Best Beach Vacations in September

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What better way to close out the summer than with a trip to the beach? September is full of promise, with many destinations still boasting warm, sunny weather. But at the end of the summer, the competition for spots on the sand begins to wane. Here are some ideas for the best beach vacations in September.

Washington Coast

location_type_beach_family_posing.jpgThis wild and scenic coastline is world-renown, but often doesn't attract attention in September. The crowds have largely left by the end of summer, but for the most part Washington's rainy season hasn't kicked in. Enjoy the sun, the access to Olympic National Park's temperate rainforests, and excellent beach combing.

Montauk

Forget the Hamptons. This quiet hideaway just beyond the famous (and often pricey) vacation spot of the Hamptons is perfect for a September stay. It's quaint, quiet, and has plenty of great restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. Bring the surfboard, too; the waves here are sweet.

Cape Cod

Iconic Cape Cod makes for one of the best beach vacations in September. The weather is still warm enough during the day to feel like summer but the evenings are starting to cool down; perfect for sharing a bottle of wine on the porch. Vacation rentals and excursions like deep sea fishing and whale watching have greater availability in September.

Hilton Head

fripp-beach.jpgThis beautiful barrier island off the South Carolina coast also sees some of its summer crowds die down by September. Golf and tennis enthusiasts will revel in the island's perfect weather this time of year. Be on the look out for sea turtles and dolphins, large numbers of which can be seen in the area.

Cape May

New Jersey's southernmost beaches are gorgeous and Cape May, the finger of land jutting into the Atlantic, is one of the best in the state. The Victorian rental homes and quaint shops of the town center help this spot make the list for the best beach vacations in September.

Newport

Like Washington, Oregon's coast enjoys a lovely (and typically under-the-radar) September. It's generally warm and welcoming this time of year, though the water will likely be too cold for swimming. There are still plenty of beaches to enjoy, including collecting shells. Newport also offers extra incentives to visit like access to sand dunes, whale watching tours, and a charming downtown.

Cape Hatteras

North Carolina's skinny barrier island is one of the finest in the U.S. The cape has an astounding 72 miles of pristine shoreline and perfect waves for surfing or boogie boarding. Be sure to visit the black-and-white striped lighthouse, which is the nation's tallest.

Redondo Beach

This So-Cal beach is a hot spot in September during Lobster Fest. The event features live music, food and retail vendors, stand-up paddle board lessons, carnival games, and activities like face painting and balloon art for the kids.

Martha's Vineyard

marthas-vineyard.jpgThe island is dotted with dreamy vacation rentals - and thinning crowds in September. Check out unspoiled Moshup Beach near the dramatic Gay Head Cliffs and the bluffs of Aquinnah Beach. If you like fishing, Gay Head and Lobsterville are good spots to drop your line, and fewer anglers will be competing with you in September.

Stinson Beach

This beach town is small, but it's got a funky charm. Surfers will have access to excellent waves within walking distance of shops and cafes. Plus it's close to the myriad attractions of the Bay Area: San Francisco, wine country, Muir Woods, and Mount Tamalpais.

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