Fall inevitably conjures up back-to-school nostalgia, and if you’re missing that air of excitement this time of year, consider traveling to one of these five spots hosting educationally minded events in spectacular settings. But just as the case was when you were in school, it’s not all about classes and workshops this month. We’ve managed to fill our calendar with music, outdoor activities and lots of good food, too.
Turks & Caicos
Improve your musical skills with beautiful Grace Bay as the backdrop of a melodious long weekend. Forbes Travel Guide Recommended resort The Somerset on Grace Bay will host the second annual Sundowner Music Festival from October 20 to 23. The festival gives you the chance to mingle and learn from respected names in the music business (Wyatt Easterling, Phil Madeira) through songwriting and musical workshops held at area venues.
After all the note taking and toe tapping, enjoy the sweet sounds of the featured artists during intimate nightly concerts (including one at The Somerset) and a cruise and beach jam on the last day. Book a room at The Somerset and you can get 20 percent off three nights or more plus a discounted ticket to the festival.
Learning about new things and acquiring fresh skills is a key tenet of Four-Star Gateway Canyons Resort, located among the red rocks of western Colorado. And from October 2 to 7, satisfy your inquisitiveness at the annual Curiosity Retreat, a week where top scholars, visionaries and trendsetters dive deep into subjects like genetics, the future of technology and even presidential history via lectures and breakout sessions.
You can also take part in on-property learning experiences, such as an astronomy night, morning yoga, wine tasting and even a horseback ride through canyons culminating with a rustic cowboy steak dinner.
In 2009, the Old Naples Waterfront Association dreamt up a plan to help educate locals and visitors on the history of the town and all that it had to offer. The result: the annual Stonecrab Festival. Held October 28 to the 30 this year, the food fest incorporates loads of fresh stone crab (this month marks the start of the season), live music, trolley tours, craft vendors, sightseeing cruises and more.
For luxurious accommodations in downtown Old Naples, book a stay at Four-Star Inn on Fifth and Club Level Suites. From this tony spot, you can walk to many festival sites before retreating back to your room, making a pit stop at the rooftop pool or splurging on an indulgent treatment at the in-house spa.
Punta Mita, Mexico
It’s not every day that photography enthusiasts get personal instruction from top-level professionals, but that’s just what you’ll get during Five-Star Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita Mexico’s five-day photo adventure-meets-workshop (October 31 to November 4). Two successful photogs (Robert Caplin and Peter Lockley) will lead excursions to the area’s colorful surroundings, including a vibrant village, local surf spots, nature preserves and fish markets, while teaching guests on how to best use their gear.
Post-adventure, photo-editing workshops will help you fine-tune your craft. During your downtown getaway, hit the posh resort’s incredible beachfront, its spa or just relax in a casita-style room with a view. Either way, the retreat begins with a cocktail reception and ends with a gourmet dinner, leaving you plenty of tasty opportunities to show off your new skills across your Instagram feed.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Find out what Lowcountry golf is all about when the long-awaited, new Atlantic Dunes course opens at The Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head island this month. Formerly the historic Ocean Course, the new layout was reconstructed by Davis Love III with indigenous plants, new and restored sand dunes, and elements of the nearby beachfront.
Of course, you’ll want to book a room at Four-Star The Inn & Club at Harbour Town where, when you’re not improving your golf game, you can lay out on the beach, hit the tennis courts, visit the equestrian center or explore 15 miles of bike trails.