November 6: Billed as “The Celebration that Stops a Nation,” the annual Melbourne Cup boasts the largest purse of any horse racing event in the Southern Hemisphere. As with the Royal Ascot, spectators wear their most fashionable clothes and avant-garde hats.
November 9-17: The Bath Mozart Festival goes well beyond the music of Mozart, with classical pieces by a range of composers played in historic settings such as the exquisite 17th-century Bath Abbey, the imposing Georgian Guildhall and the magnificently restored Assembly Rooms.
November 11: Visitors to Bhutan this month won’t want to miss the annual Black-necked Crane Festival, held in the Phobjikha Valley’s Gangtey Gonpa (near Amankora Gangtey). The highlight of the festival is the masked dances, performed by folk dancers in elaborate traditional costumes.
November 14-18: The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is one of the nation’s largest gourmet events, highlighting the burgeoning local culinary scene as well as an array of major California wineries. Notable chefs, sommeliers, winemakers and mixologists will conduct workshops, demonstrations and tastings.
November 15 – February 18, 2013: New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrates George Bellows, one of America’s most important artists, with an exhibition of some 140 paintings, drawings and lithographs. His vibrant, realistic works offer insight into urban life in the early 20th century, especially in New York.
November 16-19: This year’s Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival draws an impressive constellation of major food stars, including Anne Burrell, Jose Garces and Marcus Samuelsson. The latter hosts the event’s biggest highlight, a gala dinner at The Cliff, overlooking the Caribbean.
November 17 – February 24, 2013: The first major Australian exhibition of the art of Francis Bacon will be held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. This show comprises more than 50 paintings loaned from private collections and major museums such as the Tate Britain, the Pompidou Centre and New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art.
November 21-24: Dubai glitters even more than usual during International Jewellery Week. Hundreds of top jewelry companies and designers showcase (and sell) their wares in the immense International Convention & Exhibition Centre. The vendors are organized into “avenues” with titles such as Luxury, Gold, Dazzling, Skilled and Creative.
Various Dates: Toward the end of November, Christmas markets across Europe start to welcome merrymakers with mulled wine, marzipan pigs and other seasonal treats. These wonderfully festive, family-friendly outdoor markets are a shopper’s delight, with plenty of charming ornaments, toys and local crafts for sale. Chicago also hosts a surprisingly authentic Christmas market November 21 to December 24.