Autumn is here, and so is shoulder season. Traveling has gotten more affordable.
The weather is much more pleasing across the USA and across the pond.
Here are a few ideas of places to travel to in October in the USA and abroad.
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
After a hot summer, the warm days and crisp nights of the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts are welcoming.
Dana Storr, a travel advisor at TravelStore in Palos Verdes, California, recommends towns such as Great Barrington, Stockbridge and Lenox. Visitors can hike, do yoga, and visit wellness centers.
For more cultural activities, visitors can spend an afternoon at MassMoca and see its modern art installations.
Stockbridge also has a Norman Rockwell Museum. Author Edith Wharton lived in The Mount. For kids, Storr recommends visiting The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst.
Doni Rasmussen, an advisor at Morris Murdock Travel, recommends going to Cancun.
The Caribbean and Mexico have not been the most popular destinations of late because of hurricanes and crime.
But Rasmussen points out that Cancun is “one of the closest and most beautiful Caribbean destinations.”
Located in Quintana Roo, there are hints of Mayan culture all over Cancun. The archaeological zone of El Rey or El Templo del Alacrán (The temple of the scorpion) is a must-see. Visits also enjoy Xel-Ha, a natural aquarium.
“Despite recent reports, tourist areas are as safe as most cities in the USA,” Rasmussen says. “Use common sense and enjoy all-inclusive bargains.”
South Africa has some of the best weather this time of year.
It is not overcrowded with tourists, who tend to start visiting in November. It’s also a good time to go on a safari as the animals are out and about.
According to Yellow Zebra Safaris, “the Cape is coming into its peak season with beautiful days and clear skies. The Kruger is also impressive at this time of year because the rains have not yet set in.”
A visit to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent decades behind bars, is particularly meaningful as the country celebrates what would have been his 100th birthday this year.
In Capetown, Table Mountain is worth a visit for its stunning views.
Chocolate lovers will want to spend October in this medieval town in the Umbria region of Italy.
The Eurocholate Festival will take place in Perugia from Oct. 19 to 28.
More than 900,000 people descend upon this city each year for chocolate tastings and workshops.
The city has been hosting this festival since 1993. But there is much more to do in this town, including visiting its many beautiful piazzas and palazzos.
It’s shoulder season in Jordan, so prices drop significantly.
And the weather cools down, making a visit to Petra more comfortable. Petra is probably Jordan’s most visible site, but there is plenty to do throughout the country. And it’s small enough that you can get around easily.
Amman, the capital, is a good starting point. Wadi Rum has beautiful canyons and desert. The waters off Aqaba attract snorkelers. The Dead Sea is a peaceful setting and filled with places to get spa treatments.
For those interested in religious history, Mount Nebo is named in the Hebrew Bible as the place where Moses viewed the Promised Land.
Nancy Trejos, USA TODAY