Getting a little too chilly for your liking? Luckily, warmer weather is just a getaway away. Below, TravelAwaits writers share their favorite places to visit in November. From the West Coast to the Caribbean, check out these warmer locales around the U.S. that are perfect for your fall escape!
1. Huntington Beach, California
“While much of the country is getting ready for a cold winter, folks in Huntington Beach are still surfing, swimming, and playing volleyball on the beach. Long known as ‘Surf City USA,’ this is where legends come to ride the waves.
“If you’re not interested in surfing, don’t worry, there’s plenty more to do. Rent bikes and ride along The Strand, a paved path that follows the beach for miles. Along the way pop into one of the many bars and restaurants adjacent to the beach where you’ll always find a party in progress. Yogis won’t want to miss time on the mat with donation-based classes offered seven days a week. Or head to Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, a 1,300-acre ecological reserve perfect for bird-watching.
“When you get hungry or want to shop, head to Pacific City, an outdoor mall with expansive ocean views. On the weekends outdoor dining along Main Street is always a blast.
“And when it’s time to rest, head to Shorebreak Resort, a stylish boutique hotel across the street from the beach and close to all the action on Main Street. If you want to pretend it’s cold outside, head to Pier Summit Ski Lodge, a pop-up ski-themed bar.” — Wendy Lee
2. Palm Springs, California
“As a resident of Palm Springs, California, I can say unequivocally our beautiful desert city is the perfect location to visit in November. Our hot days are in the past and now outdoor activities are becoming the norm. As an added bonus, many of these activities are free, with many of them suitable for family fun. Hiking trails are abundant, art is everywhere, and, yes, we are becoming known as a foodie city. Oh, and with 350 days of sun each year, your chances of beautiful sunny days is pretty much assured.” — Kathy Condon
3. Cottonwood, Arizona
“My favorite warm city is Cottonwood, Arizona. While it may not be tropical warm, the high temperature hovers around 65 degrees, which is certainly much warmer than the temperature in the Midwest where I live. Here, you can take advantage of all the extraordinary hiking, wineries, and outdoor pursuits in the Verde Valley area.
“I like Cottonwood because it’s a central location in the area, only about 20 minutes outside of Sedona and also about 20 minutes from the funky mountain town of Jerome. So you’ll still have plenty to see and do, but you’ll avoid some of the crowds of Sedona and you’ll save money staying in Cottonwood.” — SJ Morgensen
4. Sedona, Arizona
“A trip to Sedona, Arizona, for Thanksgiving one year is among my favorite family vacations in the U.S. Southwest. Temperatures aren’t tropical in this desert locale in the late fall, but under sunny skies, we were often in short sleeves or light jackets while we toured mysterious vortex sites, hiked amid striking red rock formations, and dined alfresco in this artsy town.
“Sedona has a great mix of things to do, not only adventuring in the outdoors with a hike, bike ride, or Jeep tour, but you can also browse art galleries, take a pottery class, go wine tasting, or golf on scenic championship courses. One way to get a good overview of the area is on an informative trolley tour. Or stop by the visitor center to pick up info on the area’s 400 miles of recreational trails.” — Kara Williams
5. Mesa, Arizona
“Mesa, Arizona is a lovely city to visit in November. Summer heat and monsoons are in the distant past and visitors will enjoy the mild, sunny weather. My favorite thing to do in the area is the Fresh Foodie Trail. Visit all kinds of agritourism and learn about ancient grains, olives, urban farms, and aeroponic farming. It is fascinating learning where your food comes from. The trail will take you through Mesa, Phoneix, and the surrounding areas. I loved the drive to Florence to visit the Windmill Winery. Arizona wine has come a long way since I lived there in 1993 and sipped rotgut concoctions such as Rattlesnake Red. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables harvested in November, so make sure to check out some of the farm-to-table restaurants.” — Peggy Cleveland
6. Irving, Texas
“With an average November high of 65 degrees, Irving, Texas, is a refreshing break from the Northern chill. Bring a sweater or a jacket for the evenings. Irving is between Dallas and Fort Worth. Access is easy because Dallas-Fort Worth Airport is in Irving.
“Cruise in a private gondola on Mandalay Canal and Lake Carolyn, followed by live music at one of Irving’s numerous venues. The Toyota Music Factory attracts A-list acts with indoor and outdoor concert options. Visit The Mustangs at Las Colinas, then combine farm-to-fork delicacies with live music at The Ranch at Las Colinas. However, every cuisine is available in Irving. Stay at the throwback Texican Court Hotel across the road from the Irving Convention Center. While there, buy a s’mores kit at Two Mules Cantina onsite and roast them on the patio fireplace.” — Roxie Yonkey
7. Austin, Texas
“Austin in November is filled with pleasant weather, football, and food. Temps are in the 60s and 70s during the day and UT football can fill the downtown streets with ‘hook ’em horns’ fans bedecked in burnt orange.
