From a new hiking trail on a California island to an historical trail through Bolivia and a major museum opening in South Africa, here are seven ways to make this October a month to remember.
1 of 7
Go leaf peeping and lobster-eating in Portland, Maine
Fall foliage is expected to peak in southern Maine over the middle half of October when the forests near Portland pop in shades of orange, yellow and red. Sure bets for prime viewing within a half-hour of the city include state parks like Wolfe’s Neck Woods (for bright yellows) and Bradbury Mountain (for crimson reds). Peak foliage coincides with Maine’s largest annual food and drinks festival, Harvest on the Harbor, where everyday lobster lovers help crown the Pine Tree State’s Lobster Chef of the Year. The weeklong event kicks off on October 16 with chef-driven “sustainable suppers”, tastings from Maine’s craft distilleries and harvest crawls to venues all across downtown.
Credit: (Nevin Martell/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
2 of 7
Follow the Che Trail through southern Bolivia
It was exactly 50 years ago this October that the world’s most famous revolutionary, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, was captured and executed by CIA-backed forces in southern Bolivia while attempting to foment a revolution. The Marxist guerrilla leader from Rosario, Argentina, went on to become a countercultural symbol of rebellion, and the anniversary of his death on October 9, 1967 is expected to draw thousands of visitors to southern Bolivia for commemorative events. The schoolhouse where the polarizing figure was detained and killed in the small village of La Higuera is now a small honorary museum. Other sites you’ll find along the so-called Che Trail include the Quebrada del Churo ravine (where he was captured) and a new Che Guevara Cultural Center in the city of Vallegrande, 37 miles to the north of La Higuera, where his dead body was displayed for the world to see.
Credit: (AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images)
3 of 7
Spice up your Halloween in Savannah
From the moss-covered oak trees of Forsyth Park to the Southern Gothic tombs of Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah certainly looks the part of America’s most haunted city. It fully embraces that title each Halloween when tales of ghosts and ghouls captivate unsuspecting visitors. To get into the spirit you can tour its cemeteries after dark, go ghost-hunting through the historic district or drive by bloody battlegrounds of the Revolutionary War. If that’s not enough to scare, Savannah promises horror in spades: Opportunities to take Halloween to the next level range from haunted forests to terror plantations.
Credit: (Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)
4 of 7
Hike New Mexico’s little-visited Chaco Canyon
New Mexico’s remote Chaco Canyon is home to the most extensive collection of pueblos in the American Southwest with traditional ‘great houses’ built between the 9th and 13th centuries that were considered some of the largest buildings in North America well into the 19th century. They’re now preserved under the desert sun in one of UNESCO’s most sorely underappreciated World Heritage Sites. For the perfect introduction to the Chaco world, hike the five-milePueblo Alto Loop, which rises out of the canyon (on steps hewn into rock) to the mesa above. October offers some of the most ideal weather for hiking in the desert, and is also when the closest city, Albuquerque, hosts its nine-day International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.
Credit: (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
5 of 7
Explore the new art and architecture of Cape Town
Africa’s largest contemporary art museum has just opened within an abandoned grain silo complex in Cape Town, which also houses one of 2017’s most buzzed about hotels: The Silo. The new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) boasts more than 100 galleries spread over nine floors with works from the likes of South African artist Nicholas Hlobo and Kenya’s Cyrus Kabiru. Critics have called MOCAA the biggest and most significant museum built in Africa in more than a century, and tickets for this October are already a hot commodity.
Credit: (RODGER BOSCH/AFP/Getty Images)
6 of 7
Attend the world’s second-largest Oktoberfest … in Canada
If you didn’t make it all the way to Munich this year for Oktoberfest here’s a bit of good news: The world’s second-largest Oktoberfest actually takes place in October (instead of September) and is much closer to home in Ontario, Canada.The annual Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest lures upwards of 700,000 visitors to these twin cities, which both have deep German roots and lie just over an hour west of Toronto (or three hours northeast of Detroit). The party begins the Friday before Canadian Thanksgiving (October 6 in 2017) and runs for nine bier-filled days. Expect frothy steins, jumbo-sized pretzels, polka dancing, parades, beauty pageants, barrel races and, as this is still Canada, a hockey tournament.
Credit: (Image via Getty)
7 of 7
Tread fresh trails on California’s Catalina Island
California’s Catalina Island officially debuted 27 miles of new and enhanced hiking trails this September in an attempt to woo outdoor enthusiasts to its more than 42,000 acres of wildlands. New trail maps of the 76-square-mile island, which lies off the coast of Los Angeles, can be purchased at the Conservancy House in the harbor town of Avalon, where high-speed ferries from the mainland arrive. The new trails enhance the existing 38-mile Trans-Catalina Trail, which dips into secluded valleys and rises up the island’s interior for sweeping Pacific Ocean views. Along the way you’ll encounter native species like the island fox and introduced animals such as the American bison. October is an ideal month to visit for both pleasant hiking weather and a lack of crowds.
Credit: (Photo by Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)