9 best weekend getaways: Top November destinations | CNN

9 best weekend getaways: Top November destinations | CNN


Thanksgiving — and the busy travel period surrounding it — is typically the first thing that comes to mind for most when they think of the month of November.

However, the month is also a prime time for a long-weekend getaway with family or friends. That’s because of its position squarely in the “shoulder season” (in between high and low seasons) for many destinations around the US. This usually means thinner crowds in popular spots, cheaper accommodations and less-expensive flights to and from a given destination — excluding Thanksgiving weekend, of course.

Many places you can visit around the US and North America have finally settled into fall, which means temperatures have cooled significantly from the summer months but winter hasn’t arrived quite yet, so you’re likely to find relatively agreeable weather.

Now that you’re sold on a weekend escape, let’s take a look at some of the best places you can travel in November.

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Savannah, Georgia

This coastal colonial city in the far northeastern corner of Georgia is a delight to visit all year round, but you may enjoy it even more in November, when the area’s infamous humidity has lifted and the big crowds have departed for the season.

Even though the crowds you’ll find in the spring and summer have thinned out, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on in Savannah. For example, the city is hosting the annual “Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah,” which consists of a marathon, half-marathon and a 5K race from Nov. 6-7. After the races, there’s a festival and music.

Elsewhere, one of the best ways to enjoy Savannah is on foot, strolling through its colonial streets and marveling at its historic mansions and the elegant southern live oak trees. Don’t miss one of the city’s most popular attractions, Forsyth Park. If you want a break from all that walking, you can book a trolley tour around all the must-see attractions of this special city.

Of course, you can’t forget about Savannah’s legendary eateries and nightlife scene, which have put the city on the map for foodies across the country.

Savannah has no shortage of hotels for travelers to choose from. The recently opened Thompson Savannah is a modern property set along the Savannah River at the intersection of Savannah’s Historic District and the new and still-developing Eastern Wharf neighborhood.

Another property that’s made a splash recently is the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District. Constructed out of three completely unique buildings that used to comprise a large power plant, the JW Marriott offers luxurious rooms, phenomenal food and drinks (the hotel has a buzzy rooftop bar in addition to several other dining venues), art galleries, museum-like exhibits and much more.

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Scottsdale, Arizona

November is an ideal time to visit the typically packed hotspot of Scottsdale, Arizona. The area hasn’t quite entered its peak season yet, meaning you’ll be able to find seats at bars and restaurants without much hassle. The weather is warm enough but not too hot during the day and it’s even cool enough to throw on a light jacket or sweater at night.

Located within the metropolis of Phoenix, Scottsdale is removed enough from the city to make you feel like you’re on vacation, but close enough to reap the benefits that a major metropolitan area provides.

No visit to Scottsdale would be complete without hiking the iconic Camelback Mountain — and November’s the perfect time to do so given the idyllic weather during this time of year. After your hike, hit the bars in Old Town Scottsdale and see why the city has earned a reputation of being a mini Las Vegas.

If you want to explore some of the stunning terrain of the American Southwest, you’re just a couple hours’ drive from the towns of Sedona, Flagstaff and, of course, the Grand Canyon.

As a perennially popular vacation destination, Scottsdale has a wide range of hotels and resorts to choose from.

If you’re looking to travel on a budget, take a look at the AC Hotel Phoenix Biltmore, which is located near many of the area’s top sights, including Camelback Mountain and Old Town Scottsdale. The hotel features a lounge and bar space, a 24-hour fitness center and an outdoor pool.

On the other end of the price spectrum, you’ll find the Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. Having just undergone a complete renovation, this resort embodies classic Arizona luxury. Designed in a style mimicking that of Frank Lloyd Wright, this iconic resort offers a full slate of amenities including seven pools, a full-service spa, multiple restaurants and bars and two championship golf courses.

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Park City, Utah

Park City is one of the country’s premier ski destinations, but visiting in November means you’ll beat most of the skiing crowds, who don’t show up en masse until later in the season. The weather becomes cooler in November, but it’s not freezing yet, meaning it’s a perfect time to partake in some quintessential fall activities like leaf peeping. But you can still do the things typically reserved for warmer months, like hiking some of the area’s majestic mountains, fly fishing and horseback riding.

