As temperatures remain high into September and the school season kicks off, many beaches will feel like summer without the crowds. Take advantage of these gorgeous locations as tourist activity slows down.
Here are our best beaches to visit in September!
1. Okaloosa Island - Santa Rosa Island, FL
The Florida Panhandle gets wildly populated in the summer, and for good reason. With abundant marine life, including dolphins, sea turtles and stingrays, the critters in this nook of The Gulf gather their fair share of spectators. Fort Walton Beach, a local favorite, has golf courses and shimmering white sand best enjoyed in the off-months.
Top Things to do in Okaloosa
1. Snorkel! - Head to Destin Snorkel to plan an under-the-sea outing observing sea creatures up close.
2. When it comes to mealtime, head to Stewby's for some fresh seafood, or for lighter fare, head to Cafe Organic for some delicious smoothies, sandwiches and salads, both located in the nearby Fort Walton Beach.
2. Praia da Marinha - The Algarve, Portugal
Nothing compares to Portugal’s southernmost tip, The Algarve, a spectacular area with fewer tourists in the way. Praia da Marinha can be found near the town of Carvoeiro and is surrounded by breathtaking golden bluffs and pinnacles that poke out from the nearly see-through Atlantic Ocean. For fun yet affordable golfing, hit the course at Vale De Milho Golf Club, or get your diving certification at
Top Things to do in The Algarve
1. Attend FIESA: the largest sand sculpture exhibition held annually in Pera each March.
2. Tour the Castle of Silves.
2. Cool off at Aquashow water park.
3. Playa de Las Teresitas - San Andrés, Spain
As with any island getaway during the summer, the Canary Islands can feel quite swamped. September is a great time to visit one of the oldest villages on Tenerife, San Andrés, known for its monuments and nearby hiking trails. The white sand on Playa de Las Teresitas was actually shipped from the Sahara desert several decades ago, making for a notable experience under your toes. Don’t miss Castillo de San Andrés, a half-collapsed castle once used to protect Tenerife from pirate attacks or the quaint cemetery along the beach.
Top Things to do in Tenerife
1. Ride the Teide Cable Car over Mount Teide, the third largest volcano in the world.
2. Walk through the ancient Pyramids at Güímar, which have been dated to the 19th century AD.
3. Tour the Museum of Nature and Man.
4. Zurriola Beach - San Sebastián, Spain
It's no secret that Spain is an internationally popular summer destination. A terrific, less obvious destination on the Iberian peninsula is San Sebastián, located in the heart of Basque Country less than 15 miles from the French border. Zurriola Beach at the mouth of the Urumea River isn’t the main waterfront in town, but appeals to surfers and those interested in a blend of traditional and modern architecture. Have pinxhos tapas at the esteemed Bergara, then head across Puente del Kursaal and visit Museo San Telmo for a historical fix.
Top Things to do in Basque Country
1. Visit Gaztelugatxe, a stunning islet off the coast home to a 10th century church.
2. Tour The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
3. Summit Urgull, a seaside hill along Mount Ulia, to view the gorgeous 12th century Mota Castle.
Ready to plan your trip? Browse Beautiful Rentals in Basque Country!
5. Playa Sirena - Cayo Largo, Cuba
Since U.S.-Cuba relations have warmed, tourists from the states are excitedly planning their much anticipated trips. While there are many great spots to explore around this Caribbean oasis, its sprawling white sands and crystal clear waters make Playa Sirena a standout beach. Conveniently for guests, Sirena offers full service facilities and boasts warm weather year round.
Top Things to do in Cayo Largo
1. Explore the nearby Parque Nacional Cienaga de Zapata, home to some of the world's best birdwatching.
2. Tour El Torreon Nursery to experience the local wildlife.
3. For that full body tan, take advantage of Cayo Largo's nude beaches.
6. Big River Beach - Mendocino, CA
Image Credit: TripAdvisor.com
Three hours north of San Francisco is beautiful Mendocino County, a fixture of West Coast culture. In fact, many films, including East of Eden, starring James Dean, have depicted this idyllic coastal town. There’s no shortage of beauty to see, but we recommend Big River Beach for sunbathing and dog-walking opportunities; at low tide, try spelunking some caves.
Top Things to do in Mendocino
1. Head to Catch A Canoe & Bicycles, Too and find everything you need for outdoorsy fun on and around Big River.
2. Come lunchtime, grab a Mendocino Market sandwich and walk around the whimsical Highlight Gallery.
3. Enjoy its beautiful wine country with a tasting or tour at a local winery!
7. Playa Cocles- Cocles, Costa Rica
Beautiful Costa Rica hosts a robust tourist season in the summer, especially in urban areas. Cocles, an Atlantic-facing village near Panama, has a relaxed and friendly attitude favorable for those interested in scenery over status. Playa Cocles and Puerto Viejo have ideal surfing conditions (with lifeguards on duty).
Top Things to do in Cocles
1. Witness the country's abundant natural beauty at Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, home to tropical birds, manatees and other jungle animals.
2. Treat yourself to a relaxing afternoon at Manu’ Yoga Village, which offers massages and saunas.
3. Enjoy a memorable meal at La Pecora Nera restaurant, a wine aficionado’s dream.
8. De Panne Beach - De Panne, Belgium
Image Credit: www.loomji.fr
Enjoy a beach read in the charming town of De Panne, a scenic destination overlooking the North Sea near Belgium's shared border with France. Full of culture, historical houses, great art, and tons to see and do on the beach, De Panne is a not-to-be-missed spot when exploring that corner of the world, even in September!
Top Things to do in De Panne
1. Explore the beautiful rolling sand dunes at De Westhoek Vlaams Nature Reserve.
2. Go for a ride on a land yacht, an unusual vehicle developed by the Dumont brothers of De Panne.
3. Traveling with kids? Visit Plopsaland, a popular theme park for children.
9. Coumeenoole Beach - Dingle, Ireland
Deep blue waters, rolling green pastures and towering, dramatic cliffs characterize the Dingle Peninsula's stunning landscape, and to view them all at once, head to Coumeenoole Beach. With strong currents, this beautiful beach is best enjoyed from the sand relaxing, picnicking or even hiking. Head into town at night to experience Dingle's vibrant pubs and enjoy live traditional music plays.
Top Things to do in the Dingle Peninsula
1. Explore the historic Blasket Islands.
2. Visit the Gallarus Oratory, a 1,000 year old preserved church with beautiful views of the Smerwick Harbor.
3. View Ireland's biggest collection of sharks at the Dingle Oceanworld aquarium.
4. Feeling adventurous? Go scuba diving with the Dingle Marina Dive Centre or trek across Dingle's valleys on horseback with Seaview Equestrian.
10. Mala Plaza - Ulcinj, Montenegro
Image Credit: wikipedia.org
Frequented by Russians and Albanians, Montenegro's popular city of Ulcinj boasts a scenic coast. This area has the feel of a Mediterranean beach town, yet its lesser known name worldwide gives Ulcinj a different kind of refuge.
Top Things to do in Ulcinj
1. Explore Ulcinj Castle, the city's stunning ancient structure with gorgeous views to match.
2. Take kitesurfing classes at Kiteloop, the only IKO affilated school in Montenegro.
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This article was written by Juliana Cohen and edited by Tripping.com Content Specialist Lexi Perman.