The 10 Best Places to Visit in April

From Amsterdam to New Orleans, you don't want to miss these destinations.

<p>Sean Pavone / Getty Images</p>

Sean Pavone / Getty Images

There’s no denying that April is one of the best months to travel. In the Northern Hemisphere, the weather starts to warm up, flowers begin to bloom, and the spring season kicks off with lively festivals. And in the Southern Hemisphere, many bucket list beach destinations enter their shoulder season, meaning fewer crowds and lower prices. Whether you’re looking for a place to celebrate Easter or an eco-friendly escape to commemorate Earth Day, there’s no shortage of beautiful locales. Below, we’ve outlined some of the best places to travel in April.

Kyoto, Japan

<p>Lea Pinter / EyeEm / Getty Images</p>

Lea Pinter / EyeEm / Getty Images

With cherry blossom season at its peak and an average daily high of 68 degrees Fahrenheit, April is a wonderful month to visit KyotoHanami (or cherry blossom viewing parties) takes place around the city, and scenic picnics happen in parks and gardens under a canopy of florals. Head to the Philosopher's Path—a walking route lined with sakura trees—for some premium cherry blossom viewing. Be sure to explore other Kyoto highlights, including temples, shrines, and centuries-old architecture. To immerse yourself in the city's old-meets-new atmosphere, stay at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, which boasts a stunning 100,000-square-foot pond garden that dates back to the 12th century. If time allows, take a day trip to Arashiyama on the city's outskirts, where you can explore bamboo groves, temples, and scenic hiking paths—or take a boat ride along the Hozu River.


<p>Levente Bodo / Getty Images</p>

Levente Bodo / Getty Images

With its gorgeous overwater bungalows, turquoise waters, and awe-inspiring marine life, the Maldives is a dream destination for ocean lovers—and one of the best times to visit is during the shoulder season month of April. With daily temperatures around 84 degrees Fahrenheit, the weather is still warm and sunny for the most part (though it’s not uncommon to experience the odd shower), yet the islands are less crowded. For Earth Month, opt to stay at Coco Collection’s luxurious and eco-conscious hideaways, Coco Bodu Hithi Resort and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, which weave sustainability and traditional Maldivian culture into the resort experience. Beyond the beautiful thatched-roof villas filled with hand-carved furniture is an impressive commitment to protecting the surrounding marine life. Case in point: The Marine Turtle Rescue Center at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is the first and only veterinarian-led turtle rescue center in the Maldives. The resort works with local communities to protect nesting sites and prevent poaching.

Whistler, British Columbia

<p>Dave Steers Photo / Getty Images</p>

Dave Steers Photo / Getty Images

Whistler is the ultimate spring ski destination, with March and April welcoming longer days, warmer temperatures, fewer crowds, and usually excellent backcountry ski conditions. Whistler's World Ski & Snowboard Festival takes place every April and brings a week of concerts, events, and snow sports competitions with it. It's a great excuse to experience the vibrant mountain culture of this British Columbian town. There's also plenty to do off the mountain. Head to the Audain Art Museum, a 56,000-square-foot gallery with an expansive collection of First Nations and British Columbian art, or visit the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre to learn about the rich culture of the First Nations groups that have stewarded the region for millennia. After all the action, be sure to carve out an afternoon at Scandinave Spa Whistler, a tranquil Nordic spa with hot pools, steam baths, Finnish-style saunas, cold plunges, and fireplaces surrounded by the lush forest. For a luxe respite at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, stay on the Gold Floor of Fairmont Chateau Whistler, a boutique hotel with elegant rooms, a private lounge, and top-notch dining experiences.

Moab, Utah

<p>Posnov / Getty Images</p>

Posnov / Getty Images

April is the perfect time to visit the red rock playground of Moab. During this month, the temperature stays around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, creating ideal conditions for hiking, climbing, and mountain biking. Head to Arches National Park, which has over 2,000 natural sandstone arches that can be appreciated from the trails or on a scenic drive. The beautiful views continue at Canyonlands National Park, which boasts dramatic canyons, mesas, and buttes. For a truly unique experience, try rafting along the Colorado River. The water levels are typically higher in April than in the summer months, and there are fewer crowds, so you can get the breathtaking vistas all to yourself. There are several campsites and hotels, but for an unforgettable glamping experience, stay in one of Under Canvas Moab's safari-inspired accommodations. Each tent is outfitted with a plush king-size bed, en suite bathroom, and luxury hotel-grade amenities, while guest perks include nightly fires with s'mores and morning yoga.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

<p>phutthiseth thongtae / Getty Images</p>

phutthiseth thongtae / Getty Images

Chiang Mai draws travelers to northern Thailand year-round, but the city is most lively in April when the Songkran Festival welcomes the Thai New Year (April 13 to 15). During this time, the streets are transformed into a giant water fight, with locals and tourists armed with water guns, water balloons, and buckets. After drying off, visit the city’s many ornate temples, including Wat Phra That Doi SuthepWat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phra Singh. While there’s no beach, there’s plenty of nature to explore beyond the city, including the Doi Inthanon National Park, where Thailand’s highest mountain rises from a lush forest. In the evening, head to the night markets to sample local food and shop for traditional crafts before retiring to Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, a serene respite on the banks of the Ping River.

