As the days shorten, the beach towns empty out and the days start to cool off, it’s time to bid summer farewell for the year and welcome in the season of sweaters, pumpkins and leaf peeping. It can also be the perfect time to go away on a much-needed vacation!
When summer ends, travel deals start to spring up. Once high season is over, there are plenty of affordable options for must-see destinations that are often too pricey and overcrowded in the heat of the summer. And while most people might relate autumn getaways with scenic drives through Vermont, there are many places near and far that are worth visiting this time of year.
With lower cost shoulder season airfares, Europe becomes more accessible as a travel destination. Enjoy some of the Mediterranean’s most popular sites without the large crowds and high prices. Check out the late Prince Rainier III’s impressive collection of antique cars in Monte Carlo and see the ornate Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona. Visit Lisbon’s Jerónimos Monastery, built in 1501 after Vasco da Gama’s famous voyage, and go to the Rock of Gibraltar, less than nine miles from the tip of Morocco.
Not yet ready to let the summer sunshine slip away? Well it’s always warm in the Caribbean. You can see the historic Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th century citadel in Puerto Rico. Or admire the Dutch colonial architecture in Aruba and explore the caves and rugged coastline of Curacao. If you want more variety on your vacation and don’t want to be limited to just one destination, you could always island hop in the Southern Caribbean and visit several islands on one vacation.
Love the Caribbean but want to get really far away from home? Remember, with the reverse seasons it’s the start of spring in the southern hemisphere and there’s plenty of things to see on the other side of the planet. Go Down Under and climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef and learn about Aboriginal culture in Darwin.
If you prefer to stay closer to home and still want a traditional autumn getaway where you can see the fall foliage, why not skip the road trip and take a cruise? Take in the sights of coastal New England and eastern Canada where, along with the bright orange, yellow and red leaves of the trees, you’ll be sure to see plenty of lighthouses and sailboats, dine on fine lobster and walk through quaint seaside towns with cobblestone streets and small shops.
Remember, whether you’re trekking through piles of brightly covered fallen leaves or catching the last bits of summer sunshine on a beach, autumn is the ideal time to embark on a new adventure!