The Best Places to Visit Off-Season
Well, aren't you clever?
Nobody wants to travel off-season if it means trekking in a torrential downpour or partying in what might as well be a ghost town. The key to off-peak adventures is picking the right time and place. Here, we’ve rounded up a roster of spots you’ll actually want to go and where you’ll definitely save a dollar or two.
Barbados: Late June to November
While most of the Caribbean is in a flurry during hurricane season, this island is positioned so far east that it hasn’t had a hit since 1955. Even better: Jet Blue is launching new direct flights, and in November there’s a rum and food festival.
Loire Valley, France: September to October
Just a tad south of the perennially touristy Paris, this region of rolling vineyards and châteaus never feels like a day at the Louvre--especially during the off-season, when the farm-to-table movement is arguably at its finest. (Hello, fresh pumpkin and wild mushrooms.) Some vineyards are appointment-only this time of year, which makes it feel like you're at your own private estate.
Tofino, British Columbia, Canada: November to February
Winter may be tinged with gray skies and drizzle, but temps never drop below zero, making it prime for coldwater surfing (swells are larger) and storm-watching (ditto). The culinary scene’s also on the move, showcasing fresh catches from Clayoquot Sound: Dungeness crab, oysters, halibut.
Upper Engadin, Switzerland: September to November
Not a skier? Hit up this Swiss slopes region in the autumn to take advantage of crisp mountain air and rust-colored vistas--without all the tourists. Also: fondue, raclette and accessibly-priced lodges.
Venice: November to March (EXCLUDING THE HOLIDAYS)
Waterways and palazzos make Venezia one of the world’s most romantic cities--even more so when you’re not riding bumper to bumper with the next gondola full of selfie-snappers. Hotels slash rates up to 50 percent this time of year, so you can reserve more cash for all those big pasta dinners.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming: April to May
Come spring, this winter wonderland is nearly people-free but still offers fishing, white-water rafting and frequent specials on restaurants and hotels.
Algarve, Portugal: November to April
Portugal might seem like a summer destination, but in truth, the weather rarely dips below 60 degrees in Algarve in the winter months. Even better? You won’t have to scramble to stake out a spot of sand or snag a plane ticket, which are as much as half off during the off-season.
Hawaii: November to mid-December
OK, fine: Fall is technically Hawaii’s “rainy season.” But all those warm showers (which rarely last more than a few hours anyway) have an upside: rainbows, which you just might spot in one of the islands’ volcanic craters, mountain ridges or valleys.