Many of the best places to visit in November in the USA offer travelers an opportunity to skip prime time crowds while enjoying steep off season discounts. November is the month when fall leaf peeping is winding down—but colors are still vivid—and holiday travel has not yet ramped up.
Wildlife viewing is spectacular in November. Humpback whales begin to arrive in warm Hawaii waters while flocks of birds migrate south across the U.S. And beaches are empty but inviting.
Best Places to Travel in November 2021 (USA)
Whether you’re looking for balmy breezes and sunshine or famous fall festivals and stunning hikes, incredible fall destinations in the USA await.
1. San Diego for Beach Time
I live in America’s Finest City and November might just be my favorite month here. It’s the best kept secret…whichever neighborhood you stay in.
With 17 miles of stunning coastline and dozens of soft, sandy beaches to enjoy, you can join the locals for sunning and tide pooling here this time of year.
Weather is still beautiful with breezy temps around 70° F and maybe a day or two of rain the entire month. Plus, late fall ushers in technicolor sunsets on the regular.
With tourists gone, it’s a pleasure to explore Old Town, the historic settlement from 1769 that harkens back to San Diego’s rich Mexican heritage.
Ride San Diego’s hop on hop off trolley to explore the famous San Diego Zoo, the Gaslamp Quarter for nightlife, and Little Italy for good eats.
San Diego is a great California destination in fall. A fall hike in scenic Torrey Pines State Park is always a good idea; take in epic panoramic ocean views here.
With more time, shop the tony seaside community of La Jolla, golf or explore Coronado Island, conveniently across the bay.
Whatever you do, be sure to book a sunset sailboat cruise around San Diego’s harbor. (Watch for the famous “green flash” the last moment before the sun dips beyond the horizon).
Check price and availability on the San Diego sunset sail here.
2. New York City for the Macy’s Day Parade
November is the perfect time to visit New York City. New York City weather in November is just beautiful—with an average high of 54° F—and there are tons of unique New York City activities you can’t do anywhere else.
There are fabulous events you can look forward to including the New York City Marathon when over 30,000 runners converge on the city to run over 26 miles across all five boroughs.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is always memorable. Thanksgiving weekend also marks the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season.
Known as “Black Friday”, it’s the time of year that puts merchants “into the black” because that’s when they make their profit.
You’ll find some great bargains in New York’s finest and most popular stores during this period.
The Thanksgiving season is also when New York City’s Christmas markets open.
All around the city you’ll find wonderful Christmas markets to rival even those of Europe: Union Square, the Upper West Side and, my favorite, Bryant Park, perhaps the most multi-ethnic Christmas market in the world.
For me, the best things to do in New York City in November are leaf-peeping tours on the Circle Line and the walks in Central Park to see the beautiful autumn colors.
If you’re new to the city, consider a “New York in one day” guided sightseeing tour.
Guest review: “One of the best tours we have been on! I loved every minute of it! I would definitely book this tour again.” —Floyd Aug 2021
Check price and availability on the NY in One Day tour here.
Talek | Travels with Talek
3. Key West for Sun + Fun
Key West in November is ideal!
First of all, the weather will be cooler—expect highs in November of 79°F—and it doesn’t rain as much as it does during the summer months.
Therefore, you’ll have a more enjoyable time walking around the infamous Duval Street and other attractions.
If you’re doing a Miami to Key West drive, you’ll especially appreciate the better weather.
Also, the Key West Film Festival takes place in the middle of November.
This multi-day festival attracts film fanatics from all over the country and is dedicated to displaying Florida’s filmmaking talent.
You can watch the films and listen to talks from actors, producers, and more.
If you’re looking for something more action-packed, you can watch the powerboats race at the Race World Offshore Championships.
You’ll get to see the most competitive teams from all around the world compete in this adrenaline-rushing event.
There are several places in Key West where you can watch the races, but Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park will provide you with one of the best spots for a front-row seat.
Key West is also a great place to spend Thanksgiving day. You can rent a catamaran and set sail all day to enjoy the ocean and indulge in a special holiday meal.
Be sure to book a sunset sail here. Why fight the crowds in Mallory Square at sunset when you can enjoy a full bar, live music and hors-d’oeuvres for the show?