Even if outdoor activities aren’t your thing, Park City makes a perfect fall destination. Stroll along Main Street and pop into any one of the high-end boutiques, souvenir shops or art galleries and round out your day with a whiskey tasting at the renowned High West Distillery & Saloon.

The Hyatt Centric Park City offers luxurious, residential-style rooms with kitchenettes and laundry facilities and great amenities at an affordable price. This property boasts a great location with ski-in, ski-out access during the season and proximity to downtown Park City. You can also enjoy the hotel’s 24/7 fitness center and outdoor pool for a relaxing fall afternoon.

If you’re looking for a luxury retreat, look no further than the Montage Deer Valley. This high-end property is located up in the mountains in the famous Deer Valley ski resort, though it’s just a few minutes’ drive to town. You’re sure to enjoy the hotel’s 35,000-square-foot spa and multiple dining and drinking venues after a day of basking in the glorious Utah autumn.

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San Diego, California

This Southern California metropolis is known for having great weather year round, and November is no different. But, like many places on this list, things are quieter in November, meaning you can enjoy all this beachside city has to offer without sharing it with throngs of other tourists.

San Diego has something for everyone — beautiful beaches, a thriving dining and bar scene, flourishing arts and cultural activities and more. One of the most notable events in November is Fleet Week, one of the largest military events to take place in the area each year. Tour active Coast Guard and US Navy ships and enjoy the other festivities like live music and food and refreshments.

Don’t forget to visit Balboa Park, a sprawling and lush green space with numerous attractions including museums, botanical gardens, fountains and even an organ pavilion.

San Diego has plentiful options for accommodations. Check in to the boutique-style Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego and you’ll be within walking distance of many of downtown San Diego’s hotspots. The hotel exudes “California cool,” and you can enjoy a cocktail on its rooftop pool deck or grab a bite to eat at the onsite Mexican restaurant.

For an iconic beachfront stay, check out the Hotel Del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton. Located on beautiful Coronado Island, “The Del” has been a legendary property since it opened in 1888. This resort offers plenty of activities including a seaside spa, outdoor pools, numerous ballrooms and events spaces, multiple restaurants and bars — all served with the glamorous Victorian flair this iconic property is known for.

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Montreal, Quebec, Canada

One of the most European-feeling cities in North America, Montreal, Quebec is a wonderful place to visit during the fall. In November, you can catch the last of the colorful fall leaves or even the city’s first snow. The city has an abundance of outdoor spaces, whether it’s parks or public murals waiting to be explored with a piping latte in hand. Hike to the summit of Mount Royal Park, where you’ll get to take in panoramic views of the city’s skyline and the St. Lawrence River just beyond.

Montreal is also famous for having an abundance of cute cafes, bistros and bars that will make you feel like you’ve hopped across the Pond rather than crossed our northern border. In August, Canada reopened its borders to fully vaccinated Americans for the first time since March 2020.

Book a stay at the Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile for a central location at a reasonable price. Situated in the heart of downtown Montreal and near attractions like the Old Port of Montreal and Notre Dame Basilica, this hotel offers plenty of amenities including a fitness center, a French restaurant and lobby bar, full-service spa and more.

If you want to splurge on your weekend getaway, reserve a room at The Ritz-Carlton Montreal. Opened in 1912, this iconic hotel recently underwent a top-to-bottom renovation to bring it into the 21st century while preserving its historic charm. You’ll find European touches abound at this high-end hotel, including the hotel’s signature French restaurant, Maison Boulud. After a long day of exploring, book yourself a treatment at the hotel’s indulgent spa, which features an indoor saltwater pool with fantastic city views.

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Portsmouth, New Hampshire

If you’re looking for a quintessential New England fall experience, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, should be at the top of your list. One of the most historic cities in the United States, Portsmouth exudes historic charm wherever you turn. And all of that charm is amplified in the fall when the leaves are vibrant reds, oranges and yellows.

Portsmouth has an abundance of shops, restaurants, bars, galleries, museums and more in town that are sure to keep you occupied during your long weekend escape.

