The first day of fall may be September 22, but it still feels a lot like summer out there, especially when cities and hotels across the world are hosting big-time events and giving us plenty of other reasons to travel. Here’s how to make the most of your vacation days this month.
Squeeze every last ounce out of summer while you can with a visit to historic (yet pretty hip) The Hermitage Hotel. This Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star gem wisely offers its family-friendly Southern Summer Fun package through September 15, which means you and the kiddos get to stay in an oversized guest room, enjoy a milk-and-cookies arrival amenity and snag four tickets to a local attraction — choose among the Nashville Zoo, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or an Old Town Trolley Tour of the dynamic city.
A seriously fun fest that lasts 11 days, the Royal Melbourne Show (September 17 to27) celebrates all things agricultural with a big dose of chef-driven food and carnival rides to boot. The event attracts around 450,000 guests looking to pet and feed thousands of animals (hello, ducklings and goats), observe world-class equestrians, see champion livestock, and watch men and women ax the competition in the woodchop event.
Of course, no festival worth its salt is complete without a stellar culinary element, and this one is no exception. Some of Australia’s best chefs will be on hand doing cooking demonstrations, and you’ll be able to taste beers and wines from Australian producers. Stay at Crown Towers Melbourne for a sophisticated luxury retreat just a 13-minute drive from the farm-friendly fest.
Summer weather may be long gone for most of the United States, but in perennially pleasant Laguna Beach, it’s business as usual. In fact, when the 2016 Pacific Paddle Board Games floats into town September 30 through October 2, you’ll think the season decided to extend its stay a few extra weeks.
Upgrade your spectating with VIP tickets to the competition when you book the three-night SUP with a Pro getaway package at Five-Star Montage Laguna Beach, which runs from September 28 to October 1. Not only will you get to watch the pros compete in the water, you can join them.
The offer includes a SUP tour of Dana Point Harbor with Buzzy and Kody Kerbox, two professional paddlers. You’ll also spend some one-on-two time with the father-son duo during a cocktail reception, among other perks.
After 13 years in development, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture debuts on September 24. The grand-opening festivities kick off with a three-day festival starting September 23. Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration runs throughout the weekend and features storytelling, drum circles, musical performances and interactive workshops that explore and celebrate the museum’s themes.
President Barack Obama will lead the dedication ceremony on September 24, and visitors can enjoy extended museum hours through September 25.
Retire from the action-packed celebration at the nearby Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, D.C. The stunning property is a mere 10-minute drive from the Smithsonian and only five miles to the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, another area attraction where visitors can learn about important figures such as Carl Brashear, the first African-American to become a U.S. Navy Master Diver.
The Strip may be a famous draw to Sin City, but have you seen it from on high? Now you can, courtesy of a private helicopter experience from Four-Star Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, in partnership with Maverick Helicopters. The hotel’s Natural Wonders Experience will take you up close to some of the most beautiful and remote views of the desert.
Explore the red sandstone formations of the Valley of Fire and then take in the vistas of the Grand Canyon’s West Rim and the Colorado River before enjoying a romantic champagne lunch catered by the hotel’s culinary team. As the day draws to a close, you’ll also fly over the Hoover Dam, downtown Vegas and the always-lit Las Vegas Boulevard.
The massive City of Dreams Manila is entertaining enough to warrant a visit any time of year, but now is the time to book a stay at acclaimed chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s palace-within-a-palace Nobu Hotel Manila before it ends its Safe and Snug package on September 30 (book by the 29th to snag the deal).
The offer is a good excuse to hole up in a sumptuous, Japanese-inspired room — it includes an overnight stay and an in-room movie. Did we forget to mention that it also includes breakfast for two at Nobu Restaurant? Order exquisite dishes like blueberry and yuzu soba pancakes; green tea waffles served with miso butter and shiso syrup; and “bagel and lox” (crispy rice topped with salmon pastrami and tofu crema).
The seaside oasis of Nantucket has plenty to keep you busy this month. Fishing enthusiasts the world over can flock to the shore for a pair of two-day catch-and-release contests: the ninth annual Nantucket Bluefin Blast (September 9 to 11) and the inaugural Nantucket Classic Fishing Tournament (September 23 to 25).
If you prefer food for thought more than fishing for your food, the Nantucket Project (September 23 to 25) may be more up your alley. Featuring presenters like Norman Lear, Deepak Chopra and Billy Corgan, the symposium brings together visionaries and thought leaders to explore the human experience through storytelling to “build a better tomorrow.”
The tail end of the month brings Nantucket Fall Restaurant Week (September 26 to October 2). Enjoy three-course menus that showcase the island’s classic cuisine at unbeatable prices. Two participants you won’t want to miss sampling are Four-Star Topper’s and Brant Point Grill, standout eateries at the romantic, adults-only Wauwinet and the chic, family-friendly The White Elephant, respectively. Either Four-Star hotel would be a good choice to call home during your stay.
China’s Mid-Autumn Festival has centuries of history behind it, making urban Hong Kong a captivating place to experience it. Come September 15, for three days the ultramodern city will be filled with traditional celebrations, a dazzling show of glowing lanterns, fire-breathing-dragon dances and delicious mooncakes.
The Pottinger Hong Kong is an ideal place to hole up during the festival because of its location in the aptly named Central district. Despite being relatively new (it opened in 2014), the boutique hotel reveals a deep sense of the area’s heritage through its Chinese antiques, local artwork and hand-painted wallpaper.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
If you think there’s no reason to visit western Wyoming before snow hits the ground, then you’ve never been to the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival. Now in its 32nd year, the fair has more than 50 events scheduled between September 7 and 18.
Yes, art enthusiasts can take in works by national and international creatives, but they can also attend music, culinary, wine and shopping events. There’s even a fashion show included on this year’s calendar.
Book a room at Four-Star The Wort Hotel for in-town accommodations that deeply reflect the area’s mountain-town roots (the hotel marks its 75th anniversary on September 1).