby where you can pick your own blueberries. Hog Bay Blueberries, a 45 minutes scenic drive from Bar Harbor, is a good option.

Weather

Average daytime highs are 65 °F and evening lows are 51 °F. There will be around 3.4″ of rain in September.

How Best To Reach Destination

The small regional Bar Harbor Airport (BHB) is 10 miles/20 minutes from Bar Harbor. The nearest major airport (still small) is Bangor International Airport (BGR), which is 50 miles/1.25 hours from Bar Harbor.

Hotel Recommendation

James says, “I love the Acadia Hotel. It’s a former ship captain’s house dating from 1880 that is now a classic boutique hotel right in the heart of Bar Harbor.”

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best US place for September vacations
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

By Daria of The Discovery Nut

The oldest national park in the United States, Yellowstone is also one of the busiest averaging a few million tourists every year. Since the majority of visitors come from June through October, the best time to visit Yellowstone is September. Crowds have receded and the weather is still warm enough for hiking and enjoying the natural beauty. It is still a popular destination in October, but the weather has cooled.

Yellowstone is located in northwestern part of Wyoming and portions of it extend into Idaho and Montana. Just to give you an idea, Yellowstone covers over 3,400 square miles which is more than a combined area of Delaware and Rhode Island. 

Some of the top things to do in Yellowstone is watching Big Faithful, touring the Grand Prismatic Spring, and watching wildlife at Hayden Valley or Lamar Valley. You should try and allot no less than 3 days at Yellowstone as it’s huge and it has a lot to offer.

Weather

Expect average daytime highs of 64 °F and cold evenings at 35 °F. There won’t be much rain in the month.

How Best To Reach Destination

If you decide to fly to Yellowstone, your best shot is to fly into one of the major cities a few hundred miles away from Yellowstone National Park such as Salt Lake City, Idaho Falls or Bozeman. Then, rent a car and take a road trip.

Hotel Recommendation

Many visitors who come to Yellowstone stay either at hotels inside the Park or at one of the small towns nearby such as West Yellowstone in Idaho or Gardiner in Montana. I

f you are looking to connect to nature and a simpler time, consider Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins in Yellowstone National Park. Built in 1920, the rustic lodge and cabins blend effortlessly into the landscape and are a great launching spot for all of your Yellowstone adventures.

For stays at the Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins, or other options nearby, take a look at this interactive map and the great prices offered by Booking.com

Booking.com
September is best time to visit las vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo courtesy of Sung Shin from Unsplash)

Las Vegas, Nevada

By Nicole from Go Far Grow Close

Las Vegas is a fantastic September getaway in the United States. The weather is hot and sunny, without any humidity. That means that when the sun is hot, you can cool down in the shade. Most hotels have beautiful pools to enjoy and you have your choice between exploring both indoor or outdoor attractions.

Start your tour of Las Vegas by visiting the famous Las Vegas sign at 5200 Las Vegas Blvd S. Take that iconic photo and then, head out of the city to the Seven Magic Mountains. This is a free public art installation in the middle of the desert and makes for amazing photos.

Head to Fremont Street, home of the “Fremont Experience.” It’s a walking zone and mall that has a canopy of lights, tons of bars and hosts street performances and free concerts. The area is lots of fun, and you’ll find many great restaurants in the area, like AmeriBrunch.

While exploring Fremont Street, make sure you leave time to visit the Las Vegas Neon Museum and the Mob Museum. The Neon Museum is an outdoor museum that features famous iconic Vegas signs from old casinos and other businesses. The Mob Museum is the National Museum Of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. It houses fascinating exhibits.

Finally, head out to Red Rock Canyon. This National Conservation Area is only a 30 minute drive from Vegas. You can enjoy a stunning 13 mile scenic drive of the park, take photos or hike. For example, hike the Calico Tank Trail, a 2.5 mile long trail. If you plan to hike, make sure you get there in the early morning to avoid the heat of the afternoon.

If searching for insider tips and tricks on where to stay, how to save money, and what to do on the Vegas Strip, please check out 50 Best Las Vegas Tips For First Time Visitors.

Weather

If planning to come to Vegas in September, try to plan your trip closer to the end of the month. Average highs for the month are 94 °F but daytime temperatures will be settling in the 80s by late September.

How Best To Reach Destination

Fly into McCarran International Airport which is only a few minutes from the Vegas Strip. Avoid renting a car. It is better to use Ride Shares, taxis or walk in Vegas.

