With cooler temperatures, smaller crowds, and the start of the fall leaves, September is a wonderful time to visit many of the best places in the US. From dazzling National Parks to brewery-filled mountain cities and antebellum architecture, here are some of the best places in the USA to visit in September!
10 Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
There is no bad time to visit Yellowstone National Park, but September is one of the months of the year. The roads and hiking trails are still open, but the summer crowds should have thinned, and the weather is more comfortable for hiking. In the cooler fall days, bears can often be spotted from the road as they forage and prepare for hibernation, and up at Mammoth Hot Springs, bull elk compete for female attention during the elk mating season. For visitors who enjoy fishing, it is also a great time to catch brown trout.
9 The Berkshires, Massachusetts
September is always a wonderful time to visit the North Eastern states, and the Berkshires up in western Massachusetts is no exception. The weather should have cooled, making it the perfect time to go hiking up Mount Greylock or Monument Mountain's trails, and visitors should catch the perfect time between summer vacations and those seeking the fall foliage, but they should also see the start of the changing leaves.
8 North Cascades National Park, Washington
The expansive wilderness of the North Cascades National Park is hard to beat any time of year, but September is perfect as the temperatures are still warm and dry, but the summer crowds should have dissipated. The park is often called the North American Alps and encompasses a region filled with mountain vistas, alpine meadows, cascading waterfalls, and snowy peaks. September's visitors might be lucky enough to see some of the abundant Washington wildlife, including black bears, marmots, elk, mountain goats, and deer.
7 Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is a magical place in September when the temperatures are pleasantly cool, and the vibrant fall leaves start to show their colors. Found at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and just 70 miles away from the popular city of Denver, Colorado Springs is a destination in its own right with a hip downtown, stunning rock formations, scenic hiking trails, and breathtaking views of Pikes Peak.
6 Asheville, North Carolina
For a September escape to the mountains, there is no better place than Asheville in North Carolina. Downtown Asheville is full of quirky independent stores and restaurants with a huge array of cuisines for visitors to enjoy and the city was voted Beer City USA for four years in a row and is number 2 of the cities with the most breweries per capita, making it the perfect base for a fall vacation. It is well-located right on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a wonderful scenic drive for some early leaf-peeping. Close by is the town of Hendersonville which is known as 'Apple Alley' with its abundance of apple orchards, many of which are open to the public.
5 Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park is a beautiful year-round destination but is particularly perfect in September when this 47,000-acre park is a little quieter. Visitors can drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, where you can be the first person in the US to enjoy an unforgettable September sunrise! One of the most popular and beautiful hikes in the park is a 2.3-mile Ocean Drive hiking trail along the coastline. Nearby, quaint Bar Harbor is an excellent base and is filled with cute B&Bs, picture-perfect shops, and a large assortment of restaurants.
4 Santa Fe, New Mexico
The best time of year to visit beautiful Santa Fe is between September and November, when the temperatures are manageable, and the fall festivals begin. One of the biggest is the Wine, and Chile Fiesta in late September started one afternoon in the Old Sanbusco Mall Parking lot and has grown into an annual five-day event with over 60 participating restaurants and 90 winery partners.
3 Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is a beautiful historical destination in the southern states, which comes alive in September with cooler temperatures, lower humidity, and an abundance of festivals for the whole family. Charleston is close to many picture-perfect east coast beaches and is known for its ancient oaks and draping Spanish moss, which looks even more beautiful with the start of the changing leaves. Charleston's rich history, stunning antebellum homes, and delicious low country cuisine make it one of the best places in the US to spend the fall months.
2 Grand Canyon, Arizona
September still brings hot days at the Grand Canyon, but it is much more bearable than the summer months and starts to cool down considerably in the evenings. As the second most visited National Park in the US (the Great Smoky Mountains are top), September is a great way to avoid the summer crowds, and it is a wonderful time to visit some of the parks' popular South Rim. With numerous pullouts and breathtaking vistas, one of the best things to do to really admire the natural beauty of the canyon is the scenic self-drive around the South Rim. More adventurous visitors can also ride a mule through the Grand Canyon or enjoy a bird’s eye view from a helicopter flight.
1 Nashville, Tennessee
September brings so many activities, events, and festivals to Music City, making it another perfect place to visit in September. For music lovers, the Opry Country Classics is held every September at the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, in downtown Nashville. There is also free lunchtime music at the Public Library during the Courtyard Concert Series. Visitors should also explore sprawling Centennial Park in downtown Nashville, with its iconic Parthenon replica.