September travel doesn’t have to be only about Labor Day weekend. As cooler weather moves in, let these seven cities tempt you to pack your bags all month long.
Hardyston, New Jersey
Beer, beer and more beer. That’s the mantra at Crystal Springs Resort’s annual Oktoberfest (September 19 and 20). The gathering will feature live concerts (Grammy-winning polka star Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra), carnival rides, pony rides and sumo wrestling for kids, not to mention plenty of bratwurst and barrels of authentic German beer for the adults in the bunch. If you book a room at the Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort (just an hour from New York City), make time to escape the festival’s revelry by sneaking off to the tropical biosphere or one of the resort’s other pools.
From September 25 through 27, more than 90 of the city’s top restaurants will join forces for the Taste of Atlanta. The VIP Grand Tasting Experience offers ticket-holders samples of the world’s best wine, craft beer and local cocktails to enjoy while grazing from Community Smith, Gypsy Kitchen and other area eateries in Midtown’s Tech Square. Each ticket includes a commemorative glass, the chance to be a Barcraft judge and a gift bag, if you’re one of the first 300 entrants each day. Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta is a great place to stay, as it’s just a mile from the heart of the festival and a short walk from Piedmont Park, a good place to walk or run off all those extra calories.
If food festivals aren’t your thing, maybe an outdoorsy escape to Montana is more your speed. Book The Ranch at Rock Creek’s fly-fishing adventure for a four-night stay any time between September 15 and November 24, and receive daily casting lessons, a fly tying workshop, a float trip and an off-Ranch fishing excursion. When you’ve finished snagging Blue Ribbon trout, bask in the immense luxury and landscapes of the Five-Star guest ranch. Daily meals, in-room snacks, wine and beer are always included here — just an added bonus to lure you in for the long weekend of fishing fun.
The 34th Annual Savannah Jazz Festival takes place September 20 through the 27 and will feature incredibly talented local, regional and global musicians. Past acts at the complimentary fest have included Teddy Adams, Howard Paul, Dee Lucas, Huxsie Scott and the Greg Lewis Trio, so expect some brilliant horn players and crooners to be announced on this year’s roster. When you’re not listening to a jam session somewhere, relax at Hamilton-Turner Inn, an architectural and historical beauty in Lafayette Square.
Pinehurst, North Carolina
If you can’t make the trek to Sonoma in September, perhaps a trip to Pinehurst’s Taste of the New South will tempt your taste buds. This Labor Day weekend, Four-Star The Carolina Hotel at Pinehurst Resort invites guests to enjoy plenty of food, wine demonstrations and parties. The roster of talent includes master sommeliers (Sara Guterbock), authors (Lisa Leake), chefs (Tupelo Honey Café’s Brian Sonoskus) and over 30 wineries and breweries from around the region. Saturday night, guests can choose one of three separate vino-centric events, hosted by Biltmore Wine, Stonestreet Winery or a collaboration outing with four diverse wineries.
Santa Barbara, California
If you have a desire to do some divot stomping and local wine tasting, make your way to the California coastline for the annual Jewelry by Gauthier Women’s Polo Tournament held September 18 through 20 at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. From your spot in the sophisticated polo lounge, you can see some of the finest female riders in the country compete. Of course, it can be oppressively hot during polo matches. Should you need a respite, sneak off to nearby Five-Star Belmond El Encanto, an enchanting American Riviera property that’s surrounded by mountains, the Pacific Ocean and wine country.
National Day’s parades and flag-raising ceremonies may not be until October 1, but the celebration surrounding the holiday for the founding of the People’s Republic of China starts in September. Book Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s Fantastic Golden Week package from September 26 through October 11 to commemorate in high style; the promotion includes a one-night stay in a Harbour View Room overlooking the October 1 fireworks show, a complimentary bottle of Ruinart Champagne, daily breakfast for two at Clipper Lounge and in-room Internet access.