Hotel Recommendation

Nicole says, “For a luxury experience with spectacular adult and family pools, check out the Wynn Las Vegas. I’ve stayed there multiple times. There is limited gambling on the ground level, fantastic restaurants, and great people watching by the pool.”

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best cities in united states for september holidays
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

By Lance and Laura of The Travel Addicts

One of the best cities to visit in USA in September is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The month of September is festival season and there are a ton of festivals and events that will capture people’s interests.

Every Labor Day, the city fills with visitors for live music from the Made in America Festival. This giant, urban music festival is set against the backdrop of the famous Art Museum (think the movie Rocky) with skyscrapers in the background.

Curated by Jay-Z and with artists like Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar and The Chainsmokers, this is one of the best music festivals in the country. It is also the perfect time for visitors to experience a weekend in Philadelphia.

The popular and sometimes downright weird Fringe Festival lasts for the entire month. Events that include film, dance, music and even things that defy description can be found all over town. September also marks the end of two wildly popular summer-long activities: SummerFest and Parks on Tap.

Both locals and visitors will try to squeeze a few more days into SummerFest on the Delaware River where food, games, and a giant outdoor roller-skating rink take center stage. Parks on Tap hosts pop-up beer gardens with food trucks in parks throughout the city and benefits the horticultural society.

Meanwhile, foodies head to Kennett Square, just outside of Philly, for the annual mushroom festival. This small town is the mushroom capital of the world, producing more of the delicious fungi than any other place on the planet. At the festival, the love for these delicious morsels can be found in cooking demonstrations and from vendors.

On the other hand, if you are looking for something quieter, explore one of the many botanical gardens found all over Philadelphia.

Weather

In September, Philadelphia offers beautiful temperatures. Expect average highs to be around 77 °F and evening lows to be around 60 °F. There will be around 3″ of rain and 7 days with humidity.

How Best To Reach Destination

Fly into Philadelphia International Airport and pick up a car or taxi. It is only 20 minutes to downtown.

best places to visit in the USA in September
Savannah, Georgia (Photo courtesy of Elena The Carry-On Chronicles)

Savannah, Georgia

By Elena of The Carry-On Chronicles

Early fall is the best time to visit Savannah, Georgia, as daily temperatures decline along with hotel rates after the summer months. Although Savannah is filled with things to do year-round, for jazz and live music fans, it’s arguably one of the best US cities for September trips. This is when the city hosts its free annual jazz festival.

Jazz music is an integral part of the arts culture in Savannah, as the city was home to famous jazz artists like Johnny Mercer. Savannah Jazz is proud to host this and other live performances throughout the year to foster jazz education within the community.

In addition to this highly anticipated festival, Savannah also offers visitors a Farmer’s Market in September. This weekly happening is held from 9AM to 1PM in beautiful Forsyth Park. The Forsyth Farmer’s Market aims to support local farmers as well as provide fresh produce to the community.

Those looking to venture a bit beyond the city may enjoy a day trip to Tybee Island, just a 20-minute scenic drive away. This beautiful barrier island offers its own farmer’s market on Mondays and is a popular destination and escape from city life. It’s also home to Georgia’s oldest lighthouse as well as family-friendly beaches.

Weather

Average highs are 84 °F in September and average lows in the evening are 70 °F. Come prepared for rain. There is around 4.3″ of rain over 10 days.

How Best To Reach Destination

Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is the closest airport and only a few minutes drive from the city center.

best US beaches for a beach getaway
San Diego, California (Photo courtesy of Frank Mckenna of Unsplash)

San Diego, California

By Nicole From Go Far Grow Close

September is a great time to visit San Diego thanks to its mild climate and tons of things to do. San Diego is near the Mexico border and you can easily take a day trip if interested. However, San Diego has more than enough to keep you busy.

San Diego is a fantastic beach destination in September. There are many amazing beaches, such as Coronado Beach, to enjoy. Tiny pieces of mica in the sand mean this pretty beach dazzles in the sunlight. In addition, the tide pools at low tide are filled with life – hermit crabs, small fish, and gently waving sea anemones.

If interested, a walking tour explains the history and the culture of the Coronado area. For water sports’ enthusiasts, there is lots from which to choose – kayaks, paddleboards, yachts, and surfing. 

