Fall is officially here. Just listen to the melancholy moans of barbecues with their covers back on. Smell the Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the air. Witness the endless parade of dads in puffy vests.
It’s time to mourn Summer 19’s departure — the loss of afternoons poolside, weekends spent at music festivals, and the feeling of the tide against your junk at clothing-optional beaches. “Everything golden fades” as they say. Unless… You know… Maybe… You could always get right back on the road and chase summer around the world. You could fly to where Mai Tais are still in season and linen never goes out of style. You could travel.
We take the art of chasing summer very seriously around these parts. Some of that means picking destinations with temperatures in the 70s and 80s. But it’s also important to make sure that the locale is one where you can keep enjoying the warm weather activities that have kept you busy these past four months. Cyan water lapping on white-sand beaches. Sweaty nights dancing until the sun comes up. Surfing and SCUBA and maybe even a little cliff diving.
To help you keep summer alive as long as possible, we picked 10 destinations to fill you with wanderlust. Each of them has at least one activity that will assist you in your mission of prolonging the warm weather spirit deep into fall.
Go diving and snorkeling on Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
Average daily high in October: 87°F
Just off the east coast of Africa sits an archipelago that functions as a semi-autonomous portion of Tanzania; it’s made up of a group of tiny islands and two large ones. The main island Unguja is the one typically referred to as Zanzibar Island. It boasts some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, but it’s the waters of the Indian Ocean that lap up against them that is the real draw. The year-round water temperatures run between 77 and 84 degrees, and the visibility can extend up to 130 feet. There couldn’t be a much more perfect place to watch schools of beautiful fish wind around coral reefs. And with more than 600 species of fish in this part of the ocean, there will be many, many schools to choose from.
Kizimkazi is a small village on the island that is known for running dolphin tours in a marine-protected area. But the entire enterprise is marred by overcrowding and reckless treatment of the animals. Better to SCUBA instead and hope you see a dolphin away from the tourist fray. When you’re done diving, Zanzibar’s night markets are world-famous (try the “Zanzibar pizza” and be prepared to brag to all your culinary-minded friends).
Participate in the Gran Canaria Walking Festival in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
Average daily high in October: 72°F
Gran Canaria is another island that is part of an archipelago. In this case, it’s the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa (though the islands belong to Spain). Less well-known than Canary Island Tenerife, Gran Canaria is surprisingly diverse — with many people referring to it as a continent in miniature. Terrain shifts from the verdant north to the mountainous interior to the hot, dry southern desert. There are also a variety of microclimates that transport visitors from bright sunlight to moist fog banks in an instant. This assortment of landscapes makes for a genuinely interesting place to enjoy outdoor activities, especially hiking.
For years, people from all over the world have traveled to Gran Canaria in the fall to explore the gorgeous nature of the island with professional guides as part of the Gran Canaria Walking Festival. There are typically more than 800 participants representing over 30 nationalities. As nearly a third of the island is a biosphere reserve and many of the festival’s routes wind through it, the experience is truly unique.
Also noteworthy is the night hiking route that wows participants with a blanket of stars.
Eat street food in Bangkok, Thailand
Average daily high in October: 89°F
There are a lot of reasons people go to Bangkok, from the floating markets to the insane nightlife on Khao San Road to the Soi Cowboy red-light district. But regardless of travel motivation, not a single visitor should make their way through this Thai city without having some street food. For a few measly US dollars, diners can score sweet, spicy, and savory delights that are prepared on the side of the street using recipes that extend back for generations. Some people only accept mobile street carts as the proper purveyors of street food, but travelers will also find pods of stalls in markets and even more traditional shophouses with seating that extends to the sidewalk. They can all make some damn fine food, though we would suggest you line up for busier ones. Their popularity means they serve a good product and they run through their inventory faster — meaning your food will be extra fresh.
The variety of dishes served on the street is startlingly vast, but there are a few you should make sure to seek out and try. Kanom Bueang are basically little Thai-style crepes made with rice flour and stuffed with shreds of coconut and coconut cream, perfect for when you need a rush of sugar to keep you going. Also, try some fried bugs — crickets or wolf spiders — if you’re in need of a snack. They’re very tasty — perfect for helping you absorb alcohol.
Comb the beaches of Maafushi, Maldives
Average daily high in October: 84°F
The Maldives is known for having what may be the best beaches in the entire world. The country boasts nearly 1,200 islands and just about every one of them features blindingly white sand and clear turquoise water. And the beaches must be special — because more than a million people travel here each year despite the fact that the Maldives has a completely Islamic population, which means certain vacationing freedoms taken for granted elsewhere are “no go” here. Bathing suits, alcohol, and public displays of affection are all illegal and generally frowned upon. Maafushi is the region’s most progressive island and travelers can enjoy a bikini beach and grab alcohol on one of the floating bars just outside the harbor. Plus, it has a lot of guesthouse competition, which keeps lodging prices affordable. Like “thirty American dollars a night” affordable.
The beaches of Maafushi can be crowded because of all the liberties granted to travelers, and this can take away from the experience for people who pictured lounging alone on powdery sand under the bright sun. However, it’s easy to take day trips to less inhabited neighboring islands.
Explore South Beach in Miami, Florida
Average daily high in October: 83°F
It’s not necessary to leave the United States to keep summer going. Chasing the sun to the southern states is one way to keep from having to pack your tank tops away. Miami makes for a great destination because of the warm temps, but the real draw is the sheer amount of awesome that pervades the city. Glamour is the order of the day each and every day, and nowhere is that truer than in South Beach. The iconic art deco architecture in an array of pastels makes for some of the best urban Instagram backgrounds out there, and the never-ending beach life and killer party scene are not to be missed. Chill in the pool area or at the bar of an upscale hotel like the Delano or the Shore Club or hang with the beautiful people and the exceedingly hip at a grittier spot like Kill Your Idol.
