Where to Travel in November
Still have vacation days left but not sure where to go? Check out our list of the top five places to visit in November this year.
We like to think of November as the travel sweet spot between peak tourist season and the holidays. Plane tickets are more affordable, major landmarks are much less crowded and the weather’s still perfect for stretching out on a beach or skiing down some freshly powdered slopes, depending on what kind of adventure you're in the mood for.
So, where should you go? Well, we thought about that, too. Here are the top five places to spend your remaining PTO and enjoy some R&R in November.
Little known fact: November is the perfect time to visit Charleston, South Carolina. Though many people head to the Holy City and its barrier islands during the summer, the weather is often sweltering from early May to late September. November, on the other hand, is full of comfortable, 70-degree days that still allow for leisurely strolls along the beach. Since it's the off-season, you can book your stay at Indigo Inn, a relaxed B&B tucked in the French Quarter, or Zero George Street, a boutique hotel with an in-house restaurant, for a discounted rate. Both will put you within walking distance to major attractions like Waterfront Park, City Market, Rainbow Row and The Battery (pictured above), where you won't have to compete with throngs of tourists. And, if you arrive after November 15, you can even catch The Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park, which will easily put you in the holiday spirit.
If South Carolina just isn't far south enough, make like the birds and flock to Orlando, Florida. This time of year, the weather averages around 80 degrees and sunny but without much humidity. And, although Orlando is a popular destination year-round, November also conveniently marks the tail end of hurricane season, which means that you'll find plane tickets for as low as $100 and many hotel rooms for $60-$120 a night. To see the area's natural beauty, visit Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures for a tour through the swamps and a glimpse of the alligators, or get lost in Bok Tower Gardens, a 700-acre hidden gem with citrus groves, nature trails, conservation lands and exotic plants. You could also visit Winter Park (pictured above), a nearby neighborhood with world-class art museums and sculpture gardens. And of course, you just have to visit Walt Disney World. Locals know that November is the perfect time to visit the park because it's cooler, less crowded and because the International Food and Wine Festival is going on at Epcot until November 23.
Don't you dare sleep on the Galapagos Islands, either. This bucket list location, though normally teeming with tourists hoping to spy sea lions and tortoises, is perfectly peaceful in November. (Save for the first weekend of the month, which marks Day of the Dead, All Souls Day and Cuenca Independence Day in Ecuador, which you should absolutely experience.) Fly into Quito or Guayaquil to catch a flight to the islands. From there, you can choose from a wide variety of all-inclusive cruises or land-based excursions (or stay in Puerto Ayora, where you'll be close to Tortuga Bay, El Chato Tortoise Reserve and The Charles Darwin Research Station.) While your friends back home bundle up in their winter coats, you'll only need to sport a light jacket as you explore San Cristobal Island and watch new sea lion pups swim for the first time.
Seeking snow-capped mountains instead of sandy beaches? Then you'd better head to beautiful Switzerland. Travelers willing to brave colder temperatures (think between 30 and 50 degrees) will be rewarded with cheaper flights and accomodations around Zurich. Here, you'll definitely want to pay a visit to Old Town and check out St. Peter's Church, the oldest parish church in Zurich that just so happens to have the largest clock face in Europe. Then, catch a quick train to Lucerne, a charming city about an hour away with medieval architecture and views of the Alps. Here, you can book a cable car trip up to Mount Pilatus or Mount Titlis and enjoy cliff walks, cave tours and even Christmas Markets, if you visit November 15 to November 17.
And finally, if you can't stay away from the slopes, then you should definitely book a trip to Banff this November. Right now, The Lake Louise Ski Resort is scheduled to open on November 8, which means that you could get a headstart on skiing, snowboarding and tubing. (Aspen's winter season doesn't kick off until the first week in December.) If you visit Banff in mid-November, you can also enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime icewalk tour to Johnston Canyon, witness the Santa Claus Parade of Lights on November 16 and even sip your way through Banff's Craft Beer Festival the weekend of November 21 to 23.
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Plan ahead and see our list of best places to visit in April.