In addition to offering a beautiful beach holiday, San Diego offers lots of nature and culture. Balboa Park is San Diego’s version of Central Park. It is home to art venues, museums, concert areas and beautiful gardens. You could days just enjoying what it has to offer.

Finally, make sure to check out Torrey Pines State Reserve for some stunning ocean views. You can hike or catch a gorgeous sunset to finish your trip to San Diego.

Weather

San Diego is the city of perpetual spring. In September, expect average highs of 76 °F and evening lows of 66 °F.

How Best To Reach Destination

San Diego also has its own international airport right near downtown. Alternatively, you can fly into Los Angeles and take a road trip down to San Diego. Depending on traffic, the drive takes around 1.5-2 hours.

best September getaways in America
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

By Vicky from Buddy The Travelling Monkey

One of the best places to visit in the USA in September is Martha’s Vineyard. The small island is about 7 miles south of Cape Cod and 70 miles from Boston, on the southeast tip of Massachusetts.

September is a great time to visit because once Labor Day has come and gone, most of the tourists have left. This shoulder season is a great way to experience the island with fewer crowds. This also means that hotel prices will be lower.

While on Martha’s Vineyard, head over to the Marthat’s Vineyard Museum. This popular attraction in the village of Vineyard Haven allows you to learn more about the island’s diverse history. There are rare books, photographs, and exhibits about the indigenous and nautical history of the island.

Next, visit the Gingerbread Cottages in the small town of Oak Bluffs. It’s a National Historic Landmark and is spread over 34 acres. There are over 300 cottages and each is unique with different colors and themes.

At the end of your evening, travel to the other side of the island to the town of Aquinnah. Find the Gay Head Lighthouse, built in 1799. It is a great place to watch the sunset and the perfect way to end your visit to Martha’s Vineyard.

Weather

Average highs in September are 71 °F with evening lows of 56 °F. Expect around 3″ of rain and about 5 days with humidity.

How Best To Reach Destination

There are lots of airports near Martha’s Vineyard. However, the largest international one is Boston Logan Airport at 70 miles away. After landing, you can rent a car and drive.

The best way to get to Martha’s Vineyard from the mainland is by ferry. You can transport your vehicle on the ferry, but it is very expensive. A better alternative is to take public transportation while on the island. You can get a day pass on Martha’s Vineyard public transportation for a very reasonable price.

best beach destinations in America for September trips
Sanibel Island, Florida (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Sanibel Island, Florida

By Lori of Travlin Mad

Sanibel Island in southwest Florida offers a great September beach vacation in the United States. It is an ideal location for a family vacay or romantic getaway.

If you’re looking for the quietest time of year and the absolute best prices in a popular destination that can get pricey, then September is one of the best months to go. Hotels offer excellent deals which often include a rental car. In addition, there are no lines or reservations needed for local restaurants.

Your first stop should be to the beach to swim in the calm warm waters and scour the beach for sand dollars and seashells. Sanibel has the best shelling in the US, each one that washes ashore more perfect than the last. Take a boat tour to some of the surrounding Florida Gulf Coast Islands like North Captiva and Cabbage Key for lunch and an afternoon of exploring.

For spectacular wildlife viewing, rent a kayak and go paddling in the JN Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. Alternatively, opt for a golf cart rental and discover the winding paths from one end of the island to the other.

The city of Fort Myers is just across the causeway from Sanibel and makes an excellent day trip to visit historic sites and Fort Myers Beach.

Weather

September weather is warm to hot, with some humidity, and a nice breeze at the shoreline. Expect average highs of 88 °F and warm evenings at 76 °F.

Typically there’s late afternoon thunderstorms – a perfect time for an afternoon nap – followed by a little cooling down with more fun to follow. There is around 5.5″ of rain over 17 days and lots of humidity.

It is hurricane season so make sure you pay attention to weather forecasts before setting off to Sanibel Island.

How Best To Reach Destination

Getting to Sanibel is easy as well — fly into the Southwest Florida International airport (RSW) in Fort Myers, a 30 minute drive away.

Hotel Recommendation

Lori says, “We love the Sanibel Inn, a mid-size family resort located right on the beach and centrally located on the island so everything including beaches, restaurants and the JN Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge is just a bike ride away. The hotel is a nice blend between larger beach resort and charming cottage.”

For more selection, stay in Fort Myers and explore your accommodation options on the interactive map below.

