Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.
The end of 2021 is approaching quickly, and once November shows up on the calendar, the days seem to fly. There's still time for a vacation, so we've rounded up some of the best places to visit in November.
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If you've been looking forward to international travel — and the guidelines align with your plans — think about a trip to Europe where Barcelona and Wales are readying for the end-of-the-year holidays, each with their own traditions. You can also combine warm weather and an international destination with a trip to Mexico's Riviera Nayarit or exciting Dubai. Closer to home, Toronto has a fabulous food scene and much to see in November.
You might be among the "Pray for Snow" crowd, waiting to take out skis, parkas, and winter gear. If so, Vail opens their ski season mid-month, and it's beautiful to be there even before the white stuff arrives. The same can be said of Newport, Rhode Island on the other side of the country. Summer weather fans can spend some time extending the season in Tampa, Austin, or Scottsdale.
Here are the best places to travel in November.
Related: More fall vacation ideas
Wales, United Kingdom
© Hawlfraint y Goron / © Crown copyright (2021) Cymru Wales
The perfect off-the-beaten-path destination for November, Wales is located west of England, bordered by the Irish Sea and Bristol Channel, with 870 miles of coastline. The Celtic nation is home to mountains, waterfalls, rugged natural beauty, three national parks, and more than 641 castles. Its capital, Cardiff, is just two hours from London. Though there's a chill in the air, November is a festive time with the opening of the Cardiff Christmas Market, the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, and Luminate Wales, beginning November 18. South Wales boasts the Penderyn Distillery in the Brecon Beacons, credited with reviving the country's whisky industry. With an all-female distillation and blending team, Penderyn has created award-winning spirits using a unique copper single-pot Faraday still, which can be seen on tours of the distillery. Slate quarrying, a major industry in northwest Wales for nearly 2,000 years, has earned the slate landscape its recent recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From campsites to five-star hotels, Wales offers a variety of places to stay. The new Albion is an example of a historic site reimagined as a 23 en-suite room hotel.
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
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Located on the Pacific just north of Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit is an increasingly popular area with luxury hotels and residences, ideal November temperatures, and convenient access from Puerto Vallarta Airport. Sandy beaches, lush forests, waterfalls, and marine life attract visitors, and in November, humpback whales begin to arrive on their annual migration. The new Conrad Punta de Mita offers plush oceanfront guest rooms and suites, including several with two bedrooms and full kitchens. Activities include a variety of water sports, deep sea fishing, two miles of beaches, spa, pools, golf, and horseback riding. The One&Only Mandarina features treehouses and villas set on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Punta Mita, a 1,500-acre resort and residential community, is home to Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort as well as two golf courses and a variety of residences. Stay until December 2-5 for the 10th Annual Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf and the unveiling of the Pacifico golf course restorations. Nearby on 33 lush acres overlooking Bay of Banderas, Susurros del Corazón, Auberge Resorts Collection, offers beachfront residences, hotel suites, Auberge Spa, and four restaurants. The Grand Luxxe Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta, relaxed surfer-style Sayulinda Hotel in Sayulita, and the W Punta de Mita are other options on the Riviera Nayarit.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The second-largest of the seven emirates that form the United Arab Emirates, Dubai has grown from a small fishing village to the world's fourth most-visited destination. The discovery of oil in 1966 led to economic development, and in 1979, the first skyscraper, the Dubai World Trade Center, was built. In 2010, the Burj Khalifa became the tallest building in the world. Growth has continued at a fast pace, and Emirates, Dubai's flagship airline, carries more than 50 million passengers a year. Beaches, theme parks, art, sports, adventure, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment of all kinds make Dubai a perfect destination for families, couples, and solo travelers. Expo 2020 Dubai, postponed last year, is now scheduled from October 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. Luxury hotels abound, including the Habtoor Palace Dubai by LXR Hotels & Resorts, featuring 52 opulent suites, gardens, three pools, and butler service; the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, with a private beach, spa, and supervised Kids' Club; the Conrad Dubai, located in the heart of Dubai's shopping and financial district; and Raffles Dubai, surrounded by lush gardens.