Guest review: “We celebrated my husband’s birthday on your sunset cruise. Everything was right on point. Captain has a sense of humor, staff was friendly and our musician was great! —Patricia P Aug 2021
Disha | Disha Discovers
4. Asheville, North Carolina for Peak Colors
Asheville, North Carolina is one of the best destinations to visit in November.
Located directly outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Asheville is the perfect spot to view colorful fall leaves in the mountains.
While October is a popular time to see the leaves change, November is better because the leaves have reached their peak colors.
To make the most of the November leaves, go on a hike or drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Some of the best trails in Asheville include Mount Mitchell and Mount Pisgah. Be sure to bring a camera because there are amazing photo opportunities.
Another one of the best things to do in Asheville in November is visiting the Biltmore Estate, one of the largest homes in America. It has a library, an indoor swimming pool, 65 fireplaces, and a bowling alley.
And in November, it’s decked out with beautiful Christmas decorations. While the mansion is beautiful any time of the year, the large evergreens, sparkling lights, and holiday wreaths make it extra special.
The best way to see Asheville? On a 2.5 hour guided electric bike tour! Cruise past architectural gems, city streets, and picturesque neighborhoods guided by a local.
Guest review: “Great way to enjoy and experience Asheville. Do this on your first day in town so you will know the places to go back and visit!!” —Jana Aug 2021
Gabby | Journey to the Destination
5. Socorro, New Mexico for Bird Watching
Socorro, New Mexico is the perfect place to visit for nature and bird-watching lovers in November.
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is near the town, famous for its Bosque del Apache Festival Of The Cranes each November.
It is a breathtaking spectacle of nature. Thousands of sandhill cranes and geese migrate here for winter from the north.
Standing on pencil-thin legs, sandhill cranes have a captivating elegance. They spread their wings with great grace. They dance and take flight, swaying against the sky.
Their large bodies are covered with brownish-gray feathers, and their heads are strikingly white-red in color.
The colors of the feathers are not intense. rather, they’re subdued, reminiscent of the colors of dry grasses.
For a good reason: the bland colors of the feathers blend with the colors of the meadow, making the cranes difficult to spot by a potential enemy.
And there are plenty of those in the area. Because during this period, numerous coyotes gather in the area, hoping for an easy meal.
After sunset, waves of cranes are approaching from all sides. Birds flock to the refuge’s shallow swamps to survive the night safely.
At dawn, they take flight to feed at the surrounding fields and water reservoirs.
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is also worth seeing because of its hiking trails where you can easily spot coyotes, deer, eagles, and hawks.
Best of all, Albuquerque is just a one hour drive north. If you’re staying there, visiting the refuge makes a great day trip.
Leave the drive to a local on a 6-hour guided tour to this nature lovers’ paradise as you meander along the Rio Grande.
Guest review: “Wow! Memories of a lifetime. It was so much more than I imagined. Five bald eagles, thousands of sandhill cranes, hawks, geese, and so much more!”
Check price and availability on the day tour to Bosque del Apache here.
Agnes | The Van Escape
6. Maui for Whale Watching
Spending your days under the swaying palms of Maui is always a good idea, even in November.
It’s low season now on Maui so if you’ll find more affordable accommodation at one of the island’s luxurious resorts and condos.
Plus, you’ll be able to visit the island’s main sights and attractions without the usual crowds. (Don’t miss the food trucks!)
From catching the sunrise at the Haleakala to attending a luau, everything feels so much more relaxed on your Maui itinerary.
Another exciting event in November (towards the second half of the month) is the arrival of the migrating humpback whales.
A whale watching cruise from Lahaina allows you to see these friendly giants up close. You can check price and availability on tours here.
Early November is also restaurant week in Wailea, which means that you can sink your teeth into some of the island’s fanciest signature dishes for a fraction of the cost.
And to top it all off, the Made in Maui festival also takes place then. There’s no better place to find that perfect Hawaiian souvenir for your friends and loved ones.
Sarah | CosmopoliClan
Looking for nice weather in November?
Head to Hawaii for beach time, whale watching or to see the Big Wave surfers. Daytime temperatures range from 70 to 86° F.
Just be aware that November is the start of Hawaii’s rainy season so expect a few more showers than in the summer (but still plenty of sunshine).
Other warm places in November on the west coast include Palm Springs with a balmy high of 89° F and Las Vegas, which ranges between 63 and 70° F in November.