Booking.com
best places to visit in the USA in September
San Fransisco, California (Photo courtesy of Sydney from A World In Reach)

San Francisco, California

By Sydney of A World In Reach

San Francisco is on the bucket lists of many travellers for a good reason. There is so much to see and do in the City by the Bay, making it a great place for a weekend trip in the United States in September.

One of the top things to do in San Francisco is to see the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. Get a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach or the Marin Headlands before walking or biking across it. 

Another must-do activity in San Francisco is to take a ferry to and explore Alcatraz Island. Tours must be reserved in advance and sell out rather quickly – you can book a ticket online through the National Park Service. Once you arrive on “The Rock,” pick up the guided audio tour and explore the prison, seeing the cellblocks, guard residences, and more. On a clear day, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge from the ferry and the Island, offering another unique perspective of it.

Other popular outdoor activities include seeing the famous Painted Ladies at Alamo Square, hanging out with sea lions at Pier 39, and walking down Lombard Street, the “crookedest street in the world.”

September is a great time to visit San Francisco. There are lots of events and festivals in San Francisco including the Fringe Festival and the Folsom Street Fair, an 18+ adults-only experience that is not for the faint of heart!

Weather

The weather is dry and warm, but not too hot, with highs in the low 70s. Mornings and evenings can get a bit chilly, so bring a light jacket. There should be little to no rain.

How Best To Reach Destination

San Francisco International Airport is only a 30 minute train ride into downtown.

most beautiful places in September in usa
Grand Rapids, Michigan (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Grand Rapids, Michigan

By Constance of The Adventures of Panda Bear

Located along the Grand River for which the city is named, Grand Rapids, MI, is a great spot in the USA for a September vacation. The temperate to warm weather of early autumn makes it an ideal time for both indoor and outdoor activities. 

Downtown Grand Rapids is perfect for a stroll when the weather is nice. Explore the Riveredge Trail along the banks of the Grand River and cross the picturesque Blue Bridge, one of the most recognizable landmarks in downtown. Be sure to check out Rosa Parks Circle, located in the center of town, there’s always something happening here.

Beginning in mid-September, Art Prize, an art competition and festival take over the city. With over 160 venues including museums, galleries, bars, restaurants, and more, this is an event not to be missed.

The city plays host to the event biennially, celebrating international and domestic artists working in all types of mediums. The festival is 18 days long and you’ll be able to find artwork throughout the city. This includes typical museums to vacant storefronts, and even bridges. You’ll be inspired anywhere you look!

There’s nothing that screams fall quite like apple picking. There are quite a few apple orchards surrounding the city, but Schwallier’s Country Basket in nearby Sparta, is one of the best!

Throughout the month of September, its trees produce a wide variety of apples. From the rare Zestar and Cortland to the more popular grocery store varieties such as Gala and Red Delicious, you won’t be disappointed. The farm also has a quaint store where you can purchase apple cider and apple cider donuts. 

Weather

Average highs are 72 °F and lows are 53 °F. There will be around 3″ of rain.

How Best To Reach Destination

Gerald R. Ford International Airport is just 20 minutes to downtown Grand Rapids.

Hotel Recommendation

Constance says, “CityFlatsHotel is an updated boutique hotel located smack dab in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids, with some of the best places to see and eat nearby.”

Booking.com
best places to visit in the USA in September
Adirondack Mountains, New York (Photo courtesy of Hazel Ozturk of Unsplash)

Adirondack Region, New York

By Maddy from Madelyne On The Move

While one of the most beautiful places any time of year, the Adirondack region in upstate New York is particularly special in September. By this time, there are fewer crowds from the summer months and incredibly vibrant fall colors have started to make an appearance for an incredible September trip in the United States.

Lake Placid and Lake George are two of the most well-known cities within the Park. In fact, you are likely to hit peak foliage in the Lake Placid region of the Adirondacks if you visit during late September. The town of Saranac Lake is great if you want something with an even more relaxed feel.

Leaf peepers tend to flock to popular tourist destinations such as the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and the Blue Ridge Parkway of North Carolina. Alternatively, they go to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the Green Mountains of Vermont, which leaves this hidden gem for those seeking a more low key destination.

Nonetheless, the Adirondacks contain no shortage of beauty or outdoor activities and is one of the best places to visit in the United States in September. You can take scenic drives, hike, or brewery (or winery) hop. Ride the Cloudspitter Gondola in Wilmington to get a bird’s-eye view of beautiful places in the park.

