At the first onset of a late fall chill, the Autumn will inspire you to quit your job and move to a tropical destination—or you can simply get out of town and get your mind off the impending winter.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA AND THE GRAND CANYON
If you’ve ever visited the Grand Canyon in the summer, you know that it’s CROWDED and hot. Discerning travelers know a better time to take in its splendor is during one of the two shoulder seasons, and in November, daytime temperatures are cool and the crowds are thin. You’ll find deals (and better availability) on lodging near the park and on hotels and airfare into Las Vegas. Pro tip: Make Vegas your home base and rent a car at Hertz to drive the 2.5 hours to Grand Canyon Skywalk or approximately 5 hours to the popular South Rim—arguably the best spot for views. There are coach tours that will take you to and from the canyon in one day. Helicopter tours from The Strip to the Canyon are also an option, especially if want to save time and play the slots.
The winter season, which lasts from November to February, is the best time to visit Myanmar. November is ideal because temps drop (average 84 degrees), rainfall considerably decreases, and the number of tourists starts to increase gradually. The ancient city of Bagan, home to the largest collection of Buddhist temples and pastas in the world—more than 2,500—is like no place you’ve ever been. With monuments built between the 10th and 14th centuries, the entire city is an archaeological site. You can explore among the ruins, go inside some of Bagan’s many temples, climb atop certain religious structures to watch the sunset, or tour the 26-mile zone via hot air balloon at sunrise. November is also one of the most festive months in this Southeast Asian country: A number of colorful celebrations are held to mark the end of the rainy season and Buddhist Lent. In Bagan, the Shwezigon Pagoda holds its temple festival around the full moon (November 19 through 30). If you’ve made the trip to Myanmar (we found flights round trip from the U.S. to Yangon from $515), another festival that’s a must is the spectacular Hot Air Balloon Festival and Festival of Lights (Novevem 17 through 22) in Taunggyi, Shan State, about 160 miles southeast of Mandalay.
It may be nicknamed Naptown, but with a stellar museum scene, an emerging culinary scene, and six vibrant and unique cultural districts as well as an eight-mile Cultural Trail that ties them together, you’ll want to do anything but sleep while visiting Indianapolis. The Hoosier State’s capital is home to the world’s largest Children’s Museum, the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium, and the iconic 242-foot-tall Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Two of the city’s most highly-anticipated restaurants recently opened their doors, too: Beholder, chef Jon Brook’s dinner-only spot inside a renovated car garage, serves up modern, shareable American plates and features a designated Champagne table. To get visitors in the holiday spirit, Winterlights at Newfields (formerly the Indianapolis Museum of Art) kicks off November 18 with a massive synchronized light show, and, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, more than 10,000 people will gather at Monument Circle to light the “largest Christmas Tree in the world.” OK, it’s not technically a tree, but 5,000 lights are draped from the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the city’s center.