10 Fun Things to Do in September!

September is summer’s last gasp, and is a favorite time of year. The weather cools, and toward the end of the month, autumn leaves start showing their colors. The mid-Atlantic region offers a wide variety of great things to do and see!

There’s nothing quite like a Renaissance festival, whether it’s in Maryland or Virginia or Pennsylvania. Maryland’s is quite extensive, and maybe I’m playing favorites, but it’s big enough that there’s plenty to see and do, year after year. I prefer to go in the mornings — I’ve noticed that as the day progresses, the number of folks standing around the various — and numerous — pubs increases, to the point where it can seem like an gigantic open air bar by dinnertime. But really, there is something there for everyone.

For more information, check out this article!

For fairweather kayakers like me, September is one of the last months to go for a paddle before cold weather (and colder water) sets in. September is also one of the last opportunities for the year to kayak throughout Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and the Blackwater River.

The marsh habitat at Blackwater is a brackish tidal marsh. Tidal marshes are also quite lovely, and September is a great time to explore the wetlands from the water level, before portions of the water trail are closed in October to allow the migrating water fowl to rest undisturbed.

For more information, click here.

Hiking becomes fun again once the mid-Atlantic region’s hot humid air is swept away by September’s cool breeze. September is a great time to explore Ricketts Glen State Park’s many beautiful waterfalls with just a short (but strenuous) 3.2 mile hike!
For more information, check out this article.

Although there’s never NOT a good time to explore a castle, September is perfect for exploring the great houses and castles of New York’s Thousand Islands. One of these, Singer Castle, actually LOOKS like a real castle (by design). It’s kind of boxy and huge and has crenelations and towers. For more information, click here.

Summer is always the best time to visit botanical gardens and arboretums, but September is a great time to visit Ladew Topiary Gardens — topiaries are always in season! As traveler, artist, and fox hunter, the brain behind the gardens, Harvey Ladew, filled his life richly, creatively, and with great wit. Foxhunting drew him to this property in rural Maryland, where he let his wit loose in his extraordinary gardens. Check out this more extensive article to plan your visit.

When the weather turns cooler in mid-September, Harpers Ferry is a good pick for a destination. Roam the historic streets, grab lunch, browse the boutiques. Harpers Ferry is quaint, historic, and has both ice cream parlors and cafes, along with some art boutiques, an historic candy shop, and a variety of touristy Civil War flavored type places.

For more information, click here.

Most of us remember clearly where we were and how we felt as we learned of the devastating attacks on September 11, 2001. Pay your respects at the Flight 93 Memorial in Stoylestown, PA. For more information, click here.

Get a head start on leaf peeping by checking out West Virginia’s amazing Dolly Sods Wilderness. This is one of my favorite places! The amazing, breathtaking color of Dolly Sods — the heather and the blueberry bushes already peak in mid-September! Find out what you need to know before you go here.

Zoos aren’t just for kids. It’s a great place to spend the day, no matter how young, or old, you are! The National Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the United States, and as part of the Smithsonian Institution, does not charge admission. That makes it a great deal! The cooler temperatures bring the animals out of their cool hiding spots, and they’re a bit more frisky. Bring a picnic or purchase food on site — there are plenty of places to enjoy a picnic. 

To plan your trip to the National Zoo, click here

Halloween is right around the corner, so why not get in the mood for Halloween by visiting the haunted Overton-Hillsman House? Located in the Sailors Creek State Park in Virginia, you can learn about one of the last battles of the Civil War. When you visit the cottage, listen for the invisible child, often heard on the house’s second floor, when none was there (and in fact, the second floor is not open to park visitors). This house witnessed a great battle and then served as a hospital for wounded and dying soldiers, so yes, this beautiful little cottage is quite possibly a very haunted location.

For more information, click here.

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