As the summer heat begins to wane and the autumn colors start to emerge, September presents an ideal time to embark on a memorable journey across the United States. From charming coastal towns to breathtaking national parks, the country offers a diverse range of destinations that are perfect for September travel.

Let's dive into ten remarkable places to visit and discover why they shine during this beautiful month. HomeExchange is here to help make your September travels comfortable and affordable with homes and hosts in all fifty states. From east to west, here's our top 10 best places to visit in September in the USA.

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Bar Harbor, Maine: A September Sweet Spot Between Seasons

best places to visit september usa bar harbor

September is a wonderful time to visit Bar Harbor, located near Acadia National Park. The fall foliage begins to paint the landscape with vibrant colors, adding to the town's natural beauty. As summer crowds disperse, you can explore the charming town at a leisurely pace. Here in the north temperatures can drop fast at the tail end of summer, before a very crisp fall quickly sets in. September is a sweet spot of fairly warm temperatures and tad less tourists, so come and savor the last days of the season and discover the magic of Bar Harbor, Maine. From the region's natural splendor to the town's cute shops, eats, museums, and theaters, there's plenty to keep you busy here until summer's end.

In town, enjoy Maine's famous seafood by indulge in lobster rolls, clam chowder, and fresh platters at numerous seafood shacks and restaurants. Don't forget to try local specialties like blueberry pie and Maine's famous wild blueberries. Bar Harbor is also the gateway to Acadia National Park, a pristine wilderness encompassing mountains, forests, lakes, and rugged coastline. Explore scenic trails, including the popular Jordan Pond Path and the Precipice Trail. Enjoy breathtaking views, spot wildlife, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. Don't miss the opportunity to witness a sunrise or sunset from Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the East Coast.

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Newport, Rhode Island: Where to Vacation in September for a Scenic Seaside

where to vacation in september usa newport

Wondering where to vacation in September on the East Coast? Newport offers a delightful combination of pleasant weather, cultural experiences, and coastal beauty. Whether you're exploring historic mansions, enjoying scenic drives, or savoring the culinary delights of the city, Newport promises an unforgettable visit filled with history, elegance, and coastal allure. You can enjoy coastal activities without the heat and humidity of summer with average temps in the mid 60's and 70's Fahrenheit (around 15°C to 25°C). As summer fades the city shines with the start of its autumnal charm. So what's to see here in Newport in September?

Newport is renowned for its opulent Gilded Age mansions, and September provides an excellent opportunity to explore their grandeur. Visit iconic mansions like The Breakers, Marble House, and The Elms, and step back in time to an era of grandeur and elegance. Take a stroll along Newport's famous Cliff Walk, a 3.5 mile scenic pathway that hugs the shoreline and offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. If you visit towards the end of September, you can attend the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival. Indulge in culinary delights prepared by renowned chefs, sample a wide selection of wines, and enjoy live music and entertainment. But Newport has delicious local seafood year round!

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Savannah, Georgia: Summer's September Drawl in the Beautiful South

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In September, you can comfortably stroll through Savannah's historic streets, parks, and squares without the scorching heat of summer. Summer's is a bit drawn out in the warm south, but it's all a bit less extreme this time of year. Savannah takes a deep breath as summer subsides, and as it exhales tourists take to its southern charms once again. The city is known for its blend of history, culture, and beauty. It's glamorous architecture makes it one of the jewels of the south and great place to explore for anyone wondering where to vacation in September. Here's what to see in Savannah.

Start with taking leisurely strolls through the city's picturesque squares, visit historic homes and museums, or embark on a ghost tour. Marvel at the city's moss-draped oak trees and well-preserved 18th and 19th-century buildings. Spend a relaxing afternoon in Forsyth Park, a beloved local green space, and enjoy cool September nights with a river cruise. If you're hungry, indulge in Savannah's renowned Southern cuisine. Sample traditional dishes like shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and Savannah red rice. In September, you can also experience the Savannah Jazz Festival, a week-long celebration of jazz music held in various venues across the city.

