Fall travel 2018: 10 fantastic places and what to do there

CNN staffPublished 17th September 2018
(CNN) — The end of summer doesn't mean the end to your fun. Some folks think the best season for travel is about to arrive.
We've done our homework to come up with 10 of the best places to go in the fall of 2018 and what to do there when you arrive at your autumn destinations:

Munich, Germany: Oktoberfest

Much copied but never bettered, the original Munich Oktoberfest runs from September 22 to October 7, 2018, and will welcome millions of beer chuggers from around the world.
It's the world's largest folk festival -- you can tell by all the tourists in dirndls and lederhosen. The fancy clothes get them in the mood to consume millions of liters of beer and tons of pretzels and wurst.
Festival organizers say it's much better to take public transportation to the grounds than a car.
Oktoberfest, Theresienwiese, Munich, Bavaria, Germany

British Columbia, Canada: Grizzly bear viewing

Grizzles bears are active in British Columbia in the fall.
Grizzles bears are active in British Columbia in the fall.
Jorge Esquivel
For most of the year, North American brown bears (aka grizzly bears) are shy around humans and can be tricky to spot.
In British Columbia, that changes in autumn when the majestic masters of the forest food chain descend on rivers and streams to gorge on spawning salmon.
From late August until early October, we know of few better places to see this annual feed -- and get closeup views of grizzlies -- than Bear Camp, where migratory bears join a large resident population in reliable masses.
Located on the Chilko River in central BC, the secluded tented camp built around an authentic 1950s fishing lodge offers rustic luxury along with world-class bear viewing.
ROAM (Bear Camp), Nelson, British Columbia; +1 888 639 1114

The Caribbean's ABCs: Shoulder season getaways

The Caribbean's sandy beaches and clear, blue waters can make other islands look almost dreary in comparison.
In fall, they're less crowded than in winter high season and hotel rates are considerably lower (with an exception around Thanksgiving).
This comes with a caution: Hurricane season coincides with this slower time in the Caribbean. You should purchase travel insurance and watch the weather reports, especially for places such as the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Turks and Caicos, among others. But minus a major storm, you'll likely find fall a superb time to be here.
The ABC islands -- Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao -- are close to South America and are outside of what's considered the hurricane belt.
Aruba has a dry climate and gentle surf. Bonaire is acclaimed for its snorkeling and diving. And Curaçao has a laid-back atmosphere and flavorful cuisine. All were colonized by the Dutch.

Moscow, Russia: Leaf-viewing

Moscow, Russia, is awash in golden leaves during fall.
Moscow, Russia, is awash in golden leaves during fall.
DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images
No country has a patent on trees filled with russet, scarlet and golden leaves. New England in the USA and Japan, including Tokyo, remain heavy hitters in the leaf-viewing game. We also love Douro Valley in northern Portugal, where you can take in the view from a river cruise, explore wine-making villages and try a glass of local port wine.
But consider a trip Moscow, which has some unexpectedly fine spots for autumn hues. A number of former royal estates have been converted into grand public parks.
Once owned by Catherine the Great, Tsaritsyno Park has superb colors. Kolomenskoye, a 390-hectare estate on the banks of the Moskva River, is another photogenic spot.
Tsaritsyno Park, Dolskaya ul., 1, Moskva, Russia; +7 495 321-63-66
Kolomenskoye, Andropova Ave, 39, Moskva, Russia, 115487; +7 499 782-89-17

Chile: Catch the end of ski season

Remember, the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. So in Chile, they're heading into the tail end of ski season as the September equinox brings spring. That means travel bargains.
At Portillo resort in the Chilean Andes, many September low-season, all-inclusive rates may dip by hundreds of dollars per person per week from regular season rates.
Shorter three- or four-night stays and select weeks when kids ski, stay and eat for free are also available late in the season.
Ski Portillo: Renato Sánchez 4270, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile; +56 2 2263 0606

India: Diwali Festival of Light

Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights. It's India's biggest and most spectacular festival, with millions attending firework displays, prayer and celebratory events.
For 2018, the main action falls on November 7, though festivities extend over several days.
In Varanasi, incredible fireworks displays explode over the Ganges. In the "pink city" of Jaipur in Rajasthan, there are illuminated markets to explore. In Goa, they burn effigies of the demon Narakasura, with competitions to see who can build the most terrifying one.

Malawi: Lake of Stars music festival

Inside Africa explores Lake Malawi which is home many species of fish found nowhere else in the world.
Partly inspired by the Glastonbury Festival, Malawi's Lake of Stars may lack the big names of the UK's annual music bash, but it also lacks the mud.
In a decade, LoS went from a low-key dance party on the shores of Lake Malawi to become one of Africa's hottest music events.
Running September 28-30, 2018, the party typically has an eclectic lineup. DJs are the lifeblood of Lake of Stars, but the real headliner is the location, a palm-fringed shoreline under hot starry skies.
Lake of Stars: Kabumba Hotel resort, Leopards Bay, Salima

United States: Football tailgating

Where else is it acceptable to hang around a parking lot shirtless at 9 in the morning drinking beer and shouting abuse at random strangers the color of whose sweatshirts you don't happen to approve of?
OK, there's more to tailgating than raucous revelry and engaging rival fans. Most tailgate events, are in, fact like big convivial communal picnics. But there's no doubt that the autumn kickoff of football season across America unleashes the nation's tribal party instincts.
They typically take place on any given Saturday in parking lots outside college football stadiums and on Sundays at pro stadiums. No admission required.
You don't even have to attend the actual games to enjoy the spirit. A tiny sampling of games for 2018 to consider:
-- September 29: LSU Tigers vs. Ole Miss Rebels; Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
-- September 30: Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions; Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
-- October 6: Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners; Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas

-- November 24: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines; Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Cayman Islands: Pirates Week Festival

Tomeka Jones explores a beach getaway full of food, fun and adventure in the Cayman Islands.
Live music, street dances, sporting events, fireworks -- and best of all, mock pirate invasions! What's not to love?
The beautiful islands, south of Cuba and west of Jamaica, are probably best known as an offshore financial haven and a glorious place for snorkeling. But these three autonomous British islands tap into their colorful history in November with all things pirate.
Pirates Week Festival: November 2-4 at Cayman Brac, November 8-12 at Grand Cayman and November 16-18 at Little Cayman.

Melbourne, Australia: Horse racing

Melbourne is a standard entry on "most livable city" lists, and its culture and entertainment scene is one of the reasons why people like to be there.
One of the biggest events in the city happens in their spring (and the Northern Hemisphere's fall). It's the Melbourne Cup, the most prestigious horse race in Australia. It's held the first Tuesday of November (November 6 for 2018).
But even if you miss the actual race, you can enjoy all the hoopla, parties and fashions in the days surrounding it.
Melbourne Cup Carnival: Flemington Racecourse, 448 Epsom Road, Flemington VIC 3031, Australia