11 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Miserable About the End of Summer
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Though the last day of summer doesn’t officially arrive until Sept. 22, for many, the season of long weekend vacations and sunny beach days came grinding to a halt the Tuesday after Labor Day.
But even for travelers who maximized every Summer Friday, the return of autumn doesn’t have to be a miserable, heart-breaking event. To help you get excited about the changing seasons, we’ve rounded up 11 of our favorite reasons to love fall travel (or, depending on your perspective, reasons not to be miserable that summer is coming to an end).
From charming towns in the Berkshires to the booming horse-racing city of Saratoga Springs in New York state, leaf peepers should add these four destinations to their autumn bucket list.
2. The kids have gone back to school
Congratulations, parents. You survived another summer.
3. But grown-ups can also learn a thing or two
Learn a new hobby like painting or fly-fishing, or take a crash course in geology on a back-to-school inspired itinerary specifically for adults.
Head above the Arctic Circle for your best chance at viewing the auroras, which can be seen shimmering across the northernmost skies as early as the last week of August in some destinations.
5. There’s no better time to explore the national parks
Go on an epic cross-country national park road trip, or keep it simple and explore a new national park this autumn. The trails will be blissfully crowd-free — and the park itself will be free if you visit on National Public Lands Day (also Sept. 22).
Whether you’re looking for cash deals or points and miles steals, there’s simply less demand for travel during the fall — meaning you can’t beat the prices on hotels, flights and attractions. Cooler weather and thinner crowds are another reason to jump on off-season travel.
7. You can go apple-picking
Could there be anything more autumnal than apple-picking? OK, maybe apple-picking while sipping hard cider and munching on sugary apple cider donuts.
8. Pumpkin spice lattes have returned
Starbucks didn’t even bother waiting until after Labor Day to bring back the iconic PSL. The sugary concoction returned to Starbucks menus on Aug. 28 — even though it was still nearly 100 degrees outside.
9. Whale shark season is back
You can go swimming with whale sharks off the Yucatan Peninsula until mid-September, but when the season sunsets on the East Coast of Mexico, it starts up again out West. In October, you can easily swim with these gentle giants in the Sea of Cortez.
10. Europe is on sale
It’s shoulder season in Europe, too, meaning you can spend an entire weekend across the pond in Belgrade for just $172.83.
11. You don’t have to love fall to love fall travel
If the thought of dead leaves and decorative gourds makes you sick, don’t fret. There are plenty of great places you can visit that have nothing to do with foliage, pumpkin spice lattes or puffy his-and-hers vests.