Best for: Outdoor adventures, sports and exploring
Temperatures stay in the high 20s well into October in this laid–back Texas city, which also gets 300–plus days of sunshine a year. Begin with a bike ride around Lady Bird Lake, using its popular, shaded trail. Get out on the water by renting a kayak or stand–up paddleboard, or book a sunset cruise to spot the area’s most famous wildlife – Mexican free–tailed bats.
After a day of outdoors or sightseeing, cool off in the historic Barton Springs Pool, located in the 358–acre Zilker Metropolitan Park. As the name suggests, the pool is fed by fresh, underground spring water and lined by grassy lawns, perfect for a lazy afternoon. The site is also a federally protected habitat for the Barton Springs salamander, and hosts donation–based yoga classes and moonlight swims in the summer season. (Fun fact: This is where Robert Redford learned to swim as a child.) Head farther out to McKinney Falls State Park for hiking, biking, picnicking and even fishing at Onion Creek — no licence needed for fishing from the shore in a Texas state park.