You do realize that November will be quite cold for Northern CA, right? I mean it's not horrible, but November "starts" our rainy season, which means you could get rain for two weeks straight--no joke. September is our driest and warmest month. So far we have had maybe 3 days of warm sunshine. The rest of the time, from January until now have been of three types: Overcast, Wind, Cold, or a combination thereof. It's been a long winter for us this season. If you want to spend a night in Humboldt, the Lost Whale Inn is WONDERFUL. It overlooks the ocean and has a deck all around it. It's individually owned and has about 7 rooms in an old Victorian style house. It's amazing, comfy, homie, warm, so, so nice.
That _could_ happen, but in most years you'll have some very lovely weather with temperatures that sit between the sometimes-oppresively-hot summer and early fall conditions and the occasionally-it-actually-does-get-cold-in-California weather that can arrive a bit later.
Frankly, my favorite seasons for photographing California are fall and winter. If you want the best chance at minimizing foggy conditions, the last half of September through the better part of October might be a better bet - but the combination of sunny, foggy, and perhaps a winter front coming through can create some of the most compelling and dramatic conditions for photography in California.
I'll second the earlier recommendations about the coast south of San Francisco, which happens to be the portion that I know best. (I can drive over the hill to photograph sunset and be back home later that evening. Lucky me! :-)
If you have some flexibility, a few ideas to consider:
1. Come just a _bit_ earlier. Around the last week of October the fall colors in portions of Yosemite Valley are quite stunning, and they provide quite a different view of the Valley than you might be familiar with. (There are wonderful fall colors in other portions of the Sierra, in particular on the east side, in early October as the aspens turn.)
2. Watch the conditions and evolve your plans accordingly after you arrive. If a really big winter front does happen to come through you might not want to be on the North Coast, but you might want to head to Yosemite Valley and get some photos combining fresh snow and fall colors. If the weather turns out to be warm and sunny, the North Coast could be the place to go first.