November can be a great time to travel. The excitement of summer vacation seems long past, and the busyness of the Christmas and New Year season isn’t quite upon us. Also, much of the country becomes a bit dreary during this time of year, causing many to look for a break from grey skies and chilly temperatures. November is a fantastic time to escape the dreary weather that much of North America experiences this time of year.
» Algarve, Portugal
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Algarve is Portugal’s southernmost region and is an area noted for its beautiful beaches and golf resorts. What was once only tiny fishing villages perched on the cliffside overlooking the sandy shore, the central section between Faro and Lagos is now is a world-class tourist destination with luxury resorts, hotels, more villas than you could count, nightlife, and delicious restaurants. If you’d like to get away from the hustle and bustle of this area, check out the western coast or the less-developed interior of the region for a look at the real Portugal. The Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park is a protected region of the coast that also allows you to enjoy untouched nature.
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» Steamboat Springs, CO
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Steamboat Springs is a city located in the mountains of Colorado’s Yampa Valley. The city is a popular wintertime skiing destination. The mountain views are gorgeous year round, but the world-class skiing is why many travelers come here in November. Two ski areas are located here, including the Steamboat Ski Resort and Howelsen Hill Ski Area. After a day spent on the slopes, warm up and soak your sore muscles in the city’s geothermal hot springs, which are thought to have therapeutic effects. The Old Town Hot Springs has long been a choice destination and offers swimming pools, hot springs for soaking, and water slides for endless fun.
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The state capital of Texas, Austin is a city near the Texas Hill Country. It is known as the home to the University of Texas as well as for its vibrant live music scene. Here you’ll find a rich representation of country, rock, and blues music, and plenty of venues to hear a live band perform. The city has many wonderful parks and year-round mild weather, giving you plenty of options for outdoor enjoyment whenever you choose to visit. Go for a run at Lady Bird Park, stroll around Zilker Park, or take a dip at the Barton Springs Pool for an enjoyable day outside in Austin.
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» Bangkok, Thailand
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Bangkok, Thailand, is a sprawling metropolis known for its beautifully ornate Buddhist temples, delicious food, and massive outdoor markets. Life in the city revolves around the Chao Phraya River, which bisects the city and feeds its numerous canals. Taking a boat ride on the river or a canal tour is a must if you want to understand the city. Other popular attractions include the Grand Palace complex complete with the Wat Phra Kaew Temple and Wat Pho, which sits nearby and has a massive reclining Buddha statue. The street life in Bangkok is vibrant, and many tourists enjoy exploring the street food and stopping by vendors selling wares that you just can’t find back home.
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» Barcelona, Spain
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Barcelona, the vibrant capital city of Spain’s Catalonia region, is a city known most for its architecture and art. One of the city’s most impressive landmarks is the Sagrada Familia cathedral, which was designed by Gaudi. He also designed many other buildings and landmarks throughout the city, and interested visitors may enjoy trying to spot them as they stroll the streets. Flamenco dancing is huge here with plenty of opportunities to watch. You’ll also find many art museums such as the Museu Picasso and the Fundació Joan Miró, which both feature modern art collections by their namesake artists. Visit La Rambla street for a taste of everything Barcelona has to offer, including shopping, art, and dancing.
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Belize is a Central American nation located on the Caribbean Sea. The country is characterized by beautiful sandy beaches with a large offshore reef and dense jungle in the interior. The Belize Barrier Reef is a stunning place to snorkel or dive and features hundreds of small islands, or cayes, throughout. In the jungle, you’ll find Mayan ruins such as those at Xunantunich and Caracol, which has an impressive ancient pyramid. The Great Blue Hole is also a popular attraction and is a deep, blue sinkhole that is famous as a diving destination. Like the rest of Central America, Belize has beautiful weather year round, making it an especially attractive destination when North America is in the midst of winter.