Make sure to pack some warm clothes with your summer shorts as the weather can be unpredictable, even in September! 

Weather

Average highs are 66 °F and evening time lows are 43 °F with over 3″ of rain in September.

How Best To Reach Destination

The Adirondack Park is both free and easily accessible by car. There is a regional airport located within the Park (Adirondack Regional Airport) as well as international airports in Burlington, Vermont and Albany, New York, within 60-120 miles from the Adirondacks.

best places to visit in the USA in September
Gulf Shores, Alabama (Photo courtesy of Lori)

Gulf Shores, Alabama

By Lori of Fitz 5 On The Go

Beautiful Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are wonderful destinations on the Gulf of Mexico with miles of sugary sand beaches. Both cities generally have a laid back, low stress atmosphere. The most popular time to visit these coastal beauties is in the summer. However, it is a great choice for a September trip.

Gulf Shores in the summer is very very hot. It’s also crowded. Wait times for restaurants can be 1-2 hours and traffic can be miserable. In September, the weather is still warm enough to swim but also pleasant enough to hike and do other outdoor activities that are just too hot to be fun in the summer.

By September, most of the tourists are gone and you can feel like you have miles of white, sandy beaches all to yourself. You can also go to most restaurants with minimal waits. It’s much more enjoyable.

There are so many fun things to do in Gulf Shores. The most popular activity is going to the beach. Getting a boat rental is a super cool experience. In September, you can have Robinson Island all to yourself. The city has many fabulous hiking and walking trails in the Gulf State Park. Shopping, eating and exploring an alligator farm are all fun experiences too.

Weather

Average highs are 86 °F and lows are 71 °F. Expect around 4.3″ of rain and most days will still be humid.

The one problem with visiting in September is the possibility of hurricanes. Late August and September seem to be the worst times for a big storm, but they don’t happen every year. If a hurricane is heading your way, pay attention to local warnings and have a back-up plan for a different vacation spot.

How Best To Reach Destination

Pensacola International Airport is the closest international airport and is 37 miles away.

Hotel Recommendation

Lori says, “Popular places to stay in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach include any of the Pheonix Condos with Pheonix West having the most amenities. Pheonix on Bay has a wonderful lazy river. The Caribe is also a popular choice with lazy river, restaurant and access to one of the more popular beaches.”

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best places to visit in the USA in September
Colorado Springs (Photo Courtesy Trijit from Budget Travel Buff)

Colorado Springs, Colorado

By Trijit of Budget Travel Buff

Located in the Pikes Peak area in El Paso County, Colorado Springs is one of the best American destinations to visit in September. It is not only a popular vacation spot, but because of its affordable median home cost, low cost of living, and quick economical growth, Colorado Springs has become one of the cheapest places to live in Colorado.

Although you can have an enjoyable visit to Colorado Springs throughout the year, September is the best time. You will find the perfect temperature for outdoor activities, such as exploring hiking trails. In addition, you will get to see the fall foliage in the surrounding mountains. Most importantly, in September, the city is less crowded and you can find some amazing hotel deals.

Needless to say, there are plenty of things to see and do in Colorado Springs. Start your day by exploring downtown. It’s a family-friendly place filled with plenty of local attractions, parks, and museums.

You should also visit “The Garden of The Gods”. People from all over the country come to visit its stunning rock formations, scenic hiking trails, and the majestic views of Pikes Peak.

After that, you should visit Pikes Peak, 12 miles from the downtown. You can hike the Barr Trail and see the wildflowers in bloom in September. Alternatively, take a scenic drive through the Pikes Peak highway to reach the top. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, and rock formations from the top.

Weather

Expect daytime highs to be around 75 °F and evening lows to be 49 °F. There will be very little rain.

How Best To Reach Destination

The city is just 83 miles away from Denver International Airport. It will take around 1.5 hours to reach Colorado Springs from Denver. 

Hotel Recommendation

Trijit says, “If you are planning for an overnight stay, Quality Inn South Colorado Springs can be a great choice. It is not that expensive and features spacious clean rooms, free WiFi with all the basic amenities.”

Other great options are also available for different price points. You can use the interactive map below from booking.com to find the best accommodation for competitive prices.

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best places to visit in the USA in September
New York City, New York (Photo courtesy of Nicole from Go Far Grow Close)

New York City, New York

By Anisa of Two Traveling Texans

There are countless things to do in New York City that are as good to do in September as they are in January. For some fantastic choices, take a look at two articles 10 Unbeatable New York City Attractions and An Action Packed New York City three day Itinerary. However, New York City is an exciting city to visit in September because you can attend a few special events.

