If popular summer holiday spots leave you over-heated and craving some personal space, we recommend taking a closer look at October vacation destinations to enjoy an Indian summer. Whether you’re seeking sunshine or looking for a unique local experience, autumn offers vibrant colours, cultural activities, and less stress.
Most people have heard of the sakura (cherry blossom) parties that pepper Japan’s parks and countryside in spring. Fewer non-Japanese know of the equally popular, yet far more contemplative, autumn vacation custom of watching the changing leaves, known locally as koyo.
The best place to enjoy koyo is the northern island of Hokkaido, with its large lakes, looming mountains and verdant forests. Head to Niseko and spend your autumn vacation hiking, kayaking, paragliding, golfing and relaxing in hot springs. When evening comes enjoy relaxing with a tankard of the nearby Sapporo’s eponymous beer.
Whoever said that you can’t have your cake and eat it has never been to New York in the fall. The ultimate autumn vacation setting, NYC combines the best of city life and rural splendour.
Sports fans are spoilt for choice as the basketball and ice hockey seasons get underway, while shoppers can enjoy a hot coffee and pretzel on tree-lined boulevards. For a breath of fresh air, join the leafers in a trip to the Catskills for the weekend, or just catch a train to coastal Montauk. The crowds of tourists so prevalent throughout the summer will have left the city feeling more spacious and accessible, leaving you to seek out unique experiences such as the annual Clam Chowder Contest.
When it comes to cosy, nobody outdoes the Danes. They even have a special word for the communal cosiness of a night in together which has taken the world by storm: hygge. Take a canal tour of this Venice of the North to see the sights from the comfortable cosiness of a small boat, before disembarking to the cafes and bars of colourful Nyhavn.
Arriving in autumn also means you catch Tivoli as it starts to shine. Built in 1843, Tivoli is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, and it’s always beautifully bedecked with lights and décor ahead of Christmas. So you can enjoy a Winter wonderland, without the plummeting temperatures.
Mention October vacation destinations in Germany, and it conjures up images of Oktoberfest. But beer isn’t the only drink in town. Like the French vin nouveau, the vineyards of Germany produce their own young wines known as Federweisser, Bitzler, Rauscher or Sauser. Bottled before the fermentation process is complete, they’re much sweeter – and only available in early Autumn.
We recommend Stuttgart as a base because there are vineyards in the city itself, and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping, eating and drinking. Arrive between the 12th and 15th of October to attend the Fellbacher Autumn Festival, a four day celebration for wine lovers. Or, if your crave country air, take a tour to a nearby rural vineyard.
If these autumn vacation ideas have inspired you, find out how to enjoy them every year with our second home blog.