- To find the best places to visit in November 2018, Business Insider looked at climate data, cultural calendars, and peak travel times.
- November is outside peak tourism season for most destinations, meaning you can save a bundle on airfare and hotels and won’t have to battle throngs of tourists.
- The best places to visit in November include the home of the breathtaking Lantern Festival in Thailand, foliage-rich Boston, and a “strange and alien landscape” in Namibia.
November is firmly outside of peak tourism season for many of the top destinations in the world.
But that’s exactly it’s the right time for an end-of-year vacation. Between the thinning crowds and the cash you’ll save on hotels and airfare, there are plenty of reasons why you should be looking at a November getaway.
We looked at airfare trends, climate data, and cultural calendars to select 13 vacation spots that are some of the best places to visit in November. They include the home of a spiritual lantern festival in Thailand, a city where you can catch the end of New England’s foliage season, and a “strange and alien landscape” in Southern Africa that has to be seen to be believed.
Visit Boston in November and you’ll catch the tail end of fall foliage season. Boston Common and the adjacent Public Garden are two especially popular places to see the stunning reds, yellows, and oranges.
If you can withstand the crisp New England temperatures, November is the perfect time to take a stroll around this hotbed of American history. And the weekend before Thanksgiving, there’s no better place to visit than nearby Plymouth, the birthplace of the holiday, for its annual America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration.
San Diego, California
San Diego is by no means a summer-only destination.
In fact, November may be the one of the best months to visit this laid-back California city – the weather remains in the 60s and 70s, you’ll save a bundle on hotels and airfare, and the summertime crowds will have long departed.
It may be a tad too breezy for a day at the beach, but if events like San Diego Beer Week, the San Diego Jazz Fest, and the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival are more your speed, then November is the month for you.
November is one of the cheapest times of the year to fly to Hawaii (although February takes top honours in that department).
Like the rest of Hawaii, Kauai’s climate barely changes from month to month, with highs in the mid-70s Fahrenheit.
What sets Kauai apart is its lush scenery and serene beauty. You won’t find too many mega-resorts or throngs of tourists here, just stunning wildlife, friendly people, and good vibes.
Montreal is another city whose chilly temperatures scare off most tourists in the late autumn and winter.
But that’s exactly why you should head to the cultural hub of Quebec this November. Put on a warm jacket and walk through Old Montreal at your own pace, checking out sites like Bonsecours Market and the Notre-Dame Basilica along the way.
And what do you do if gets too cold for comfort? Just head below the surface to the Underground City, a climate-controlled network of shopping centres, hotels, and performing arts spaces.
Yes, it’s still possible for Americans to travel to Cuba, although the US government recently made it a little more difficult for individual tourists. You can read about how to apply for a Cuban visa here.
November is the start of dry season in Havana, meaning you’ll get plenty of sunshine and clear skies as you explore this newly accessible hotspot. Some of the most popular sites for visitors include the seaside El Malecón boulevard, the picturesque Old Havana district, and the stunning architecture of Plaza de la Catedral.
Make sure you travel responsibly by visiting lesser-travelled areas and national parks, donating money and items to institutions in need, and tipping in Cuban convertible pesos whenever possible. You can read more about responsible travel to Cuba here.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
November marks the end of hurricane season in sunny Punta Cana on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic. The end of the month is a safer time to visit to avoid getting rained out, and both airfare and hotels are significantly cheaper than during peak season a few months later.
If you need a tropical getaway with warm weather, crystal-clear beaches, and endless opportunities for snorkelling and diving, then Punta Cana is the perfect November destination for you.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
November is when Buenos Aires, the vibrant and electric capital of Argentina, comes to life. Temperatures creep up into the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit, setting the perfect stage for outdoor market strolls, admiring the dazzling lights of Puerto Madero, and touring timeless sites like the Casa Rosada, where Eva Peron used to address the masses, and the Recoleta Cemetery, her final resting place.
For some November-specific events, you won’t want to miss only-in-Argentina classics like the cowboy-filled gaucho festival and the Argentina Open Polo Championship, once called the World Series for the sport of polo.
Prague, Czech Republic
If you’re visiting Prague in November, be prepared for some cold temperatures. But be prepared to take advantage of hotel prices and crowd sizes that are just as low.
Prague is best enjoyed on foot, so if you’re willing to bundle up, make the trip to the medieval Prague Castle and Old Town Square, while scheduling time for some much-needed indoor time throughout the day. But when it’s simply too cold to walk around, take advantage of Prague’s world-famous museums, like the Museum of Communism, the National Memorial to the Heroes of the Heydrich Terror, and the Kingdom of Railways, a shrine to model trains.
Malta is much more than just a summer getaway.
The weather across the islands tends to hang in the mid- to high-60s, meaning a dip in the Mediterranean Sea isn’t out of the question.
There’s plenty to explore across Malta, from maze-like Mdina to the prehistoric temples of Qrendi and Gozo. The opportunities are endless even if the summer weather isn’t.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
The annual Loi Krathong lantern festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is a sight to behold. The festival, celebrated on the full moon of the 12th lunar month, is marked by the release of thousands of lanterns into the night sky.
Admiring the festival is far from the only thing to do in Chiang Mai. Between the elephant sanctuaries and the majestic temples around every corner, you can spend days and days exploring this spiritual haven.
Agra is home to the legendary Taj Mahal, which should be on every person’s bucket list. November is the start of peak tourism season in Agra, but you can partially avoid the crowds by arriving when the temple complex opens at 6 a.m.
Beyond the Taj Mahal, many visitors aren’t aware of the many other wonders Agra has to offer, including the Agra Fort, Akbar’s Tomb, and the Moonlight Gardens. Make sure to give yourself more than one day in this vibrant town to take full advantage.
Winter tends to come early in Sapporo in northern Japan. Temperatures dip down to the 30s and 40s Fahrenheit, and don’t be surprised if you get a few snow days.
But its those conditions that make Sapporo so exciting for travellers. Check out the impressive Glass Pyramid and other outdoor sculptures at Moerenuma Park, walk through the beautiful halls of the Former Hokkaido Government Office, and take advantage of the neon-tinted nightlife, featuring liberal amounts of Sapporo beer.
For nature lovers, there’s nothing quite like Sossusvlei, the expansive salt and clay pan in Namibia in Southern Africa. The breathtaking topography – marked by massive red sand dunes and the scorched remains of trees – has been described as a “strange and alien landscape.”
Soussuvlei is a must-see for adventure seekers who love hiking, exploring, and finding life in the most unexpected of locations. Simply put, it’s one of the most stunning natural landmarks in all of Africa.
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