One of the best parts of South Beach is that you can easily navigate the area using the local bike-sharing program or your own two feet. No worrying about cabs, Uber, or Lyft. And all the money you save on travel can get funneled back into some drinks or a nice meal at one of South Beach’s excellent restaurants.
Go surfing in Algarve, Portugal
Average daily high in October: 73°F
Positioned with the Atlantic on two sides, Algarve is beloved by surfers who can score 365 days of surfing a year. They’re especially fond of the city’s undeveloped west coast. No matter which beach at which you opt to surf, you’ll be able to grab Atlantic swells. And if one coast is giving you trouble with crappy wind, you just need to drive to the other side of the city and use the beaches facing the other direction. People looking for a little space when they ride the waves will find early fall a great time to visit because it’s still warm and precedes the rainy season, but it isn’t peak season. Expect thinner crowds. For people who aren’t pros on the waves already, Algarve can be a great place to learn. There are a ton of surf camps, including those that cater to women only.
If you’re planning to stay awhile there are a lot of surf-specific hostels along the coast near Algarve that are all walking distance to the ocean. They also offer lessons in surfing and yoga as well. However, there are also quite a few resorts and luxury properties to tempt you. Sometimes after a long day in the ocean with the sun beating down on you, you just want a five-star room.
Hike the Samaria Gorge in Crete, Greece
Average daily high in October: 75°F
When it comes to history, Crete is exceptional. The Minoans, the first advanced society to develop in Europe were born on this small island. As more societies developed, Crete became a coveted jewel in the crown of a number of invading groups. The landscape is punctuated by structures that demonstrate the influences of various cultures and time periods, making it ideal for visitors who get down with the past. However, we think hanging onto summer is best done in the Samaria Gorge, Europe’s longest gorge. Depending on your fitness level, the hike can take four to six hours as you descend 5,000 feet through some stunning scenery to a black sand beach on the south coast. In October, the city isn’t as punishingly hot as it can be during summer months, so doing the 10-mile hike is much, much easier. Plus, the gorge closes to the public at the end of October, so it is the last chance to visit for the year
This is a one-way hike. Between three and six times a day, a small boat gathers those who have finished it and ferries them for an hour to Chora Sfakion, where they catch a bus to Hania. You will have Instagram fodder for months.
Experience the Kuta nightlife in Bali
Average daily high in October: 81°C
There’s a reason so many travelers make Bali a must-visit goal. Though it’s a single island in Indonesia, it is so varied that it can function as a variety of destinations. The southern beaches are great for surfing. The Bukit Peninsula is where people go to get decadent. Ubud blends rice fields and ancient monuments. And Kuta is where people go to party. To be frank, Kuta isn’t the prettiest part of Bali. There are tons of narrow lanes crowded by cafes, shops full of cheap trinkets, and T-shirt vendors. It would definitely not be at the top of a list of places to chill or immerse yourself in culture. But if you’re looking to do body shots, this is the place to go. Head to Jalan Legian, the main strip, and enjoy the largest clubs in Bali. But don’t bother going out before midnight; everything is dead before that.
Kuta is where young and wild crowds go to hit mega-clubs and down cheap drinks. If you need things to be a little more refined, try Seminyak — where the hipper travelers go to enjoy cocktails made by skilled mixologists who use imported ingredients. You have to decide if you want to go rowdy and wild or contemporary and stylish.
Get a deal on a resort stay in Cancun, Mexico
Average daily high in October: 85°F
It’s not just the 14 miles of gorgeous beach stretching along the Caribbean Sea that make Cancun a fave among beach lovers. There’s also the fact that it is one of the most affordable travel spots in the Western Hemisphere, even during its peak season. If you travel there off-season, you are in for an even better deal on your accommodations. Early fall is a part of the wet season, and that makes some people wary. But that doesn’t mean torrential downpours. It’s typically dry most of the day except for a few short rain bursts. And if that’s the price a person has to pay to enjoy a three-star hotel for under sixty dollars a night or a four-star one for about 100 a night, it seems fair. Even the all-inclusive resorts offer rates that are crazy cheap, often charging half of what they do during the summer. To maximize savings, look for accommodations in the El Crucero district of downtown Cancun and skip the Zona Hotelera.
Flights are even less expensive during this period. The lowest flight prices are typically in September, but the October prices average between three and four hundred dollars.
Attend the Moga Festival in Essaouira, Morocco
Average daily high in October: 73°F
Morocco is situated at the crossroads between Europe and the Middle East, and it has a reputation that makes it feel like a true departure from the everyday world. It’s the stuff of myth. And, sure Marrakesh is a fave among influencers, but Essaouira is well worth a visit. It is known as the “Wind City of Africa” because most of the year, the winds blow through with tremendous force. All that wind has kept tourism low, but for the last few years, travelers have come from across the globe to attend the Moga Festival. This celebration of electronic music and culture is a bridge between the traditions of the region and the modern age. The line-up is always edgy with a lot of house and electro DJs bending their work with digital arts. One interesting aspect of the fest is the residency it hosts between international electronic artists and traditional Moroccan musicians.
Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage site that became a pacifist hippie community in the 1960s, making it a really fun place to explore when you aren’t at the festival. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, check out the city’s ramparts, where the television show filmed Daenerys meeting The Unsullied Army.