For sun worshippers and beach lovers who don’t go weak at the knees at the words ‘pumpkin spice latte’, the end of August always seems to arrive too soon. But if you still can’t quite bring yourself to dig out your knitwear from the wardrobe, you can easily take off to somewhere close by and find a bit of much-needed sunshine and warmth. Here are eight easy trips for those who are just not ready to say goodbye to summer.
1. Napa Valley, California
With summer winding down, a weekend out in the vineyards during harvest season might help to ease more gently into fall weather. There’s plenty to see and do at this time, aside from sampling significant quantities of wine. You can visit the vineyards to observe the busy harvest activities such as gathering the grapes and crushing the fruit. Those who want a bird’s eye view can experience a hot-air balloon ride over the beautiful landscape, or you can hop aboard the vintage Napa Valley Wine Train. Plus, most importantly, the weather is warm enough for al fresco dining and many of the wineries have picnic areas.
2. Nashville, Tennessee
September in Nashville sees plenty of festival action to convince you that outdoor party season isn’t over. The AMERICANAFEST, from September 11th to 16th, offers six days of 500 live performances featuring folk, country, blues, and soul music. On an educational note, they also have seminars, panels, and daytime performances with artists, managers, promoters, and all kinds of other music industry professionals. From September 14th — 16th, you can attend the Music City Food + Wine Festival which celebrates the best of local produce from hot chicken to whiskey.
3. San Diego, California
Comfortable mid-70s daytime temperatures mean San Diego welcomes those looking to soak up a little more warmth outside before going into winter hibernation. Revitalise yourself in the sunshine by jogging or cycling the path along Pacific Beach. For livelier evenings head to KAABOO Del Mar festival, taking place from September 14-16, which is featuring artists like the Foo Fighters and Imagine Dragons, as well as advertising ‘delicious food and intriguing cocktails.’
4. Sedona, Arizona
September and October are some of the best months to visit a high elevation desert area, such as Sedona. Scorching summer temperatures have dropped to the more manageable mid to high 70s, and as such, it’s an ideal time to hike the Oak Creek Canyon or Airport Mesa Loop for some unforgettable views of the town below. Eliminate the panic of imminent cold weather by spending time at sunset watching the red sandstone formations of Sedona National Park glow brilliantly in the evening light.
5. Moab, Utah
Those for whom summer weather means adventuring outdoors, extreme sports, and getting lost in nature should look to Moab for a continuation of activities in late September and October. With temperatures in the mid-70s, mountain bikers and hikers can explore the many trails in Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, and adventurers can go rafting on the Colorado River, as well as horseback riding or canyoneering. The vast desert with its surreal red landscape is the perfect late summer playground.
6. Kona, Hawaii
Big Island’s Kona region will satisfy those in denial that bikini season is drawing to a close. With daytime temperatures in the 80s, activities such as snorkeling, sailing, and surfing are still on the agenda. Aside from beaches, the island has rainforests, volcanoes — splash out on a helicopter ride to see Kilauea’s fiery lava flows from above — and snowy mountains for those looking for a little diversity. Historical interests can also be satisfied by visiting the location where Captain Cook landed on the island in 1778, and the Hulihee Palace, which was once the home of Hawaiian royalty and is now a museum.
7. Riviera Maya, Mexico
If you’re in serious need of heat, the Riviera Maya might be your answer. September is one of the hottest months to visit, with temperatures averaging 80 — 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it’s the rainy season (and do watch out for hurricanes), you’ll still get enough sunshine to spend time at beaches like Playa del Carmen and Cancun. With fewer visitors during this period, you can enjoy the white sands and clear waters of Mexico’s beaches in relative peace.
8. Havana, Cuba
Temperatures in the mid-80s, low numbers of tourists, and cheap flight and accommodation deals make Cuba attractive in September despite the increased rainfall. Along the waterfront, you can walk the promenade El Malecón, or hit Playas del Este beaches. And if it does rain, spend a pleasant few hours in a salsa club or a museum — like the Finca Vigia, the former house of Ernest Hemingway.