Rome, Italy

<p>Nico De Pasquale Photography / Getty Images</p>

Nico De Pasquale Photography / Getty Images

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, visiting Rome during the Holy Week is a memorable experience. The festivities begin at the start of the month after Palm Sunday and include a Good Friday procession, when a flaming crucifix is raised into the night sky in front of the Colosseum, followed by an evening mass at St. Peter's Basilica. On Easter Day, another mass occurs in the square before the Pope's blessing to the congregation. Several other cultural events happen in April, including the Natale di Roma (Rome's birthday) celebration, which takes place on April 21 and includes parades, concerts, and fireworks. There's never a dull moment at the design-forward W Rome, which is set across two 19th-century palazzos next to the Spanish steps and features a bustling rooftop bar, a restaurant with a live DJ, and a "secret garden" with topical foliage if you need a break from all the action.

Turks and Caicos

<p>minimum / Getty Images</p>

minimum / Getty Images

Turks and Caicos is proof that you don’t have to travel far to bask in paradise. Less than a four-hour flight from many East Coast cities, the Caribbean archipelago is a perfect choice for long weekend getaways, especially in April, when the dry season begins. During this time, temperatures peak between 84 degrees F to 87, and rain is minimal. Along with snorkeling and scuba diving adventures, travelers can see magnificent Atlantic humpback whales migrating through the area in April. Meanwhile, the turtles residing around Mangrove Cay are best appreciated from a clear kayak or paddleboard tour with Through the Looking Glass. Those looking to relax on the soft, white sandy shores should look no further than Wymara Resort & Villas, a luxury resort on the secluded western end of the world-renowned Grace Bay Beach. In addition to its 91 rooms, the property offers stunning one and multi-bedroom villas overlooking Providenciales’ famous turquoise blue waters, plus some of the best dining on the island. For an unforgettable dinner, head to the resort’s restaurant Indigo, where award-winning chef Andrew Mirosch spotlights fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Caribbean flavors, and specialties from his native homeland of Australia.

New Orleans, Louisiana

<p>Peter Unger / Getty Images</p>

Peter Unger / Getty Images

New Orleans comes alive in April when temperatures rise to the 70s, making it easy to spend the day wandering, eating, and listening to music. Time your trip around the French Quarter Festival, which takes place in mid-April. If you miss it, the beloved New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival follows close behind at the end of the month, with multiple stages, food vendors, and some of America’s best musicians. The great thing about New Orleans is that you can have a fantastic time just by walking around the city. There’s always live music on street corners or inside the jazz clubs between Bourbon Street and Frenchmen Street. And with several well-appointed hotels like the opulent Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, which overlooks the Mississippi River, blending all the action with some rest and relaxation is easy.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

<p>Karl Hendon / Getty Images</p>

Karl Hendon / Getty Images

Holland's picturesque flower fields bloom between late March and mid-May, so April is an excellent time to see them at their peak. From Amsterdam, take a 40-minute drive to Keukenhof, one of the world's most famous flower gardens, to see millions of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and other flowers in bloom. Beyond the iconic gardens, you'll also find plenty of colorful tulip fields in the countryside around Amsterdam. If you happen to be in the Dutch capital on April 27th, you can also join in the King's Day festivities, a series of parades, parties, and outdoor concerts that celebrate King Willem-Alexander's birthday. Regardless of the time of year, there's plenty to do in Amsterdam—from visiting the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum to simply taking a stroll along the canals and enjoying the city's blossoming trees. The Dylan Amsterdam offers an understated and elegant base spread across two historic canal-side buildings in the heart of the Nine Streets area, plus a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Newport Beach, California

<p><a href="" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">LaurenBrookeM</a> / Getty Images</p>

LaurenBrookeM / Getty Images

Every year, thousands of gray whales migrate along the Newport/Laguna Beach coastline from Alaska to Baja California, and back again between January and April. While that alone is a good enough reason to book a whale-watching tour during the migration season, you’re also likely to spot other varieties of whales and several dolphin species in this marine life-rich stretch of Southern California. There are several tour operators in the area, including Newport Landing Whale Watching, which offers tours from Newport Harbor, and Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari, which is a Dana Point-based eco-friendly tour operator with a catamaran with underwater viewing pods and a hydrophone to hear the whales sing. After spotting the magnificent creatures, carve out some time to explore the charming shops and restaurants on Balboa Island or go on a scenic hike in Crystal Cove State Park, where it’s common to spot whales and dolphins from the trail.