For some, the sight of fall foliage is a sign to close-up shop, buckle down, and start the countdown to the holidays. But the crisp autumn air doesn’t have to quell your wanderlust. In fact, October and November is an ideal time to travel as prices drop and crowds are few and far between. Our team at Hawkins International rounded up some favorite ‘Shoulder Season’ travel destinations, and we hope these provide inspiration for your next weekend getaway!
Sunny in the Seventies on the Emerald Coast
For the perfect weekend getaway or week-long adventure this fall, look no further than the Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast. Located in the northwestern reaches of the state, the sugar-white sand beaches, vibrant emerald-green waters, and warm weather set the scene for a perfect escape as temperatures begin to drop. With sunny skies and warm temperatures in the 70s, visitors are guaranteed to enjoy a beach vacation regardless of the change of season. As home to the largest fishing vessel fleet in the country, Destin has been dubbed the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” for decades. Aside from legendary fishing and boating, championship golf, nightlife, and numerous attractions, the Emerald Coast is best known for endless adventures out on, and in some cases under the water. On land, the destination plays hosts to a number of outdoor festivals and events throughout the fall months, including the Destin Fishing Rodeo, a month-long tournament held in October.
‘Cool’ and Collected in the Galapagos
The remarkable and eco-luxurious Pikaia Lodge, found in the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador, South America, is designed for the environmentally conscious, physically active and adventurous traveler, who seeks close contact with wildlife and the unique natural wonders of the Galapagos while receiving the highest level of comfort and service. The eco-lodge is currently offering 25% off for guests to enjoy the “cool season” (October 1st – November 11th). During this time, guests are able to immerse themselves in the incredible wildlife that springs to life including bird migrations, sea lion pupping season, giant tortoise returns and dolphin and whale sightings. Pikaia Lodge is perfect for all travelers from the adventurous solo traveler to the family traveler looking to relax and rejuvenate.
Wade in the Turquoise Waters of Cayman
Experience white-sand beaches, some of the world’s best diving and culinary delights without venturing to the other side of the world. Grand Cayman provides an accessible tropical escape with direct flights no longer than 4.5 hours offered from major hubs including New York, Miami, Denver, Chicago, and Dallas. Occupying the most expansive stretch of the famed Seven Mile Beach, the recently renovated Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa offers guests an oceanside Caymanian paradise and the newest luxury product on the island. Anyone from scuba pros to first-time divers can explore over 160 charted dive sites with an abundance of marine life from stingrays to tarpon with premier onsite dive operator, Red Sail Sports.
Golden Season on the Golden Isles
The new Jekyll Island Club Resort is the perfect destination to retreat to during the Golden Isles’ shoulder season. As most families head back to school, travelers can relax at Jekyll Island, one of the Golden Isles along the Atlantic coast of Georgia, where nature and humanity peacefully co-exist. Jekyll Island Club Resort just completed an expansive revitalization and is located within a designated 240-acre Historic District, where guests can enjoy striking architecture, assorted activities, and natural beauty across the 5,700-acre island, which has 8 miles of wide sandy beaches. Recreational bikers will find plenty to pedal on Jekyll Island, with 20 miles of paved paths through maritime forests, marshes, and historical sites. And there is nothing like exploring the forests and beaches of Jekyll Island on horseback, with sturdy equines available from Three Oaks Farm.
Stretching out Summertime in Arizona
This shoulder season, head to The Wigwam in Phoenix’s West Valley for a Southwestern oasis retreat in the Arizona sunshine while the rest of the country braces for cooler temperatures. In honor of the 90th anniversary since opening its doors as a guest ranch with enough rooms for 24 guests on Thanksgiving Day 1929, the historic resort is sweetening stays throughout the season with a 90th Anniversary Third Night for $19.29 Package. With the package, guests can spend a long weekend enjoying the historic resort’s 54 holes of championship golf, three dining outlets, and three expansive swimming pools, including the Tower Pool boasting a 25-foot tower with two twisting water slides. The storied property’s LeMonds Aveda Salon – Spa invites guests to tend to dry summer skin with a lineup of re-hydrating treatments offered on the fall spa menu.