What a shame that work schedules and the holidays prevent so many of us from taking a true vacation in November. (No, that Thanksgiving-week slog to the in-laws doesn’t count). Weather-wise, November is an ideal time for many parts of the globe. The clear skies make it a great month for photography too.
(Don’t miss the rest of our “Where to Go” series on the best destinations for every month of the year. If you’re wondering when’s the best time to book your destination to get the best value for your dollar, see our “Where to Book Now” series.)
Grand Canyon, Arizona
After Labor Day, the Grand Canyon gets much quieter, and prices fall from the highs of summer. Visitor services at the North Rim close on October 15, but the South Rim is open year-round, and the weather is pleasant into early November.
—Marty Behr and Mark Campbell, Trusted Travel Expert for National Parks and California
November is a month of festivals in Northern India: the magical Pushkar Camel Fair, a desert spectacle of livestock and culture; Diwali’s festival of lights, celebrated with candles, oil lamps, and fireworks; and Bhai Duj, when siblings honor one another. It’s also an auspicious time for weddings—to which it’s not at all unheard of to snag an invite as a tourist. The weather is great too, as the monsoon rains have given way to clear skies, pleasant temperatures, and green landscapes, but the winter fog has not yet set in. —Sanjay Saxena, Trusted Travel Expert for India
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The rainy season is over, the landscapes are still ultra-tropical green, and the ocean is bathtub-warm (80s), with exceptional clarity for scuba diving and snorkeling. November is also the kickoff of the humpback whale-watching season. Moreover, you avoid the peak-season rates that kick in on December 18.—Zachary Rabinor, Trusted Travel Expert for Mexico
November is a great month for museum lovers, as many of the blockbuster exhibitions open in the fall; this year, that means delving into the influence of iconic painter Caravaggio at the National Gallery, an in-depth look at Abstract Expressionism at the Royal Academy of Arts and the whimsical “Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement” exhibit at the Courtauld Gallery. There’s also the London Jazz Festival, where world-class stars and hot emerging artists share the bill, and the Taste of London Festival, with top chefs doing live demonstrations, tons of tastings, and master cooking classes. And the Christmas spirit is already in the air, with holiday lights on all the shopping streets, a plethora of Christmas markets, high tea at gorgeous hotels, and holiday cheer everywhere. —Madelyn Byrne Willems, Trusted Travel Expert for London Apartments
The Brazilian Amazon
River levels are lowest in November, so all of the beaches are out in their full splendor. (People are often shocked by the beauty of the white-sand beaches that form here, making a trip to Brazil’s region of the Amazon unique from the experiences one can have in Ecuador or Peru’s swaths of the same river system.) An ideal trip extends over five days, so it’s easy to fit into a Thanksgiving break. And the area around the Negro River, which is acidic, is not good for mosquito reproduction, so there is little chance of malaria or zika. —Martin Frankenberg, Trusted Travel Expert for Brazil
Buenos Aires, Argentina
In Buenos Aires hotel rates are shoulder-season; the weather is bright, sunny, and in the 70s; and the tree-lined boulevards explode with blue jacaranda blossoms. It’s also prime time for the spectator sports that are a passion in Argentina—soccer, polo, and horse races—as well as opera and ballet season at the city’s Colón Theater. Then there’s the gaucho festival, Dia de la Tradicion, which takes place the weekend around November 10 in San Antonio de Areco, one and a half hours from the capital. —Maita Barrenechea, Trusted Travel Expert for Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay
The weather is perfect: sunny days and crisp, clear evenings that make for great star-gazing in the desert. It’s also ideal for hiking in the Atlas Mountains, as it’s starting to cool down and the peaks are often photogenically snowcapped. Plus, it’s harvest time: You can see saffron being picked, and olives turned to oil, right in front of your eyes. —Michael Diamond Trusted Travel Expert for Morocco
November is the perfect time in Nepal, with weather optimal both for exploring the jungle and for trekking in the Annapurnas. The air is crisp and clear, without the pre-monsoon dust, so the mountain views are best. And festivals abound: Near Everest, Manu Rimdu is an exorcism festival designed to purge evil from the area, ensure a bountiful harvest, and confer blessings on the villagers and all sentient beings with dancing, prayers, and comic relief. Then there is the very important Festival of Lights, or Tihar, honoring the gods, humans, and animals. —Antonia Neubauer, Trusted Travel Expert for Bhutan and Nepal
Late October and November are the best times to spot Patagonia’s elusive wildlife, such as nandu, guanaco, puma, huemul, and condor, as all of the animals are more active during their breeding time. Since these weeks fall during the shoulder season, which sees fewer visitors, the lodges have a quieter, more relaxed ambiance and there is less traffic on the roads. The national parks of southern Patagonia have a reputation for changeable windy weather influenced by Antarctica and the continental ice cap, but November feels like spring, with snows melting off the high peaks and flowers beginning to bloom.
—Tom Damon, Trusted Travel Expert for Chile, Peru, and Patagonia
Hong Kong must have one of the world’s poorest climates—but in November, you are almost guaranteed a blue sky, low humidity, and sunshine, allowing you to take full advantage of all the city offers. Another benefit is the lack of holidays, during which the city gets overrun by Mainland Chinese tourists. —David Allardice, Trusted Travel Expert for China
By November the summer and fall heat has ebbed and Egypt is at the beginning of its cooler season: Temperatures average 80 to 85 degrees during the day in Cairo and 85 to 90 in Upper Egypt (the area around the Nile that is south—but also upriver—of Cairo). Rain is not a factor, and the air is clear, making it the perfect month for photography, especially in the early morning, when the sun’s rising rays highlight the rich hues of the temples and monuments, and at sunset, when the fading light always gives a lovely red glow to images. Plus, for the first time in 20 years, the government has just opened to the general public the tombs of Queen Nefertari and Pharaoh Seti I in Luxor, and the Sphinx paws in Giza. —Jim Berkeley, Trusted Travel Expert for Egypt
While November falls at the beginning of the rainy season, temperatures are still mild and there are no crowds (unlike October, which sees many Jewish and Christian travelers visiting for Sukkot). Millions of birds stop in Israel at this time of year, on their way from Eurasia to Africa; the Hula Valley Bird Festival (November 20–27) celebrates this awesome migration. —Joe Yudin, Trusted Travel Expert for Israel