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» Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Buenos Aires is Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital. The city is vibrant and has many interesting sites. For example, there are stunning examples of 19th century architecture, such as the presidential palace, known as the Casa Rosada. Many of these buildings are located in the city center area, around the Plaza de Mayo central square. Other interesting sights in Buenos Aires include the Teatro Colon, which is a large, impressive opera house dating to 1908, and the MALBA museum, which has a nice collection of art sourced from across Latin America. From the capital, you can easily reach the beautiful beaches of Argentina or other interesting sights around the country if you wish to go a bit further afield.
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» Florida Keys
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The Florida Keys is a string of islands that stretch off the tip of Florida into the Atlantic Ocean. The Keys are known as a popular place to go snorkeling and scuba diving and there are also plenty of opportunities to go fishing and boating. The southernmost city in the United States, Key West is famous for its raucous nightlife along the many bars of Duval Street and the nightly Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square. Key West was also the home of author Ernest Hemingway, whose home is now preserved as a museum. The average high temperature in November is 80°F, making it a delightful escape from the chilly temperatures in most of the rest of the USA.
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» Hong Kong, China
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Hong Kong is officially an autonomous territory of China, but is decidedly more western in culture than its mainland counterpart owing much to its long history as a British colony. Today Hong Kong is a vibrant and densely populated metropolitan area with beautiful beaches and green spaces outside of town. The city is also popular among shoppers, with abundant opportunities to purchase both locally made items and international luxury brands. The Temple Street Night Market is a famous destination for tourists who love to shop. Family travelers will appreciate a visit to Disney Hong Kong or Ocean Park, another theme park with rides and wild animals.
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Jamaica is an island nation located in the Caribbean and is characterized by lush mountains covered in rainforests and a coastline with many beautiful beaches and a reef just offshore. The country was a British colony and as such still retains vestiges of colonial architecture in its capital. It is also known around the world as the birthplace of reggae music and the home of Bob Marley. Jamaica gets quite a bit of rain year round, but November is one of their drier months; hurricane season is also starting to taper off and the island is not yet experiencing the holiday rush that comes in December, making it a popular time of year to visit.
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» Joshua Tree National Park
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Joshua Tree National Park is a large park in Southern California known for its rugged and stark landscape with rock formations, deserts, and its namesake, the twisted Joshua Trees. The park occupies parts of both the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert. Hiking, camping, horseback riding, birdwatching, rock climbing, stargazing, and nature photography are all popular activities here. Visiting in late fall means that you will avoid the harsh summer temperatures and can enjoy the soft autumn light, which makes for especially beautiful photographs. There are also several festivals that happen nearby in October and November, which draw many visitors to the area.
74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277, Phone: 760-367-5500
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» Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Kuala Lumpur is the modern capital city of Malaysia. When you look out at the city skyline, you can’t help but see the Petronas Twin Towers, a pair of glass and steel skyscrapers that soar 451 meters high and are some of the tallest buildings in the world. There is a public skybridge and observation deck that is open to tourists. There are also a number of examples of British colonial architecture around town as well as beautiful city parks and modern shopping malls. The Hindu temple set inside the Batu Caves just outside of the city is a popular place to spend a day. You may find heavy rains at times if you visit in November, but they rarely last long enough to severely interrupt your plans.
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» Los Angeles
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Los Angeles is a massive city in Southern California. Perhaps most famous around the world as the home of the country’s film and television industry, the city is home to several recording studios, many of which offer tours, as well as the iconic Hollywood Sign and the Walk of Fame honoring many of the country’s most revered stars. However, the city isn’t just glitz and glamour. Disneyland is a popular reason for family travelers to flock to the city, as is the Santa Monica Pier, which offers rides and numerous places to grab a bite to eat. There’s so much more to do in this huge city that you’re sure to find something for every type of traveler. It’s warm year-round, so November is a great time to visit.
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Malta is a small island nation in the Mediterranean. Set between Sicily and the coast of North Africa, the nation is known for its historic sites. Throughout history, Malta was ruled by many different groups, giving it a varied history and interesting architecture. There are numerous large fortresses, interesting temples, and remnants from ancient history such as the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, an underground burial complex that is thought to have been constructed around 4000 B.C. The coast is beautiful and scuba diving is nice in this area. The weather in November is mild but can be a bit cool at times, meaning that you may find a good deal on hotels.
