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sep 05

How Do You Stretch Your Summer?

There's still time to take that perfect vacation before fall (Courtesy BurnhamInk /myBudgetTravel)

I’ve never accepted the notion that summer ends on Labor Day. Yeah, the kids are back in school and the highways and commuter trains are crowded with folks back from the shore. But the official beginning of fall—the equinox—isn’t until September 22 this year. And for some reason I have to remind everyone I know every year that September temperatures around the U.S. average in the 70s. That means you’ve still got at least a few weeks to make the season last.

My family has a tradition of grabbing as many long weekends in September and October as possible. We’ll make one–tank escapes from our home in New York’s Hudson Valley to pay one or two more visits to the newly deserted beaches of Long Island’s east end and the still–warm waters of mountain lakes in the Catskills. Our spontaneous jaunts aren’t just to prove a point—they’re a chance for us to shake off some of the cares of the new school year and savor the mild temperatures and ever–shortening hours of daylight. My elementary–school–age daughters have even talked me out of my curious habit of taking them to the Central Park Zoo on the hottest day in July—now we opt for a breezy September Saturday when crowds are smaller and ice cream cones don’t melt before the first lick. (And if I can get the girls to stroll north from the zoo just a few blocks, I can even stretch that day trip to include a stop on Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile.)

What are your favorite September and October weekend getaways? Any tips for those of us who might want to follow in your footsteps? We’d love to hear your ideas!

—Robert Firpo–Cappiello

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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