By Jason Heidemann for the Orbitz Travel Blog
Summer is on the way out. Time to tuck your swimsuit away in the bottom drawer and break out the wool sweater. But don't despair just yet, summer lovers! There's a ton of happenings around the globe this autumn that will have you greeting cooler temps with a grin. Here are 19 travel-worthy fall events worth traveling for, in no particular order:
1. Niagra Wine Festival: Ontario, Canada (Sept 12-13, 19-20, 26-27) Just an easy hop, skip and jump from Buffalo, New York, Canada's gorgeous wine country rolls out the red carpet to oenophiles over the course of three long weekends that include live entertainment, educational seminars, demonstrations and traveling the region's abundant wine route.
2. Kentucky Bourbon Festival: Bardstown, KY (Sept 15-20) The signing of the Declaration of Independence wasn't the only big event to happen in 1776. It was also the first year the people of Bardstown started making bourbon and today the Bourbon Capital of the World boasts this six-day fest featuring tasting, black-tie galas, tasting and children's activities.
4. Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival: Galway, Ireland (September 24-27) The oldest oyster festival on the planet--celebrating its 60th birthday this year--pays tribute to the bivalve with four days of merriment including the Galway Oyster Festival Parade, a Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball, musical performances, live cooking demos and a whole lot of oyster slurpin'.
5. Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love: Marfa, TX (September 24-27) The quirky desert outpost of Marfa is a haven for artists, drifters and spiritualists that once a year plays hosts to a weekend festival of live music, sandlot baseball, workshops, art installations in more at the quirky tent and teepee campground El Cosmico. This year Trans-Pecos celebrates its tenth anniversary.
7. Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival: Hong Kong, China (October) Tuscany and the Napa Valley aren't the only places that raising a glass to the grape each autumn. HK's annual Wine and Dine Festival offers an entire month of celebration in which the city's top chefs collide with wines from around the world for a month of carnivals, tastings, tours and more.
8. Hell Yes Fest: New Orleans, LA (October 1-11) NOLA is gorgeous in the fall and largely off the radar of the tourist masses who raid the city every spring. Check out this combo film and comedy festival happening all over the Marigny and featuring stand-up, sketch, improv and live podcasts and headliners Tim Heidecker, Todd Barry, Nikki Glaser and more.
10. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta: Albuquerque, NM (October 3-11) The Land of Enchantment blows a lot of hot air--in a good way--at this annual fest whose highlights include musical performances, a chainsaw carving invitational, a fireworks display and Mass Ascension--in which dozens of hot air balloons simultaneously takeover the southwest sky.