Where the People Aren’t
Five excellent off-season travel destinations
Summer may be over — but the metaphorical party goes on in these five destinations, all actually better (in our humble opinion) in the off-season.
Nobody loves early autumn like San Franciscans, who know that September and October bring the warmest weather of the year. Mix that with the region’s grape harvest festivals — they’re 10-a-penny in Napa — and you have a vacation experience far superior to rainy, mucky August.
The Hamptons would be the most wonderful place on Earth…if not for the hooligans it attracts in summer. Good news: They’re all back in Manhattan. Go now, and you’ll have the beaches more or less to yourself — well, you and the year-rounders. Plus water temps that are equal to or better than mid-summer.
A reasonable traveler writes off Austin for large swaths of the calendar year: it’s a no-go in March (unless you like distemperate crowds) and much of the boiling-hot summer. Now, as the heat begins to moderate, the city has a back-to-school-vibe and the bars are hopping.
The Swiss Alps
Like much of Europe, the Swiss Alps are full-to-bursting with vacationing French and Germans in August. Avoid the mountaintop nicotine-puffing of the former and the naked-hiking antics of the latter by trekking the Swiss Alps in October, when, if you’re lucky, you can still get temperatures north of 70 degrees. Plus fondue. Plus ice climbing. We recommend a town called Greich, on Riederalp.
Anywhere in the Caribbean
By now, hurricane risks are low (though not non-existent — remember Sandy struck New York right before Halloween) but rates are still definitely in the off-season (or at least shoulder-season) column. If you’re looking at a three-day weekend for Columbus Day, we recommend the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios. If it’s good enough for Churchill…
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