Where to Travel in November
June 28, 2019 1:53 PM   Subscribe

I have a milestone birthday coming up in November, and I was thinking of making it a destination birthday. It doesn't seem like a great month for travel though, so I'm unsure of where to go.

I'm thinking I want a luxury experience with nice places to stay and nice places to eat. I can afford to spend a reasonable amount on this, but value is appreciated. I'm not a billionaire and spending excessively always seems frivolous to me. I also tend to horde my money, so big expenditures leave me feeling a bit uncomfortable.

I'm coming from Southern California where November is typically around 60 fahrenheit (15 to 16 C). Someplace warmer would be great, probably don't want to go anywhere that would be colder. I suspect an even trade climate wise is about the best I can hope for without seriously eliminating options. Shorter flight times are preferred, but I suspect I won't get anyplace interesting without some significant air time.

I like places with photogenic vistas and/or wildlife. I like cities/towns when it feels like art is an important part of the culture and the lives of the locals. Good local museums or galleries go a long way to making me love a place. I prefer broader boulevards compared to mazy little streets. I want to be comfortable, so I'm up for a hike or excursion to see cool things, or a snorkeling/diving trip, but then I want to be back in civilization.

Have already been to Hawaii, Mexico, many Caribbean islands, Italy, Greece. Not opposed to going back, but would prefer something new. Cruises make me feel trapped.

Have always wanted to visit England/Ireland/Scotland, but seems like wrong time of year. Australia seems really far away and not too different from US. Costa Rica is interesting to me, but can I get a luxury experience while still getting a Costa Rican experience? Spain is also a bit of a contender, but where and should we look at something else too if we're already going all the way to Europe?
posted by willnot to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
if you're willing to fly to Europe/eurasia, Turkey (Istanbul) is glorious, very cheap by US standards (you can eat a 5-course meal at a world-class restaurant for less than like 90 bucks right now), has plenty of luxury hotels spas and hammams on offer, and a stone's throw away from nature and luxurious beach/beach resorts if that's your thing.
posted by shaademaan at 2:27 PM on June 28

Europe seems like it would be too cold, even Southern Europe, unless you're talking the first week of November -- and even then, it gets dark early. Remember that Rome is on the same latitude as Boston! Definitely the UK/Ireland will be damp and dark -- my folks went to Scotland in October last year and it drizzled most of their vacation.

What about Peru? Lima is a lovely city, and of course there's the Inca trail (you can do it as a multi-day hike or take a train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu.

I know you said Australia seems too far, but consider New Zealand! There are direct flights from LAX to Auckland -- yes it's a 12 hr flight (a few hours shorter than to Sydney), but it's an utterly amazing country and well worth the trip. I thought it was going to be US-ish, but it's really not, other than speaking English. Both the North and the South Island were incredible, in very different ways.
posted by basalganglia at 2:29 PM on June 28

I once was in Southern Spain in November and it was pretty glorious. Cadiz, Jerez...
posted by Namlit at 2:42 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]

It an be quite cold in Istanbul in November. Certainly much colder than So Cal.

Costa Rica sounds perfect for you. Any level of luxury/local you want, from super upscale to farm stay.
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:50 PM on June 28

I feel like heading south towards Central or South America would fufill most of your requirements: mild-ish weather in November, relatively inexpensive, rich in artistic cities, natural sights.

Seconding Lima, especially since the food scene there is top notch, and it wouldn't be financially painful to eat on the upscale end. Santiago / Valparaiso seems viable too, though I don't know the extent you'd have to go to see your vistas. Maybe cities in Colombia? Or perhaps Ecuador with the insane amount of natural sights there, basing yourself in Quito? If going for second visit, Mexico City and Oaxaca might have what you're looking for too, especially with their arts scenes.
posted by galleta monster at 3:19 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]

Costa Rica in November is so amazing.
posted by Threeve at 3:38 PM on June 28

I love New Orleans in November.
posted by Pacrand at 7:09 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]

Maybe Thailand or Morrocco.
posted by pinochiette at 7:19 PM on June 28

I'm in Santiago de Chile right now en route to eclipse viewing, and can happily recommend it: you can get luxury in the form of Michelin-starred restaurants, and you can just as easily browse the city's magnificent parks and museums for free or short money. Well-appointed trekking or glamping tours to wine country or the Andes to the east are readily available.

You cannot go wrong with a visit to Cusco and neighboring Macchu Picchu, and again, if you want luxury, it can be yours.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 7:27 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]

You could definitely go to Mexico and get everything you want.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:10 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]

Portugal? Likely to be rainy but not too cold. Lisbon and Porto are both fabulous cities and there's a lot to see in the countryside. Including some high end hotels in otherwise very rustic areas. Obviously not the right time of year for the beach, but Portugal has a lot to offer other than that.

You say you've been to Mexico but have you really been? Or just US border towns? Mexico City is amazing. Oaxaca and the Yucatan both have a lot to offer.
posted by Nelson at 8:28 AM on June 29

I've been to the UK, France, Belgium, Austria and Ontario in the fall/winter and loved it.
posted by brujita at 8:35 AM on June 29

Seconding New Orleans. Nothing like California and you would have a hard time not finding enough good food, drink, and music to sate you. However, it probably won't be warmer, but you can't have everything.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 10:46 AM on June 29

November is storm season in Tofino (west coast of Vancouver Island), and the Wickaninnish Inn has perfected the coastal storm experience. It's expensive, but pretty awesome.
posted by cooper green at 1:07 AM on June 30

I think Southern Spain would be great for a week - ten days trip. There is so much to see and experience! If you are going for longer, you can add in a couple of days in Madrid or Marrakesh (or somewhere else in Morrocco). If you are staying at higher end hotels, they can arrange tours for you at every price point.
I once went to visit the Alhambra, for work, but I brought my gran and two children, and we stayed at a good hotel overlooking the site. It was a wonderful trip. We flew in and out of Malaga, and visited several interesting archeological sites on the way to Granada. We also stopped for lovely beachside lunches at little but exquisite restaurants. If I hadn't had a 85 year old and two little kids with me, I would have visited the Sierra Nevada; I've seen a documentary about the culture and wildlife there and it seems absolutely amazing. Granada is a university town, and it feels both lively and safe.
It's hard to avoid mazy little streets in Europe, but Madrid has some great boulevards and art, and food. Marrakesh has wonderful little hotels, Riyads, at all price-points, as well as big luxury hotels with spas, and the modern quarter even has boulevards and some major attractions, like the Majorelle garden. Your hotel can arrange for you to go into the Sahara at different levels of comfort.
posted by mumimor at 6:11 AM on June 30

Santa Fe / Taos hits all your points. Sedona, AZ - it’s horribly commercial but beautiful as can be. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is really beautiful, very cosmopolitan, full of art.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:22 AM on June 30

Personally, I would pick somewhere in Europe. If you don't mind a little cold then you can't beat the Christmas Markets in Europe. I've mostly visited the ones in Germany and London.

Of course, if you need a little warmer weather then the Mediterranean is a good option. ( although it is still a little chilly). But the atmosphere is still great. I am actually heading to Italy in a week.

If you are looking for adventure then Ireland is perfect in November. There are fewer crowds, and the country is so small ( around the size of the US state of Indiana) that all the best places to visit in Ireland can easily be reached from anywhere in the country. It's perfect for a road trip. And rental cars are affordable. Although you will want to make sure to get car insurance for the rental (which is a little more expensive). The roads in Ireland are rocky and narrow.
posted by nomdicstephen at 12:57 AM on November 1

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