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Memphis is a city in southwestern Tennessee set on the banks of the Mississippi River. The city is most famous as the home for the different strains of blues, soul, and rock n’ roll music that had their start here. Musicians such as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and B.B. King all recorded albums at Sun Studio, which has now been turned into a museum. Elvis Presley’s impressive Graceland mansion is also popular among Elvis fans and music lovers of all sorts. Other attractions include the Beale Street Historic District, known for its nightlife, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Blues Hall of Fame.
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Nepal is a small, mostly mountainous country in Southeast Asia bordered by China and India and in close proximity to Bhutan and Bangladesh. The country is home to eight of the top 10 highest mountains in the world including the tallest, Mount Everest, which sits on the border with Tibet. Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, is also located in Nepal. Visitors typically come to Nepal for trekking the mountainous region of the country, with the majority of treks occurring in the Annapurna and Everest regions. Ethno-tourism and cultural tourism are also starting to take off and you will find many interesting options available. The weather is typically cool in November but not too cold to enjoy a nice hike or walks around town, making it a nice time to visit.
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Oahu is one of the islands that make up the US state of Hawaii. The island is home to the state’s capital city, Honolulu, as well as the iconic stretch of beach known as Waikiki. Just to the west of the capital is Pearl Harbor, which was the site of the 1941 bombing attack during World War II. The USS Arizona Memorial is also located here. Other attractions include a range of dining and nightlife options, a nice historic Chinatown, and the Diamond Head crater. November falls in the shoulder season which means comfortable daily temperatures but less crowds than during the summer months.
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» Plymouth, MA
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Plymouth is set just south of Boston on the Massachusetts coast. The city is famously the location of the first Pilgrim settlement, which was established in 1620. A large boulder known as Plymouth Rock is located in the Pilgrim Memorial State Park and marks the location where it is thought that the pilgrims first landed in what is now the United States. A full-sized replica of the original Mayflower known as the Mayflower II is typically anchored here at the park. Plimoth Plantation located nearby is a re-created village that depicts how the Pilgrims may have lived in the 1620s.
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» San Diego
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San Diego is a city set on California’s Pacific coastline and is known for its beautiful beaches, fun-filled parks, and year-round warm weather. The San Diego Zoo inside the immense green space of Balboa Park is a popular family attraction, as is SeaWorld San Diego. For beach lovers, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, and Silver Strand State Beach are all nice places to spend a day in the sand while Coronado Beach with its grand, circa 1888 resort offers visitors a chance to imagine what the city was like more than a century ago. Weather is nice year round, making San Diego a great vacation destination for your November travels.
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» Santa Fe
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Santa Fe is the capital city of the US state of New Mexico. The city sits in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and is known around the country and the world as a haven for creative arts. The unique Pueblo-style architecture makes the city an enjoyable one to have a stroll in and take in the picturesque sights. The historic district houses a number of interesting sites, including the New Mexico History Museum, which occupies the Palace of Governors, and the Loretto Chapel with its legendary staircase. The weather is cool in November and much less busy than during the summer months, making it an ideal time to visit and perhaps get a good hotel deal.
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» Santa Monica
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Santa Monica is an oceanfront town on the coast just west of downtown L.A. The town’s most iconic landmark is the Santa Monica Pier, which features rides and numerous dining establishments. The beach is sandy and while it can be busy, offers mountain views and is a nice place to spend the day. Family visitors love Pacific Park Amusement Park as well as the Hippodrome Carousel and the aquarium at the pier. Muscle Beach is just nearby, which is just as popular with gawkers and onlookers as it is with exercise enthusiasts. The reasonably warm weather in November makes it a popular place to visit when the temperatures are icy in the rest of the country, although the water may be too cold for swimming.