For tennis fans, go to the US Open and see some of the best players in the world. There is also the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy where you can get lots of Italian food and free entertainment. You may even be able to get some tickets to a fashion show or two during Fashion Week.

On a more somber note, you can pay your respects and watch the Tribute in Light which is the light display that marks the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

Overall, it’s the best time of year to enjoy some of the city’s outdoor attractions like Central Park or the High Line, a park on an old elevated railroad track, as the weather is the perfect temperature for spending time outdoors.

Another option is to get out on the water and take a boat tour around the city. If you are looking for something romantic to do in New York City, splurge on a dinner cruise.

If you are looking for helpful travel tips to make your trip to New York City less expensive and safe, please see 50 Best New York City Tips For First Time Visitors.

Weather

New York City has beautiful weather in September. Daytime temperatures are around 75 °F and in the evening, it only goes down to around 62 °F. There will be about 3.5″ of rain throughout the month.

How Best To Reach Destination

There are three international airports John F Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport. They each offer shuttle services, ride shares, and bus access to NYC. Newark offers a train to Penn station in downtown NY.

Hotel Recommendation

Nicole says, “In my opinion, one of the best areas to stay in New York City is around Times Square, especially if it is your first time and you want to be in the center of the action. It is such a vibrant fantastic area, walking distance to Broadway Shows, and many other amazing New York attractions.

One of the best places at which I have stayed is the Knickerbocker Hotel, a very posh modern hotel that is also reasonably priced. Check out the prices below or look around Times Square for something better suited to your needs.”

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best US cities to visit in September
Charleston, South Carolina (Photo courtesy of Leonel Heisenberg from Unsplash)

Charleston, South Carolina

By Soumya of Stories by Soumya

Charleston is one of the most beautiful cities in the southern United States. With a rich history, fine antebellum homes, a gorgeous waterfront, and delectable Lowcountry cuisine, Charleston makes for a great vacation destination.

There are tons of interesting things to do in Charleston especially in the month of September. With milder temperatures, lower humidity levels, and lots of exciting festivals, this is the time to visit.

Dig into local food and international delicacies at Charleston Restaurant Week held during the first two weeks of September. Whether you are craving Southern comfort food, some Pad Thai, or Spaghetti a la Carbonara, you will find everything here. 

Attend MOJA Arts Festival, a week-long celebration of African-American and Caribbean Culture. They have an interesting line up of events – classical music, dance, ethnic food, traditional art, gospels, jazz, and so much more.

Take a pleasant walk down the Battery, Charleston’s riverside promenade that was once a defensive bulwark. Right across is Fort Sumter where the Civil War began.

Then, explore Charleston’s historic downtown dotted with historic homes, art galleries, and engaging museums. Be sure to take some pictures at the Rainbow Row and pick a sweetgrass basket at the Charleston City Market. 

Weather

If you are looking for a tropical destination in the United States in September, then Charleston is the right spot for you.

Expect average highs of 83 °F and lows of 71 °F. There is around 4.7″ of rain throughout the month and a lot of humidity.

How Best To Reach Destination

Fly into Charleston International Airport. It is only 12 miles to the center.

best places to visit in the USA in September
Moab, Utah (Photo courtesy of Megan from Red Around the World)

Moab, Utah

By Megan of Red Around the World

Moab, Utah is one of the best places for outdoor enthusiasts for a September trip in the USA. It’s a mecca for outdoor adventure with some of the best views in Utah just a short drive away. It’s still hot, but not summer hot, the crowds are less, and everything is still open. 

The main things to do in Moab are visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, hike to Corona Arch, and visit Deadhorse Point State Park. But, that is only the tip of the iceberg. If you like seeing rock art (petroglyphs – ancient form of art by carving or chipping at rock surfaces), you can visit Sego Canyon, Bartlett Pictographs, or Intestine Man. In addition, you can see dinosaur tracks near Potash Road!

Other fun activities include a drive down Potash Road to see petroglyphs and dinosaur tracks, Highway 128 to see the Colorado River or Fisher Towers, or out to Newspaper Rock.

Weather

Moab offers beautiful warm daytime temperatures of 82 °F. However, it does cool down a lot at night. Expect around 57 °F in the evening. There is very little rain in September.

