Where To Go in September 2023
The month when summer starts to slowly transform into autumn, September is an idyllic month. The crowds thin out, kids go back to school and there are end of the season delights to be found in the Mediterranean, as well as delicious weekend breaks from New York to Somerset. Here are a few of our favorite places to bookmark for September:
A tiny island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Ponza is making quiet waves as the place the Romans want to keep a secret. Idyllic with a slowed-down pace and a timeless feel, it suits those who don’t look for glitzy beach clubs and five-star hotels. Life centers around the crescent-shaped harbor with its pastel fishermen’s houses, so stay close by at the wonderful Casa Fontana, which has views of the sea from every room. Hire a boat for the day and drop in at La Marina or Da Enzo for a delicious, rustic lunch by the water.
The undisputed stars of the Italian Alps and the UNESCO-rated Dolomites are beautiful in every season — not least in September when summer begins its slow transformation into autumn. Eighteen jagged limestone peaks that soar thousands of meters above sea level, stretch from Bolzano in the west to Cortina d’Ampezzo in the east. In possession of a pale pink light that set them apart from the rest of the Alps, the area has its own dialect, strong cultural identity, and food traditions. Stay at the relatively new Forestis, a contemporary haven that seems almost suspended between cloud and peak, near the town of Brixen.
Or, near the Alpe di Siusi, there is the marvelous Schgaguler, which will delight food and wine lovers.
Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
As the heat of high summer fades, the Mallorcan capital comes into its own. Days are still sun-drenched, but it’s not too hot to wander around its labyrinthine medieval streets and along its grand tree-lined boulevards. Stay at the stylish Hotel Sant Francesc, and put the following on your list of things to do: visit ‘La Seu’, the local nickname for Palma’s magnificent cathedral by the sea; have lunch at the Santa Caterina market for the most charming of lunches; and make the short trip to the Fundació Miró just outside Palma, where the artist lived for nearly 30 years. Come evening, it’s all about local wines on rooftops and hunting down the best tapas, such as Bar La Sang. Read our Guide to Mallorca’s Serra de Tramuntana.
Vibrant, multicultural, and a gastronomic melting pot, France’s port city of Marseille is just the right amount of gritty. The place to stay is the right-on-the-rocks Tuba Club, a beach club with five stylish cabana-style rooms in the fishing village of Les Goudes. Explore the area’s feted Calanques and limestone cliffs that tower above the sea by boat; take a ferry from the old port to the Frioul Islands; spend time at its alternative culture hub La Friche Belle de Mai; and walk up the Notre Dame de La Garde, which sits on the city’s highest peak and dates back to the 13th century. For sundowners, the view from the roof at Le Corbusier is spectacular.
The Cycladic island of Milos can get very crowded in July and August, so September is a wonderful time to visit — especially towards the end of the month. Stay at the beautiful Skinopi Lodge, where minimalist interiors let the west-facing sunset views do the talking. From your base, you’re near the charming village of Tripyti, for drinks and dinner at Okto, as well as Plaka, where you should head for Utopia to watch the sun go down, negroni in hand. Nearby, you’ll find the beautiful beaches of Firopotamos, with its startlingly aquamarine water and whitewashed stomata (fishermen’s houses), pretty Plathiena and its cute beach bar, and the famed Sarakiniko. Visit the latter in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the Instagrammers, and take your time jumping into the water from its lunar-sequel landscape.
Somerset can be glorious in September, especially if you catch an Indian summer. Ripe for a weekend away or even a longer stretch, it has a collection of boutique houses, hotels and B&Bs to stay in. Bed down at Number One Bruton, At The Chapel or the 18th century Durslade Farmhouse. From each of these, you are perfectly positioned to discover the beauty of the surrounding Mendip hills with walks around Alfred’s towner, the artsy offerings at the Hauser & Wirth, and its growing food scene.
New York City
New York has a unique kind of magic at any time of year, but as we teeter into fall in September, it feels that bit extra special. The sweltering August heat should have tempered, New Yorkers return from their summer houses on the coast, and the scent of summer is still lingering in the air. It’s also a brilliant time to sink your teeth into the Big Apple’s ever-expanding, dynamic restaurant scene. Go for perfect, no-frills Italian at I Sodi in the West Village, and try The Four Horsemen, a natural wine bar and restaurant in Brooklyn that’s casual in all the right places.