Help this menopausal woman pick the perfect September vacation
August 11, 2019 10:57 PM   Subscribe

Looking to take a solo vacation in September. Currently live in Seattle and want to spend a week exploring and resting with spectacular views -- water or mountain views preferred. The hot flashes are real, so moderate to cool temperatures are critical.

Must haves:
- Direct flight (Delta or partner) from Seattle or San Francisco - long flights ok
- No extreme anything - temperatures, sports, hikes, etc.
- WiFi
- Hotel/AirBnB with beautiful interiors and views
- Not openly hostile to English-only speaker

What I like to do on vacation:
- Falling asleep staring at the view
- Enjoying a stroll, walk, light hike
- Visiting museums/gardens/attractions
- Eating delicious (cheap or expensive) food

What I don't like on vacation:
- High temperatures
- Crowds
- Overly curated experiences (pre-planned excursions, all-inclusive resorts)
- Shopping

Places I've already been:
Vancouver, BC
Bay Area
East Coast cities

Budget is generous but not ridiculous (think Westin, not Four Seasons).

Where should I go?
posted by frizz to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Chile! It will be spring, you can head to the mountains or the coast from Santiago.
posted by vunder at 11:04 PM on August 11

Reykjavik, Iceland?
posted by HandfulOfDust at 11:13 PM on August 11

Go to Naoshima! 2-3 days exploring the Art Islands would be amazing, and there are other quiet islands in the Seto inland sea. A day at each end in Osaka, which, while a busy city, I didn't find nearly as overwhelming as Tokyo, and the food was absolutely delicious.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:30 PM on August 11 [3 favorites]

Come to New Zealand
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 1:04 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]

Come to Maine! I'd recommend Camden, which is on the coast (water), and has Camden Hills State Park, with Mt. Battie (hiking, with stunning views of the ocean).

The Norumbega Inn would be my first choice, but there are many other inns and B&B's in Camden. It's not as crowded as Bar Harbor or Portland, and September is the perfect time to visit Maine.

It is 15 minutes down Route 1 to Rockland, and the Farnsworth Art Museum. Nearby is Owl's Head Lighthouse, which also has a small beach nearby. If you're into old vehicles, the Owl's Head Transportation Museum is also in that area.

Here's an article talking about the art scene of Midcoast Maine, which notes that many people do not get beyond Portland, or Bar Harbor, and miss out on the huge arts scene there.

There is a special quality of light on the Maine coast, and September is a fine time to visit. It's not too hot, and not too cold, and the ocean breezes make it very pleasant at the time of year. The views from Mt. Battie and Penobscot Bay are simply amazing. I might drive out there this Fall myself!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:43 AM on August 12 [2 favorites]

I’ve been to Dublin, Ireland twice and it would check all your boxes.
posted by Autumnheart at 4:29 AM on August 12

Seconding Ireland--Dublin for a couple of days (worth seeing museums, certain exhibits like Kilmainham Gaol, taking the Dart to a beachy area and walking around.) Then get a train to the West. Everyone recommends Galway and you really can't go wrong there. I happen to prefer Sligo as it's quieter, with less of a drinking scene. If it's solitude you want then you could just take the train to Sligo and book a room at a b and b or spa outside town and enjoy the magic. I highly recommend Ard Nahoo, if only for the hot tub.
posted by Morpeth at 5:58 AM on August 12 [2 favorites]

Come to Ireland. Do whatever it is you feel you must do in Dublin, if anything, and then get out. Kerry, West Cork, Galway are all magical, restorative places. West Cork is known for food! And views! And it is never hot here!

Also worth mentioning is that in Cork City proper, we have somehow, against all odds ended up with the best Japanese restaurant in Europe, so that's worth a munch.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:25 AM on August 12

Alaska or Hawaii
posted by soelo at 8:27 AM on August 12

cape cod after labor day or prince edward island (which does transfer flights in toronto)
posted by brujita at 8:48 AM on August 12

As a former midcoast Maine resident, I second Marie Mon Dieu's recommendation!

Mount Battie is not an extreme hike – I've done it at night, under a full moon, with a group of friends of varying levels of hiking experience, and nobody had any problems. At the summit is a plaque with the first stanza of Rockland native Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem "Renascence."

The Farnsworth's holdings of works by members of the Wyeth family get all the publicity, but the museum also houses the world's second largest collection of the work of Russian-born, Rockland-raised sculptor Louise Nevelson, a pioneer of monumental, site-specific art installations. Asked after a trip to Egypt how she liked the pyramids, she replied, “Too small.” (She preferred "the sculpture, the power, and the organization" of the pyramids in Mexico.)

If you visit the Farnsworth, I can recommend the nearby Cafe Miranda for brunch, lunch, or supper. It's within walking distance of the museum; it's open seven days a week; and the last time I went there (last month), I was totally comfortable dining alone at the bar. (The $14 shrimp and grits appetizer was a meal unto itself.)
posted by virago at 10:30 AM on August 12

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