San Diego is sunny with empty beaches and daytime highs in the 60s. Even warmer are Key West and Miami with 79° F during the day, cooling to just 70° F overnight.
Texas Hill Country averages a high of 71° F while Sedona, AZ is a little cooler at an average of 64° F but still lovely!
7. Everglades National Park for Wildlife
The Everglades National Park is one of the most unique destinations in the USA and in the world.
Located in the sunny state of Florida, it is an easy day trip from Miami or a great place to visit for a few days, as there is plenty to do.
Here you can explore the mangroves and immerse yourself in nature and the wonders of the wildlife in a swamp. November is ideal for visiting the Everglades.
This is when the weather is cooler and the temperatures and the humidity levels are lower, the mosquitoes are not around, and hurricane season has already passed.
With mild temperatures between 78.4°F and 59.7°F, the weather’s ideal for hiking, kayaking, and enjoying a ride on a traditional airboat, where you can see hundreds of the most popular residents in the National Park, the Florida alligators.
November is also the best time to observe the rich wildlife of the National Park.
It is when the manatees migrate to the Everglades, Also, the water levels drop during the dry season and a large number of animals congregate around the water holes.
While visiting the Everglades, you can also explore the ecological paradise of the Ten Thousand Islands Wildlife Refuge.
It is a real gem inside the national park, with the second-largest mangrove forest in the world forming fascinating labyrinths of water and islands with very rich wildlife, including some endangered species.
You can book an airboat tour of Everglades National park here. It includes an educational wildlife presentation by an Everglades ranger!
Paula | Paula Pins the Planet
8. Texas Hill Country for Fall Hikes
Cooling weather—expect average daily temps of 71° F—excellent wineries, fun small towns, and peak fall foliage make the Texas Hill Country one of the best USA destinations in November!
In Central Texas, trees burst with color a bit later than most of the country, with foliage generally peaking in the first week of November.
If you’re looking for the best places to see fall color in Texas, you can’t beat the magnificent Lost Maples State Natural Area or nearby Garner State Park.
Downtown Austin’s many parks have their fair share of beautiful color, too!
Be sure to check out the Hike & Bike Trail along Lady Bird Lake to enjoy a fantastic combination of foliage and downtown skyline views.
Separate from leaf-peeping, many favorite Hill Country hikes, like Enchanted Rock, are perfect to visit in November when the weather has cooled off enough that the temperatures tend to be pleasant.
Small towns like Fredericksburg, Wimberley, Boerne, and more are bursting with food, wine, and craft festivals throughout the season, and wineries and barbecue joints alike are eager to welcome visitors to spacious patios.
While Fredericksburg’s Oktoberfest celebration will have passed by November, if you visit toward the end of the month, you’ll see the town’s German heritage on full display through their Christmas decorations, including a traditional German Christmas pyramid in the town square.
A great way to see the best of Texas Hill Country in fall is on a full day tour from Austin or San Antonio. (Includes hotel pick up.)
Explore famous LBJ Ranch, stroll historic Fredericksburg and experience the music of Luckenbach.
Guest review: “Best day tour ever! Gary was an amazing guide. His stories of cowboys, Longhorns, cattle drives were fun and interesting.”
Kate | Lone Star Travel Guide
9. Sedona, Arizona for Red Rock Vistas
Imagine being surrounded by red rock vistas while you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast. Or hiking in perfect weather to some of the prettiest places you’ve ever seen.
That’s what you can expect visiting Sedona, Arizona in November.
In addition to the stunning landscape, Sedona is well known by healers as one of a handful of places around the world where you can experience the energy vortex.
There are Sedona vortex hikes that will get you as close as possible and are a great way to start your trip.
Sunny November weather in the mid 60s is perfect for mountain biking epic red rock singletrack.
But the 250 miles of trails are not the only draw for mountain bikers in November.
The Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, November 12-14, has over 90 vendors with bike demos, skills clinics, live music and great food.
If you have a chance to spend Thanksgiving in Sedona, start your day with the annual Turkey Trot, a festive 5K race that will prep you for the calorie overload to come.
L’Auberge de Sedona hosts a decadent brunch and dinner that will make your trip so memorable, it might become your annual Thanksgiving tradition.
Sedona is the perfect place for a nighttime stargazing tour! Plus, you’ll look through military grade night vision googles to see unexplained (UFO) activity.
