From glamourous resorts to remote national parks, these dazzling destinations shine brightest in the off-season.
Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, Taiwan, March – The skies fill with these delicate light sculptures at this festival that celebrates Chinese New Year.
Hotel prices drop by up to 38 percent in Copenhagen during spring. Check out this cool Nordic city’s museums, gondola rides and shopping while avoiding the crowds.
The weather is warming up in Park City in April which makes it a fantastic time to visit to ski or snowboard. You’ll also be able to explore the town and take in attractions like Bathhouse Row which is now a national park.
Food lovers will love a trip to New York in April as restaurants start to open up their outdoor seating and it’s still not peak tourist season. The street art scene is also at its best in April in places like South Boston and Dumbo.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, is a sight to behold each spring. Meanwhile, Seattle’s Pike Place Market is brimming with tulips, thanks to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
March is a fantastic month for foodies as Japan experiences its sakura (cherry blossom) season and the World Sacred Spirit Festival takes place in Jodhpur, India. Other highlights include the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan and the Fete du Citron in Menton, France.
June marks the beginning of humpback whale-watching season in Seattle, while Maui is at its peak with epic hiking and sea-going adventures. On the Kenai Peninsula, snow has melted to reveal hiking trails and glaciers.
In New Zealand, wine lovers can tour the region’s renowned vineyards while exploring cities like Auckland and Christchurch. In Charleston, visit the home of John Brown and enjoy unique city festivals like the Carifest Caribbean Carnival and the Charleston Rum Festival.
The coast of Devon in south-west England is a beautiful spot to visit any time of year, but July is ideal for enjoying the sandy beaches, towering cliffs and moorlands. It’s also a good month to explore Exeter Cathedral, Powderham Castle and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery.
Ecuador offers a variety of landscapes and climates. Visiting in July means you can enjoy a drier season for touring fincas and admiring the dazzling birdlife of the Zona Cafetera or exploring the jungles.
Thrill-seekers should head to Vancouver for the Capilano Suspension Bridge and grueling Grouse Grind, while those seeking a relaxing experience can cruise Vancouver Harbour or laze on its beaches. The city also hosts popular festivals like Bands on the Bricks and Boulder Craft Beer Fest.
Ecuador is a top wildlife destination in August, with its wonderful combination of the Andes and Amazon and its UNESCO-listed Galapagos Islands. It’s a bit of shoulder season, so you can expect comfortable weather and savvy travel deals.
September marks the beginning of shoulder season and a time to experience some of the best destinations without their typical crowds. Fall is also in full swing, making it a good time to ride up the Space Needle for a spectacular view of flaming leaves.
In Marrakech, you can enjoy the sights without sweltering temperatures as tourists begin to retreat from the city’s famous markets and attractions like the Koutoubia Mosque and Djemaa El Fna Square. Similarly, Georgia’s capital city of Tbilisi showcases its beautiful mix of Soviet-era, Persian, and modern art-nouveau architecture.
October is a low season month in most of the world, but it still offers some great deals. It’s also the perfect time to visit Ireland and take part in their famous Guinness Festival.
In the United States, head to Vermont and see their spectacular fall foliage. Or, visit Bar Harbor and enjoy the beauty of Acadia National Park. In addition, you can take a trip to Miami during its lively Carnival celebration.
November is a great month to travel as many destinations are between their high and shoulder seasons. For example, countries like Africa are just coming out of their rainy season so safaris and visits to Victoria Falls will be more comfortable.
It’s also the best time to see fall leaves in the United States. Try this day trip from San Francisco to Muir Woods to avoid the crowds. Oktoberfest in Munich is another fun experience that can be enjoyed this month without the heavy summer crowds.
The season is in full swing at this time of year on the eve of New Years, so you’ll find Christmas markets and festive cheer around the world. It’s also a good month for skiing in the Alps, with many resorts open and lower room rates this time of year.
Ski lovers can also head to mountainous Chilean Patagonia to see a stunning natural landscape of icy glaciers, emerald lakes and soaring mountains. If you’re looking for something less intense, thaw out in Nashville while taking in a live concert at the Ryman Auditorium.