How Best To Reach Destination

Moab is not the easiest place to reach but definitely worth it! You will need to fly into Salt Lake City and drive 4.5 hours.

Hotel Recommendation

Depending on your budget, there are plenty of great places to stay in Moab. For those with a higher budget, take a look at the Wingate by Wyndham Moab. There are also more budget friendly options, such as The Lazy Lizard Hostel and Moab Under Canvas. For both luxury or budget friendly choices, check out the interactive map below from booking.com

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best places to visit in usa in September
Boise, Idaho (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Boise, Idaho

By Christina of Live A Wilder Life

Boise, Idaho, has been slowly rising in the ranks to become one of the coolest cities in the US. No longer an obscure city associated with potatoes, Boise, Idaho, is a hip, thriving city that’s perfect for anyone who loves the outdoors and discovering new up-and-coming cities.

Boise is one of the best places to visit in the USA in September since the 100 degree summers will have cooled down, but not so cold that you can’t tube or swim in the Boise River.

It’s also when the large indie music festival Treefort takes over downtown Boise for some amazing live music. Different “forts” pop up, and you can visit Foodfort, Alefort, Comedyfort, Kidfort, Yogafort, Storyfort, and more.

When visiting Boise, you’ll want to check out the Boise River Greenbelt. This is a 25-mile paved path that takes you along the Boise River with stop-off points at popular museums, parks, and hip neighborhoods. Rent a bike downtown or walk the beautiful, tree-lined path.

Boise has an emerging food and craft beer scene. Head out to The Wylder for the best pizza in Boise and Payette Brewing for the best brewery in Boise. Before you leave, make time to check out the walkable downtown area, including Freak Alley, the largest outdoor mural gallery in the Northwest. 

Weather

Boise offers warm summer weather in September. Average highs are 80 °F, although the evenings are cool at 52 °F. There is little to no rain.

How Best To Reach Destination

Boise Airport is only 9 minute drive into the center of town.

Hotel Recommendation

Christina says, “A great hotel in Boise is the Grove Hotel located in Downtown Boise. It offers free bikes, has a delicious restaurant, a pool, and a free airport shuttle. It’s perfect for anyone who wants excellent walkability.”

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best places to visit in the USA in September
Chicago, Illnois (Photo courtesy of Sawyer Bengtson)

Chicago, Illnois

By Patti of The Savvy Globetrotter

Chicago is one of the best places to visit in the USA in September because it has the perfect mix of good weather and fun outdoor events, including some amazing live music from several large music festivals.

The weather in Chicago can be very cold and snowy in the winter, hot and humid in the summer and unpredictable in the fall and spring. September is the month that tends to have the best weather. It is one of the driest months and the temperature is usually hot enough to enjoy warm weather activities (such as dining outside and hanging out at the many beaches, parks and green spaces) with fewer crowds.

One of the best things to do in Chicago in September is take an architecture river cruise. You can enjoy the beautiful skyline and learn about the history of the city. Afterwards, take the Chicago Riverwalk, a 1.25-mile long path along the Chicago River in the middle of the city.

September is also a great time to eat and drink on at outdoor patios and rooftops before the temperature gets too cold.

More fun things to do include shopping at farmers markets, going to baseball games (Chicago has two Major league teams – Cubs and Chicago White Socks), and checking out street art. As always, consider exploring popular outdoor attractions such as Millennium Park, Navy Pier and the Lakefront.

For a comprehensive list of the best things to do in downtown Chicago, including free and inexpensive activities, check out 22 Best Things To Do In Downtown Chicago.

Weather

Average highs in September are 74 °F and lows are 61 °F. You can expect around 3.1″ of rain.

How Best To Reach Destination

You can fly into Chicago O’Hare International Airport or Chicago Midway International Airport. O’Hare is 25 miles away from downtown whereas Midway is only 10 miles.

Traffic can be terrible so be prepared. Avoid renting a car as parking is a fortune anywhere downtown. Chicago has a fantastic public transit system and lots of shared riding services. Downtown Chicago is also very walkable.

Hotel Recommendation

Nicole says, “Two of my favourite hotels in Chicago are the all-suites Omni Chicago Hotel and the Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile, both of which are on or beside the Magnificent Mile.

This is one of the best areas to stay for fantastic restaurants, shopping and tourist attractions. For current prices and other great accommodation options nearby, take a look the map below.”