Guest review: “Such a good time. This is my second time. The guide is so amazing and knowledgeable of everything in the sky. You will most definitely get to see UFOs when you take this trip.” —Anonymous Nov 2020
Jenifer | The Evolista
10. Burlington, Vermont for Scenic Drives
Not only does this vibrant New England town have its charm, but Burlington also serves as a gateway to enjoying the beautiful nature of Vermont.
In early November, the trees still have their beautiful fall hues. However, most of the fall crowds are gone by this point, allowing for perfect, unobstructed views of fall foliage.
One great way to see the fall colors is by taking a drive through Smugglers’ Notch, the famous and beautiful mountain road where goods were smuggled between the U.S. and Canada.
“Smuggs”, as the locals call it, gets quite a bit of traffic in the early fall, so November is the ideal time to take the scenic drive.
To enjoy the fall leaves on foot, the 65 acre Centennial Woods Natural Area is directly adjacent to Burlington, and offers not only splendid trees but also plenty of streams and other natural features to explore.
The Centennial Woods Loop is a great 1.8-mile hike that showcases the beauty of the area.
During mid to late November, the first snowfall of the season occurs! This is the perfect time for skiing and snowboarding.
The first snowfall is pure magic, and there are two beautiful and affordable mountains located just a few miles from downtown Burlington: Bolton Valley and Cochran’s Ski Area.
This November snowfall is quite special because it lacks the crowds of later winter months, and is far warmer.
In between enjoying the foliage and snow in Burlington, be sure to walk down Church Street, the heart of Burlington, to taste a few famous Vermont staples: craft beer, cheese, and maple syrup.
Vermont Pub and Brewery is a local’s favorite and an excellent place to grab dinner after a day of exploring.
Burlington is also the cultural epicenter of Vermont, boasting plenty of live music. Higher Grounds Music Venue is a must-see, and their November concert lineup is always incredible.
Haley | Gathering Waves
11. Palm Springs to Restore
With average temperatures hovering around 78° F, November is the perfect month to pamper yourself in the Old Hollywood mecca of Palm Springs.
If you’re looking for active adventures, Palm Springs delivers with gorgeous desert hikes and stargazing in two internationally designated Dark Sky Parks (Joshua Tree National Park and Borrego Springs).
Tee off at more than 110 local golf courses or follow in the footsteps of celebrities when you swing a racquet at dozens of tennis courts here.
Looking to relax? Whether you’re here for a girl’s weekend or reconnecting as a couple, Palm Springs is home to world-famous spas, chef-crafted cocktails, and top shelf restaurants.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the world’s largest rotating tramway.
Spend a half day taking in the views as you rise from the desert floor into the pristine wilderness of Mt. San Jacinto State Park.
In between adventures? Relax poolside, of course, and just breathe in the desert beauty.
But it wouldn’t be Palm Springs without a guided tour of the iconic celebrity homes here! Check out the Rat Pack Hideaway and dozens of other special places on a 1.5 hour tour of Palm Springs.
12. Smoky Mountains for Crowd-Free Hikes
Visiting The Smoking Mountains in November is perfect if you’re looking to enjoy the area without the typical summer crowds.
With crisp autumn weather as an added bonus, it’s a great time for hiking and exploring the area without being uncomfortably hot.
It also makes enjoying the hot tubs located at most cabins in the area that much more relaxing as an escape from the chilly evenings.
It’s a perfect time to roast marshmallows over the fire and sip some apple cider or hot chocolate, with lows between 41°F and 35°F.
At the beginning of November, the leaves can usually still be seen changing colors before falling for the winter.
This is also a great time of year to go see Cades Cove and Clingmans Dome without the usual crowds and take in spectacular views along roads like Newfound Gap Road and Little River Road.
Seeing wildlife should not be a problem with black bears, wild turkeys, elk, and deer as frequent visitors this time of year.
The outdoor attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are still open and transitioning to holiday celebrations like the Gatlinburg Festival of Trees and the Smoky Mountain Christmas in the Dollywood theme park.
November gives you an opportunity to enjoy the holidays and one of the best national parks in the USA all in one trip.
Looking for truly breathtaking views? See the Smoky Mountains on a helicopter tour. Your 25 minute tour ranges 50 miles from Gatlinburg to the pristine wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains National park.
