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The 10 Best Luxury Travel Destinations in September

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Thinking about where to go in September for a luxury holiday, a weekend away, or a full fall vacation? Here are 10 of our top picks for the best luxury travel destinations in the month of September.

The Best Luxury Travel Destinations in September

Where will September take you? Where should it? It’s one of those months where the weather is nearly perfect in lots of places. And the summer crowds disappear, so you can actually enjoy them hassle-free. The toughest thing about September travel is just deciding where to go!

Jardin des Tuileries in Paris in autumn.

You could visit a cosmopolitan city as the fall season revs up (we’re thinking Paris, New York, Venice or Los Angeles). Or make a cultural pilgrimage to a design museum in Scotland. You could hit Oktoberfest in Munich, which actually starts in September.

Looking for something more bucolic, with some artisanal craftsmanship thrown in? How about a trip to the birthplace of bourbon in Kentucky? Or a weekend in wine country in northern California?

where to go in September
Napa Valley, California.

Feeling the need for adrenaline-fueled adventures? The Inca Trail in Peru awaits. More in the mood for the beach? Ditch your shoes and set up shop in Madagascar.

It’s all waiting for you in September. Time to start packing.

Where to go in September

Here are 10 of our top picks for the best luxury vacations, weekends away, short holidays and jaunts during the month of September.

1. Dundee, Scotland.

The V&A Dundee is the U.K.’s only outpost of the Victoria & Albert Museum outside of London. Not to mention Scotland’s first major design museum. Created by award-winning architect Kengo Kuma, the waterfront museum showcases the most innovative design from Scotland and beyond.

If you go, be sure to check out Dundee Contemporary Arts, a complex housing two art galleries, two cinemas, a print studio, a café, and a stylish gift shop.

2. Venice

This is the perfect month to take a trip to Venice – the city will be less crowded, cooler and less expensive. The Venice Biennale Arte runs through late November, so you’ll be able to see it in a slightly more serene setting now. Visit the Guggenheim Museum, Salute church, the Rialto Bridge, the Doge’s Palace and Piazza San Marco. If you want to stay right on the Grand Canal, we love Il Bauer Palazzo and The Gritti Palace.

Ready for something in a different part of Venice? Stay at the opulent Ca Maria Adele, overlooking the canals in the Dorsoduro neighborhood, home to Venice’s contemporary arts scene. You’ll be just a short walk away from the city’s best galleries and historic landmarks.

best September luxury vacation
Best destinations for luxury travel in September: The Grand Canal, Venice

3. Paris

A new rhythm begins in Paris in September with la rentrée, when Parisians return from their vacations, and restaurants, cafes and shops re-open after a month-long break. Shopping is a must, with stores full of the fall-winter collections.

The fall harvest brings oysters, squash, pumpkin and mushrooms (including girolles and cepes) to the city’s markets.

best September luxury vacation
Best September luxury vacation destination: Paris

Extend your trip and travel south to Aix-en-Provence for lovely views of the French countryside, excellent wine and menus showcasing the harvest from local farmers.

Provence, France in autumn.

4. New York City

New York is a splendid idea for a visit in September. Start in the city and take advantage of the new season’s crisp air, as well as the fashion in stores and on the streets. Visit the Met, the Whitney and the Guggenheim, and see a performance at Lincoln Center or BAM.

After a few glamorous days in town, head for the country – we recommend the North Fork, the Hamptons or the newly-hip Catskills. They’ll all be less frantic and just as lovely as they are during the summer, which makes for a truly luxurious experience. We’re particularly psyched about the performance space The Lumberyard in Catskill.

best September luxury vacation
Best September luxury vacation destinations: New York City

5. Kyoto.

September is a lovely time in Japan, and perfect moment to visit the ancient city of Kyoto. The number nine is considered to be an auspicious number by the Shinto religion, and based on that belief, Kamigamo Shrine in northern Kyoto hosts the Chrysanthemum Festival (Chōyō no Sekku) on the ninth day of the ninth month.

A popular tradition during this month is moon viewing, where residents and visitors can leisurely behold the beauty of the moon, often accompanied by poetry and special sweets. Tours of temples and gardens, seasonal flower displays, a river cruise, and cormorant fishing are among the many things to do by day.

Best destinations for luxury travel in September: Kyoto, Japan

6. Munich.

September sees the annual opening of Oktoberfest (contrary to popular belief, in Munich the festival always begins in September, since the nights are warmer and its easier to enjoy the gardens outside the tents without getting chilly).

At the Schottenhamel tent at noon, the Mayor of Munich will tap the first keg of Oktoberfest beer. Entry to the festival area and all of the beer tents is free; it’s best to make a reservation for the tent of your choice, though, as once they fill up, walk-ins aren’t allowed. The festival runs through October 6, 2019.

The top 25 events on the luxury calendar around the world for September 2022
The  10 best luxury travel destinations in the world in the month of September: Oktoberfest.

7. Wine country in northern California.

September is California Wine Month, making it the perfect time to savor the best of the Golden State’s wine-making prowess. The month will see dozens of events—including regional festivals, special dinners, vineyard tours, and intimate tastings with winemakers.

Paso Robles is a great destination, and will be less crowded than the iconic Sonoma County, where the annual Taste of Sonoma takes place. Further south, San Diego and Santa Barbara will also host numerous food and wine events this month.

best luxury travel September
Best destinations for luxury travel in September: Napa Valley, California.

8. The Bourbon Trail

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail starts in Louisville. From there, make your way to Shephardsville for the Jim Beam American Stillhouse. Bardstown is the Bourbon Capital of the World, and after that, your pilgrimage should take you to Lebanon, home of Makers Mark. Lexington is wonderfully charming, so even your non-bourbon drinking travel companions will find plenty to do and see.

best luxury travel September
Best destinations for luxury travel in September: The Kentucky Bourbon Trail

9. Lima, Peru.

This month generally sees clear, sunny days and ideal temperatures in Peru, so it’s a great time to go. Foodies will love the options in this capital city. There are two restaurants in the top 10 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list: Central Restaurante and Maido. Surfers will love the water temperature.

best luxury travel destinations in September
Lima Cathedral in Lima, Peru

If you have more time, or are seeking more adventure, head for the Inca Trail in the Andes for a trek.

Best destinations for luxury travel in September: The Inca Trail in Peru.

10. Madagascar.

If you’re not ready to let go of summer and are still in the mood for gorgeous beaches, clear water and maybe even some end-of-season humpback whale watching, head to Madagascar.

Stay on the private island of Nosy Ankao at the luxury resort Miavana. There are only 14 villas, all with ocean views and private pools (and all solar-powered). You’ll have butler service and access to 2 helicopters if you wish to visit a nearby island – or stay where you are and take an underwater excursion —or “Blue Safari“—to explore shipwrecks, coral reefs, and marine life.

where to go in September
Best destinations for luxury travel in September: Miavana Resort, Madagascar.

The Best Luxury Travel Destinations in September

Those are our top 10 picks of where to go in September for a great luxury vacation or short holiday. Wherever you decide to go, we hope the back-to-school, starting fresh sense of anticipation and excitement goes with you. Enjoy!

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Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Founder & CEO of Dandelion Chandelier. A Detroit native, she has 3 Harvard degrees and has written 3 mystery novels published by Simon & Schuster. After serving as a senior corporate executive, CEO of CNBC and partner at McKinsey, she now serves on the boards of several tech companies. She loves fashion, Paris, New York, books, contemporary art, running, skiing, coffee, Corgis and violets. 

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Join our community! For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. 

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