Bridging the divide between summer and fall, September can feel like shoulder season. But rather than relegate your suitcase to the sidelines, plan a getaway that brings out the best of both worlds.
From music festivals in the mountains to wine tastings in historic hideaways, these dynamic destinations offer plenty of ways to savor this month’s changing weather.
Seasonal rejuvenation is on tap this fall at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo. Join the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hideaway’s first Wellness Season (September 1 through October 31) to enjoy a slew of gratis feel-good offerings, including Ayurveda consultations (personalized holistic healing recommendations to help you find balance), yoga sessions and vegan cooking classes.
With 1,400 acres of lush tropical forest to explore, the coastal hideaway makes it easy to indulge in self-care. Between classes, take a scenic hike up the Pura Vista Climb staircase, try stand-up paddle boarding or indulge in a few treatments at the Four-Star spa — book two services during Wellness Season and your third is complimentary.
Head 30 minutes west of the capital to get a taste of Ireland at Four-Star The K Club this fall. Book the Straffan hotel’s Art & Wine Weekend (September 27 and 28)
to tour the 19th-century manor’s original wine cellar (built by the Barton family of Irish-French vintners Barton & Guestier) with sommelier Lisa O’Doherty before indulging in an Irish cheese and vino pairing.
Other perks of this weekend package include sumptuous accommodations, a four-course dinner at equestrian-inspired Byerley Turk restaurant and a full Irish breakfast to complete your culinary education.
Don’t leave the 550-acre grounds without hitting the championship-caliber links — the property played host to the 2016 Irish Open and 2006 Ryder Cup.
Chinatown is a hot spot in the City by the Bay for cuisine and culture any time of year, but swing by September 7 and 8 to see the already vibrant neighborhood burst to life during the Autumn Moon Festival.
Savor two days of parades, live music, martial arts demonstrations and flavorful street foods honoring the revered harvest moon. Be sure to grab a mooncake or two to take home — these treats are a holiday staple.
Between festivities, decompress at sleek W San Francisco, a Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel that’s a 20-minute stroll from all of the autumn action. A quick power nap on the plush pillow-top mattress and you’ll be ready to rejoin the fray in no time.
Celebrate the last days of summer in Colorado with the 26th annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. From September 13 to 15, catch performances from more than 30 artists (headliners include Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee John Fogerty and blues guitarist Boz Scaggs) while savoring sips from 56 craft breweries (Telluride Brewing Company and Boulder-based Avery Brewing Company provide some local flavor), all with the rugged Rocky Mountains as a dramatic backdrop.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. The three-day fest is packed with outdoor activities, too, including alfresco yoga sessions, group hikes and a 5K. Fuel up at one of the food stalls serving naan wraps, gyros, homestyle barbecue and more.
After a full day in the alpine sun, head for Four-Star Madeline Hotel and Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection to enjoy a little peace and quiet. Take a dip in the outdoor pool or indulge in a High Altitude Revival ritual at the spa before hopping on the hotel’s gondola for a scenic ride back into town for more.
Spanish moss and scenic swamplands set the stage for an intimate weekend of smooth tunes in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.
From September 19 to 22, Montage Palmetto Bluff plays host to the inaugural May River Music Festival. Snag a spot on the lawn to catch international talent like Australian actress Clare Bowen (ABC’s Nashville), Irish folk musician Foy Vance and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Ben Rector during a three-night concert benefitting local nonprofit Palmetto Bluff Conservancy.
Between sets, unwind at the Four-Star hotel, where a special festival package gives you 20 percent off your Southern-chic accommodations — think hardwood floors, freestanding tubs and spacious verandas overlooking the property’s verdant grounds.
Toast to history in the Big Easy during the 70th anniversary of the Stormin’ of the Sazarac on September 20. The unusual tradition dates back to 1949, when a group of women marched into The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel demanding equality and a cocktail. The bold move made the property’s Sazarac Bar the first in the city to serve women on days other than Mardi Gras.
The Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel is commemorating the occasion with an afternoon of merriment, including a three-course, ladies-only luncheon with live entertainment, a stylish pop-up store and a best-dressed fashion show. Attendees are encouraged to don vintage, 1940s-era attire, a look best accessorized with the bar’s namesake tipple.
The winds of change are blowing in a favorable direction at Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta’s AG restaurant, where newly appointed executive chef Gilles Schreiber is helping to shake things up. All month, the steakhouse is showcasing its updated offerings with weekly promotions, such as a Gin O’Clock happy hour (September 8 to 14), when you can enjoy a custom gin and tonic for $10.
End the month on a sweet note, when pastry chef Katrina Pagan’s creations take center stage. From September 22 to 30, look out for a dessert and cordial cart roving the dining room, showcasing Instagram-worthy plates like AG Cocoa Bean chocolate mousse or the staff favorite Atlanta Peach, a light and airy peach bite that looks as good as it tastes.
Savor the simple things during Ojai Heritage Gathering, a three-day SoCal escape centered around learning to make hatchets, beekeeping and other skills from years past. Though the nostalgic retreat doesn’t take place until October 4 to 6, spots are sure to fill up fast.
Held at Ojai Valley Inn’s new indoor/outdoor event complex The Farmhouse at Ojai, the expo features a roster of more than 20 classes (like sourdough bread baking).
If the vintage vibe doesn’t get your creative juices flowing, the verdant hills of Los Padres National Forest should provide some inspiration. Book your getaway through the Four-Star host hotel to gain access to all the weekend’s workshops (including five chef-prepared meals) and get a stylish, Moorish-inspired room to retire to after the fun.