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» Sardinia, Italy
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Sardinia is an Italian island in the Mediterranean. The large island has almost 2,000 miles of coastline that is marked with long stretches of sandy beaches. The interior of the island is mountainous, offering adventurous travelers plenty of hiking. There are ancient Bronze Age ruins that dot the landscape and provide interesting sites along the way as you are exploring. The beaches are some of the most beautiful in Europe with stunning blue water and white sand. In November, temperatures can be quite cool, but the sea doesn’t usually get too cold and it can be a good time to enjoy the sites without paying premium prices for the peak season.
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» Athens, Greece
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Athens, the capital of Greece, is a city with a long history and many cultural influences. During the times of ancient Greece, the city was the head of a powerful empire and was the location of many important historic events. Many landmarks from this time period are still standing including the Acropolis, with it’s impressive Parthenon. Museums such as the National Archeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum preserve many historical items from ancient Greece and give visitors an opportunity to understand this history. Today, the city is a charming modern metropolis with numerous tasty restaurants, great shopping, and plenty of options for nightlife.
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Taos is a northern New Mexico town set in the high desert near the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The town is most famous for its unique architecture consisting of historical adobe buildings such as the famous Taos Pueblo. Taos Pueblo was a multistory residence constructed from adobe that housed Native Americans for many years. The city has long had a strong tradition in the arts, with many museums and galleries displaying art from the region with the Taos Art Museum and the Harwood Museum of Art standing out as great places to start. Many come to ski in the winter time, making November a great time to come visit if you enjoy the powder.
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» Zihuatanejo, Mexico
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Zihuatanejo is a city on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, a little north of Acapulco. Like its better-known neighbor, the city is a resort town known for its beaches, such as the palm-fringed Playa La Rosa and the nearby Playa El Palmar (in Ixtapa). The city streets are dotted with excellent restaurants and numerous galleries. Just offshore, you can see sea turtles and dolphins as well as other interesting marine animals, so it’s worthwhile to take a snorkeling trip or boat tour. Daily temperatures in November are typically in the 80s, so it’s a fine place to vacation if you are tiring of cold weather.
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25 Best November Vacations
- Algarve, Portugal, Photo: Courtesy of lukaszimilena - Fotolia.com
- Steamboat Springs, CO, Photo: Courtesy of Tupungato - Fotolia.com
- Austin, Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Boswell - Fotolia.com
- Bangkok, Thailand, Photo: Courtesy of Kanika - Fotolia.com
- Barcelona, Spain, Photo: Courtesy of neirfy - Fotolia.com
- Belize, Photo: Courtesy of Fotos 593 - Fotolia.com
- Buenos Aires, Argentina, Photo: Courtesy of Angela Bragato - Fotolia.com
- Florida Keys, Photo: Courtesy of jcpjr - Fotolia.com
- Hong Kong, China, Photo: Courtesy of Javen - Fotolia.com
- Jamaica, Photo: Courtesy of maylat - Fotolia.com
- Joshua Tree National Park, Photo: Courtesy of GDMatthews - Fotolia.com
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Photo: Courtesy of structuresxx - Fotolia.com
- Los Angeles, Photo: Courtesy of Justin - Fotolia.com
- Malta, Photo: Courtesy of zoltangabor - Fotolia.com
- Memphis, Photo: Courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia.com
- Nepal, Photo: Courtesy of cn0ra - Fotolia.com
- Oahu, Photo: Courtesy of Marco Körner - Fotolia.com
- Plymouth, MA, Photo: Courtesy of mheston - Fotolia.com
- San Diego, Photo: Courtesy of hakanozturk - Fotolia.com
- Santa Fe, Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Boswell - Fotolia.com
- Santa Monica, Photo: Courtesy of evenfh - Fotolia.com
- Sardinia, Italy, Photo: Courtesy of refresh(PIX) - Fotolia.com
- Athens, Greece, Photo: Courtesy of Kisa_Markiza - Fotolia.com
- Taos, Photo: Courtesy of victoria629 - Fotolia.com
- Zihuatanejo, Mexico, Photo: Courtesy of Lux Blue - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of shanemyersphoto - Fotolia.com