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Sponsor Content

The blues clubs and restaurants lining Memphis’s world-famous Beale Street crank out the tunes until the wee hours.

Here the local lifestyle revolves around sunny days and warm nights, and abundant accommodations and flights encourage spur-of-the-moment travel. In fact, all these places are actually more appealing when fall begins, temperatures mellow, and the summer crowds disperse.

Santa Cruz, California

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B.C.'s sunny Okanagan region offers top-notch cycling, hiking and rock climbing. CREDIT: Destination British Columbia

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Ninety minutes south of San Francisco, this small city on Monterey Bay has big-time appeal. The downtown core — much of it rebuilt after a 1989 earthquake — offers a charming collection of public art installations, graceful architecture, and bustling restaurants, bars and coffee houses. Cowell's Beach is a hot spot for surf lessons — not to mention silky sands and buff bodies — while the region is a hot spot for pinot noirs and chardonnays, with more than 50 wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation. Where to stay: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Santa Cruz


Barcelona

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The fantastical Park Güell is just one of many examples of Barcelona's head-turning architecture.CREDIT: Turespaña

There's no better city for a warm fall stroll. The famous thoroughfare known as "Las Ramblas" is arguably the most famous and lively pedestrian street in the world, while the Catalonian capital's incredible architecture — Antoni Gaudi's surreal Sagrada Familia church, the haunting Gothic Quarter, the fantastical Park Güell, the list goes on — keeps heads turning. Turn toward the Mediterranean and you'll find some world-class beaches lined with great restaurants, where the region's signature paella dish of rice and seafood can be paired with a glass of sparkling cava.

Where to stay: AC Hotel Barcelona Forum


Niagara Peninsula

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Scores of bucolic wineries rely on the Niagara region's warm microclimate. CREDIT: Tourism Partnership of Niagara

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Talk about a split personality: On one hand, you have the buzzing casinos, theme parks and jet-boat rides surrounding the peninsula's world-famous waterfalls. On the other, you have the antique shops, Shaw Festival theatre and War of 1812 re-enactments of Niagara-on-the-Lake, 20 kilometres to the north, as well as scores of bucolic wineries that rely on the region's warm microclimate.

Where to stay: Marriott Niagara Falls Hotel Fallsview & Spa


Memphis, Tennessee

The blues clubs and restaurants lining Memphis's world-famous Beale Street crank out the tunes until the wee hours.CREDIT: Memphis Convention amp; Visitors Bureau

The early fall is hot in Memphis, but the music is always hotter. The blues clubs and restaurants lining downtown's world-famous Beale Street, the self-proclaimed "Home of the Blues," crank out the tunes until the wee hours, while various festivals and special events, along with the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, ensure the volume is never turned down. East of downtown, Elvis Presley's former home, Graceland, continues to draw fans by the millions — it's the United States' second-most-visited house, after the White House — and offers headphone-narrated tours of its history, rooms and relics.

Where to stay: The Westin Memphis Beale Street

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Siena, Italy

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The Duomo, Siena's magnificent Romanesque cathedral, rises above the Tuscan city.CREDIT: Italian National Tourist Board

The little sister to the Tuscan capital of Florence is in many ways more charming. Local life is more evident here, with families partaking in the "Passeggiata," a nightly stroll through town that usually involves at least one gelato and a glass of wine. Indeed, who wouldn't want to wander this medieval gem? There's the distinctively shell-shaped Piazza del Campo at the centre of the city, surrounded by sights like the 800-year-old city hall and the Duomo, Siena's magnificent Romanesque cathedral.

Where to stay: La Bandita Townhouse, Pienza, A Member Of Design Hotels


Virginia Beach

If it's a last-minute family getaway you seek, Virginia Beach is a prototypical beach destination. The city's 300-metre-wide sandy beach meets the Atlantic just before it curves into Chesapeake Bay, and features a five-kilometre boardwalk lined with shops, hotels and restaurants. There's a wealth of historic and educational attractions — the Cape Henry Lighthouse and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center are two among dozens – while some attractions, like the Ocean Breeze Waterpark, are just plain fun. Hiking, kayaking, and whale-watching, meanwhile, are just a few of the diversions on offer in the surrounding state parks and the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

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Where to stay: SpringHill Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront


Okanagan, B.C.

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B.C.'s sunny Okanagan region offers top-notch cycling, hiking and rock climbing. CREDIT: Destination British Columbia

The home of Canada's balmiest, sunniest weather — according to Environment Canada's "Climate Severity Index" — is centred on its warm namesake lake and filled with rolling hills, vineyards and world-class golf courses. The region also offers top-notch rock climbing, notably on the Skaha Climbing Bluffs, and cycling and hiking along stunning routes such as the Kettle Valley Trail. For something less strenuous, you can always float down River Channel on an inner-tube. How's that for a classic summer pursuit?

Where to stay: Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort


This content was produced by The Globe and Mail's advertising department. The Globe's editorial department was not involved in its creation.

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