The 8 best destinations to visit in November

Oct 15, 2021

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Whether you are back commuting to the office, still stuck at home, or dealing with the craziness of having your kids back in school, you’ll probably need a break by November. Luckily, it’s an ideal time to travel to national and international destinations, especially since more countries continue to open their borders to travelers.

Of course, that’s not the only reason November is a fabulous month to hit the road. It’s also a time where you can still catch the tail end of fall foliage or visit beachy locales before the high season kicks in.

If you don’t have any time off at the beginning of the month, you can always hold off until Thanksgiving week for a holiday getaway (although prices will likely be higher). In fact, even international properties like The Goring Hotel in London or Eden Roc Cap Cana will host a turkey-day meal, so Americans don’t have to miss their traditional festivities.

Just remember, travel is still very much in a state of flux. Countries are regularly issuing new requirements as the delta variant continues to spread. Be sure to check with local and national officials and review the latest recommendations from medical experts to ensure the health and safety of yourself and others.

The good news, though? Children as young as 5 might be eligible to begin receiving the COVID vaccine by Halloween, making the end of 2021 an even better time to travel with families.

So, where should you go? From tropical shorelines and woodsy Northeast escapes to the rolling hills of the Scottish Highlands, these are the eight best destinations to visit this November:

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Cairngorms National Park in Scotland

Loch Morlich in the Glenmore Forest of Cairngorms National Park. (Photo by VWB photos/Getty Images.)

Although temperatures start to dip in Scotland in November, it’s still a great time to see the stunning, castle-filled country’s fall foliage. Cairngorms National Park – the largest national park in the U.K. – is incredible this time of year, with rich hues of gold and red taking over the landscape. November is an ideal time for exploring as there are fewer crowds. It’s also perfect for foraging; visitors can find wild raspberries, cowberries, blaeberries, fungi (it’s the height of the season), and nettles across the picturesque hills.

Even if you’re not into outdoorsy activities, there are plenty of cultural excursions. On the way to the Scottish Highlands, stop at Dundee to check out the Kengo Kuma-designed Victoria & Albert Museum. The current exhibition is Night Fever: Designing Club Culture, exploring the relationship between 1960s design and club culture. (Fans of HBO’s “Succession” will recognize the museum from season two when the Roy family visits to honor patriarch Logan.) And, of course, whisky distilleries are always available for a visit.

TPG tip: As of Oct. 4, you no longer need a pre-departure COVID-19 test to enter the U.K. if you’re vaccinated. And there are flight deals to be had. You could fly from New York-JFK to Edinburgh (EDI) on Aer Lingus in early November with a stop in Dublin (DUB) for around $500 round-trip. Fly later in the month and AAdvantage miles members could purchase a round-trip economy fare for 45,000 miles.

Spend a night or two in Edinburgh at The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh (rates from $700 per night or 274,000 Hilton Honors points per night) before venturing north, where you should consider a stay at The Fife Arms. The 19th-century hunting lodge is located within the national park and has an in-house forager who leads two- and three-hour walks for guests, followed by workshops where guests can use their findings to make everything from condiments and tinctures to cosmetics.

Antarctica

(Photo by David Merron Photography/Getty Images.)

OK, this might seem a little extreme, but the Antarctica cruising season actually starts in November. The remote continent is just entering the summer season, so you’ll be able to see more polar ice and undisturbed terrain from the frigid months before. (Think: pristine snow yet plentiful wildlife activity.) Whales, seals, and penguins are out in force, and you’ll even notice eggs — and penguin squabbles over pebbles — in nests by the end of the month.

If you’re dreaming of an Antarctica cruise this season, there are a slew of newly built, ice-class expedition vessels offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences like polar diving and hovercraft rides — such as Atlas Ocean Voyages’ World Navigator.

TPG tip: You can use Hyatt points for Lindblad Expeditions sailings, though you won’t get the maximum value out of your points. A 20-day Antarctica sailing in November on the National Geographic Explorer is currently available from $20,960 per person — or 1,310,000 World of Hyatt points. If you have an enormous stash of Hyatt points (or Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which transfer at a 1 to 1 ratio), you could be able to offset the cost of your Antarctica expedition.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Brant Point Lighthouse on Nantucket Island. (Photo by Guido Cozzi/Atlantide Phototravel/Getty Images.)

You’d typically think of Nantucket as a summer destination, but November is perfect for seafood fans. This is the month when the island’s bay scallops — known as “Nantucket Gold” — come back into season. These mollusks, which live in the island’s native eelgrass, are commercially harvested in the cold waters off the coast from November through March. Fun fact: It’s actually one of the last wild bay scallop fisheries in the country.

TPG tip: The island is filled with independent, boutique hotels that are imbued with New England charm. The White Elephant is moments from the center of town, while the historic Jared Coffin House is perfect for history fans. Have a boat? Dock at the 240-slip, full-service Nantucket Boat Basin.

