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7 must-see places to visit in the off-season

By: Josh Lew on Oct. 21, 2012, 5:10 p.m.
Azores lake

Photo: CaptureLight/Shutterstock

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This little-visited archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is only a few hours from the U.S. East Coast by air. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the islands are pleasant, albeit sometimes wet, during the fall, winter and spring. Nearly deserted resorts and attractions can make this one of the best off-season destinations for people who really put a premium on authenticity and deeply desire a quiet, uncrowded vacation experience. Lush scenery with sometimes-rugged beauty, charming rural Portuguese towns, and plenty of fresh seafood and locally grown produce add to the appeal of this remote archipelago. The Azores certainly isn't a mass-market destination, so you can still get an off-season feel during the summer, though prices and crowds are at their all-time-low in the fall and winter.