Low prices, small crowds, and an amazing vacation
Beaches in the summer and ski resorts in the winter, right? Not any more! Seasoned travelers already know the secret: some of the best trips take place during the off-season travel months (September-October and March-April). Think smaller crowds, lower prices, amazing weather, and a total dream vacay.
Whether you’re a digital nomad, taking a working vacation, or simply have extra time off, here are some awesome places that shine during the “shoulder season.”
As an off-season travel destination, Charleston is hard to beat!
One of the prettiest cities in the South, Charleston’s summers are uncomfortably hot and humid for most tourists.
But fall and summer in the pastel-hued city are juuuuust right… cool enough to explore the quaint cobblestone streets of downtown, but warm enough to enjoy the city’s coastal location.
Charleston has a sparkling culinary scene, with an emphasis on delicious Lowcountry dishes. And thanks to fewer tourists, you’ll be able to fill up on staples such as shrimp and grits or she-crab soup, no reservations required.
Best Off-Season Travel Destination for: filling up on Southern cookin’
Napa Valley, CA
Wine is a good idea at any time of the year, but it’s especially delicious during the delightful Napa Valley shoulder season.
We’ll start with the weather, which is positively splendid: comfortable during the day, a little cooler at night. Perfect for touring vineyards!
And speaking of vineyards, the off-season is the ideal time to visit your favorites. Autumn is especially exciting, with grape picking and harvest festivals. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to join in a grape-stomping event.
Outside of the festivals, though, you’ll generally find the wineries to be less crowded than usual. Your wine tastings will be more personal, intimate, and all-around enjoyable.
Best Off-Season Travel Destination for: sipping a glass of your favorite red… or white
New York City, NY
Is there such a thing as off-season when it comes to the Big Apple? Surprisingly enough, there is!
The Big Apple is notoriously crowded during the summer months, especially with families taking advantage of school vacations. And Christmastime in NYC is a famously crowd-drawing event.
But visiting outside of peak season is perfect for avoiding the crowds and truly enjoying the city itself.
For one thing, the shoulder season highlights New York City’s natural beauty. The fall foliage offers a riot of color throughout Central Park, and springtime brings vibrant blooms to the city’s many flower markets.
And on the tourist-y side, restaurant reservations are easier to find, hotel rooms are more affordable, and you can even score some pretty decent Broadway tix without busting your budget.
Best Off-Season Travel Destination for: taking a bite out of the Big Apple
Summers are scorching and winters are pricey, making the off-season a wonderful option for visiting this golfing mecca.
The shoulder season’s mild, sunny climate is a huge bonus for golfers. Plus, you’ll get to play some of the best golf courses in the country for a price that’s actually kind of reasonable.
Not a golfer? Take advantage of the gorgeous weather and enjoy some of the city’s other outdoor activities: hiking, biking, horseback riding, and—if you’re feeling brave—even hot-air ballooning!
And make sure you carve out a little “me” time. Scottsdale is known for its luxurious spas. With “spa specials” and off-season pricing, you’ll be able to treat yo’self on a budget!
Best Off-Season Travel Destination for: teeing off into vacation mode
If your travel schedule is flexible, skip the high season and hit one of these cities during the off-season for a low-cost, crowd-free, awesome vacation experience.
And to make your off-peak getaway even more affordable and enjoyable, ship your bags to your hotel or Airbnb with LugLess. For less than the price of the average checked bag, you can skip the luggage hassles and stroll right by baggage claim, setting the perfect easy-breezy vacation tone!