JS Editors Dish on Where to Travel This Fall
No need to hoard up your vacation days for December. Plugged-in Jetsetters know that the best time to squeeze in your end-of-year travels is just before the holiday parties—and prices—kick into full gear. Seeking hot or cold weather? Hot hotel deals? Uncrowded landmarks? Here are 9 great destinations to visit this month, as chosen by our editors.
"November is a perfect month to plan that pre-holiday getaway to Jamaica, which thankfully escaped the wrath of this year’s worst storms. While visiting at the tail-end of the hurricane season means a higher chance of rain, temperatures still hang in the comfortable mid-70s to high 80s and you can find great value in the form of frequent flight deals, less crowded beaches, and low hotel rates—putting our favorite, splurge-worthy stays like Strawberry Hill and former Ian Fleming dwelling GoldenEye well within reach."
– Lindsey Olander, Editor
"Washington D.C. always gets a bad rep, but the city is highly underrated. It’s got some of the most fantastic museums in the country, including the new National Museum of African American History and Culture designed by David Adjaye and the upcoming Museum of the Bible, debuting Nov. 17; some truly standout restaurants like Chef Edward Lee’s just-opened Succotash, in the Penn Quarter; and really cool fall festivals—I’m a total sucker for the Washington Zoolights exhibition, which starts November 27. Book a room at The Line Hotel, whose rooftop features views of the Washington Monument."
– Clara Sedlak, Executive Editor
"Cape Cod may have risen to immense popularity as a summer colony, but I’m all in favor of visiting in fall. Sure, it’s not exactly beach weather come November (though let’s be real—the Atlantic is bone-chilling year-round), but there are far less people, hotel rates plummet, and there’s still plenty to do. You can shop local farmers’ markets, go on nature walks and hikes (there are more than 100 in the region), and easily secure reservations at some of New England’s finest restaurants. I dream of holing up at Nantucket's Greydon House, whose moody interiors feature a global mash-up of Native American ceramics, Portuguese tiles, and manuscripts from Nantucket’s whaling days."
– Chelsea Stuart, Assistant Editor
"Marrakesh is magical any time of year, but fall is truly the best time to visit. It’s low season, so there will be less tourists, hotels will have lower rates, and temperatures in November are very comfortable compared to the summer months—generally in the 60s or 70s. That means perfect conditions for spending a few hours shopping in the souks, checking out the stunning new Musée Yves Saint Laurent and the Jardin Majorelle, and sampling some Moroccan classics like tagine or snail soup."
– Gretchen Moosbrugger, Photo Editor
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"When November hits Tokyo, the autumn foliage comes out to play and the colors are jaw-dropping. While you’ll always have to contend with crowds (over nine million people live in this city), there’s no end to what you can get up to—be it taking advantage of Tokyo's active nightlife scene or digging into its renowned restaurants. If crowds are not your thing, there are also many day trips you can take from Tokyo by fast rail transit. One of my favorite places is Kamakura, about an hour away from Shibuya Station, where you can shop for local goods or hike to the beach."
– Anita Ng, Photo Editor
"People tend to think of October as primetime for a trip to Vermont if they are interested in viewing fall colors. But depending on the year, there can still be some nice colors by the time November rolls around — and prices tend to be cheaper after peak foliage season. Many of the same charms that make Vermont cozy in October are still equally applicable in November — you can still enjoy visits to local farms, cheese and wine tastings, craft breweries, the crisp chill in the air, and adorable inns with warm fireplaces, like the Woodstock Inn. It’s a lovely spot for a November romantic getaway."
– Kelsey Blodget, Senior Executive Editor
"While experiencing the midnight sun makes a great case for visiting Iceland during the summer months, winter is arguably the most magical season to experience the land of Ice and Fire. Sure, you may not get to see those moss-covered lava fields (now blanketed in snow) or enjoy daylight past 5 p.m., but what you DO get more than makes up for it—we’re talking prime chances to spot Northern Lights, tours into its ethereal ice caves, and hiking over massive glaciers. If you, like us, were wowed when the ION Adventure Hotel opened in Thingvellir National Park, the same designers just debuted their first urban foray, ION City Hotel, in downtown Reykjavík. What’s more, Icelandair has recently been promoting incredible deals to Reykjavík starting as low as $237 round-trip. What are you waiting for?"
– Lindsey Olander, Editor
"November in Denver can be pretty unpredictable, with temperatures ranging anywhere between 20 degrees to the mid-60s. Don’t let that sway your decision, though—there are plenty of things do no matter what the weather brings. Stay at the Crawford Hotel, in the newly renovated Union Station downtown, whose central location puts you within walking distance of many of the city's best restaurants, bars, and breweries and tap rooms (of which Denver has—count 'em—over 100). Bonus for skiers: you’re also within driving distance of multiple world-class slopes, like Breckenridge and Vail, both of which open mid-November."
– David Hattan, Photo Intern
"Shanghai has been on my radar for a while—but especially now with the debut of Amanyangyun. The hotel was fashioned out of 400-year-old Ming and Qing dynasty buildings, which were uprooted from China’s Jiangzi Province due to the threat of construction and transported to the city’s outskirts (where the resort is located). Sacred camphor trees, some of which are more than 1,000 years old and 100 feet tall, were also transported, and seeing it all when the fog rolls in in November only adds to the mystique. As if all this isn't enough to convince you, the hotel also offers calligraphy lessons and authentic tea ceremonies as well as a Russian banya and hammam in the spa."
– Siobhan Reid, Associate Editor