When winter arrives at North America’s doorstep and temperatures start to drop across the northern states, many of us long to migrate south, even if just for a weekend!
November is a shoulder month between peak tourist season and the colder months, and it provides excellent conditions for travel. The milder weather in the Southern United States means that you can explore to your heart’s content without having to rely on either air conditioning or layered clothing.
Plus, since families are waiting for school holidays or saving up for winter vacations, November is a great month to travel in order to avoid crowds.
Here are our picks for the best warm U.S. cities to visit in November.
Hawaii is always warm due to its proximity to the equator, so you can’t go wrong visiting any place on the archipelago. However, the city of Honolulu on the island of Oahu is one of the best places to visit in November. Note that the Hawaiian Islands are welcoming travelers with negative COVID pre-tests starting October 15th, 2020. Travelers can complete the at-home test three days before they travel, drop it in the mail, and avoid Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine rule. According to GoHawaii, all incoming travelers must have their temperatures checked and complete a health questionnaire before leaving the airport.
Honolulu provides the perfect fall escape, with its constant pleasant breezes and average temperatures that range from 71 to 84 degrees. Take the time to explore the island’s history at Hawaii’s Plantation Village or the well-known Dole Plantation. The warm weather creates the perfect environment for a vast number of activities. You can shop till you drop at the Royal Hawaiian Center, hike the scenic Kaiwa Ridge Trail, or pay your respects at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
Since December is the peak tourist season for most of Hawaii, November is the perfect time to soak up the sun at Ala Moana, Waikiki, or Diamond Head before the masses rush in. However, since Hawaii is a tropical destination, November is the start of the rainy season, and the area might experience some showers.
Los Angeles, California
With highs of 73 degrees, Los Angeles is one of the best warm U.S. cities to visit in November. Well into autumn, locals and visitors sunbathe on the beaches, hike in Griffith Park or the nearby Santa Monica Mountains, and dine on outdoor patios. From fishing at Santa Monica Pier to swimming at Venice Beach and surfing at Huntington Beach, plenty of water activities are available in the Los Angeles area during the fall.
On a rainy day, spend time appreciating the arts at The Getty, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Broad, or the Walt Disney Concert Hall. With Hollywood close by, you can take a walk down the Walk of Fame or get close to the Hollywood sign.
Los Angeles’s fashion scene provides a chance to explore trendy boutiques of all kinds. Whether you stroll down high-end Rodeo Drive, vintage Melrose Avenue, or historic Olvera Street, you’ll be sure to find the perfect souvenir.
San Diego, California
November is the sunniest month of the year for San Diego, so it’s a great time to leave your heavy winter coat at home and exchange it for T-shirts and light jackets.
Temperatures average in the high 60s, so November is an especially beautiful time to hike the nearby trails at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, Mission Trails Regional Park, or Mount Woodson (known for Potato Chip Rock). Heading to the beach for sunbathing, a quick dip, or kayaking is also a great way to spend a day.
You don’t have to go far to explore the best of San Diego’s warm-weather activities, though. Take time to explore the 1,200 acres of Balboa Park, go boating on the San Diego Bay, or watch the sun dip below the horizon at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. After a day of outdoor activities, relax at one of the many tiki bars or breweries in the area. Some popular local breweries include Stone Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing Company, and Mission Brewery.
Temperatures in Sedona can become unbearable during the summer. The fall -- especially November, when the average temperatures in the mid-70s provide comfortable conditions for hiking, visiting local art galleries, and strolling through outdoor shopping centers -- is a much better time to visit.
Sedona is known for its focus on wellness; it offers a variety of relaxing spas, health retreats, and vortexes -- areas where people claim to feel intense and healing energy.
The desert town is bordered by incredible red rock landscapes, including popular sites like Cathedral Rock, Red Rock State Park, and Coconino National Forest. One of the most interesting natural formations is located on the popular 1.8-mile round-trip trail, which culminates at a 54-foot-high arch called Devil’s Bridge.
Awe-inspiring Sedona makes a peaceful and warm November getaway.
San Antonio, Texas
One of the oldest cities in the U.S., San Antonio has a long and fascinating history and deep Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Tejano roots. For a deep dive into 300 years of the city’s history, take a tour of five of the area’s historic missions, including the famous Alamo in downtown San Antonio.
After visiting the missions, take advantage of the beautiful 70-degree weather: Although San Antonio does not have an ocean, you can still enjoy time on the water by floating down the San Antonio River. Go Rio provides educational boat tours that highlight the River Walk's museums, historic architecture, delicious restaurants, and beautiful landscaping.