The vineyards in Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley, California. (Photo by Martin Sundberg/Getty Images.)

November is the beginning of Cabernet Season in Napa Valley, with special promotions and events focused around the bold-flavored red wine. This also comes as the crowds disperse thanks to cooler weather (temperatures hover in the mid-60s). That means lower hotel rates and a better shot at scoring a reservation at one of the coveted Michelin-starred restaurants.

Even if wine isn’t your thing, the valley floor is surrounded by the Mayacamas and the Vaca range, filled with hiking and biking trails. Plus, there are new experiences to test out, like Domaine Carneros’s “Art of Sabrage,” where your private group will learn history, legends, and the technique of using a sword to open Champagne. This ritual dates back to Napoleon.

TPG tip: Many hotels accept points in the region, making it easy to book an inexpensive stay in the area. The Westin Verasa (a Category 7 Marriott Bonvoy property) is in the heart of Napa and, in November, has off-peak availability from 50,000 points per night. Another nearby Marriott Bonvoy property is The Lodge at Sonoma Resort, an Autograph Collection property that also has off-peak award nights at the end of the month. If you prefer Hyatt, the Andaz Napa is a Category 6 World of Hyatt property with free nights from 25,000 points, while Alila Napa Valley is a Category 7 resort where a free night will cost 30,000 points.

Bangkok, Thailand

The Wat Arun temple on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo by Matteo Colombo/Getty Images.)

With tourism gradually returning to Thailand, November visitors will have a unique opportunity to see the best of Thailand without the crowds, perhaps like never before. In northern Thailand (including Bangkok), the dry season runs from November to May or June, with little rain or humidity expected throughout the region, making it the most comfortable time of the year to experience the kingdom. It’s also typically the month of the Golden Mount Temple Fair — with shows, music, games, demonstrations, food stalls and a Ferris wheel — and Loy Krathong, when the entire country lights floating lanterns to worship and ask for forgiveness from the goddess of water, Ganga.

TPG tip: Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) approved a four-phase reopening plan from October 2021 until January 2022. This news confirms that Bangkok will reopen to vaccinated travelers beginning Nov. 1. In addition, there are new and noteworthy properties travelers can look forward to seeing, including the award-winning Capella Bangkok, the Four Seasons Bangkok at the Chao Phraya River, and the Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok (where you can get a deluxe room from 10,000 IHG reward points a night), all of which opened at the end of 2020.

Yosemite National Park in California

Lower Yosemite Fall in Yosemite National Park. (Photo by Matteo Colombo/Getty Images.)

Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is perfect for travelers looking to escape the crowds and soaring temperatures of the summer. During November, the park and its surroundings showcase beautiful foliage with vibrant colors. And temperatures during the day are in the mid-50s, making it very comfortable for exploring and hiking.

There are a variety of other activities to enjoy near the park, including the Madeira Wine Trail and fly fishing.

TPG tip: A slight downside to visiting Yosemite at this time is that Tioga and Glacier Point Roads are closed, although almost everywhere else is open. If you’re looking for unique accommodations, Château du Sureau – located just 20 minutes from Yosemite – is a Provence-inspired 10-room Relais & Chateaux property that is a hidden gem in the area.

Long Island, New York

Montauk Point on Long Island. (Photo by Michael Orso/Getty Images.)

Long Island might be known for its miles of beautiful beaches in the summer and award-winning wine country, but there’s more to the destination than just water views and vino — especially in autumn. Come November, Long Island transforms into a foliage lover’s paradise.

The East End is filled with family-owned farms and fresh produce stands. Stop by Harbes in Mattituck for fresh-squeezed apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, pumpkin picking, apples, and locally-produced wine. Or, take a trip to White Post Farms in Melville for farm and zoo animals, plus sweets and other treats.

TPG tip: if you’re a history buff, head to the north shore of Long Island for its famed Gold Coast and 20th-century mansions, including The Sands Point Preserve, where F. Scott Fitzgerald sought inspiration for “The Great Gatsby.”

The British Virgin Islands

Cane Garden Bay in Tortola on the British Virgin Islands. (Photo by Walter Bibikow/Getty Images.)

November is a great time to visit The British Virgin Islands, as it is just the beginning of the high season, with fewer visitors than you’d encounter by December. Hotel rates tend to be lower than in the winter months, plus hurricane season is ending, so sunny days are increasingly likely.

It’s also when the annual Anegada Lobster Fest takes place. One of the most anticipated events of the year, the event celebrates the Anegada spiny lobster and runs from Nov. 27 to 28 this year. The festival is designed as an island-wide scavenger hunt. The locals and visitors are encouraged to explore the island while sampling local restaurants’ best freshly-caught lobsters and decadent lobster dishes. Each stop features live music and magnificent views of some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

TPG tip: ​​Marriott Bonvoy members can stay at the Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Throughout November, you can have a five-night stay for 340,000 points or as low as $370 a night.

Featured photo by Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images.

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