At Ecophiles, we have put together a list of destinations for November. Whether it is the tropical beaches of Hawaii or the snowy Northern Lights in Alaska, we have got at least one destination for everybody. As the winter months roll in and days get shorter many of us pack away our travel curiosity along with our sandals and swimsuits; but we don’t have to and either should you! Here are the best ideas for your November holiday trip.
For Fall Foliage: Smoky Mountains – Gatlinburg, TN
Gatlinburg is a lively bit of a vibrant dreamland with plenty of things to check off an autumn awe-inspiring agenda. The Festival of Trees is a great way to get into the essence of the holidays. Intricately festooned Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes will line the Gatlinburg Convention Center from November 22-27 to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains. Snow Tubing at Ober, Gatlinburg also opens November 18.
Unlike most other winter sports, snow tubing takes zero prior experience to sit and enjoy a exhilarating ride down the mountain. Patriotism runs low and deep in Gatlinburg. On Veteran’s Day, Smoky Mountains is second to none. This free and public event starts at 11 am and beings with a touching ceremony at Ripley’s Aquarium plaza.
For Skiing: South Lake Tahoe, NV
Travelling to beautiful South Lake Tahoe in November or March will allow the experience of this natural wonder for exponentially lower pricing. November is also the month that you can get a jump on to ski season, as November is opener. Given its location high in the Sierra Mountains of California and Nevada, the views are spectacular.
Lake Tahoe has one of the largest concentrations of ski resorts in the world. While the resorts and mountains have different opening dates they range from the second week (Nov 9) and through to the end of the month.
For Holiday Markets: Christkindl Market – Chicago, IL
From November 17 through to Christmas Eve the Christkindl market is open in the Chicago Loop. Christkindl has become so popular that any Chicago native will tell you they could not imagine the city without it. Starting as a German tradition it has become it’s own entity in Chicago. Christkindl is an outdoor shopping market with the staple German snacks, food, and drinks, and holiday entertainment makes this market a no brainer. It is open from 11 am until 8 pm and 9 pm on the weekends, admission is always free!
For Celestial Display: The Northern Lights – Fairbanks, AK
November is one of the best times to travel to Fairbanks, Alaska. The temperatures are a little chillier (rarely barely above freezing), but Fairbanks is the place where you can skip the hiking boots, and dusty trails and find a different, special, untouched world just by looking up. Settle in and get comfy beneath the continuous changing light display that flickers, curves, and curls.
The Aurora Borealis is one of the most vibrant and dazzling exhibitions and is a stellar gift from the cosmos. Fairbanks doesn’t need to offer more than this psychedelic sky wonder- but it does. You can also hike the Granite Tors trail (Tors are outcroppings that formed from molten rock being pushed up to the surface of the earth and cooled very quickly; they are believed to have formed at the earliest 70 million years ago), and if traveling the first week in November one could visit the UWA Holiday Bazaar which is a Fairbanks traditon and takes place on the 5th and 6th.
For Beaches: Hawaii
November is the perfect time to travel to our beautiful sister islands. The temperature in the November range from mid to low 80s this month, with night fall having temps of low 70s to high 60’s (perfect in my opinion). Even the tropical beaches here change a lot in color this season too, like Kauai below and it’s a must sea.
November is also Fashion month on the islands. There are sixteen fashion events across the islands all month; including a Market Grand Opening and a fashion symposium closing the month. If you decide to go the week of Veteran’s Day you can enjoy a Veterans Day Parade, a Yoga Festival, and a Pomp and Circumstance Ball – which tumbles you back into Victorian times. There is also an annual Hilo Extravaganza Craft fair at the end of the month featuring 70 local artisans. This season also has the lowest: price and crowds. Hawaii is just beautiful whenever. Just make sure you go.
For Nature: Grand Canyon, AZ
November, along with September and October, is a great month to check out the Grand Canyon’s South Rim due to milder temperatures, the last main highway (HWY 67) also closes after the first big snow fall and the park itself closes on November 30th. The Grand Canyon is bathed in Autumn light while the hours of sunshine grow smaller and smaller. Crowds get much smaller after Labor Day and the temperature levels off after the summer monsoons end.
Any trail will lead you to a special awe inspiring sight, and we recommend the Esplanade Trail Junction (1.4 miles), Toltec Beach (3 miles), and Bass Canyon (3.3 miles). Although the Grand Canyon is an unparalleled sight to behold it is up to you to be responsible and honest about your abilities and supply. The temperature and sunlight can change on a dime when we head toward the winter solstice and it is important that all are prepared.
For Wildlife: Elk Bugling-Estes Park, CO
A bugle of a bull elk is a often unanticipated, distinguishing sound that begins deep and reverberating and becomes often high pitched before ending in a sequence of grunts. Each bull often has variations of their bugle too. This can be viewed in November in Estes Park, CO. Estes Park in November begins in the high 50’s and ends the month in often below freezing temperatures. This is the month that lovely autumn turns into rinsing and snowy winter. It is a place of wildlife, beauty, and nature cycles as old as time.
Big into seeing the top but not getting there by foot? Travel by the Estes Park Aerial Tramway which allows park guests to get a bird’s eye view without the achy feet. Big horn sheep are also showcasing their head butting contest around this time in Rocky Mountain National Park, which one can enter through Estes Park. You could also check out Bear Lake Rd, which remains open through out the winter. Following the road will take you to scenic byways, picnic areas as well as Moraine Park museum and Sprague Lake.
For Thanksgiving Day Parade: New York City, NY
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has become an American tradition and is the world’s largest parade. The parade takes place on Thanksgiving every year so for 2017 that will be Tuesday November 23. This year’s line up begins with the Pillsbury Dough Boy and is followed up by all of the characters that capture America’s heart. Perfect for that November holiday trip!
We have to go all the way back to the 1920s, which was the inaugural Macy’s Day Parade. It was broadcast for the first time in 1932 as the Macy’s Day Parade. Can you imagine being so close to a gigantic Garfield that it feels like you could reach out and touch him? Childhood dreams coming true all over the place when you travel to NYC.
Ready to plan your perfect November holiday trip now?