Spring has sprung, and it’s time to shake off your winter chill. Whether you enjoyed a temperate winter season or found yourself buried beneath more than one snow drift, it’s time to get away for a while. Summer vacations get all the glory, but you can find plenty to do in April when days are getting longer and much of the Northern Hemisphere has thawed out. Here are six of the best places to travel in April.
The Seattle area is home to lots of fun activities and temperatures are pretty mild this time of year. Once you have made your way up the Space Needle and perused the Pike Place Fish Market, try visiting other regional attractions. Drive to the Skagit Valley and experience the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. The festivities take place about 70 miles north of Seattle and last the entire month of April. Fields with vibrant, blooming tulips blossom during this time of year and visitors are encouraged to take a driving tour. Also, just south of Seattle, the Daffodil Festival in Puyallup celebrates community service and local daffodil fields.
If culture is on your vacation itinerary, take a 60-mile drive southwest of Seattle to the lively Dragon Boat Festival in Olympia. This annual event happens at the end of the month and draws in thousands of spectators. Aside from marveling at the dragon-themed boats that race around the southern part of Puget Sound, you also can watch Chinese art demonstrations, musical performances, and traditional lion dancing.
Grand Canyon National Park
If you seek warmer temperatures and a bit of adventure, head to northern Arizona this April to visit the Grand Canyon. Hiking, helicopter trips, biking, and more are at your fingertips in the famed national park that bears the canyon’s name. You can trek down the Grand Canyon Skywalk on the west side of the Grand Canyon or take a mule ride along the Northern Rim to Supai Tunnel. Grand Canyon vacation packages include tours on foot, jeep, motorcoach, and even river raft.
Vancouver, British Columbia
It’s easy to feel alive with the energy of this Canadian city. Head to the Seasons Electronic Music Festival during the first week of April if you appreciate live performances. Bands set up at venues across the city, including the Pacific Coliseum and Fortune Sound Club.
Yet more music takes place for 10 days in the middle of April at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF). This event features free outdoor concerts around Whistler, which is less than a two-hour drive from Vancouver. WSSF also includes snow sports, dancing, and a filmmaker showdown. If you’re not in the market for music, Eco Fashion Week offers a look into the world of innovative, environmentally friendly fashion trends. This event lasts five days and takes place near the end of April.
This Caribbean nation blends rich cultural influences with stunning natural landscape. Head to the Bermuda Yoga Festival during the first week of April for yoga workshops, classes, and concerts. On Good Friday, Bermudians always celebrate by flying kites at Horseshoe Bay Beach. Known as the Bermuda Kite Festival, this day often falls in April and is accompanied by a codfish breakfast as well as kite contests. You also can partake in snorkeling, diving, jet skiing, and other water sports while you’re in Bermuda.
Viewfinder Tip: The 2015 Seasons Electronic Music Festival in Vancouver will be headlined by Diplo and Eric Prydz.
Each year an impressive array of cherry blossom trees bloom in Washington between late March and early April, calling for celebration in the nation’s capital. The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the gift of cherry trees to the United States from Japan. In addition to a spirited opening ceremony, the festival includes art, paddle boats, and cinema.
Also worth exploring in April: The Smithsonian Jazz Appreciation Month. Throughout April, the museum sponsors jazz performances large and small. As if you don’t have enough history and culture at your fingertips in D.C., the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival comes alive for one day in the middle of April. Enjoy traditional Japanese music and dance and grab lunch at the culinary arts pavilion.
Greece offers a blend of deep history and lush rolling landscapes, perfect for a vacation in the spring. While you won’t enjoy summer-like conditions in April, you can break out your short sleeves. Aside from obvious places of interest such as the Parthenon and the Acropolis, Athens also provides a backdrop for many lesser-known adventures. Enjoy dinner at fine restaurants, set aside time for a walk up Mount Lycabettus (which offers panoramic views from the top), and take a casual stroll through The Plaka neighborhood.
Athens offers free admission to many historical sites on International Monuments Day in the middle of April, and there are quite a few festivities around Good Friday as well. To top it off, some Athens Hotels are happy to help you coordinate tours or the perfect date.
Where do you love to travel in April?