November is a funny month for travel. Most people are aware that the holiday season is coming soon, with long breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, and so stay put for the rest of the month. But smart travellers know that there are tons of deals to take advantage of around this time — not to mention the weather is lovely in what would typically be some of the hottest places in the world.
The Caribbean is a great place to start. Most of the resorts have reopened for the season and are preparing for the onslaught of guests during the holidays. But there are rooms to spare and crowd-free beaches in early November — where you won’t have to stand in line for a beer or a beach chair.
Memphis has always been known for blues and barbecue, but it’s also the South’s hottest new city for many reasons—the incredible green spaces, the great restaurant scene, and the must-see National Civil Rights Museum. Now there’s a great new place to stay: the Guest House at Graceland, where you can truly live like Elvis in the pop star’s home city. The hotel, in a colonial-style mansion, will have 450 rooms and suites designed by Priscilla Presley. Prefer something a bit more intimate? Opt for the James Lee House, a five-suite bed and breakfast in a national historic landmark.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
This colonial town draws visitors for its charming hotels and beautiful architecture, but it’s also beginning to attract international restaurateurs. Celebrated Mexican chef Enrique Olvera has a restaurant there, Moxi, but it’s also seeing openings such as a bustling food hall and interesting bars—the annual July food festival has given the town lots of culinary cred. Go in November when the weather isn’t unbearably hot, and is breezy enough for long days wandering the streets. Stay at the stunning Rosewood hotel, with decor that celebrates San Miguel’s long artistic traditions.
This Central American country is one of few where the official language is English, so there won’t be any language barrier issues. It’s also one of our favourite eco-focused destinations in terms of accommodations, with Belcampo, an amazing agritourism lodge, and Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn, a celebrity favourite. It’ll soon get another cool new hotel—Itz’ana, a food- and farm-focused retreat with 39 stunning villas on the Placencia peninsula. Hurricane season tends to last from June to November, so time your trip for the end of the month—it’ll be shoulder season and rates will be much lower.
Atacama Desert, Chile
No trip to Chile is complete without a visit to the Atacama Desert—it has awesome geological formations, is ideal for star-gazing, and is home to several destination-worthy hotels such as the Awasi Atacama and the Explora. You’ll need at least three days to explore the area, to take in everything from its one-of-a-kind landscape to a horseback riding trip over the sand dunes to the volcanic rock formations. Just make sure to time your trip right: parts of Chile get incredibly cold in the summer months (from June to September), and the desert is unbearably hot from January to March, making November one of the best times to go.