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November is still shoulder season, which means fewer crowds, lower hotel and airfare rates and cool temperatures. Thanksgiving week can of course be the exception, but if you are looking to get out of town for the holiday, there are many wonderful options waiting to be explored. Here are ten great destinations in the USA and abroad to consider for your November getaway.
November is a great time to visit Mexico for one special reason – it is when the country celebrates Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
Anyone who has seen the Disney movie “Coco” knows what this holiday is all about. There are many festivals and events happening all across the country to celebrate. One of the biggest is in Mexico City.
If you are looking for more of a beach experience, Mexico is home to countless beautiful resorts. Check out popular destinations like Cancun, Riviera Maya, the Yucatán Peninsula, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo. By November the rainy season has passed, leaving warm days that make it a good time to explore Mexico’s coastal regions.
Mexico is also home to some amazing archaeological sites and Mayan ruins. You can combine a few destinations across this beautiful country to truly experience all the things Mexico has to offer.
Read More: Best All-Inclusive Mexico Beach Resorts
Fun Things to Do in Mexico in November
- Celebrate Día de los Muertos
- See the Tulum archeological site
- Go zip lining in the jungle
- Swim in a cenote
- Eat authentic Mexican food
- Shop, eat and stroll through Mexico City
- Explore the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens
- Snorkel near El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, the “Arch” in Cabo San Lucas
- Drink tequila or sample margaritas
2. Los Angeles, California
California is home to some of the best places to visit any time of year. And that’s not surprising, considering the state is known for its beautiful climate, stunning sandy beaches, varied topography and a number of fantastic cities waiting to be explored.
Known as the City of Angels, Los Angeles is California’s biggest city, and it is packed with fun things to do. While there may be rain and chilly days in November, you can still enjoy the miles of coastline and go to the beach. There are a number of fantastic museums and cultural sites in Los Angeles.
L.A. is also famous for its theme parks. Within a short drive, you’ll find the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, and—if you are traveling with older kids—Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia. Many of these theme parks feature holiday overlays and Christmas celebrations which kick off in November, making this the perfect time to go.
Fun Things to Do in Los Angeles in November
- Visit Griffith Park Observatory for stargazing
- Take a ride on the carousel at the L.A. Zoo
- Head to Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier
- Learn about sea life at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
- Take a hike, bike or rollerblade down the boardwalk
- Visit a theme park
- Check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame
3. San Antonio, Texas
With its world-famous San Antonio River Walk, San Antonio is one of the most popular cities for a Texas getaway. And while San Antonio tends to get very hot in the summertime, November is one of the best months to visit.
Situated in south-central Texas, San Antonio is rich in culture and history. Must-see attractions include the Alamo, and the famous San Antonio River Walk, packed with restaurants, shops and Insta-worthy bridges.
Take a day trip from San Antonio to drive through Texas Hill Country, or visit one of the area’s theme parks.
In November, the Christmas lights go up and the Nutcracker is performed by the Children’s Ballet. The multicultural makeup means Diwali and Dia de los Muertos are big here too.
The harvest season also gives visitors the opportunity to get lost in the South Texas Maize, an elaborate puzzle carved into a local corn field.
Fun Things to Do in San Antonio in November
- Walk and dine along the San Antonio River Walk
- Take a riverboat cruise
- Visit the Alamo
- Spend a day at SeaWorld San Antonio
- Experience thrills at Six Flags Fiesta Texas
- Be amazed by the Natural Bridge Caverns
- Admire paintings at the San Antonio Museum of Art
4. Barcelona, Spain
The capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona is a city known for its architecture, art and cultural landmarks. Its moderate temperatures make November a great time to see the sights in this famous city in Europe.
Barcelona is located on the Mediterranean Sea, which makes for some gorgeous vistas even if the weather is a bit too cold for sunbathing and swimming. Instead, spend time exploring the city’s numerous art museums – such as such the Museu Picasso and the Fundació Joan Miró – as well as cathedrals and other landmarks.
Flamenco dancing is very popular in Barcelona, and there are many venues where you can catch a show. November is also when you’ll be able to see a concert during the Barcelona Jazz Festival, which runs each year from October through early December.
Fun Things to Do in Barcelona in November
- Visit an art museum
- Explore the city on a Hop On-Hop Off bus
- Take a city walking tour
- Visit the Ciutat Vella, Barcelona’s Old Town dating back thousands of years
- Go to a Flamenco show
- Enjoy the Barcelona Jazz Festival
- Take a Barcelona wine tasting tour and visit local wineries
5. Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix experiences scorching temperatures during the summertime, but by the month of November the weather is mild and comfortable. Average highs hover around 70 degrees and the skies are almost always clear and sunny. It is great time to visit Phoenix!
The snowbirds – people who spend their winters in warm climates and then go home for the summer – have typically not yet arrived, so there are no crowds or heavy traffic in Phoenix this time of year.
There are numerous outdoor adventures waiting to be experienced in Phoenix, along with luxurious resorts and cultural activities. The weather is perfect for visiting the Desert Botanical Gardens, an outdoor collection of more than 50,000 desert plants on display throughout five thematic trails that illustrate topics such as conservation, desert living, plants and people of the Sonoran Desert and desert wildflowers.