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Chicago, Illinois: Enjoy the Windy City's Most Mild Weather

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Chicago in September is a fantastic choice as the weather starts to transition from summer to fall, offering a pleasant atmosphere to explore the city's architectural marvels, world class museums, and gorgeous lakefront lifestyle. Chicago is known for some extreme temperatures, with heat and humidity in the summer and icy cold wind and now in winter. September is a softer side of the seasons in Chicago that's inviting for tourists wanting to experience this major metropolis. Average highs range from the 70s to the low 80s Fahrenheit (around the mid-20s to mid-20s Celsius) in September. Chicago is worth seeing once in a lifetime and there is no better moment than this time of year, which is why it's on our list of best places to visit in the September in the USA. So where you should start once you touch down in the windy city?

Get oriented by taking a stroll along Lake Michigan's shoreline. Navy Pier is perfect for a leisurely stroll or to take a ride on the Ferris wheel. The Lakefront Trail also offers scenic views of Lake Michigan and is perfect for biking, jogging, or simply relaxing by the water. In September, don't miss the Chicago Jazz Festival, a renowned event featuring performances by jazz legends and emerging artists and for more culture visit the Art Institute of Chicago. It's home to an extensive collection of artworks included some of the most renowned masterpieces in the world. Take a river cruise or join a guided architectural tour to learn about the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), Tribune Tower, and don't miss Millennium Park's Cloud Gate (The Bean) and Frank Gehry's Jay Pritzker Pavilion. If you're up for it, you can even catch a late summer ball game of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field!

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New Orleans, Louisiana: See Summer Out in the Big Easy

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In search of southern charm for your September vacation? New Orleans might be just be the place for you. If you're not ready to put away your shorts and tee shirts, here in the south you can continue soaking up the sun in The Big Easy. A HomeExchange here an opportunity to experience the local famous architecture first hand from the inside out. You'll also enjoy the warmth and authenticity of this inviting city filled with music, food, history. Many cultures converge here on the Mississippi as New Orleans' rich cultural heritage is influenced by French, Spanish, African, and Caribbean traditions giving it a unique and vibrant atmosphere year round. While Mardi Gras in February might be a bit much for most, New Orleans has a festival vibe all year around and September is a great time to stop by and take it all in. But where do you start?

Show up hungry and indulge in local Creole cuisine on every corner, from po'boys to gumbo to jambalaya. Then, get a sweet fix with an iced coffee and beignet at Café du Monde by the riverwalk, and head to Jackson Square to start discovering the historic French Quarter and its emblematic architecture. Stay after the sun sets to enjoy jazz. From blues to funk and brass bands, live music can be found throughout the city. Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood is renowned for its nightly live music venues with performances. If the end of summer heat is still a bit high for you, you can take a scenic steamboat cruise on the Mississippi to cool off, or a swamp tour to discover bayous and spot wildlife like alligators! That's just the beginning so head to New Orleans in September to see summer out with a bang in The Big Easy!

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San Antonio, Texas: The Battle of the Alamo is only the Beginning

Visiting San Antonio, Texas in September is a fantastic choice, as you'll get to experience the city's rich history, vibrant culture, and more mild weather than the typical Texas summer heat. While it remains warm, the summer temperatures start to taper off, with averages ranging from the mid-70s to mid-90s Fahrenheit (mid-20s to mid-30s Celsius). If you're wondering where you should vacation in September, come to San Antonio to taste the best Tex Mex Cuisine, see the historic Alamo, or experience September festivals. Beyond the reputation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this dynamic Texas city will surprise you with all it has to offer. Here's what to do in San Antonio in September.

The Alamo is the top attraction tourists shouldn't miss. This historic mission-turned-fortress is significant in Texas history. Learn about the famous Battle of the Alamo with a guided walking tour. Then, head to our favorite late summer activity: the San Antonio River Walk. This picturesque urban oasis  winds along the river and is lined with restaurants, shops, and greenery. It's ambiance is perfect for strolling, dining, and people-watching. Take a boat tour to learn about the history and architecture of the area, or just relax and enjoy the ride. If your visit coincides with the last week of September, you'll have the chance to experience Fiesta de San Antonio. This citywide celebration includes parades, live music, food festivals, and events showcasing the rich heritage and diversity of San Antonio.

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Taos, New Mexico: Art, Nature, & History in the High Desert

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Taos is nestled in the high desert of northern New Mexico and is known for its unique blend of Native American, Spanish, and Anglo cultures. In September, the weather in Taos is generally quite pleasant, with warm days and cool evenings. The region is dominated by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, offering picturesque vistas and opportunities for outdoor adventures. Did you know that Taos Pueblo is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States? If you are in search of a mix of history, culture, and breathtaking natural beauty, Taos is one of the best places to visit in September in the USA. This time of year is perfect for immersing yourself in the unique charm of this enchanting New Mexico town.

