So wanderlust has come knocking on your door again, and you’re looking for a way to hit the road. It might be last minute, but September is the perfect cusp month in which to travel — fewer crowds, more balanced temperatures, and more than a few festivals than you know what to do with.
This September, Willamette Intl Travel recommends two destinations — one east, one west — to catch those Autumn Leaves.
The Yangtze is the lifeblood of China, shaping majestic dynasties for centuries. From the magnificent Three Gorges to the inland Silk Road empires of Xi’an and Tibet, China is a treasure-trove of historical and cultural discoveries.
Autumn is peak season in China, when the weather is mild and you’re still in between the major holidays in which most Chinese travel domestically. Catch the Shanghai Tourism Festival (Sept 7-12) for breathtaking festivities that include parade floats, food and fireworks — PLUS every major gallery and museum offers half price entry!
How to Go?
Alexander & Roberts
A&R offers a comprehensive tour of China that hits all the major sites. Explore bustling markets and historical sites in Beijing, Xi’an, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai. On this 10-day itinerary, you’ll visit that loveliest of China’s cities, Hangzhou, with landscapes that have inspired artists and poets for centuries. “Above there’s Heaven, below there is Hangzhou,” goes the proverb. Glide along the canals of Suzhou, the “Venice of the East,” say hello to the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, and explore legendary neighborhoods of Pudong and Bund in Shanghai.
Viking Cruises offers 3 different river itineraries of 14, 17 and 19 days. Prices start from $3224 per person – that’s just $230 per day! Viking itineraries are all-inclusive — they hate nickel-and-diming — preferring instead to include each booking with: a complimentary shore excursion, wifi, most beverages, room service, port charges and taxes.
- Imperial Jewels of China: (14 days)
Beijing, Xi’an, Chongqing, Shibaozhai, Wu Gorge, Wuhan, Shanghai. Visit 12-story pavilions, cruise along the magnificent “Witches” Gorge, and see the Terra Cotta army necropolis for yourself. From $3224 per person.
- Roof of the World: (17 days)
Travel to the Himalayas, and visit Potala Palace, home of Tibet’s Dalai Lamas. Share tea with a Tibetan family and follow Lhasa’s Barkhor Circuit pilgrimage route. You’ll also visit Xi’an, Chongqing, Wuhan, Jingzhou, Beijing and Shanghai. From $4,724 per person.
- Undiscovered China: (19 days)
Here the cruisetour combines a 7-day Yangtze cruise with land exploration of BEijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and smaller towns off the beaten path. Cruise on a sampan on the Yangtze’s Goddess Stream and behold the 50,000 statues of the 7th century Dazu Rocking Carvings. From $4,424 per person.
Give us a call! WIT Agent Pam has traveled with Viking River Cruises on the Yangtze River. Call her up for a chat and to find out if this cruise is the right one for you. Need to know more? Read up on her journeys through Beijing, the Three Gorges, Xi’an, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou.
NEW YORK CITY
Nothing compares to the “City that Never Sleeps,” legendary New York, home of the Empire State Building and the awe-inspiring State of Liberty. As the capital of culture and opportunity, NYC doesn’t exactly need an introduction.
In September, temperatures turn on the cooler side and the whole city gears up for NY Fashion Week, September 7-14 this year. International fashionistas show off their wares, divas flash the heel, and everyone dappers up and gets a-twinkling.
Festivals hit the stage full frontal, as New York erupts into revelry with Oktoberfest (Sept 15-17, Sept 22-24, Sept 29-Oct 2) and the Vendy Awards (Sept 16), everyone’s favorite world street food showdown. Head down to Brooklyn on Sunday, Sept 24 for Atlantic Antic, a street festival between 4th Ave and Hicks St. The festival features food and crafts and live music, and spills out over 10 blocks.
Plus New York’s a prime base from which to hit the road for a Fall Foliage tour. Autumn trees are bursting with color in the countrysides around New England — Vermont, Boston, and beyond.
How to Go?
NYC: Delta Vacations
Willamette Intl Travel partners up with Delta Vacations to create self-guided packages to major cities. We’ll often combine flights with a top-notch hotel and/or a car to get you a discount deal seen nowhere else. Explore New York from the comfort of a pre-packaged plan, spending a few nights in downtown Manhattan browsing through Soho’s art galleries and sampling from world-class restaurants and unusual boutiques. Then pick up your car for a drive through the countryside, either upstate to Hudson Valley wineries or out of state to marvel at the changing colors of autumn. Prices vary.
Autumn Leaves: Tauck
Top-of-the-line Tauck’s Fall Foliage tour paints New England in broad brushstrokes, on this 12-day itinerary exploring sunset scenes, fragrant fields and lush forests where the soul of old New World charm just exudes from the landscape. Explore Boston, revolutionary Williamston, artful Berkshires and iconic Vermont. From the Green Mountains to the White Mountains, the tour will take you deep into history and far up through Maine and Acadia National Park. See your homeland as you’ve never seen it before. From $5,190 per person.
Call Willamette Intl Travel at 503-224-0180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to plan your last-minute autumn trip!