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12 Places That Shine in Shoulder Season

  • tuscany poppies
  • machu picchu, peru
  • aloha festivals hawaii floral parade
  • lion cub south africa
  • grapes marlborough new zealand vineyard winery wine fall autumn
  • grand canyon hiker
  • st lucia grand piton sailboat
  • prague street czech republic
  • uxmal temples riviera maya mexico mayan city
  • mont tremblant quebec fall autumn
  • floating market bangkok thailand
  • switzerland swiss alps autumn fall foliage mountains
Timing can make or break a vacation. Travel during the high season, and you're fighting the crowds for a spot on the beach. Go during the low season, and you risk lousy weather and the closure of local attractions.

Luckily, there's a window of time for most destinations known as the shoulder season, when the prices and crowds are low, but the weather is still nearly perfect. If you travel during this time, you'll not only save money, but you'll probably also mix it up more with local residents at festivals and events that rarely appear in glossy travel magazines.

Click on any of the images at left to start the slideshow of places you should go -- when fewer tourists are there.

--written by Chris Gray Faust