Guest review: “This tour was amazing from the takeoff to the landing! The views were breathtaking.” —Lulu
Dan | Cabin Critic
13. Sonoma, California for Wine Tasting
November is a wonderful month to visit Sonoma County.
It’s the best of California in fall. Daytime temperatures are generally in the 60s or low 70s, perfect for exploring outdoors.
Evenings and early mornings can be a bit brisk, so remember to pack layers.
Fall colors generally peak in Sonoma in early to mid November. Vineyards put on a show of colors, from yellow to burgundy, and you will see entire hillsides draped in color as you drive around.
But fall color in Sonoma extends beyond the grape vines to many shrubs and trees, making it a breathtaking time to explore the valley.
County, regional, and state parks abound in the valley and offer excellent leaf peeping, combined with hiking.
While the valley is the best place to experience fall colors, kayaking or floating down the Russian River is another great way to enjoy the natural beauty of Sonoma in November.
A visit to Sonoma also makes a great weekend from the Bay Area, too.
The weather is warm enough for outdoor pursuits during the day and offers higher chances of fog-free days along the coast.
Sonoma is a world-class wine destination, of course, so come prepared to enjoy cabernet sauvignon wines; the season begins in November.
Also experience harvest bounty at area restaurants, which feature produce from local farms and other food producers. Pumpkin, squash, and apples star in many menus.
Holiday lights and celebrations kick off in area towns in mid-November, so strolling towns such as Sonoma and Healdsburg after dark is a joy.
You may even be able to pick up some wine country holiday gifts, since many stores start their holiday sales in November.
What could be better than wine tasting in Sonoma? How about adding a day trip to nearby Muir Woods?
This full-day tour from San Francisco includes a hike through the giant coastal redwoods, views of San Francisco Bay, and wine tastings at two wineries!
Guest review: “Muir Woods is just beautiful and amazing. One of God’s beautiful wonders that you must see!! Jessie our tour guide was awesome.” —Natasha, July 2021
Check price and availability on the Muir Woods day trip here.
Dhara| Roadtripping California
14. Vail, Colorado for Spa Deals
Although Vail is renowned for its winter skiing and summer nature, most of the year it’s not a destination for those with a tight budget or little patience to sit in traffic.
If you’re in that category, then November is the time for you! In the off-season, Vail makes an excellent home base to explore surrounding areas via day trip by car.
The Colorado River Road is a gorgeous loop drive west of Vail; it follows the famed river, meanders through pastoral valleys, and is virtually deserted in November.
Take Highway 24 over to the historic town of Leadville, the highest incorporated town in the nation.
A visit to its mining museum is well worth the modest admission price, but call ahead for hours.
Keep your eyes out for bighorn sheep while driving at this time of year.
Condominiums are more affordable in Vail in early November, which offer versatility to cook in or eat out.
In fact, many hotels offer day spas —and condos often contract with spas—so booking is easy.
Plus, spa discounts abound in November. It’s a great time to pamper yourself.
Although some restaurants and shops remain closed before Thanksgiving, you will appreciate the diminished crowds in Vail Village and the little-to-no wait times at restaurants and bars which are open.
The best way to see Vail? By Segway! Take a 90 minute Segway tour of Vail’s best bits as you coast along the scenic Vail Valley.
Shara | SKJ Travel
15. Roanoke, Virginia for Leaf Peeping
Set in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke dazzles as a destination of choice for outdoor enthusiasts, especially in the fall.
Start with a meandering drive along the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway, which jogs to the east of downtown. Make a stop at Explore Park at milepost 115.
This 1,100-acre recreation area boasts hiking and biking trails, as well as disc golf, camping and kayaking on the Roanoke River.
Enjoy cooler temps and revel in the final striking pops of colorful foliage at the Smith Mountain Lake Chili Festival.
Once you’ve gotten your fill at this lakeside event, burn off the calories on a fall hike on one of the scenic Smith Mountain Lake hiking trails, like the Turtle Island Trail or Chestnut Ridge Trail.
While in Roanoke, don’t miss the Roanoke Star, the world’s largest man-made star at 100 feet tall.
The overlook atop Mill Mountain wows with far-reaching foliage-filled views across the Roanoke Valley. The iconic steel star has been welcoming visitors to Roanoke since 1949.