Comfortable weather makes November a great time to enjoy all that Austin has to offer. Temperatures are perfect for hiking or biking around Lady Bird Lake along the ten-mile trail or enjoying the scenery at Mayfield Park and the view from Mount Bonnell. If there's time for a road trip to Texas Hill Country about 30 miles west of Austin, a visit to Pedernales Falls State Park provides more natural beauty and hiking trails. Foodies might want to arrive for the Austin Food & Wine Festival (November 5-7) featuring top chefs and, of course, BBQ and music. On that subject, there's always entertainment in the "Live Music Capital of the World," with a variety of venues, concerts, and festivals. You can be one of the first to stay at the new Thompson Austin located in downtown's entertainment district with an infinity-edge pool, cabanas, and outdoor dining. Also slated to open in late fall, the tommie Austin will be a spirited addition to the downtown scene. The Driskill offers a historic setting and updated guest rooms, and the W Austin is located in lively West Austin. In Texas Hill Country, visitors can enjoy the beauty of autumn at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, spanning more than 4,000 acres. Hotel Granduca Austin, also in Hill Country, is reminiscent of an Italian villa. For an elegant stay in a historic setting, choose Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection.
With hot summer weather a thing of the past in November, Tampa, on Florida's west coast, is an ideal destination. Visitors can stroll along Tampa's Riverwalk, explore the Tampa Museum of Art and Florida Aquarium, or visit Tampa Bay History Center and learn about the area's fascinating past. With Tampa Bay and three rivers, it's a perfect time to get out on the water in a kayak, water bike, or a Pirate Water Taxi cruise. Minutes from downtown, Hillsborough River State Park offers nature trails, camping, and class II river rapids for a bit of adventure. Tampa's historic Ybor City area was the center of the Cuban cigar industry, and many buildings remain from the late 1800s, now home to lively nightlife venues. In the heart of Ybor City, the stylish boutique Hotel Haya offers a variety of dining spots and a perfect home base for enjoying the area. The Tampa Marriott Water Street and JW Marriott Tampa Water Street feature luxury amenities and waterfront locations. Downtown across from City Hall, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House are conveniently located for vacationers or extended stays. For a resort with amenities that include golf, tennis, six pools, water slides, and a variety of family activities, Innisbrook, A Salamander Resort is set on 900 acres in nearby Palm Harbor.
November in the Colorado Rockies begins ski season, and Vail anticipates opening the week before Thanksgiving. Early November is a great time for non-skiers to enjoy the wintery atmosphere, scenery, restaurants, and cozy lodging before the arrival of avid snow fans and holiday vacationers. Vail Mountain offers every level of skiing and snowboarding, attracting families and beginners as well as experts. The places to stay are as varied as the mountain trails, ranging from upscale celebrity style to comfortable and affordable. The Arrabelle and The Lodge at Vail, RockResorts, offer a range of luxury accommodations with guestrooms as large as three bedrooms. Guests can also stay at one of Exclusive Resorts' nine private vacation residences within the Arrabelle, featuring gourmet kitchens and fireplaces. Vail Marriott Mountain Resort provides the option of guestrooms or expansive condominiums, and the Grand Hyatt Vail is conveniently located at the base of Vail Mountain near the Cascade Village Lift. The Hythe, Luxury Collection Hotel in Lionshead Village is set to open for the 2021 winter season. In the same village, condominium hotel Antlers at Vail offers family-friendly lodging. For ultimate luxury, Avanti Chalet is an elegant eight-bedroom private home at the base of Gondola One.
