Craving a getaway but not quite sure where to go? Here are five wanderlust-worthy vacation ideas to put on your radar for October.
For a charming getaway that doesn't require a passport, look no further than this tiny town in the Berkshires. The region is undoubtedly at its best in October—peak "leaf peeping" season — so it's best to rent a car for a 63-mile drive along the Mohawk Trail that culminates in North Adams. Though it lays claim to the title of "smallest city in the state," North Adams has plenty to offer. For starters, there's the largest contemporary art museum in the country — the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (better known as MASS MoCA)—and a plethora of bookshops, cafes, and galleries. Book a room at The Porches Inn, a B&B just a stone's throw from the museum.
Skip the hectic summer crowds and head to southern Spain during October instead. Formentera —part of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean — promises stunning beaches and warm swimming temperatures until the end of the month, an atmosphere that is refreshingly free of chain restaurants, brand name stores, and pretense (even though A-listers like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell holiday here). Unlike its neighboring Ibiza, there aren't massive nightclubs or hotels either (in fact, there hasn't been a new hotel build in more than three decades) which makes it perfect for a laid-back European escape.
While the city is most famously associated with the film that bears its name, Casablanca's allure goes far beyond the Hollywood connection. "Morocco's most populous city is no longer overlooked — our records show an 86% increase in bookings this fall," says Bennett. Perhaps that's thanks to direct flights from the US (Royal Air Maroc flies non-stop from New York's JFK) or, more likely, the city's cultural appeal. With traditional souks, stunning architecture, and vibrant spice markets — a multi-million tourist-focused overhaul of the old port in the works — Casablanca will continue to lure travelers now, and in the coming years. According to Bennett, "Casablanca is poised to become the artistic and cultural capital of Africa."
October marks the end of India's monsoon season, making it an ideal time to visit, as the weather strikes a perfect balance between not-too-hot and not-too-cold. Head to Jaipur in Western India and explore elephant sanctuaries, bejeweled palaces, and incredible shopping (the area is home to an abundance of emerging designers.) The five-star Alila Fort Bishangarh in Jaipur's Bishangarh Village has been one of the most anticipated luxury hotel openings in the region—scope out the photos on its website, and you'll see why.
BOOK NOW: from $259, Alila Fort Bishangarh
Often referred to as the "Paris of the Middle East," Lebanon's capital has been slowly inching its way onto the radar of U.S. travelers. According to American Express Travel, bookings to the Middle Eastern city are up 150% this season. "October draws the 'in-the-know travelers' that are attracted to the pleasant temperatures and more affordable accommodations, in comparison to Spring," says Claire Bennett, EVP and GM of American Express Travel. The city's colonial French buildings and rich history appeal to intellectuals, while the burgeoning culinary scene caters to foodies. Says Bennett, "Tourism is booming, airlines are adding more flights, and it's never been a better time to visit these gateways to culture."