a city with many buildings and mountains in the background

When its warm somewhere, it’s cold somewhere else, and when it’s crazy packed in one place, it’s lovely in another. Autumn is one of the best times of year to travel, thanks to kids being back in school bringing airfare and lodging prices down, and generally milder weather than steamy summertime. These hand picked destinations are en vogue right now, or are about to be the next big thing in travel, so go this fall and beat the rush, or get it while it’s perfect. There are options all over the world…

Tel AvivTel Aviv, Israel

This is the year to visit Tel Aviv, because the city is absolutely buzzing, and soon it will be fully having its moment. Tel Aviv is one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world, and as airlines launch new routes from all over the world – it’s easier and cheaper to get to in one shot than ever. Autumn is a truly perfect time to visit, with temperatures in the 27°C/80°F range with fewer summer travel crowds too.

Do the walk from North Tel Aviv to Jaffa along the water, check out UNESCO greatness in White City and check out the hipster set in Florentin for a full experience. The food is amazing, the beaches are too and for anything from a short getaway to a major trip, this is a perfect choice.

a building with a tree in front of itOsaka, Japan

It’s really hard to beat fall foliage in Japan. With the 2020 Olympic Games less than a year away, all eyes are on Tokyo. That’s fair, it’s one of the world’s greatest cities, but so too is Osaka, and If you like food, you may actually enjoy it even more. Often overlooked for Kyoto or Tokyo, Osaka is the melting pot of Japan, with an unrivalled culinary impact.

Unlike many other cities in Japan, markets drive the food scene in Osaka, and it’s gorgeous castles make for amazing backdrops to fall foliage. Kuromon Ichiba Market is the centre of the delicious world of food in this city, but monthly markets like Ashiharabashi on the third Sunday of the month bring extra special gems. Hit up the Ishinjii Temple, Osaka Castle and leave extra room in your case for top quality boutique shopping.

mexico cityMexico City, Mexico

Once dangerous and constantly overlooked, Mexico City is the place you really need to experience first hand, before it becomes the “it” city of the next 10 years. The way people talk about the amazing colours, flavours and punch packing experience of visiting India, Mexico City is the North American version with an absolutely bursting art scene, inventive bars, gorgeous European plazas and most importantly – tacos.

This is the place to go for a modern art fix, a cheap street food delight and a masterclass in Mezcal, the drink that will be as popular as bourbon in 2 years time. It kind of already is, if you know where to look. With side trips to places like San Miguel Allende and the highlands in easy access, you really can’t go wrong – and totally should go.

a city with many buildings and a riverFlorence, Italy

Wine season, autumnal colours and fewer crowds, what’s not to love? Florence is the capitol city in Tuscany, home to Michelangelo’s crown jewel – David, and there’s simply no better time to visit than fall and autumn. While it’s never quite as crazy as Venice or Rome, Florence has steadily climbed in visitor numbers but things disperse to perfection once mid September hits. Strolls along the Arno River are idyllic as leaves change colour and autumn temperatures remain warm. But really, it’s all about food and wine.

Crush and harvest take place in early fall, which means it’s a really cool time to tour the Sangiovese filled vineyards and gain unique insight into the wine making traditions throughout Tuscany, which are unlike anywhere else. It’s also when the years olive oil is made, so if you’d like to dip warm fresh bread into rich oil, it’s a perfect time. Wander the Mercato Centrale, hit up the Piazzo Santo Spirito and climb the 463 steps of the incredible Cathedral Di Santa Maria Del Fiore.

a city skyline with a tall towerSeattle, Washington

It’s quite possible that Seattle is the most overlooked West Coast destination out there, and there’s really no good explanation as to why. You’ve got travel novelty in the form of the Boeing Factory tour, absolutely stunning Puget Sound cruises through Pacific Northwest waters, some of the best sushi and Chinese food in America and great museums actually worth a visit.

If you want to really make the most of this city, fly in, spend a few days exploring Queen Anne, the Dale Chihuly Museum and checking out the iconic Pike Place Market and then take a Clipper ferry trip to Vancouver and explore the other gem of the Northwest, flying out of there. This is a trip unlike any other. Oh, and don’t forget to check out Washington’s wine scene, which has some of the best red blends outside of Napa.

a city with lights on the waterQueenstown, New Zealand

With winter in the rear view mirror, Queenstown kicks into gear around September, and begins to absolutely flourish in October, November and December. With temperatures around 18°C, 68°F, this is one of the best times of year to jump head first into all the action and adventure of the area, from hikes to cliff diving. That’s right, Queenstown may be the best adventure sports destination on the planet, in addition to being one of the most beautiful.

Take stunning vineyard tours around Otago, explore the incredible Milford Sound and drink from Lake Wakatipu, which has water with greater purity than most things you’ll find bottled in a supermarket. Most of the crowds will show up in January, so go this autumn and make the most of better rates, and shorter lines at Fergburger.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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