Stay the weekend in town at the Hampton Inn & Suites Roanoke Downtown.
It’s a block or two from Center in the Square, which houses family-friendly attractions like the Roanoke Pinball Museum and the Harrison Museum of African American Culture.
From the sixth-floor rooftop, take in the views across the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains.
While you’re in Roanoke, taste test your way through town on a three hour food and walking tour through historic hotels and foodie hot spots with seven tastings at local eateries.
Erin | Go Hike Virginia
16. Boston, Mass for the First Thanksgiving
Not only is the weather gorgeous during Boston in November, but the range of color of the fall leaves is one of the best in the country.
The city itself is great for visiting, walking, and even whale watching. Historical tours on the Freedom Trail are one of our favorite things to do.
Yes, there are plenty of festivals and pumpkin picking around this time of year near Boston.
It’s also a great time to visit some of the historically significant towns like Salem (home to the Salem Witch Trials) and Plymouth, MA, where the Pilgrims landed in the 17th century and the first Thanksgiving took place.
Located south of Boston, right on the coast, Plymouth is a beautiful small New England seaside town that is a wonderful place to visit for its beauty and most notably, its history.
One of our favorite things to do is visit Plimoth Pawtuxet (formerly Plimoth Plantation… differently than the town of Plymouth) to walk back in history and experience a 17th-century English colony.
Actors take on the roles of real colonists (pilgrims). They speak to visitors as if they are living in 17th century Plymouth, and through conversation and demonstration will teach you about the Pilgrims’ journey.
You can also explore a Wampanoag homestead, and learn what life was like for them during this time period. Modern day members of the Wampanoag Tribes in Massachusetts will share their history and culture.
Best of all, you can actually enjoy a traditional harvest feast in Boston on Thanksgiving, making it a uniquely special experience in the USA.
Each November, Plymouth hosts “America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade and Celebration” the weekend of Thanksgiving.
Nearby attractions also include the site of Plymouth Rock and the replica of the Mayflower ship, which is what brought the Pilgrims to America.
Plymouth, Massachussetts and Boston should definitely be on your November bucket list in the USA.
While you’re here, be sure to see the city by Boston Duck Boat (a renovated WWII amphibious vehicle) on the Charles River. It’s everybody’s favorite way to tour Boston!
Guest review: “Our guide Ben was awesome ! So knowledgeable and funny. This tour is a fun way to get a quick overview of Boston history by land and water.” —Julie B, Aug 2021
Keri | Bon Boyage with Kids
17. Washington D.C. for an eBike Tour
Instead of enduring peak tourist traffic in the spring to see the cherry blossoms, why not visit Washington D.C. in November?
The Tidal Basin is the gateway for the city’s famous Japanese cherry blossom trail. But instead of being stuck in crowds and unable to move, glide around on an eBike.
There are convenient eBike stands located nearby on the National Mall. Then kick it into high gear and steer the eBike down to the Tidal Basin, which is part of West Potomac Park.
Or, spend an hour leisurely walking past the Yoshino and Kwanzan trees. Imagine an artist’s paint brush swirling orange, gold, red, and yellow paint across a canvas.
Built in the 1800s, the Tidal Basin is about 107 acres in size. It is transformed in November when the trees change color and then drop their leaves by Thanksgiving.
The eBike tour will require at least three stops at the Jefferson Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
Each memorial offers a place to sit and reflect on the surroundings. From the Jefferson Memorial grounds, the Washington Monument can be viewed. Try to visit at sunrise or sunset for spectacular Instagram photos.
For a great overview of the city’s iconic landmarks, be sure to reserve a ticket for the hop-on hop-off bus. It’s the very best way to see the highlights with limited times.
Terri | Female Solo Trek
18. Death Valley for Desert Colors
Due to its extreme temperatures, there’s only a narrow window of time for the best experience in Death Valley National Park.
It’s a great place to enjoy California in spring, but visiting in November is just as perfect; the summer heat is gone, the winter crowds have yet to arrive, and the weather is beautiful.
Expect temperatures to be pleasant, usually hovering in the 70’s during the day. At night, you’ll be treated to crystal clear skies with uninterrupted views of the stars.
There are many ways you can spend a day exploring Death Valley in November.