At the beginning of the month, celebrate Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) with a parade on the river and festivities around La Villita Historic Arts Village. Due to San Antonio’s rich Mexican heritage, the celebrations, which are intended to honor beloved ancestors, are some of the best in the country.
Charleston, South Carolina
A transition time for Charleston, November brings mild temperatures in the mid-70s to this historic city. It’s a wonderful time to wander through downtown, admire the beautiful Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, and visit the neighboring Folly Beach.
Founded in 1670, the city features cobblestone roads, old live oaks, striking graveyards, and antebellum homes. One of the most popular local plantations is Drayton Hall, a well-preserved mansion with lush, spacious grounds. Don’t forget to stroll down Rainbow Row on a sunny, balmy day. The brightly colored homes are iconic and some of the most photographed buildings in Charleston.
It’s important to note that November marks the end of the Southeast’s hurricane season, so be sure to check the weather before boarding your flight.
Savannah’s sweltering heat gives way to beautiful, balmy days when November rolls around. The daily highs, ranging from the high 70s to the low 80s, are perfect for exploring this Southern city.
Sun lovers visiting Savannah can wander through the beautiful Victorian Historic District, watch boats slowly float by on River Street, enjoy a lovely picnic spread at Forsyth Park, or check out some of the city’s hidden gems. The 30-acre Forsyth Park is brimming with mossy oak trees and is best known for its main fountain, which is more than 150 years old. With the warm weather, a trip to Tybee Island for a bite of fresh seafood is a must.
Savannah is also known for its haunted history, and you’ll want to take a ghost tour to learn the stories lurking inside each building. If you’re brave, you can stay at one of several hotels reputed to be haunted.
For those in the Northeast and Midwest, visiting Florida during November is a no-brainer. There are many, many places to visit in the fall in this exceptionally warm state. However, Orlando is particularly wonderful for a warm-weather November getaway.
Orlando’s theme parks are much less crowded in early to mid-November. The warmer temperatures encourage travelers to leave their hotel rooms and explore Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios. In November, you can ride roller coasters, enjoy the Magic Kingdom, and walk for miles each day without breaking too much of a sweat.
Key West, Florida
As the southernmost point of the continental U.S., Key West boasts November temperatures between 78 and 82 degrees. If you’re searching for a place where you can break out your swimsuit in November, Key West is the place for you. From kayaking to snorkeling, there are so many ways to spend your days splashing in the warm waters.
Moreover, the small city has the character and laid-back culture to match its sunny weather. Take a walk through rows of palm trees and conch cottages of all shapes and colors. Then grab a cocktail from Sloppy Joe’s, one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite places to drink on lively Duval Street. To truly experience a day in the life of the famous writer, be sure to tour Hemingway’s home in Old Town Key West.
If you’re considering skipping the traditional family meal and heading out for an adventure instead, here are some of the best U.S. cities to visit for Thanksgiving.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Located at the southernmost tip of Alabama, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach boast breathtaking views of the Gulf, white sandy beaches, and award-winning restaurants. This area has a warm, humid climate tempered by ocean breezes and averages a high of 71 degrees and a low of 48 degrees in November.
The month of November also offers visitors less traffic, more open beach, and typically short wait times at restaurants. It’s prime oyster season during fall and winter months, and while it hasn’t been officially confirmed, the 13th Annual Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Beer Weekend is expected to take place the first week of November.
Don’t miss Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, home to a variety of stunning wildlife including songbirds, sea turtles, and the Alabama beach mouse. If you’re looking for something active, take advantage of the designated paved paths for pedestrians and bikers of all skill levels that weave through stunning scenery including forests, sand dunes, and more. For even more inspiration, read up on the best things to do outdoors in Gulf Shores.
New Orleans, Louisiana
November is one of the loveliest times to visit the South and, in particular, New Orleans. Hurricane season is over, and the temps are in the 60s and 70s -- perfect for enjoying outdoor activities! Although in true N’awlins fashion, there is always a chance for a thunderstorm, so make sure to pack your umbrella.
While many of the incredible food and music festivals may be taking place virtually this year, there is still plenty to explore in this historic and culturally rich city. New Orleans is known for its fantastic cuisine, taking influences from West African, Native American, European, and Caribbean cultures. Be sure to read up on New Orleans’s best hidden-gem restaurants and the best places to try local cuisine in New Orleans, and make reservations for some of the more popular restaurants in the area.
Consider some other fantastic attractions, including a stroll through the Garden District known for mansions and shopping, a relaxing swamp kayak tour, or NOMA, one of the South’s most impressive fine art collections, known for its French and American art, photography, and glass.