“Food festivals abound in November from the Austin Food & Wine Festival at Ladybird Lake where everything from refined chefs to the best barbecue around can be sampled. Or try the Field Guide Festival at Fiesta Gardens where local food system vendors, chefs, and farmers provide a taste of sustainable, local dishes. German immigrants populated the area in the 1800s and the Wurstfest in New Braunfels (about an hour away) is a nod to that heritage.
“November hosts art as well. The self-guided Austin Studio Tour is open on weekends to showcase studios around town. Try the Latino Art WKND on the east side of town or catch the last few weeks of the Day of the Dead Exhibition at the Mexic-Arte Museum downtown.” — Robyne Stevenson
8. San Antonio, Texas
“Tucked quietly below street level steps away from the Alamo, the River Walk or Paseo del Rio in San Antonio is the largest urban ecosystem in the nation and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Texas. Explore along the landscaped stone walking paths, stroll into restaurants, hotels, and storefronts, board a river barge for a guided tour, cross the river on arched stone footbridges, or see flowers and gardens plus the new River Walk Public Art Garden.
“You’ll find a city rich in diverse culture and heritage with over 300 years of history. The River Walk is 15.2 miles in length, including the downtown River Walk, the Museum Reach extending four miles north, and the Mission Reach transforming 8 miles of river southward into a wetland ecosystem, linking four historic Spanish colonial missions.
“I recently stayed at the boutique luxury Hotel Valencia on the River Walk and ate dinner at Boudro’s, indulging in flavorful shrimp and grits.
“The River Walk sparkles with holiday lights from the day after Thanksgiving through the first weekend in January. Plan your trip now!” — Janie Pace
“I used to visit San Antonio every year simply because my sister and her family live there, and it was a nice respite from Northeastern winters. I’ve since gotten to know the city, and each new visit provides a diverse mix of dining, outdoor recreation, and culture, from live music to art.
“Among my favorites are its trio of excellent art museums, the McNay, the Witte, and the perspective-bending Hopscotch. San Antonio’s LGBTQ scene is incredibly vibrant, with a strong theatrical tradition represented in its drag clubs.
“From barbecue and Tex-Mex to cured foods and elegant contemporary dining experiences, San Antonio’s dining options place it among an elite group of U.S. food cities. The downtown is easily walkable — all the better to enjoy those warm winter temperatures. Don’t miss The Saga, an art installation projected in lights on the facade of the historic San Fernando Cathedral, which tells the city’s history from indigenous settlement to present.” — Robin Catalano
9. Vicksburg, Mississippi
“What makes Vicksburg such a great place to visit in late fall is the mild temperatures which make for perfect sightseeing weather. Steeped in Civil War history with the fascinating Vicksburg National Military Park, Old Court House Museum, and other historical buildings, Vicksburg offers visitors a true Southern experience. Named the ‘Key City’ because of its critical importance in winning the Civil War, visitors will discover history through the ‘art of commemoration’ in the park through guided tours and elegant monuments.
“Look for beautiful antebellum homes, churches with stained glass windows, and life-like pictorial murals along the riverfront. Add in a flourishing culinary scene with an emphasis on succulent seafood and farm-to-table cuisine. Check out amazing art galleries as you walk down the charming downtown. Enjoy great outdoor recreation on the Yazoo River or make a stop along the Mississippi Blues Trail.” — Mira Temkin
10. New Orleans, Louisiana
“I love visiting New Orleans, Louisiana during the month of November. The hot summer temperatures have gone and a cool, autumn breeze seems to take over the city. The highlight of a visit to New Orleans in November is the annual Bayou Bacchanal, a celebration of the Caribbean culture that is found throughout the Crescent City. The celebration kicks off with that includes traditional carnival music and costumes.
“Of course, November also means football season in New Orleans. Football lovers will be thrilled to watch a college or pro team play during their visit. When you combine the fun events and festivals with the year-round charm of New Orleans, you can easily see why November is a great time to visit!” — Michelle Snell
11. Ocean Springs, Mississippi
“Deciding the best reason to visit Ocean Springs is difficult. Is it the beach, the walkable downtown, the art, or the top-notch food? Live oaks provide a soothing canopy above downtown streets. Stay at The Inns of Ocean Springs and start your morning at Bright-Eyed Brew Co. Ocean Springs Beach is less than a mile away, a perfect morning walk or golf cart excursion. Since the beach faces southwest, go back in the evening for spectacular sunsets. If you walk quietly on the Davis Bayou trails nearby, wildlife may appear. Bring a picnic lunch from Lil Market Deli & Bagelry. Downtown features four art galleries and the quirky Walter Anderson Museum of Art. Eat the broiled oysters and blackened amberjack at Charred. Savor the superb crab cakes at The Lady May. Trust me: You’ll always remember your Ocean Springs experience.” — Roxie Yonkey
12. Gulf Shores, Alabama
“One of my favorite warm cities to visit in November is Gulf Shores, Alabama. It is a resort city with great things to do and mild temperatures. The temperature hovers around 70 degrees, and it is an excellent time of year to escape the crowds. The summer rush is gone, and the snowbirds are just starting to arrive. The ocean temperature is around 71 degrees, so it might be chilly for swimming but great for walking along the beach and sunning yourself.
“Golf, biking, hiking, fishing, and boating, are all outdoor sports you can enjoy during November. Bellingrath Gardens have 65 acres of colorful fall blooms to enjoy, and the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is always better when the weather is cooler. Or take a segway tour through the Gulf State Park.
“Those who are feeling adventurous can schedule a gyroplane tour or flying lesson. If you want an indoor activity, check out the Coastal Arts Center and try your hand at glass blowing or pottery. I enjoyed browsing in the art gallery.
“There is so much to do and see; you will not be bored when you visit Gulf Shores, Alabama. It is a great place to visit any time of year, especially in November.” — Robin O’Neal Smith
12. Orange Beach, Alabama
“At 71 degrees for an average high, Orange Beach may not be the warmest getaway in November, but it is beautiful. Neighbor to the more popular Gulf Shores, it provides easy access to glorious beaches and all the wonders of staying on the Gulf of Mexico.
“As avid bike riders, one nearby treasure is Gulf State Park with its 28 miles of paved trails and boardwalks through nine distinct ecosystems! We loved riding the Gulf Oak Ridge trail with its Spanish moss-covered live oaks and spotting an armadillo at Rosemary Dunes. One hidden gem is the little-known Wade Ward Nature Park. When we were there, we watched a busy flock of pelicans and five white herons eagerly feed on fish. That makes sense since it’s one of the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail sites.
“Hungry? Try Cobalt, under the Perdido Bay Bridge, for Cobalt pizza with a Yuengling crust, signature Firecracker Shrimp with spicy remoulade, or any of the daily-catch seafood.” — Joan Sherman
13. St. George, Florida
“The quaint town of St. George is on St. George Island in the panhandle of Florida. Beautiful unspoiled beaches will not be crowded in November — after the summer crowds and before the winter snowbirds who usually arrive after spending Thanksgiving with family up north. The island’s original lighthouse has been restored and is open for tours. The St. George State Park is worth a visit, for more amazing pristine beaches and sunshine.” — Ann Bush
14. Crystal River, Florida
“With daily temps in the low to mid-70s and waterways with a year-round temperature of 72 degrees, Crystal River, Florida is an excellent pick for November. Well-known as the only spot in the U.S. to legally swim with manatees, the small town (population 3,161) on Florida’s Nature Coast is quirky and eclectic, offering a slice of old-school Florida charm.
“There may not be as many manatees in November (they arrive in droves in December, but there are always year-round residents), but there are also not as many tourists — another reason for a shoulder-season visit. After you take the prerequisite swim with the gentle giants, drive to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park to take in the weird and wonderful live mermaid show, popular in the ’50s. Some of the best bike trails in the state run through Crystal River, and tons of paddling, golf, and fishing are available.
Pro Tip: “Don’t miss dinner at the unassuming Seafood Seller and Cafe. The food is top-notch, and the owner, Jimmy, table hops, performing magic tricks and entertaining guests.” — Tami Brooks
15. Sarasota, Florida
“Sarasota has a vibrant downtown with outdoor seating and lots of live music. The weather has cooled to about 80 degrees and the hurricane season is over. You will have the sugar sand beaches to yourself, as the snowbirds don’t arrive for the season until after Thanksgiving. It’s a great time to visit for the sunshine, warm (but not sweltering) temperatures, and artsy vibe that makes Sarasota a joy to visit. The museums are less crowded too.” — Jeanine Consoli
16. Key West, Florida
“As November slowly creeps in and the weather starts getting colder, Key West, Florida, is an opportunity to relive the summer if only for a weekend. Stroll down Duval Street, in shorts, while taking a moment to wave hello to Musician Spogga as he plays one of his sets at Willie T’s. Stop by Blue Heaven for some Caribbean food, or if you are in the mood for something closer to home, Rams Head Southernmost has a mix of cocktails and live music with hearty burgers and fries.
“Attend the Meeting of the Minds, a beachfront festival to celebrate the Jimmy Buffet-inspired nonprofit Parrot Heads in Paradise. Held on Wednesday, November 2 – Sunday, November 6, 2022, the annual gathering allows all patrons to celebrate the island-like lifestyle that the destination offers. Watch the Offshore World Championship power boat races from Truman Waterfront (November 6-13), or round out the month by watching the lighting of the Key West Harbor Walk of Lights (date TBD).
“Regardless of how you spend your day, end the evening on a sunset booze cruise that allows you to wave at Cuba and other vacationers who just like you want to spend another day in paradise.” — Keshler Thibert
17. The Palm Beaches, Florida
“The Palm Beaches on Florida’s east coast extends the summer season just a getaway longer. With perfect November weather, the average temperature runs between 65 and 80 degrees — not too hot, not too cold – just right. Begin with a round of golf in the morning, followed by an afternoon of soaking up the warm sunshine at a beautiful beach, and finish by relaxing into dinner at a local restaurant.
“The golf courses run the gamut from challenging to duffer friendly. You will love driving the ball down a palm tree-lined fairway landing it on the lush greens.
“The beach choices are endless and gorgeous beaches stretch the barrier island forming an endless sandy playground.
“If fine dining is your jam, book a table at Flagler Steakhouse at The Breakers. It is the epitome of Palm Beach luxe. If you prefer a more casual vibe, go with Johnny Longboats and a plate of the freshest catch of the day.” — Sandi Barrett
18. St. Simons Island, Georgia
“At 75 degrees for an average high, St. Simons Island is a great place for a November visit. It’s the largest barrier island of the Golden Isles and has something for everyone: beaches, golf, adventure tours (we loved our kayaking trip on the marsh), and fresh seafood. Use one of three access points to get to East Beach for a long walk or to relax with a good book.
“The nearby Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation in Brunswick looks just like a Southern plantation should look, with its sweeping live oaks covered in Spanish moss. It doesn’t have the popularity (or the crowds) of the iconic Wormsloe, but it offers a great tour. Or check out the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on neighboring Jekyll Island, with its focus on the area’s fascinating loggerhead sea turtles.
“For food, we like Tramici ‘neighborhood Italian’ for their ‘Take 3’ lunch special: I tried tomato bisque soup, Mediterranean salad, and spinach olive oil pasta.” — Joan Sherman
19. Savannah, Georgia
“Summer in Savannah is brutal when you factor in the extreme heat and humidity, mosquitos, and the pesky sand gnats. November is a delightful time to visit with an average high of 70 degrees and a low of 49 degrees. The days are mostly sunny and it is perfect walking weather. Stroll the squares the town is famed for and enjoy coffee at a sidewalk cafe. You won’t have all the summer crowds and you learn why locals love their city. Head to Tybee Island and explore Fort Pulaski or take long walks along the beach. Take a ghost tour now that it gets dark earlier. Savannah has so many options to just be outside.” — Peggy Cleveland
20. San Juan, Puerto Rico
“Just as the weather cools around the country, warm balmy breezes continue in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This Caribbean spot has great food, tropical drinks, and 500 years of history just waiting to be explored.
“First stop is Old San Juan, perched on the northwest tip of town and surrounded by water, this is the city’s oldest neighborhood. Streets paved with blue bricks are bordered by brightly colored buildings. Small, shaded plazas are filled with benches and pigeons. A great way to explore this area is on a food tour with Spoon. Enjoy generous portions of food along with a good dose of the island’s history.
“Don’t leave the city before sipping a piña colada at the place where it was invented, the Caribe Hilton. It was here that Ramon ‘Manchito’ Marrero spent three months crafting this new cocktail in 1954. However, there is an alternate theory that this sweet pineapple and coconut rum drink was created by Ricardo Garcia at Barrachina in Old San Juan. Better yet, try both and compare.
“Accommodations at a variety of price points can be found in the Old Town and Convention Center area including Hotel El Convento, Caribe Hilton, Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino, and Aloft San Juan.” — Wendy Lee
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