With the end of the school holidays and the cooling of the weather, those who have been saving every penny to splurge on an off-season vacation will begin narrowing down their options for destinations for the upcoming season.
If this applies to you, you should know possibilities are truly endless, and you could never exhaust them, whether it’s a late beach getaway you’re after or an idyllic escape into nature.
With the autumn precipitation looming, however, and temperatures dropping, where is still nice and warm to go?
In this article, we bring you the 5 best fall destinations for 2023, based not only on climate but their attractions and tourist offer:
Asheville, North Carolina
Home to over 94,000 residents, Asheville is a hidden gem of Western North Carolina sitting at the confluence of the French Broad and Swannanoa rivers. Built in native Cherokee hunting grounds, it was populated by European explorers in the 16th century.
Asheville provided the stage for one of the most emblematic conflicts of the Civil War, as some of the wealthiest slaveowner families hailed from here, and much of this grim History is chronicled in local museums and memorials, such as the Smith-McDowell House.
The reason why it is such an underrated fall destination is its close proximity to the Appalachian Trail, where the tourist path, laden with fallen leaves, leads to elevated viewpoints with sweeping panoramas of the foliage at its most vibrant between October and November.
In September, temperatures remain at a pleasant 77°F during the day, dropping to 57.2°F in the evenings. Octobers in Asheville are somewhat colder, with highs of 68°F, yet they are still pleasant for walks and sitting outside at Pack Square Park as you gulf down some local craft beer.
If you’ve had enough of ‘quaint’ living in the suburbs of a small American town, and you’re desperately craving a livelier environment that is both foreign but close enough to home, there is only one place you could go: sunny Mexico, or more specifically, the beautiful, seriously overlooked Guadalajara.
One of the oldest cities in Mexico and a regional center for culture, Guadalajara is best known for its vast collection of historical landmarks, which includes a stately 16th-century cathedral, Spanish-era chapels, Hospicio Cabañas, and street markets.
San Juan de Dios Market is the largest of its kind in Latin America, while the Hospicio has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in recognition of its well-preserved colonial character. Other than its traditional architecture, Guadalajara prides itself in being the home of tequila and mariachi.
Needless to say, numerous festivals dedicated to these two icons of Mexican culture take place here every year, and this fall, you should watch out for the Charreria Festival, when hundreds of mariachi players and performers will flock into the streets of the Centro Historico in their colorful attires.
Although a majority of travelers immediately think of Ibiza, Mallorca or its smallest sister Menorca, when it comes to Spain’s paradisaical Balearic islands, very few dare venture out of the main path and visit Formentera, the smallest and undoubtedly the most peaceful of the quartet.
A short 30-minute boat ride from Ibiza, Formentera is a naturist paradise with around 12,000 permanent inhabitants hosting a limited number of boutique hotels and guesthouses. Famous for its indented shape, it has an elongated stretch of coast, where white sands are lapped by a turquoise ocean.
In Europe, it is one of the warmest places to be this fall, with temperatures averaging 68 and 82.4 degrees for the month of September while maintaining a high of 75.2 degrees in October. This is the Mediterranean, after all.
As it is a tiny island, Formentera can easily be explored by bike, as it is traversed by cycling and green routes, leading to unspoiled beaches, hill climbs with sweeping panoramas for views, and small, charming Catalan-speaking towns.
The cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto is a small city surrounded by nature that just comes to life amidst autumn’s orangey reds and warm greens. The former imperial capital, before the sprawling Tokyo took up that mantle, still retains much of its regal charm.
Having been chosen as capital as early as 794 AD, it concentrates a great deal of Japan’s architectural triumphs, including the Kyoto Imperial Palace, a series of Shinto shrines, the ancient temple of Kyomizu-dera, and the bucolic Kikanku-ji, a Zen Buddhist temple set in a verdant area.
Kyoto’s appeal lies mostly in its unique blend of manmade structures, some of which date back centuries, and vast nature reserves, especially the Arashiyama district on the western outskirts, where tourists can find scenic temples nestled amid impossibly tall trees.
It could be covered in snow, springing in color amid April’s cherry blossoms, roasting under a scorching summer sun, or turning a muted green as autumn approaches: this Japanese oasis will steal your heart irrespective of season, though we have a soft spot for fall colors.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Selected as our number one fall destination for 2022, Israel continues to lead the ranking due to its great off-season weather, miles on miles of sandy beaches, and multicultural character, as evidenced by the vibrant, globalized Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv is the most liberal city in the Middle East, a region renowned for its stricter policies governing social life, and it surely stands out with its rows of LGBTQ+ flags hanging from Bauhaus balconies, diverse populace, and relaxed atmosphere.
Whether it’s beach fun or a meaningful cultural immersion you’re after, rest assured you will find a bit of both here, from the gay-friendly Hilton Beach to the more traditional Jaffa, an ancient Mediterranean port with cobbled streets and centuries-old houses.
This September, Tel Aviv enjoys highs of 84.2°F during the long, balmy autumn afternoons, which only decrease to pleasant lows of 71.6°F in the evenings. Piece of advice? You should pack light, and make sure you bring your swim shorts.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com