November's weather in the 50s and 60s calls for a jacket or sweater, but the chill in the air creates the ideal time to enjoy the city with fewer crowds, lower hotel rates, and the beginning of the holiday season. The month begins with Diada de Tots Sants (All Saints Day), a public holiday honoring deceased relatives and friends with flowers at their graves. Families gather for traditional foods like chestnuts and sweet potatoes. Fewer tourists make it possible to enjoy leisurely visits to the works of architect Antoni Gaudi— La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and the unique Casa Battló. The annual Barcelona Jazz Festival events take place at various venues throughout the city from late October until early December. Enjoy Barcelona's tapas bars, paella, flamenco, and local wines while you explore the city, and you'll see signs of the approaching Christmas season with light displays, holiday markets, and an ice skating rink. Treat yourself to five-star luxury at the Barcelona EDITION, conveniently located in the city center beside the Picasso Museum and the Plaça de Catalunya. Another stunning hotel is the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, with an award-winning spa and dining at Michelin-starred Moments.
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Late fall in Scottsdale is the perfect time to hike, stroll through Old Town, play golf, and enjoy all the area has to offer. You're in the desert, so make time to get to know the wildlife, cacti, and beauty of the environment with a visit to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Scottsdale also offers several outstanding museums, including the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Scottsdale's Museum of the West. A visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West is a fascinating glimpse into his life, work, and influence. Movie fans might want to schedule a visit to catch the Scottsdale International Film Festival from November 5-9. No matter when you go, be sure to take advantage of Scottsdale's restaurants, craft breweries, and wine trail. A stay at the mid-century style Hotel Valley Ho is convenient, fun, and a perfect place to relax in a poolside cabana or hot tub. At the ADERO Scottsdale, set high above the Sonoran Desert in a certified Dark Sky Community, guests can enjoy the starry skies from their private balconies, sip cocktails al fresco at Sky Top, or indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa. Nearby, the classic Arizona Biltmore is as stylish and elegant as ever after renovations earlier in the year. Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows is set among 23 Sonoran Desert acres with cactus gardens and cozy fire pits for chilly evenings.
Newport, Rhode Island
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This summer vacation capital is just as beautiful in winter, albeit a bit colder with average temperatures in the 40s. Like many off-season destinations, Newport offers attractive hotel prices, fewer tourists, and the opportunity to enjoy the quaint streets and stately mansions without the warm weather crowds. It's a chance to bundle up in winter clothes, put on some comfortable boots, and a hat, of course, and marvel at the white lights and holiday decorations that appear towards the end of the month. Time your visit around Newport Restaurant Week from November 5-14 when you have a chance to sample the best New England dishes and enjoy discounts and prix-fixe specials. Stay downtown at the historic Hotel Viking and warm up with a cocktail by the fireplace. Or treat yourself to a stay at The Vanderbilt, once a Newport mansion, and now a 33-room luxury resort. Gurney's Newport and The Wayfinder are other delightful options. With views of the Atlantic, The Chanler at Cliff Walk offers five-star luxury and 20 uniquely designed guest rooms. A visit to Newport should include a cocktail or meal at White Horse Tavern, America's oldest tavern, the perfect place to come in from the cold.
Sure, it's a bit cold in November, but Toronto has much to offer during winter, and many travelers have been waiting to return to their favorite destinations north of the border. Food might top your list of reasons to visit the diverse city, with excellent restaurants that serve Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexican, Portuguese, Japanese, German, and just about every cuisine you can think of. And, of course, there's local specialty, poutine — french fries and cheese curds topped with brown gravy, a dish said to have originated in Quebec. Kensington Market is a neighborhood with shops, restaurants, bars, groceries, gifts, and more, a great place to browse or dine. For a break from the cold and an exciting shopping experience, head underground to Toronto's PATH, the world's largest underground shopping complex, where you'll also find convenient connections to hotels and attractions. Get a head start on holiday shopping or just browse through the creative shops in the Distillery District and warm up with a specialty coffee or something a bit stronger. Toronto offers many wonderful hotels, including the elegant Fairmont Royal York and Marriott's Delta Hotel with fabulous views of the city and the CN Tower.