September Culture Travel Guide

Food Market - Marrakesh
Roam the colorful markets and view the sleek art deco architecture of Marrakech (Digital Visions)

With light pouring into the glass-enclosed lobby, the new Mississippi Museum of Art is poised to impress. The Museum serves as a centerpiece for Jackson's emerging cultural district. Their inaugural show, "Angels in Italian Art," on view throughout 2007, presents 150 Western paintings that use angels as imagery. The show is being curated by Francesco Buranelli, Director of the Vatican Museums in Rome.

Telluride, Colorado
Every Labor Day weekend, Telluride, Colorado triples in size as film buffs flood this quintessential Rocky Mountain town to see the world's best independent films. "Like Cannes died and went to heaven," is how well-known film critic Roger Ebert describes Telluride. Telluride was the first venue to premiere Twin Peaks, My Dinner with Andre, and The Crying Game.

New York State
Long routes along the shores of the Finger Lakes and rolling backcountry farm roads combine to make this region in western New York State a great getaway for bikers. Add the only national historic park in the state, wineries, and the gorge at Watkin's Glen and you have more than enough sites to keep you busy. Start your trip in Ithaca, home to Cornell University and the tasty vegetarian restaurant, Moosewood. Head north along the shores of Cayuga Lake before reaching Seneca Falls. This is home to the Women's Rights National Historic Park, where Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton started the women's movement in the mid-19th century.

Saint Louis
They came from the low flatlands of Mississippi and Alabama, former farmhands carrying their one essential item on board the Illinois Central—a hand-me-down guitar. With names like Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Muddy Waters, these budding musicians arrived in Chicago seeking better jobs and living conditions. Many other Blues performers like Bennie Smith never made it to Chicago, preferring to stop in Saint Louis instead. Come to the Big Muddy Blues and Roots Festival in Saint Louis this September to see what all that crooning is about.

Celebrate Hawaiian dance, music, art, and history at Hawaii's annual Aloha Festival. The event has become so popular that the Aloha Festival visits all the Hawaiian Islands, but it's hard to top the festivities on Oahu in September. A grand floral parade, hula dancing workshops, ukulele playing competition, and falsetto singing contest are a few of the attractions.

New Mexico
The burning of Zozobra, a 50-foot tall puppet that symbolizes the hardships of the past year, signals the official start of New Mexico's Fiesta de Santa Fe. The four-day festival, held in early September, features mariachis playing around town, booths selling crafts, yummy New Mexican food in the Plaza, and a Grand Ball held at the El Dorado Hotel. The Fiesta ends with mass at Saint Francis Cathedral and a candlelight procession.

Moab, Utah
Forget your local performing arts center. For sheer beauty, it's hard to top the natural amphitheater of the red rock canyons that surround Moab, Utah. Over three weekends in September, chamber, classical, jazz, and Latin American concerts are featured at 11 different venues around the region, including the many that line the Colorado River. You actually have the option of rafting down the Colorado to see a show!

Sun Valley, Idaho
Ernest Hemingway made his first trip to Sun Valley, Idaho, in 1939, returning often to the area to write and go duck hunting with friends like Gary Cooper. Eventually, he would buy a house in Ketchum and is now buried in the town's local cemetery. To commemorate this great writer in their midst, Sun Valley and Ketchum features the Ernest Hemingway Festival in late September. Hemingway's granddaughter, actress Mariel Hemingway, is on hand along with many Hemingway scholars. There's also a dinner at Hemingway's house.

New York's Lincoln Center
For two weekends in September, New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is home to The American Crafts Festival. A jury of professional artisans, who are recognized experts in their field, choose 400 of America's finest craftspeople from over 1,600 applicants. The booths display a vast selection of fine art including pottery, dyed leather, jewelry, stained glass, contemporary furniture, and hand spun, handpainted, and handwoven silk apparel. Free craft demonstrations and musical entertainment also occur.

Marrakech, Morocco
Famed for its ancient beauty and views of sunsets over the snow-capped Atlas range, the exotic oasis of Marrakech has seduced royalty and heads of state all over the world. Indeed, Winston Churchill called the city "the loveliest spot on Earth." Churchill stayed at the renowned La Mamounia, a hotel that combines the grandeur of a pasha's palace with sleek art deco design. From here, you can stroll over to the main square, Djemaa el Fna, to witness a never-ending circus of storytellers, Berber musicians, spice sellers, and snake charmers. You can also hire a horse-drawn carriage to visit local palaces or shop in the souks for brass, carpets, and silver jewelry. Then there are the city's renowned gardens, where towering palms, rare cacti, and lily ponds are housed within the red walls.

Boston-based writer Stephen Jermanok has authored or contributed to 11 books on the outdoors, including Outside Magazine's Adventure Guide to New England , Discovery Channel's Backcountry Treks , Discovery Channel's Paddlesports , Outside Magazine's Guide to Family Vacations and Men's Journal's The Great Life . His latest book is New England Seacoast Adventures . His many adventures appear in National Geographic Adventure , Outside , Men's Journal , Forbes FYI , Travel + Leisure , Hooked on the Outdoors , and Backpacker . He can be reached at

Published: 4 May 2007 | Last Updated: 22 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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