Located on the banks of the Piscataqua River, the new AC Hotel Portsmouth Downtown/Waterfront provides modern accommodations in the heart of this historic city. Just steps from Portsmouth’s waterfront, the AC is near many other famous landmarks in the city including Prescott Park and The Music Hall. At the hotel, you can take advantage of the rooftop bar (don’t forget to put a coat in your suitcase!) as well as the 24/7 fitness center.

Portsmouth also has a number of independent bed-and-breakfasts and inns to consider, such as The Sailmaker’s House, which add yet another layer of charm to a weekend in this charming New England city.

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Marco Island, Florida

As the weather gets colder in much of the country, it’s natural to want to head to warmer climates. Fort Myers and its surrounding area, located on the Gulf of Mexico, provides miles upon miles of stunning coastline and calm turquoise water, perfect for swimming and an entire array of water sports. The weather is still ideal this time of year — not too hot and humid like it can get in the summer months, but with cooler evenings suitable for a jacket or sweater.

The Fort Myers area has many cities and beach towns to choose from, including Naples, Sanibel Island, Marco Island, Cape Coral, Captiva Island and more, each with its own vibe and flair to suits travelers of all kinds.

The Fort Myers area has a huge number of accommodation options to choose from, given its popularity as a destination for sun-seekers.

If you’re traveling with the family, you’ll want to check out the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa, which offers a whopping five waterslides, four pools and even a private island for guests to use. The resort also offers multiple dining options, a fitness center and spa and proximity to world-class golf courses.

For a taste of beachfront luxury, book a stay at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. The property is located on three miles of beautiful private beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and offers a staggering 12 restaurants to choose from, along with a full-service spa, fitness center, multiple pools and more. There’s even an adults-only “resort within a resort,” offering an exclusive rooftop pool and other amenities.

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Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville has quickly become one of the nation’s hottest travel destinations, thanks to its thriving food scene, raucous nightlife, endlessly entertaining honky-tonk bars and more. The city is typically flooded with tourists during the summer months, but those crowds thin out once fall arrives, which means it’s a perfect time to visit.

The humidity and heat of the summer months melt away and temperatures become pleasant during the day and delightfully crisp in the evening. Even though the crowds are largely gone in November, there’s still plenty to do around town. The country concerts the city is famous for still happen regularly, or you could catch a Nashville Predators NHL game. In the middle of November, Nashville gets ready for Christmas with the opening of the Nashville Christmas Village.

Nashville has experienced a hotel boom in recent months in order to meet demand. You’ll find that this Tennessee city has no shortage of exciting hotels to choose from for your long-weekend getaway.

Architecture buffs will love the Holston House Nashville, part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt. Set in a stunning art deco building in the heart of downtown Nashville, this hotel embraces its past while giving guests a thoroughly modern experience.

Holston House is located within walking distance of the city’s Lower Broadway district, which has a plethora of live music venues, restaurants, bars, sports arenas and more. Back at the hotel, enjoy a rooftop cocktail or go for a dip at the property’s rooftop pool.

Located in Nashville’s West End adjacent to Vanderbilt University, the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel provides luxury accommodations within close proximity to — but not in the center of — Nashville’s main tourist attractions. This property offers multiple dining options, a fitness center with Peloton bikes and pet-friendly accommodations.

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Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

If you’re OK with slightly chillier temperatures, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, is a great place to visit in the fall. Packed with vacationers during the summer months, Lake Geneva, just more than 90 miles from Chicago, empties out when fall rolls around, which means it’s a perfect time to take in the resplendent fall beauty without many others to share it with.

While you’ll definitely need to bring a coat — and perhaps even a hat and mittens — you can still participate in a whole host of fall activities including apple picking, a corn maze, wine tasting and even golfing or zip-lining. Don’t forget to go for a relaxing drive to take a look at the many Gilded Age mansions that line the shores of the lake.

Set on 1,300 acres of woodlands close to the lake, the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa is one of the best family-friendly hotels in the area. It boasts two championship golf courses, ski hills suitable for the whole family, a full-service spa and multiple restaurants and pools.

Thanks to the thinner crowds during the fall, it’s a great time to consider a vacation rental property in Lake Geneva through services like Vrbo.


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