By November, parts of California begin to feel like winter is coming. In other places, it finally cools down just enough for you to know for certain that summer's heat is gone for the year. During the lull between Halloween and Thanksgiving, you can visit many major attractions minus the crowds.
In November, snow is possible at high elevations, but not a high probability. You will be able to safely drive in most parts of the state without fear of hazardous road conditions.
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Many people also get Friday off, making it a four-day weekend.
California Weather in November
It's impossible to make a general statement about California weather. The state is 800 miles long from north to south, and its elevations range from below sea level to well over 10,000 feet.
In general, coastal areas will have comfortable temperatures through November. The deserts will cool off enough to make them enjoyable. In the mountains, snow starts with the winter rains. That could be any time from late October to March and predicting that in advance is simply not possible. Ski resorts will make their own snow if they have to, and skiing season begins around Thanksgiving weekend.
Lake Tahoe will be cold by November with its lowest temperatures dipping below freezing at night and rising into the 40s during the day. Yosemite Valley will likely be warm enough that you won't need more than a light jacket.
You can get details of the highs and lows around the state in November (and all year round) by consulting these guides to some average highs, lows, and more weather considerations in some popular tourist destinations.
Mother Nature may call for a day or two of rain during your trip. It might put a damper on your travel plans, but don't despair. Try some of these ideas for things to do on a rainy day in California: