The Best Places to Travel in November

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November is a great month to visit new places and revisit old favorites. Typically, the weather is calmer and cooler than in summer, and less rain bothers visitors, permitting them to absorb all the offerings of the selected destination. If you avoid Thanksgiving week, you'll find less crowded spaces to occupy and have an easier time booking coveted activities. Here are the best places to travel in November.

The Best Places to Travel in November

Sun Siyam Resort Maldives
The Maldives are just one of the best places to travel in November on this list of destinations. Image credit: Jill Robbins.

Here are seven destinations, near and far, that are perfect to visit in November.

Related: The prettiest places to visit in October

1. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

The last weekend in November attracts thousands of visitors each year, thanks to the holiday, but the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving welcome fewer guests to appreciate the natural beauty surrounding the Tennessean town. Visitors typically stay about fifteen minutes outside of the town in a cabin lodged in the smoky mountains with breathtaking views encompassing their stay. Wildlife like black bears, deer, and numerous species of birds roam outside of the cabins. Deck out your itinerary with hikes through the Smokies, an aerial tram ride up Ober Moutain, or a visit to Dollywood, Dolly Parton's theme park just ten miles outside of Gatlinburg.

2. The Maldives

Citizens living in cold winter climates won't believe the solace that is The Maldives in November. The island's atmosphere tilts between a comfortable 78 degrees Fahrenheit and a toasty 86-degree temperature, pleading with guests to bask in the sun or dive into the atolls for a swim with whale sharks and manta rays. During your snorkeling ventures, gaze at the miles of coral islands lining the ocean. If you're more into laying back and appreciating the ocean's beauty but not swimming in the deep sea, book a sunset cruise while looking for Spinner dolphins. 

3. San Francisco, California 

The Bay Area is best to visit in November. Although the wintry months evoke the coldest climates in many states, November temperatures in San Francisco remain mild and relaxing, begging travelers from across the globe to visit. Since most people wait until summer vacation to plan vacations, San Francisco's November crowd is far less crowded than the bustling months of June and July. For activity planning, soak in the bay area breeze on a relaxed cruise around the Golden Gate Bridge, stop by Alcatraz, a haunted landmark, join in the Dia De Los Muertos festivities, or for caffeine enthusiasts, partake in the San Francisco coffee festival.

4. Asheville, North Carolina

A November in Asheville blesses the senses. Ripe foliage begins to fall, decorating the ground with multicolored leaves, revel in the jolly holiday light displays, inhale sweet scents emanating from local bakeries, and participate in farm-to-table Thanksgiving traditions. Catch an unforgettable glimpse of the Appalachian mountains while picking apples at an apple orchard or embarking on a scenic drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway. Asheville's November climate rests between the high 50s and low 70s.

5. Galapagos Islands

If you want to witness sea lions playing in their natural habitat, November is a great time to visit the Galapagos. Sea lion pups enjoy swimming up to human snorkelers and entertaining them with their antics. Since the water in November resides on the colder side, fewer people visit the islands, meaning ample vibrant marine life comes out for observation. With comfortable weather staying between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity level plummets along with the rain. Make sure to bring your wetsuit!

6. Macchu Picchu, Peru

When I traveled to Peru, we didn't have Macchu Picchu on our itinerary. After two days of exploring the Incan civilization, our tour guide added the wonder of the world to our schedule. We saw the phenomenon in early March when heavy fog plagued the vision. But, in November, less fog permeates the mountains, as less rain clouds the climate. The temperature in Macchu Picchu dips to 45 degrees Fahrenheit with a high of 68, making for a warmer hike than in June and July, where the temperature reaches 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Vik, Iceland

The absolute best month to see Iceland's northern lights is November. At least, in my opinion. Daylight hours in Iceland dwindle from eight hours at the beginning of November to about five at the end of the month, allowing tourists to grasp a good portion of the day in sunlight before waiting for the Northern Lights dance. It may rain in November, but only about three inches. In contrast, December, January, and March bring heavy amounts of sleet and snow, slowing travelers down. Take a zipline tour through Grafargil Canyon and the Hundafoss waterfall, step foot on a black sand beach, or dip in a natural hot spring.

Where Will You Visit?

Each place ranks November as their shoulder season, with fewer visitors but better views of the destination and landmarks. Do you fancy a winter oasis in a frigid climate with breathtaking views of the Northern Lights, or do you prefer a warmer utopia where sea lions coexist alongside your tanning bed? Where will you go?

About Gabrielle Reeder

Gabrielle Reeder is a travel enthusiast from St. Petersburg Florida. She boarded her first plane at six months old and blames her love for jet-setting on her mom’s background as a travel agent. She’s been to 41 states and six countries, hoping to up that number to 50 states and 10 countries by her 26th birthday. During her trips, she loves to find the best vegetarian food, desserts, and music venues. 

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram


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