Read More: Best Arizona Resorts for Fun in the Desert Sun
Fun Things to Do in Phoenix in November
- Visit the Desert Botanical Garden
- Take a road trip to Grand Canyon National Park
- Visit the Sonoran Desert
- Follow one of the many hiking trails on Camelback Mountain
- Visit one of Phoenix’s many great museums
- Take a day trip to Red Rock State Park in Sedona (it is only a two hour drive!)
- Play golf at one of nearly 200 golf courses
- Indulge at one of Palm Springs’ many luxurious spas
6. Key West, Florida
The Florida Keys are a collection of islands, located just south of Miami, with Key West at the southernmost tip. Traveling to Key West is budget friendly, as you can drive to this island destination and not have to pay for airfare.
Key West is known for its laid back atmosphere, small town charm and vibrant bar scene. The weather is typically warm even in November, and there are many things to do outdoors so you can enjoy the sunshine!
Enjoy outdoor activities on the water, such as boating, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving or taking a sunset cruise.
On land, you can visit the Key West Shipwreck Museum, climb the lighthouse, go biking or stroll along Duvall Street and check out the many art galleries, shops, bars and cafes.
Read More: Key West Resorts: Kick Back and Relax
Fun Things to Do in Key West in November
- Visit the Key West Aquarium
- Spend time shopping, dining and bar hopping downtown
- Take a ghost tour
- Rent a jet ski
- Go sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling
- Take a ferry to Dry Tortugas National Park
- Check out the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
- Watch the sun set from Mallory Square
If winter sports are your thing, Colorado is one of the best places to travel to enjoy them! While early November is considered the shoulder season. By the end of the month, Colorado’s ski season has begun!
There are many wonderful ski destinations in Colorado known for their ski resorts and beautiful locales, including Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail and Steamboat Springs.
While it can be very cold, Colorado experiences beautiful sunny days, making the weather perfect for experiencing outdoor winter activities. Lower altitudes that might not yet have snow still feature great hiking trails and opportunities to enjoy nature.
Fun Things to Do in Colorado in November
- Go skiing or snowboarding at one of Colorado’s famed resorts
- Go on a dog sledding tour
- Exploring Colorado’s small towns, shops, restaurants and nightlife, such as Vail Village
- Take a hike
- Visit the Denver Aquarium
- Check out the Colorado Snowsports Museum & Hall of Fame
- Visit one of Colorado’s breweries
8. Oahu Hawaii
The Hawaiian Islands are beautiful any time of year, but November is an ideal time to visit if you are hoping for fewer crowds. Since Christmas is a peak season, November is a more quiet time, and you can often score great deals, too!
Oahu is a great choice if you are looking for outdoor adventures and some of the world’s best beaches. Average temperatures in November are in the high 70s and low 80s during the day. However, November is the start of Hawaii’s rainy season, so be prepared for showers.
The water temperature in Hawaii is nice this time of year, making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling and the many other water sports popular in the Hawaiian Islands.
Home to Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, Oahu has a never-ending list of great things to do. You can go to the beach, visit the Dole Plantation, see a luau or take one of numerous great excursions out on the water.
Fun Things to Do on Oahu in November
- Hike to Diamond Head Crater
- Shop at the Royal Hawaiian Center
- Go to a luau
- Visit Pearl Harbor
- Go on a snorkeling or ocean kayaking excursion
- Lounge on the white sand beaches
- Take a scenic helicopter tour
- Zipline through Kualoa Ranch (where Jurassic Park was filmed)
Thailand is located in Southeast Asia and is known for tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. You are probably familiar with its capital city Bangkok, but Phuket is another fantastic spot to visit this time of year.
November is the start of Thailand’s dry season, making it a good time to visit if you are seeking sunny weather. Since Thailand is a popular destination to visit over the holidays, November will be quiet before the crowds appear.
Situated off the west coast of Thailand, temperatures in Phuket are warm. Said to be among the world’s most beautiful beach destinations, Phuket is large, so there are many hotel and activity options depending on your family’s tastes and budget.
Fun Things to Do in Thailand in November
- Spend time at the beach in Phuket
- Visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok
- See the waterfalls at Visit Khao Yai National Park
- Try some Thai street food
- Have an authentic Thai Massage
- Visit the City of Ayutthaya, A UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Enjoy unique nightlife and foodie dining options
10. Caribbean Cruise
If you’re in need of one last big dose of sunshine and beach time before the holiday season, there is no better place to go than the Caribbean. And if you’re not sure which one island to visit, consider a Caribbean cruise to experience several in one trip!
November is the end of hurricane season in the Caribbean, so you’ll have less chance of rain and lots of perfect beach days. A cruise will shuttle you between islands in style, and provide lots of opportunities for fun both on board and when the ship reaches port.
If you are traveling over Thanksgiving toward the end of the month, a cruise ship will spoil you with a holiday feast – and you won’t have to do dishes afterwards!
Many cruise lines have their own private island in the Bahamas or Caribbean, providing the perfect opportunity for stress-free fun in a tropical setting. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to spend vacation!
Fun Things to Do on a Caribbean Cruise in November
- Enjoy family-friendly onboard activities
- See nightly shows
- Treat yourself to a spa treatment
- Take advantage of shore excursions, tours and equipment rentals such as snorkel gear
- Visit Eastern Caribbean ports such as Grand Turk, Princess Cays, the Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Half Moon Cay.
- Visit Western Caribbean ports such as Belize, Grand Caymen, Honduras, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico.