All Articles 5 best places to travel in the US this November

5 best places to travel in the US this November

Watch cowboys lead longhorns down the street in Fort Worth or hit the trails in Tucson.

Sarah Kuta
By Sarah KutaNov 1, 2023 4 minutes read
Cowboys walk across a cobblestone street beneath a sign for the Fort Worth Stockyards
Rodeo cowboys walking on Exchange Street in the Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District
Image: John Coletti/Getty Images

Before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season really sets in, you deserve a little getaway to pre-charge your batteries. And, because the fall foliage is gone and most people are gearing up for Thanksgiving, November can be a relaxed, crowd-free month in many destinations. Plus, the weather is usually relatively mild (though be prepared for early snowstorms in northern locales!).

If you’re hoping to plan a trip in November, here’s where to go.

Tucson, AZ

For wellness-loving hikers

Average temps: 75°F high; 44°F low

Desert landscape punctuated with cacti
Saguaro National Park landscape
Image: Gary Yeowell/Getty Images

During the summer, it’s just too darn hot to do much in Tucson—but by late fall, temperatures are much more manageable. To avoid flocks of winter snowbirds, hit the road early and plan a trip to this Sonoran Desert city in November.

Tucson is surrounded by five mountain ranges that are brimming with trails, so it’s the perfect place to get outside for a hike or mountain bike ride. Head to Catalina State Park and warm up your legs on the 3/4-mile Romero Ruins loop trail, which traverses the archaeological ruins of a 1,500-year-old village of the Hohokam. Then, check out Saguaro National Park to marvel at the majestic giant saguaro cacti, only found in the Sonoran Desert. For a moderate trek, hit the Wild Dog Trail, a 1.8-mile out-and-back path weaving visitors through a forest of cacti.

This city has earned a reputation as a health and wellness hub so, afterward, soothe your muscles at one of Tucson’s many spas. Book a day package at Miraval Arizona, a celeb-favorite wellness resort with a 16,000-square-foot spa. If you decide to spend the night, try to snag one of the resort’s expansive villas, like the aptly named Zen Villa, a secluded three-bedroom with views of the Santa Catalina mountains.

More to explore

Pismo Beach, CA

For butterfly enthusiasts

Average temps: 69°F high; 46°F low

A cluster of monarch butterflies hang out in a tree
Cluster of monarch butterflies at Pismo Beach, California
Image: Denise Taylor/Getty Images

From late October through February, tens of thousands of western monarch butterflies congregate in California’s coastal forests—and in November, one of the best places to see them is Pismo Beach, a small town about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The monarchs flock to the towering eucalyptus trees in Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove, where they have everything they need to thrive—plenty of humidity, dappled sunlight, and protection from wind. The park is small, but you could easily spend an entire afternoon here marveling at the insects, reading the interpretive signs that explain their life cycle, and meandering among the trees on wide, flat dirt trails.

Travelers say: “Parking is available along Highway 1 near the butterfly grove. For those able to walk less than a mile, a better option may be the large free parking lot near the end of Grand Avenue in Grover Beach... From there, take the boardwalk to the north about 0.8 miles, past the golf course.”—@ghamachi

And there’s plenty to see and do in Pismo Beach beyond the monarchs. Take a walk on the sand and stroll the recently renovated Pismo Pier, sip a glass of wine in the cozy downtown tasting room of Sans Liege, or rent a bike and pedal around town.

More to explore

Washington, D.C.

For the art-obsessed

Average temps: 59°F high; 37°F low

The exterior courtyard of the National Gallery of Art, with water features and raised skylights
The National Gallery of Art, East Building, in Washington, D.C.
Image: traveler1116/Getty Images

If it’s been a while since you last visited the nation’s capital, November is the time to go. First stop? The National Museum of Women in the Arts, which just reopened after a two-year renovation. Just a few blocks from the White House, the museum is the world’s first dedicated solely to women artists. It has a collection of more than 6,000 pieces—from large-scale sculptures to photographs—and the latest exhibition,“The Sky’s the Limit,” is a gravity-defying display of modern sculptures by the likes of Sonya Clark and Beatriz Milhazes.

From there, it’s a 20-minute walk to the National Gallery of Art, which is showcasing “The Land Carries Our Ancestors: Contemporary Art by Native Americans,” an exhibition packed with works from 50 Native American artists and curated by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, a citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation.

For access to all of the city’s top spots, you’ll want to book a room at the newly opened Royal Sonesta Washington, DC Capitol Hill. It’s the first new hotel to open on Capitol Hill in nearly 40 years, and its modern, spacious rooms, ultra-walkable location, and top-notch staff are getting rave reviews.

More to explore

St. Augustine, FL

For Christmas superfans

Average temps: 75°F high; 57°F low

The Lightner Museum exterior decorated with Christmas decorations and lights
Christmas decorations and lights outside the Lightner Museum, in St. Augustine, Florida
Image: KenWiedemann/Getty Images

Some cities just go all-out for the holidays—and St. Augustine is one of them. Starting in mid-November, St. Augustine’s historic European-style architecture is illuminated by millions of twinkling white lights. The official lighting ceremony takes place the Saturday before Thanksgiving, but don’t worry if you miss it—the lights stay on through late January. And this year is extra special because it’s the 30th anniversary of this beloved annual tradition.

If you visit earlier in the month, however, you’ll still find plenty to explore. With November temperatures in the mid-70s, you can walk the beach, paddle around the St. Augustine Lighthouse in search of dolphins and other wildlife on a guided kayak tour, or hit the links at one of St. Augustine’s manicured golf courses.

Make the most of your trip

Fort Worth, Texas

For the whole family

Average temps: 70°F high; 48°F low

A herd of longhorn cattle walk through the Fort Worth Stockyard courtyard
Herd of longhorn cattle moving through the Fort Worth Stockyards
Image: Ceri Breeze/Getty Images

This fast-growing city is one big Wild West playground for families. Twice a day, you can watch cowboys lead longhorn steers down the street at the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District (and November weather means it’s fairly comfortable to watch outside). Afterwards, get inspired at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and then take in a real-life rodeo at the Cowboy Coliseum (Thursday-Sunday).

Travelers say: “These cowboys and cowgirls put on a great show. …The mic man was so funny, [we] loved the fact that everything is announced and he details each person that performs. If you have kids, I think they will like this. We had our teenagers and they had a great time. During a break in the action, they let kids into the ring for some fun and shenanigans.”—@E5647LFtracym

After the day’s adventures, retreat to a suite at the brand-new Crescent Hotel, located in Fort Worth’s walkable Cultural District. Grab dinner at Emilia’s, the on-site Mediterranean restaurant helmed by popular local chef Preston Paine (who also competed on Food Network’s Ciao House)—and be sure to head up to the rooftop for sweeping views of the city.

Make the most of your trip

Sarah Kuta
Sarah Kuta is a writer and editor based in Colorado who specializes in travel, food and drink, science, history, and more. Her work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Robb Report, Food & Wine, NBC News, Lonely Planet, Smithsonian Magazine, the Denver Post, 5280 Magazine, the Toronto Star, and many other publications. When she's not writing, she's probably skiing, birdwatching, road tripping in her converted camper van, hiking with her dog Daisy, mountain biking, or checking out craft breweries.