For most parts of the United States, April symbolizes the beginning of springtime and better weather as well as the optimism of summer travel plans. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait till the summer time to plan your travel because as a matter of fact, April is a great time to travel to very fun parts of the U.S. After spending months in the cold, do yourself a favor and take a long weekend or a week off and visit the following cities.
1. Miami Beach, Florida
Due to its relatively high prices, Miami has long been shun by visitors on spring break but due to its diversifying lodging options and increasing vacation options, Miami is becoming a great place to visit in the beginning of the Spring. Take a walk through the historic Art Deco District of South Miami Beach or visit the emerging artist neighborhood, Wynwood to get a taste of tropical urban living. If you head down the last week of March, you can actually catch Miami Beach’s annual Winter Music Festival. Miami has something for everyone: families, couples, seniors, and students. Some things you should do include:
- Maximo Gomez Park: get a taste of Havana, Cuba at this park in which you will be able to experience the rich Cuban culture and the delicious cuisine.
- Lincoln Road Mall: spend an entire afternoon at the Lincoln Road Mall which includes much more than boutique stores such as restaurants, clubs, bars, and street performances.
- Crandon Park: this 1,200 acre park boasts a 2 mile long beach that is consistently named one of the best beaches in America.
April in New Orleans is the time of year that most festivals happen in the city including the French Quarter Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The New Orleans weather in April is very comfortable so be sure to dress comfortably. The city has a great deal of history and is extremely cultural making it a great family vacation destination. The more popular things to do while in town include:
- The French Quarter: the cultural and geographic focal points of New Orleans, the French Quarter is picturesque, walkable, and lively. Although, the renowned Bourbon Street is in the French Quarter, you are never more than a street away from quiet, family friendly establishments.
- St. Louis Cathedral: a beautiful example of French architecture, this cathedral is dedicated to the French monarch, King Louis IX.
- Audubon Zoological Gardens: containing the Louisiana Swamp exhibit as well as the Lazy River makes this one of the best zoos in the country.
After a long hard winter there is no more comfortable place to visit in April than San Diego. Known for its glorious sunshine, beaches, and laid back culture it is the perfect city to re-charge your batteries. Be sure to enjoy the city’s great tacos as well as visit the neighborhoods of La Jolla and Coronado Central Beach. San Diego is great for families and those looking for a fun nightlife. Some of the more fun things to do in San Diego include:
- Balboa Park Gardens: this landmark includes a variety of gardens inspired by various global cultures including Spain, Australia, and Japan.
- La Jolla Underwater Park: this reserve has some of California’s best and most accessible diving as well as snorkeling and scuba diving.
- Mission Bay: arguably San Diego’s best beach scene is between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay. From South Mission Jetty to the ocean you can enjoy great eating establishments and people watching.
D.C. is no stranger to cold weather but in April, the city starts to come alive beginning with their famous cherry blossoms. One of the more popular things to do in April while visiting the nation’s capital is to witness the blossoming cherry trees around the Tidal Basin. In addition, the city hosts the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in which over 200 cultural performances take place. Washington, D.C. is filled with cultural institutions and some of the more impressive sights include:
- Lincoln Memorial: witness the beautiful monument dedicated to the nation’s 16th President.
- Washington Monument: the tallest building in the city provides the best of views of the city.
- White House: of course, no trip to D.C. would be complete without a visit to the White House. Although tours must be arranged in advance (way in advance), witnessing the exterior of the building is a sight in itself.
Talk about a city that truly appreciates its spring time. With some of the harshest winter weather in the country, Chicago is a city that comes alive in April. The nation’s third largest city has a plethora of options for visitors including cultural institutions, parks, restaurants, theater, music festivals, and of course baseball. While visiting in April you can take a beautiful ferry tour of the city or watch a Chicago Cubs game at one of our nation’s premier baseball stadiums, Wrigley Field. Other fun things to do in Chicago include:
Art Institute of Chicago: the second largest art museum in the country, the Art Institute houses some of the most impressive pieces of work in the world. Spend an entire afternoon admiring the beautiful work as well as witnessing one of the best views of Millennium Park in the city.
- Millennium Park: the park’s biggest draw is “the Bean” but enjoy an entire day at Millennium Park with various impressive art pieces including Jaume Plensa’s Crown Fountain.
- Navy Pier: Chicago’s Navy Pier is great for families as it houses a 150 foot Ferris Wheel, an IMAX theater, and great eating establishments. Fireworks are on display every Wednesday and Saturday.
It’s pretty easy to fall in love with Laguna Beach, located in California’s Orange County. From its pleasant weather, to its waterfront park, to its walkable infrastructure, and its embrace of the arts, it’s the ideal vacation spot. Laguna Beach stretches approximately seven miles along the Pacific Coast Highway and its main avenues are Broadway, Ocean, and Forest. Laguna Beach has long appreciated the arts and the city is home to various art festivals and galleries. Some things to do in Laguna include:
- Laguna Art Museum: this museum houses contemporary California artists as well as free guided tours.
- Main Beach: near downtown’s village, Main Beach is the most popular beach in Laguna. Although to rocky to surf, it’s a great beach for picnics and people watching.
This spring introduce yourself to some quintessential southern charm. Charleston is a picturesque southern town that draws close to five million visitors per year. Popular with couples for a romantic getaway, the city is also a great spot for a family getaway. In April, enjoy the town’s beautiful greenery and southern cuisine. Some popular things to do in Charleston include:
- Gateway Walk: a garden path between Archdale Street and Philadelphia Alley, this walk connects four of the city’s most historic churches: St. John’s Lutheran Church, Revival Unitarian Church, Congregational Church, and St. Philip’s Church.
- Charleston Museum: claiming to be the country’s oldest museum, this museum dives into Charleston’s long history.
- South Carolina Aquarium: exhibits of this aquarium showcase diverse aquatic life as well as a 42 foot Great Ocean Tank.
Unlike any place in Texas, Austin is a fun city with various options whether you’re traveling with a spouse, friend, or family. Not only does Austin have urban activities like museum hopping, it also has world class outdoor options as well. Titled the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin is a fun city growing at a rapid pace. Some of the popular things to do while visiting in April include:
- Texas State Capitol: built in 1888, this state capitol is the largest in the nation (no surprise there) and offers guided tours throughout the day.
- Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: sing along with Grease at this lively theater paired with food and drinks.
- Franklin BBQ: you can’t visit the capitol of Texas without eating great BBQ and Franklin is arguably the city’s best.
Reminiscent of Austin, Texas, Williamsburg likes to keep things weird. Walk through the busy Brooklyn blocks amongst the young, tattooed and body pierced Williamsburg residents. Located just one train stop away from Manhattan, Brooklyn has quickly become the cool place to be in New York City for young travelers. While visiting Brooklyn in April, you can opt for visiting:
- The Brooklyn Brewery: visit the home of the Brooklyn Brewery beer for an afternoon of alcohol induced fun.
- Bedford Avenue: the heart of Williamsburg, Bedford Avenue started the Williamsburg transformation and is lined with the neighborhood’s best eateries and bars.
- Williamsburg Bridge: walk the Williamsburg Bridge and explore Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
With April destinations like these, you don’t have to wait till the summertime to recharge your batteries!