We all crave that sweet serendipity of being in the right place at the right time: When the Northern Lights are most likely to dance; when that sleepy scruff-bucket town transforms for its once-a-year fabulous fiesta; or, when a mass mob of whales gathers at the nearby reef. That's why our book, The Best Place to Be Today, exists -- to help zoom in on precise dates or periods to ensure the very best experiences, be they wildlife migrations, active escapades, raucous festivals or cultural showstoppers. Each month we'll pick two of these timely experiences right from the book and share them here.
If you want to find out the best place to be on any day of the year -- today, tomorrow, your birthday or wedding anniversary -- check out our interactive calendar.
Have a balloon ball
Take flight at the Balloon Fiesta
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Early October (Oct 3-11, 2015, Oct 1-9, 2016, Oct 7-15, 2017, Oct 6-14, 2018)
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a lot of hot air. Simply, it's the biggest hot-air balloon event on the planet, which sees around 600 of the fantastic flying machines amass on a vast launch field in New Mexico, forming the centrepiece of a great, family-friendly fiesta.
It's a magical sight: balloons of myriad shapes and sizes, a rainbow of colour, billowing silk and roaring flames, plus food stalls and entertainment. There are various launch events too. Dawn Patrols see selected balloons rise up before sunrise; at Night Glows, grounded balloons fire their burners after dark to create magical illuminations; at Mass Ascensions, you can witness all 600-odd baskets taking off at once. - www.balloonfiesta.com
See 200,000 turtles
The rainy season is your best bet for seeing la arribada
September to October
There is no predicting la arribada, 'the arrival' of mass numbers of olive ridley turtles on the Pacific coast beaches of Mexico and Central America. After a year at sea, these sea turtles lumber ashore over the course of several days to lay their eggs.
It starts slowly, a few skittish turtles coming ashore one night; on successive nights dozens show up, then hundreds of thousands suddenly arrive. The peak period is around September and October, and is most likely to occur around the first and the last quarter of the moon.
The best turtle beach may be Costa Rica's Ostional, where as many as 500,000 turtles have been counted. It's hard to know why so many come ashore at once, but they've been doing it for 190 million years. - www.visitcostarica.com
Excerpted from The Best Place to be Today, 365 things to do and the perfect day to do them.