Many enthusiastic camper van owners don’t mind packing up and traveling any time of year. That means November is often fair game for a road trip, no matter how close to the big holiday season. Whether you are retired or plan to travel to see family and want to make stops along the way there or back, there is plenty you can get into across the U.S.
Our team has come up with the top van destinations for this November, so keep reading to see what we found for you!
Photo By Kolbi Amos
New York City, New York
Many camping travelers might immediately write off New York City because of logistics. However, you’ll find some year-round New York State campgrounds in relative proximity. Once you get settled at your campground, you can trek into the Big Apple to enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend festivities. And the big holiday weekend star event is the Macy’s Day Parade, so make sure to get there in time to find a prime spot to watch the floats pass by on November 24.
While there, take time to explore the city, including spots like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, and various New York City Christmas Markets. A few beloved markets include Bryant Park Winter Village in Midtown Manhattan, Union Square Holiday Market in Grammercy, and the Columbus Circle Holiday Market in Midtown Manhattan.
San Diego, California
Whether you live in a colder climate or can never get enough of mild temperatures, San Diego is lovely in November. Often called “America’s finest city,” San Diego features many fun activities for the family. Some of our favorite places and events to visit in the city include:
- Botanic Garden Lightscape, starting November 18
- Explore Tide Pools, November 22-27
- Enjoy San Diego Beer Week, dates TBD
Finally, there are many things you can do year-round, including going for walks along the sandy beaches, visiting the San Diego Zoo, or visiting the weekly farmers’ markets.
We think Scottsdale is the perfect addition to any list of top van destinations at any time. It’s especially lovely in the fall, when you can enjoy blue skies, sunshine, and crisp weather. Residents and visitors love taking advantage of the cooler temperatures to enjoy all the daily activities and special seasonal events.
If you plan some outdoor activities, there are plenty to choose from, including hiking, biking, trail running, and horseback riding. You can do many of these activities at or near your campground or anywhere on the 36,000 acres of Sonoran Desert land.
The city also offers some special events for you to enjoy after you’ve spent time outdoors. Here are a few we think you might like:
- Arizona Auto Show, November 24-27
- Dirty Dogg Salon Golf Tournament, November 18
- AZ Barrels, Bottles & Brews, November 12
You’ll still have a chance to see the last remnants of the fall foliage fiesta. But there’s so much more splendid nature to enjoy in Burlington, Vermont, since three-quarters of the state is covered in forest land.
Plan low-key, family adventures such as wandering through orchards to pick fruit, and visiting farmers’ markets and stands for fresh, cool-season vegetables. You can all visit Vermont Teddy Bear, Burton Snowboard factory, and Lake Champlain Chocolates.
For adult travelers who want to imbibe, Burlington has plenty of craft breweries and pubs around town. There are also plenty of distilleries to try some local spirits.
Here are some additional things we think you might enjoy during your Burlington stay:
- Lake Champlain when frozen over
- ECHO Science and Nature Museum
- Local spas provide a chance to get warm and cozy
In the northern Midwestern U.S., Milwaukee is another great van destination if you don’t mind cold temperatures in November. You can always warm up with a plate of cheese curds and your favorite brew at one of the many fine establishments in the city. North of Chicago and nearly as windy, the city is cozy, friendly, and welcoming, so a little cold shouldn’t be so bad, especially if you find the perfect, year-round campground.
Milwaukee has everything, whether you want food, beer, the arts, or culture. Let’s see what you might find happening in November:
- Trainfest, November 12-13
- Holiday Folk Fair International, November 18-22
- The Milwaukee Art Museum and the Harley-Davidson Museum, anytime
If you want to avoid the frigid temperatures and you don’t need blue skies and sunshine, Seattle is the ticket. There are plenty of year-round attractions, such as the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Mt. Rainier, and the beautiful harbor. Once you settle in at your campground, you’ll probably want to dig deeper into what Seattle offers.
- Seattle Restaurant Week, November 1-5
- Earshot Jazz Festival, November 1-6
- Magic in the Market at Pike Place Market, November 26
- Christmas Rock Opera, November 26
New Orleans, Louisiana
You might not want to visit New Orleans during the frenzy of Mardi Gras or the heat and humidity of Jazz Fest, but the city is irresistible and feels lovely and crisp in November. There are plenty of year-round treats to enjoy, such as walking through the French Quarter, Garden District, and St. Louis Cemetery, as well as riding on the cozy street cars. You can also enjoy one of the ghost or voodoo tours any time of year. Add in the food, drinks, arts, entertainment, and ideal RVing and camping temperatures, and New Orleans is a natural van destination in November.
Here are some November events you might enjoy in the Big Easy:
- Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner with a lagniappe twist
- New Orleans Film Festival, November 3-8
- Oak Street Po-Boy Festival in the French Quarter, November
November is an excellent time to visit Music City, especially for music buffs, since fall is festival season, and bonus points if you can score tickets to the Country Music Awards (CMAs). Even if you can’t get tickets to the main event, you can still enjoy all the festival season activities. You can plot out or stumble on small artist showcase events, listening lounges, open mics at local bars, listening lounges, and charity events around the city.
Don’t forget to visit the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame to round out the musical portion of your visit. For some laughs, try to catch the Redneck Comedy Bus Tour.
There are plenty of non-musical treats to consider in Nashville, including:
- Glow in the Park at the Adventure Park for a colorful ziplining session, November 3-4
- Hike the Hill Forest on November 22
- Nashville International Auto Show, November 18-20
- Christmas Village at the Nashville Fairgrounds, November 11-13
Telluride is the place for skiers who can’t wait to get out on the slopes. November is the perfect time to visit since fall is coming to a close and many people are planning for the holidays before starting the skiing season in earnest in January. You can enjoy a relatively quiet skiing experience on fresh snow in the San Juan Mountains, whether you enjoy downhill or cross-country adventures.
Here are some additional things you can do in the city:
- Ride the Telluride Mountain Village Gondola
- Walk down Main Street to visit the shops and restaurants
- Enjoy a beer at the Telluride Brewing Company
Have you decided on your van destination this November? We’d love the details, so let us know!