Start your day by watching the sunrise at Zabriskie Point, where the morning sun lights up the badlands in lovely shades of pinks and purples.
For more out-of-this world views, head over to Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the US. Here, you’ll see stunning salt flats stretching out in a field of white as far as the eye can see.
Make sure you turn around and look for the sign on the hills behind the Basin, it marks sea level and puts your elevation in perspective.
Continue exploring the park by driving through one of the most colorful roads in California: Artist’s Palette. The highlight is the vibrant, colored splattered hills; they make for stunning photos!
Death Valley is stunning, and a must visit on your next November trip.
Ale | Sea Salt & Fog
19. Chicago, Illinois for the Best of the Windy City
Fall might not be your first thought for visiting Chicago, but it’s actually a great time to explore here. The weather isn’t too cold yet and it’s far less crowded than in summer.
There is plenty to keep you busy in the fall, like enjoying the colorful leaves on the trees at the many parks throughout the city.
The cool weather also makes it a great time to enjoy the city’s ambiance-rich cafes, making November one of the best times of the year for writers to enjoy a solo writing retreat.
Chicago is alive with events in November, like the annual Chicago Thanksgiving Parade and Bears games at Soldier Field.
Or if you’re into art and culture, November is the perfect month to get cozy in the world-class museums here.
November is also when a lot of the winter events open in Chicago…events like Christkindlmarket, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, and Chicago Christmas Tree lighting.
The Daley Park Ice Skating Ribbon opens November 19, and it’s the coolest ice rink I’ve been to. You won’t want to miss it if you visit Chicago in November!
The best way to see Chicago? From the water on a 1.5 hour guided architecture cruise…a Chicago tradition since 1935!
Guest review: “This was the fourth time, over the years, that I have taken this tour. Kenneth was so knowledgeable, had an extraordinary delivery and was entertaining in his questions to the group.” —Virginia, Aug. 2021
Natalie | Voyage Scribe
20. Las Vegas for Nightlife
You can’t beat Vegas in November! Daytime temps from the summer have settled to a mellow 70° F. Nights in the desert here are still chilly though so bring a wrap!
In addition to its worldwide reputation as a gambling mecca, Vegas has a deserved reputation for drawing top tier artists.
And since they tend to spend a week or so in residence, it’s easy to get a ticket.
Before hitting the casino and shows in the evening, enjoy a VIP tour of historic Hoover Dam on the Colorado River.
See the Insta-worthy memorial bridge and learn about the incredible construction by thousands of workers from all 50 states during the Great Depression in 1931.
Guest review: “One of the best tours. Harrison was funny, friendly, informative. Dam was amazing to see and learn how this engineering feat was done.” —Richard, Aug 2021
Check price and availability on the VIP Hoover Dam tour here.
21. Moab for Canyon Views
Moab in Utah is the perfect destination for any adventure lover to visit in November. With fewer crowds and perfect weather (highs averaging 46 to 60° F), hiking is idyllic now.
Nearby Dead Horse State Park also offers some of the most majestic canyon views anywhere and eight miles of hiking trails.
This makes it perfect for hikers and campers. But because of the rock formations, it’s also ideal for rock climbers or base jumpers.
Surrounding Moab, there is a lot of BLM land where you can go off-roading or mountain biking.
Beginners can check out the Klonzo trail system—just 30 miles from downtown Moab—with miles of well-marked looping trails.
In Moab, you can rent a Jeep, a UTV, or an ATV and spend time rock crawling and heading to the backcountry, but in a vehicle instead of on foot.
During November, the daytime temperatures drop, so there’s no need to be miserable hiking in extremely hot weather. The nighttime temperatures, although cooler, are not freezing.
In late November, you might encounter some early season snowfall, so if you’d like to have snow-free trails, plan your trip for earlier in the month.
Looking for a memorable evening activity? Reserve your spot on the Moab Sound & Light Show for a cowboy-style dinner slow cruise on the Colorado River. Watch the canyon face glow orange after dark.
Check price and availability on the Moab Sound & Light Show here.
Jenny | Limitless Hiker
These are the very best November vacations.
With its diverse geology, culture, and attractions, the U.S in November offers so many beautiful between-season opportunities to breathe in nature, immerse in cities, and marvel at wildlife.
Whether you’re celebrating at a foodie festival or enjoying a peaceful cabin in the woods, fall beauty beckons.