Start Packing: These 6 Destinations Come Alive in April
Can you feel it? The weather is warming up, and just because you’re no longer entitled to “spring break” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan a little warm-weather excursion of your own. As we’ve already mentioned, travel doesn’t have to be pricey, and sometimes it’s best done spur of the moment.
But why April? It’s the perfect month for a few reasons: It’s not yet prime wedding season, the weather is still a little iffy here, and if you’re lucky, you should be expecting a tax return sometime soon. Plus, what better way to kick off the summer than with a relaxing or adventurous (your pick) getaway? From a massive water fight abroad to beignet samples in the States, we’ve rounded up the best places to visit in April. Read on and then get packing.
There’s never a bad time to visit wine country, but you’ll escape all the harvest-time tourism if you go now instead of summer or fall. Biking from vineyard to vineyard is a breeze in mostly 60- to 70-degree temps (be sure to take in all the gorgeous mustard seed plants in bloom). Plus, your artsy side will love the cultural and artistic events put on as part of the seventh annual Napa Valley Arts in April.
This city is definitely one of the best places to travel this April. It’s a slightly calmer month for NOLA, with the Mardi Gras parades just over and Jazz Fest on the way (more on that later). With slightly fewer crowds, you won’t have to wait so long for the famous beignets and chicory coffee at the famed Café du Monde. It’s also a good time for a short trip outside the city to view the iconic Laura sugar plantation and sip a tasty mint julep on its expansive grounds (you can get there by bus or ride share). If you plan your trip to New Orleans toward the end of the month, you might even be able to take in some of the best jazz at Jazz Fest, beginning April 28.
The beach (and those yummy island drinks) will be just as good in April, which is a prime month to go whale-watching in Maui. Humpback whales start to migrate north to Alaska during this time, and there tend to be fewer tourists than in January, February, and March. If you plan your trip for April 16–22, you can also attend the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo on the Big Island, where you can experience an international hula competition, among other fun events.
Songkran is one of the most popular festivals in Thailand, if not the most popular. It celebrates the Thai New Year and starts this year on April 13. It takes place across Thailand, and depending on the city, it will typically run three to five days. The absolute best part is the citywide water fights—bring on the water pistols and buckets of water! These were adopted from the Thai tradition of families splashing water on each other as a good-luck blessing for the coming year.
Not only are locals extremely friendly to tourists, but also, April is peak tulip season. If you want to see some of the gorgeous flowers Monet once painted, go to Keukenhof garden in Lisse to view up to seven million at once. If you can, stay for King’s Day on April 27, a yearly national holiday that honors King Willem-Alexander, who is celebrated with massive street parades, parties, and live music.
We’ve already determined airfare is affordable during April, but what other reasons do you have for visiting the City of Light during this month? One fun sight is the Paris Marathon, which takes place this year on April 9—participants literally run down the Champs-Élysées to victory. The temperature is slowly rising, and the trees and flowers are in full bloom, a beautiful sight that inspired Ella Fitzgerald’s “April in Paris.” Yes, a song was written about this very city during this month. Do you need any other reason to go and take in the foliage?
For more ideas, pick up a copy of These Are the Best Travel Deals for April, and tell us which of the best places to visit in April you’ll jet off to first!