From historical gondola races in Venice to a beer festival in Key West, here are the best places to travel in September.
Calling all film fanatics: plan your next vacation to coincide with the Bali International Film Festival (Balinale for short). This weeklong event held in South Kuta Beach showcases over 100 feature films, documentaries and shorts produced by Indonesian and international filmmakers. The schedule also includes workshops and seminars offering tips on scriptwriting, editing and acting, to learn the ins and outs of the industry from the pros.
The Aloha Festivals celebrate Hawaiian culture with free events all month long. The festivals kick off in Waikiki with the induction of the Royal Court, where the chosen king, queen, prince and princess are adorned with lei head feathers, helmets and cloaks, accompanied by traditional Hawaiian chants and hula dancing. The Waikiki Hoolaulea is an epic block party, with a variety of crafts, food vendors and performances by hula schools. Don’t miss the Floral Parade to watch bloom-covered floats, pau horseback riders and marching bands cavalcade down Kalakaua Avenue.
Nearly every resident in Venice comes out to watch the annual Regata Storica (the Historical Regatta), which takes place on the Grand Canal. The festivities start with a pageant by locals in 16th-century-style boats reenacting the last Queen of Cyprus’ return to the city. Then gondoliers donning traditional costumes race their vessels for major bragging rights. Watch all the action from a waterfront cafe or from a floating grandstand in the lagoon.
Dana Point, California
Travel back into time at the Tall Ships Festival, held at Dana Point Harbor in Southern California. Tour classic schooners dating back to the 1770s, and watch them parade by at the Sails ’n Ales event, with craft beer tastings, food trucks and live music. Have a blast (literally) at mock cannon battles between the ships where you can choose to act as part of the crew or just enjoy the show.
Whether you’re into Latin, soul, funk or jazz, the annual Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival features a lineup to suit a variety of musical tastes. This year, main acts include Rubén Blades, Maceo Parker and Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles, plus tribute bands covering Aretha Franklin, Santana and Buena Vista Social Club. Post-festival, unwind on Palm Beach or explore Aruba’s arid side at Arikok National Park.
Celebrate Labor Day Weekend with a cold one at the annual Key West Brewfest, held at various restaurants, hotels and bars around the island. Sample over 150 beers, including a few local brews at the festival’s seminars, pool parties, happy hours and tap takeovers held throughout the weekend. Notable craft-beer breweries (think Funky Buddha and Dogfish Head) will also team up with nearby restaurants for beer-pairing dinners. But the main event is the Saturday night tasting festival held on South Beach. When that’s over, party through the streets in a second line, led by a New Orleans brass band, to the after party at Green Parrot Bar.
Anglers, get your rods ready for the Roatan International Fishing Tournament, a catch and release competition and an Offshore World Championship qualifying event. Divisions include billfish (blue and white marlin, sailfish and spearfish), junior (15 year-olds and younger) and rodeo (points based on specific fish) with prizes awarded to the team who reels in the heaviest catch and earns the most points overall. Other awards include the Record-Breaking Blue Marlin prize for anyone who reels in a catch above 708 pounds, and the Top Lady Angler award, presented to the female competitor with the highest billfish or rodeo points.
Sea Island, Georgia
Embrace all things Southern at Sea Island’s three-day Southern Grown Festival. The event kicks off with a dinner hosted by Garden & Gun and chef Mike Lata of James Beard-nominated The Ordinary restaurant in Charleston. The Lowcountry celebration also includes a farmer’s market that showcases wares from local artists, plus culinary and mixology demos. Also on deck: a concert headlined by the Drive-By Truckers and an after party dedicated to Elvis’ music (expect an impersonator). After you’ve worn out your blue suede shoes, head to a Sunday brunch with down-home staples like biscuits and gravy.