10Best Picks for November

  • Cologne, Germany

    Travelers from around the globe come to Cologne, or Köln as it's called in German, to see the great twin-spire cathedral towering over the old city on the Rhine. Christmas markets kick off in November, making the cobbled streets and squares surrounding the cathedral even more beautiful than they already are.

    Photo courtesy of Dieter Jacobi / KölnTourismus GmbH

  • Oahu, Hawaii

    If dropping temperatures have you mourning the end of summer, a trip to the tropics might be in order. It's beach weather all year on the island of Oahu, and in November, the eyes of the surfing world turn toward the North Shore for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, which kicks off mid-month. Cheaper hotel and airfare rates sweeten the deal.

    Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

  • Wilmington, N.C.

    Wilmington, N.C. was recently named the 'Best American Riverfront ' by USA TODAY 10Best readers, and November is a great month to experience the charming town on the Cape Fear River. With average highs in the upper 60s, days are pleasantly warm, perfect for strolling the riverwalk or heading to nearby Wrightsville Beach for the annual Cape Fear Kite Festival.

    Photo courtesy of Wilmington and Beaches CVB

  • Keystone, Colo.

    Thanks to some of the most reliable snow conditions in the country, Arapahoe Basin in Keystone opened for the 2014/2015 season in mid-October, making it one of the only ski resorts in the country where you can hit the slopes throughout the month of November. Other area resorts, including Keystone and Copper Mountain, are set to open well before Thanksgiving.

    Photo courtesy of bixentro

  • Grand Cayman, Caribbean

    For 10 days each November, swashbucklers drop anchor in Grand Cayman for the annual Pirate Week Festival. During the rest of the month, sun-seeking visitors can land significant discounts on flight and hotel fares during this shoulder season period AND have more elbow room at the beach.

    Photo courtesy of Juan Jose Marroquin for Red Bull Cayman Islands

  • Plymouth, Massachusetts

    A great way to learn more about Thanksgiving history - the good and the bad - is to visit the place where the Pilgrims first landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts. "America's Home Town" is teeming with historical attractions, including a reproduction of the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock and the historical village of Plymouth Plantation.

    Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

  • Phoenix

    November marks the beginning of "snowbird season" in Phoenix, and while you won't find many discounts on hotels or green fees, you will enjoy blue skies and temperatures in the 70s and even lower 80s. Car enthusiasts have the Arizona International Auto Show to look forward to at the end of the month.

    Photo courtesy of neepster

  • New Orleans

    Travelers who'd prefer to experience the historic ambiance, excellent food and even better music of New Orleans without sweltering heat or crowds should consider November. Hotel rates are low, yet the Big Easy still has a full calendar of fun cultural events, including the Voodoo Music Festival at the beginning of the month and the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival toward the end.

    Photo courtesy of GW Fins

  • New York

    Head to the Big Apple in November, and you can be a part of one of the nation's biggest and most iconic celebrations, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you'd rather not content with the crowds but still want some holiday cheer, the high-kicking Rockettes perform their Radio City Christmas Spectacular beginning early in the month.

    Photo courtesy of Stacey Huggins

  • Cusco, Peru

    Springtime in South America means discounted hotel rates, beautiful weather with daytime temps in the 60s and hardly any crowds to contend with in the stunning city of Cusco, Peru. If you don't mind a few showers, November is also an excellent month to tackle the Inca Trail when it's largely free of tourists and cross Machu Picchu off your bucket list.

    Photo courtesy of OSTILL/iStock