There will be a time in November when you’ll need a break from the grind of returning to work, being stuck at home, or dealing with the craziness of sending your children back to school. Due to more countries opening their borders to tourism, today is a great time to travel both domestically and internationally.
The fact that November is a great time to travel is by no means a coincidence. If you want to see the fall leaves before it starts to get crowded, now is the time to go.
As a result, where should you go on your vacation? Top November vacation spots include tropical beaches, forested getaways in the Northeast, and Scotland’s Highlands.
Scottish National Park of the Cairngorms
Because of Scotland’s temperate climate, November is a great month to visit for the stunning fall foliage, even if temperatures start to drop. Cairngorms National Park, the UK’s largest, is particularly beautiful this time of year when the landscape turns a brilliant shade of gold and crimson. November is a great month to go exploring because there are fewer tourists around. Tourists can find berries, fungus (which is in season now), and nettles all over the picturesque hills, making it a great place to go foraging.
Even if you’re not a fan of the great outdoors, there are numerous cultural excursions available. Visit the Kengo Kuma-designed Victoria & Albert Museum in Dundee while in the Scottish Highlands. The current show, Night Fever: Designing Club Culture, analyses the connection between 1960s design and club culture. In season two, when the Roy family pays tribute to their dad Logan, they visit the museum. Tours of whisky distilleries are also available at any time.
The Antarctica cruise season does not begin until November, despite what might appear to be an overwhelming amount of time. Due to the fact that the faraway continent is rapidly nearing spring, there will be more arctic ice and unspoiled landscape than there was in the winter months. (Consider the fact that the snow is still virgin and that wildlife is active.) You’ll see a flurry of activity from whales, seals, and penguins this month, and nests will be full of eggs and penguin squabbles over pebbles by the end of the month.
Once-in-a-lifetime experiences like polar diving and hovercraft rides, such as those offered by Atlas Ocean Voyages’ World Navigator, are available aboard several newly constructed ice-class expedition ships if you’re hoping to go to Antarctica this season.
Nantucket is most popular in the summer, but for seafood lovers, November is the best time to visit. The island’s famous “Nantucket Gold” bay scallops are returning this month. During the cold months of November through March, these mollusks, which live in the island’s native eelgrass, are harvested for commercial purposes. A fun fact: The fishery for wild bay scallops is still active in this area.
Napa Valley’s vineyards in California
A unique marketing campaign and events centered on the big-flavored red wine kick off Napa Valley’s Cabernet Season in November. As the crowds thin out due to the change in weather, this happens more frequently (temperatures hover in the mid-60s). As a result, hotel rates will be reduced, and reservations at Michelin-starred restaurants will be easier to come by.
In the event that wine isn’t your thing, the Mayacamas and Vaca mountains provide fantastic hiking and horseback riding opportunities in the valley bottom. Domaine Carneros’ “Art of Sabrage” offers a unique experience where your private group will learn about history, stories, and the appropriate way to open Champagne with a sword. There’s a long history of this practice dating back to Napoleonic times.
With Thailand’s tourism industry on the mend, visitors will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the country’s best attractions without having to contend with the usual throngs. When visiting Northern Thailand, the best time to go is November through May or June when it is dry (including Bangkok) with little rain and high humidity all over. Golden Mount Temple Fair is also taking place this month, which will feature performances as well as food booths and a Ferris wheel. Loy Krathong is also taking place this month, during which the entire country will be lighting floating lanterns to worship and ask forgiveness of Ganga, the goddess of water.
Yosemite National Park in California
To avoid the summer crowds and searing temperatures head to the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Yosemite National Park in California. The park and its surroundings are ablaze with color all month long in November. In addition, with daytime temperatures in the mid-to upper-fifties, it’s a great time to go sightseeing or trekking.
Also, nearby attractions include the Madeira Wine Trail and fly fishing, so guests have plenty of options for recreation.
Long Island, New York
Summertime on Long Island means miles of beautiful beaches and a world-class wine area. But October on Long Island means even more. In the month of November, Long Island transforms into a haven for nature lovers.
Family-run farms and farm stands offering local produce abound on Long Island’s Eastern Shore. For freshly squeezed apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, apple picking, and locally created wine, head to Harbes on Mattituck’s coast. Visit White Post Farms near Melville for farm and zoo animals, as well as sweets and other treats.
British Virgin Islands
There are fewer tourists in November than there are in December, which makes it a great time to visit the British Virgin Islands. In addition to decreased hotel rates, hurricane season is winding down, increasing the likelihood of clear skies and sunny days.
During this time, the Anegada Lobster Fest will be taking place on the island. The festival honors the Anegada spiny lobster and will be held on November 27 and 28 this year, making it one of the most anticipated events of the year. The event is organized in the form of an island-wide scavenger hunt. Visitors and residents are encouraged to take advantage of the island’s fresh lobsters and wonderful lobster meals, which are readily available at local restaurants. Locals and visitors are encouraged to explore the island. Live music and stunning views of some of the Caribbean’s best beaches can be found at each of the tour’s stops.