There are nearly 60 national parks across the United States, each one preserving a unique landscape for everyone to experience and enjoy. The parks draw millions of visitors every year, mostly during the summer and over the holiday. If you want to experience nature on your own, a visit in the off-season might be just right for you. The best national parks to visit in November give you more elbowroom to complement their abundance of nature.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
Ka'u vacation rental #447909vb
The weather in Hawaii is beautiful (if not somewhat unpredictable) all year long, so why not explore Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park? In November, the crowds are lower than you will find during the Hawaii's holiday high season in December. Located on the Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is among the most dramatic in the United States.
At its heart, Mt. Kilauea has been gently erupting for more than a quarter century, making it the most active volcano on earth. Experience it up close by circling the crater for more than 10 miles on Crater Rim Drive (you should know that stretches of the road close occasionally due to flowing lava). There are lots of excellent hiking trails as well, including the poetically named Devastation Trail, an easy one-mile walk over cooled lava and through the remains of a forest destroyed by an eruption in 1959.
Virgin Islands National Park, USVI
Coral Bay vacation rental #215729
November is spectacular in the Caribbean, with clear blue skies and pure sunshine, but there may be no place more beautiful than Virgin Islands National Park. It covers more than half of the island of St. John and nearly 6,000 acres of coral reef under the Caribbean Sea. There’s even an underwater snorkeling trail with signs explaining the surrounding elkhorn, star, and finger coral you pass by.
The Bordeaux Mountain Trail is a great hike up to the highest point on St. John, where you get the best view of the entire island and surrounding sea for pictures. Make sure to set aside a day to enjoy Trunk Bay Beach. Its picturesque beauty and powder soft sand have landed it on multiple travel lists of best beaches in the world.
Everglades National Park, FL
Marco Island vacation rental #300454
Everglades National Park is one of the best National Parks to visit in November because the summer heat in South Florida has gone, hurricane season has just passed, and the winter crowds have yet to arrive. It will be a more comfortable trip too, as there are fewer insects as the region’s swamps dry up a little. Try the Nine Mile Pond Canoe Trail. Contrary to its name, it is actually a five-mile loop of connected waterways that running through multiple Everglades environments. It will take you through mangrove tunnels, tree islands, prairies, and open lake, while giving you an inside look to the bustling activity of all kinds of cormorants and gators.
Grand Teton National Park, WY
Teton Valley vacation rental #341856
For many people, deciding which are the best National Parks to visit in November hinges on picking the one with the most snow. November can mean an early start to ski season, and the best bet is a vacation rental around Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Most of the ski areas in Jackson Hole open in November, so there is a good chance you can be able to get on the slopes. There are three ski resorts in this part of the Grand Tetons: Jackson Hole, Snow King, and Grand Targhee. With more than 300 trails and several thousand acres to ski or board, the odds of logging some early season snow time are excellent.
Sequoia National Park, CA
Emigrant Gap vacation rental #282223vb
For a unique November visit, head to California’s Sequoia National Park. There are vacation rentals right in the area, and the park offers you and your family a ton of activities focused around the most awe-inspiring trees on the planet, such as seeing the world’s largest tree, known as General Sherman, or hiking through the grove of enormous trees along Big Trees Trail. This trail is an easy hike of just over a mile, and takes you past Sentinel Tree, Round Meadow and the Giant Forest Museum. You can also climb high above sea level on Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the continental United States, or, for a fantastic change of pace, you can go underground and explore Sequoia's more than 200 caves.