September in Taos brings a variety of festivals and events. One notable event is the Taos Fall Arts Festival, which showcases the work of local and regional artists. You can enjoy art exhibits, artist studio tours, live music, and performances. Additionally, the Taos Pueblo Powwow, featuring traditional dances, music, and Native American arts and crafts, is a vibrant celebration of Native American culture. While September is not the ski season, the Taos Ski Valley is still worth a visit. The mountainous scenery is spectacular, and you can enjoy hiking and mountain biking trails that wind through the area. If you're not afraid of heights, we also suggest a scenic chairlift ride to experience stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. Or, go even higher with local hot air baloon ride!

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Moab, Utah: Where to Vacation in September for Outdoor Enthusiasts

where to vacation in september Moab

The stunning red rocks of Moab and the Colorado River that runs through it entice visitors all year round, but visiting in September is an excellent choice as it offers pleasant weather for a variety of outdoor activities. In September, the average high temperature ranges from the 70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (around 25-28 degrees Celsius), making it quite comfortable to explore the local surroundings. If you're an outdoor enthusiast or simply seeking natural beauty, Moab is one of the best places to visit in September in the USA. It has something to offer everyone, so here's what you can expect when visiting Moab during this time.

You can visit Arches National Park, known for its iconic Delicate Arch and numerous other sandstone formations. Canyonlands National Park is also nearby, offering breathtaking views of canyons, mesas, and the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and off-road adventures in these parks. Along the river you can go whitewater rafting or take a calm water float trip on the river. Moab's town center also offers a variety of restaurants, cafes, outdoor gear shops, and art galleries. It's a great place to relax, enjoy a meal, and soak up the friendly and laid-back vibe of the town. There are a range of local scenic drives to take too.

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Santa Barbara, California: A Coastal Chic September Vacation

best places to visit in september santa barbara

While some set their sights on visiting Santa Barbara in peak season, locals know September is the best time to experience summer in this luxurious beach town. In June, July, and August the mood is dampened by what Californians call June gloom. This marine layer is pulled in by high inland temperatures and covers the California coast most of the day. Come September though, the fog dwindles and reveals this coastal paradise in all its glory.

Come to enjoy the relaxed coastal atmosphere on the city's stunning beaches and boardwalk. You can visit the historic Santa Barbara Mission and El Presidio, and explore the vibrant Funk Zone neighborhood with its wineries, breweries, and art galleries that have really taken off in Santa Barbara in recent years. Enjoy September sunsets by taking a scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, or venture just over the hill to go wine tasting in the nearby Santa Ynez Valley as the annual grape harvest kicks off.

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Hilo, Hawaii: Summer Never Ends in this Island Paradise

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Honestly, it's always a good time to vacation in Hawaii with its eternally warm and pleasant weather. That's why it remains such a popular tourist destination. September though can be particularly enticing as crowds tend to be smaller compared to the summer months. If you want know where to vacation in September, we suggest packing for paradise and heading to The Big Island of Hawaii. It will be ready to welcome you with a warm aloha and everything else you expect from a tropical island. September is also part of the drier season on The Big Island, making it an excellent time to visit.

In and around Hilo, visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to witness the power of Kilauea Volcano and explore lava fields, hiking trails, and scenic drives. Take a guided tour to view active lava flows if conditions allow. Along the Hilo coastline, you'll find black sand beaches like Richardson Beach Park, where you can swim, snorkel, or simply relax. Hilo Bay offers opportunities for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. You can also take boat tours to spot dolphins and whales. We also suggest the daily Hilo Farmers Market for picking up fresh tropical fruits that make the perfect snack for the beach or to enjoy in the comforts of the kitchen of your local HomeExchange.

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Travel with HomeExchange this September

September presents a fantastic opportunity to explore the United States, with its mild weather, beautiful landscapes, and vibrant cultural events. Seeking natural wonders, historic charm, or culinary delights? These ten destinations offer something unique to make your September travel truly unforgettable and HomeExchange has hosts in every one them. Join the community today to start exchanging with the largest home exchange community in the world. Pack your bags, embrace the autumn spirit, and embark on an incredible journey as we say goodbye to summer together! Until next year of course...