Planning an autumn escape? Find out where to go in November with our picks of the best places to visit...
1. New South Wales, Australia
Best for… Long-haul adventures
Great beaches, a diverse food scene and a gorgeous ocean road… what more could you want from a holiday? New South Wales’s Pacific Coast was made for epic road trips – and November is a prime time to visit with summer is in full swing.
Arriving in Sydney, you’ve got two options: head south on the Grand Pacific Drive to discover wild rainforests, secluded beaches and quaint villages on the two-day trip to Jamberoo. Or venture north along the coastal road towards the Gold Coast – take a week for a leisurely drive – where more amazing beaches and cool surfer towns await.
Top tip: Factor in plenty of time to explore towns and beaches along your route, rather than spending all your time on the road. You won’t regret the day you took off from driving to do that surf lesson, vineyard tour or whale watching trip.
Best for… That bucket list trip
India swelters in the summer, but November brings cooler temperatures all over the country – a welcome relief after the hot months and rainy seasons.
The monsoons in the south are over by November, which means the gorgeous Goan beaches are fair game. The hot and dry regions of Rajasthan and northern India enjoy far milder climes at this time of year, so a great excuse to take in chaotic capital Delhi and visit the breathtaking Taj Mahal.
Top tip: We designed our Best Exotic Marigold Tour of India to depart between November 2018 and February 2019 – by far the best season to explore the country. On the 10-day trip you’ll meet the author of the book that inspired the famous film and TV series, visit the Taj Mahal, Jaipur and Udaipur Palace, and stay at the real Best Exotic Marigold Hotel itself. See the details
3. The Philippines
Best for… Island hopping in paradise
With over 1,700 islands scattered across its turquoise waters, Palawan was made for island hopping adventures and November marks the start of the season. Here you can snorkel with turtles in the bath-temperature shallows, recline on powder-white beaches with a freshly-picked coconut in hand, and fish for your dinner from the back of a traditional bangka sailing boat.
Whether you opt for an off-grid sailing adventure (Tao Philippines runs incredible sustainable island camping trips) or all-out luxury (El Nido Resorts has some fabulous options), the islands of Palawan always feel five-star.
Top tip: The easiest way to access Palawan is to fly straight from Manila – the capital – to El Nido or Busuanga Island. It’s pretty far-flung out here, but hotels and sailing trips will usually provide transfers to and from the airport.
Read more: The best places to visit in October
4. Florida, USA
Best for… Theme parks and chilled city vibes
With the kids back in school, November’s the best time to visit Florida’s theme parks – of which there are many, including Disney World, Universal Studios and Epcot. But if you’re not a thrill seeker, don’t be put off: there’s plenty in Florida for all.
The state is home to the best beach in the USA according to TripAdvisor users – Clearwater Beach is a long stretch of golden sand ripe for sunbathing at this time of year. Miami is the party capital and has some of the world’s coolest Art Deco architecture, and the Florida Keys make for a fabulous break among nature if you want to escape the city.
5. Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
Best for… Wild encounters
If you’ve always wanted to meet polar bears, head to Canada in November. Churchill, right in the north of Manitoba on Hudson Bay, not far from the Arctic, is known as the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’, and for good reason: up to a thousand bears roam in this area of the country.
Take a tundra buggy out over the ice for close encounters, or hit the ground and embark on a walking safari. Experienced guides abound in Churchill, so book onto a polar bear watching tour for an unforgettable experience. Just remember to pack the thermals: it rarely gets above 0°C here in November.
6. La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain
Best for… A sunny island escape
Fancy a dose of winter sun without the long-haul schlep? The Canary Islands are your best option, just four hours by plane from London. Go to La Palma, where striking black volcanic sand beaches contrast with the blue Atlantic.
Outside of the school holidays, La Palma is a wonderfully quiet island and has far fewer brash resorts than its neighbours. Spend a day exploring pretty Santa Cruz de la Palma, take a hike around the rim of a collapsed volcano and spend an evening stargazing – the skies here are so clear, there are laws to protect them.
Top tip: Don’t expect balmy summer evenings – temperatures drop at night, so remember to bring some cosy cover-ups.
7. New York City, USA
Best for… Thanksgiving festivities
New York City is at its most colourful in November. As autumn tightens its grip, the leaves of Central Park turn scarlet and the smell of roast chestnuts fills the air. It’s the month of Thanksgiving too (the fourth Thursday of the month), which means pies, parties and parades – don’t miss the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, with its outlandish balloons and floats.
Christmas is on the horizon, too: early-bird shoppers should take advantage of the Black Friday discounts and tax-free offerds, while ice rinks and festive markets start to pop up around the city, too.
Top tip: Many of Europe’s budget airlines are serving airports in New York, so check out carriers such as Norwegian, WOW Air and Primera for flights from as little as £199.
Read more: How to blag an upgrade on your next flight
Best for… Desert dwelling
The Middle East is balmy year-round, but November’s temperatures are best in Oman with an average of 26°C in capital Muscat. This safe, stable Middle Eastern country is seriously underrated and often loses out to its more popular neighbour, Dubai.
Barter for spices and scarves in Muscat’s Muttrah Souk, head into the mountains with a guide to walk breathtaking trails (Jebel Akhdar is fantastic for hiking), or make for the desert to spend a night under the inexplicably starry sky at a luxury campsite.
Top tip: Don’t miss a boat trip through Khor ash Sham, one of Oman’s most beautiful fjords with startlingly blue waters surrounded by looming rocks.
Best for… An affordable Asian adventure
November is dry season in Cambodia, so it’s the ideal time for temple-hopping and seaside sunbathing. It’s a small country and relatively easy to get around by car, train or bus, so take two weeks to explore its many historic sites, sleepy rural towns and beautiful islands.
Most visitors beeline for Angkor Wat – part of the world’s most impressive ancient temple complex where hundreds of religious monuments dot an intriguing, forested landscape. It’s highly popular at sunrise – so much so the experience can be ruined by jostling selfie sticks and hundreds of snap-happy tourists trying to get the perfect dawn shot. Visit at lunchtime while everyone else is picnicking, or in the late afternoon once the heat has died down, for a more relaxing experience.
Take a cooking class in nearby Siem Reap so you can recreate fragrant Cambodian dishes at home, then head to the coast for some beach time. The beaches in Cambodia are as gorgeous as Thailand’s (another great place to visit in November), but they’re far quieter. Cambodia’s much cheaper than its popular neighbours too, so a beach break here need not cost the Earth. Don’t miss the incredible islands of Koh Totang and Koh Rong.