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best places to visit in the USA in September
Glacial National Park, Montana (Photo courtesy of Alex from Alex On The Map)

Glacier National Park, Montana

By Alex of Alex On The Map

There are many amazing things to do and see in Glacier National Park in September.

Check out the Highline Trail for some spectacular views of Logan Pass. You’ll start to see some of the foliage change at that point, and it’s a bit cooler during the day.

A dip in Lake McDonald is surprisingly warm since it’s been baking under the summer sun for a season.

Finally, I recommend taking advantage of emptier camping sites and enjoying a night under the stars. Every year, Glacier gets busier and busier with tourists packing the park during the summer months. However, in September, you will have a much more peaceful experience. You are able to enjoy the park with quieter trails and Montana’s lovely fall weather.

Weather

Expect temperatures to be between 69 °F and 41 °F with only around 1″ of rain.

How Best To Reach Destination

You’ll want to fly into Glacier International Airport (FCA) located between the towns of Kalispell and Whitefish and pick up a rental car for the 30 minute drive. The next closest international airport is Sea-Tac in Seattle which would be a 2.5 hour drive.

Hotel Recommendation

Alex says, “I recommend staying at Glacier Under Canvas for its proximity to the park. The beds are also heavenly and it almost feels like you’re not camping!”

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most beautiful places in united states in September
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

By Martin Soto of Travel Explorator

Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s largest city and home to about 590,000+ people. It has a mix of various restaurants, nightlife options, and fun festivals that occur throughout the year. It is one of the best cities for late summer getaway in the USA as there are a few notable annual festivals that happen. In addition, it’s the perfect opportunity for tourists to visit and experience Milwaukee’s unique culture.

If you’re a huge fan of art, then you’ll love Milwaukee’s downtown Third Ward Art festival that occurs on Labor Day Weekend. You’ll get a great experience seeing works of art from Milwaukee artists that involve painting, digital media, ceramics, and much more.

During this month, you also have the Mexican Independence festival that occurs on the South Side of Milwaukee. In addition, the Indian Summer festival is held and consists of Native American foods, music, and dances. 

Although Milwaukee has more than enough festivals to keep you busy in September, you can also visit interesting museums like the Harley Davidson Museum or Discovery World, an interactive Science and Technology Center designed to inspire.

Weather

Even though Wisconsin is very cold in the winter, things are still warm in Milwaukee during September with an average high temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit and average low temperature of 56 degrees Fahrenheit. You will likely get around 3″ of rain.

How Best To Reach Destination

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport is only 8 miles from downtown Milwaukee.

Hotel Recommendation

Martin says, “For a hotel, I would recommend The Pfister Hotel. It’s one of Milwaukee’s most famous hotels and is in the heart of downtown. There are also all sorts of restaurants and bars near the area.”

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best destinations in america for a september vacation
Nashville, Tennessee (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Nashville, Tennessee

By Dymabroad

One of the best places to visit in the USA in September is the city of Nashville. During the second week of September, the Tennessee State Fair is held. There are many attractions and exhibits here, which makes it very fun!

In addition, the Courtyard Concert Series is held at the Public Library where you can enjoy free live music at lunch.

Besides that, there are many other events and festivals this month, including ones related to country music, such as Opry Country Classics. During it, you can listen to good country music at Ryman Auditorium.

No matter which month you visit, one of the best things to do in Nashville is visit the Grand Ole Opry House. This famous venue played a large role in making country music popular all over the world.

You should also explore Centennial Park, a beautiful park located in downtown Nashville. Here, you will find the Parthenon, a replica of the Parthenon in the city of Athens, Greece, which is pretty cool to see. Don’t forget your camera. There are many instagrammable places in Nashville.

Weather

You will get beautiful summer weather. Temperatures range from 82 °F to 63 °F with around 3″ of rain and a few days of humidity.

How Best To Reach Destination

It is only an 18 minute drive from Nashville International Airport to downtown.

Hotel Recommendation

Dymabroad recommends “Bobby Hotel Nashville, a beautiful hotel with great views”.

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Last Word

From gorgeous beaches and national parks, exciting cities and charming towns, the United States offers many wonderful destinations for a fantastic September vacation. The weather is almost perfect all over America, and busy tourist attractions and hotels see far fewer demand as school holidays end. If you are keen to take a summer holiday and are flexible, wait until September to reap the benefits.

the authorNicole
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