Taking a spring vacation is something a person should do, in order to recharge, relax and prepare the mind and body for the hectic home and work life for the rest of the year. You can choose some quiet and restful spots such as Savannah and Charleston. It is not too hot in the Grand Canyon. The U.S. Southwest is awash with colors from desert flowers and new lambs are being born in the British Isles.
You can enjoy the milder temperatures in Washington, D.C., Bermuda, Tokyo, Athens, Rio de Janeiro and Amsterdam. Or you can have a blast in Japan, enjoying a variety of ramen and filling your eyes and your camera’s memory card with the astonishing Japanese cultural assets, including the wondrous beauty of cherry blossoms.
Moreover, travelers can avail of several benefits of taking their vacation during springtime. Flights are very cheap at this time of the year and if you go to places where there is more flight competition, the rates could even be lower. Favorite destinations in continental U.S.A., in Europe and even in the Caribbean are cheaper in spring.
Rates in international cities are still lower this time of the year. Aside from the lower rates, you can enjoy your spring vacation more because the number of local and international travelers is still lower, so it is possible to maximize your visit to famous landmarks, as you do not have to queue for long hours and spend more time in free attractions as well.
In spring, many places are filled up with flowers, from wild flowers on valleys and mountainsides, to tulips to cherry blossoms. Beaches are still not very crowded since some of the areas are cooler. You can certainly avoid the areas frequented by college students on a spring break. Likewise, do some research, as there are places where spring is not the best time of the year as spring thaw produces a lot of mud.
If you are not sure where to go, here are some suggestions on where you can head off, from various spring getaways in the U.S. to usual and uncommon destinations in Europe and some choice places in Asia.
US Virgin Islands
The peak season in the U.S. Virgin Islands just ended, but it does not mean that this destination has lost its charm. There are still plenty more to see and do in the islands. The Carnival in the streets of St. Thomas is held in April and lasts the entire month, so there are many chances for spring travelers to let their hair down and party or have quiet moments as well. The mild weather is another consideration.
The party atmosphere of the Mardi Gras has died down by the time spring comes in New Orleans, Louisiana. You will have more time to enjoy it history and quaint European ambience. The prices have gone down, travel rates are cheaper and there will be less crowd visiting the city’s attractions. New Orleans is great in the second quarter because the winter rains are gone and the humidity the city is known for has not yet arrived.
Lush countryside, wonderful beaches, young lambs, fresh seafood and fall weather are some of the conditions you’ll meet when you travel to Auckland, New Zealand around April or May. You’ll have plenty of time for the great outdoors. The skies are clear, there will be times when it turns cold and you’ll enjoy a refreshing walk or hike around Auckland. Various cultural events and special shows are staged throughout April so you have something different to see and do each day.
Take advantage of warm weather in Marrakech, Morocco in April and May. The evening temperature is also mild. Exploring the markets around the city will occupy your time because of the multitude of products to see and inspect. You will be tempted to sample some of the tantalizing dishes sold in the markets, whose appetizing aromas are enough to tempt you. Give the fresh squeezed orange juice sold at Jemaa el Fna a try. Or find some hand-produced leather goods in the market stalls. Artisans have been practicing the craft since the 16th century.
The vineyards in Duoro Valley, Portugal may not be that impressive around April but you can tell that they are very much alive. You’ll be seeing clouds of white and pink blossoms on the hillsides. The weather in Foz Côa is just perfect. You’ll enjoy hours of cycling, walking or hiking around the valley. With its own microclimate you can have the best of both worlds around here. You can enjoy wine tasting or go on longer boat trips to enjoy the countryside from the International Douro Natural Park.
In the central Mediterranean is the island of Malta, which is between the coast of Northern Africa and Sicily. Visit the island in April or May before the tourist season peaks. Explore the island’s vineyards, ancient temples and medieval towns. The gorgeous beaches are not crowded and the landscape is covered in a myriad of colors. The Maltese people consider spring as their prettiest season.
Visit the local Ta’ Qali farmers’ market to give the island’s fresh fruits and vegetables a try. The local strawberry is becoming a hit and farmers organize a strawberry festival in the spring. You’ll be able to indulge your passion for strawberries, as it is abundant during springtime.
São Paulo in Brazil is an excellent city and the best times to visit it is between March and May. During these months, the tourist season has not yet hit, and you will still be enjoying the remnants of fall weather. It’s easier to visit the city when the temperature is still moderate so you can enjoy most of the outdoor sights without sweating buckets. There are fewer chances of rain as well. You’ll have all the time in the world to enjoy street art, as well as special events and festivals such as the São Paulo Fashion Week that is staged in April.
The tourist season is about to peak in Asia, but Chengdu, China is still worth a visit. The weather is warmer but it still warrants bringing a light coat as well as an umbrella. April’s average temperature is 63°F or 17°C. Various outdoor activities are available. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, therefore it is possible for tourists to view the adorable pandas at the Dujiangyan Panda Base. You can explore the Chengdu Botanic Garden, Mt. Qingcheng, Narrow Alley and Jinli Street. Check out the schedule at the Sichuan opera, enjoy a shadow play and have a relaxing moment drinking tea in a Chinese traditional teahouse.
If you’ve been longing to see the Northern Lights, visit Reykjavik in Iceland. If you’re an adventurer, you can have almost everything here. Dip into steaming lagoons, go scuba diving and explore the country more as the days in spring are longer.
Tulip lovers will have a grand time in the Netherlands because April is the country’s tulip season. If you interested in tulips, visit Lisse where the Keukenhof garden is located. It’s a huge area where seven million flowers in a variety of colors bloom during the month. If you are unable to visit the Netherlands, visit Holland, Michigan in May where you’ll be able to see tulips in bloom as well. You might get there in time for their very own flower festival where some five million tulips are on display.
The best time to visit Kyoto, Japan is during spring. In the first 10 days of April, the city can be packed with sightseers, as this is the time when the cherry blossoms are at their peak. The weather is a bit warmer but you still have to bring warmer clothes as there could be the odd cold evenings and cold days. Cherry blossom viewing in Kyoto is called hanami, where you can choose to go to Gion’s Shimbashi district at night, Kyoto Botanical Gardens (Kyoto Shokubutsu-en), Kamo-gawa River banks, Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace Park) and the Maruyama-koen Park.
Alternatively, you can go to Macon, Georgia. It is considered the world’s cherry blossom capital. In Macon, 350,000 cherry trees are planted, which bloom between the months of April and May.
Many more destinations are great locations for a spring vacation. You can choose to go to London so you do not have to struggle with the language. Madrid is the largest city in Spain and offers plenty of things to do and see. The art galleries and museums are filled with precious works of art. The architecture around Madrid is stunning. You might even be interested in learning flamenco dancing.
Montreal offers so many things as well. The multifaceted city is a mix of old and new worlds. Several structures from the 18th century vie for attention with 21st century edifices. Various cultures are represented, such as France, Portugal and India.
If you want a laid-back atmosphere with plenty of beaches, have your vacation in Sydney, Australia. See the Opera House up close, have a wonderful tan from the shore of Bondi Beach or experience a different way of life and carefree attitude from the Sydneysiders. Or you can watch a game of Australian Rules Football or an intense game of Australian rugby, which is very different from the rugby played in the United States.
Deciding where you’ll go for your spring vacation can pose a dilemma. It’s important to check the destination where you want to spend some of your hard-earned cash. Check the weather, available accommodation, customs restrictions and languages spoken. If you want to be on the safe side, choose a destination where English is spoken if that is your native language or take the time to learn some important words and phrases in the language commonly spoken in your preferred destination.
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