Looking for an April getaway? The first full month of spring brings flowers to many places around the world, including the world-famous cherry blossoms that paint Washington, D.C. pink each year. There’s still time for snow sports fans to get in a few runs, but we have suggestions for travelers who are more than ready for sunshine and warm weather, too. Plus, a total solar eclipse will be visible from several North American destinations, so you should start planning now if you want to see this astronomical event. Here are the best places to travel in April 2024 in the U.S. and around the world. 

Adirondack Mountains, New York

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Located in northeastern New York State about 300 miles from Manhattan, the Adirondack Mountains will be one of the best areas in the Northeast to see the April 8 solar eclipse.  “Guests in the Lake Placid region will experience spectacular views of the eclipse over the Adirondack Mountains as day turns to night for a brief three minutes,” according to Matthew Wheeler, general manager of High Peaks Resort. In the meantime, activities include late-season skiing, the newly remodeled Lake Placid Olympic Center, outdoor adventure at New Vida Preserve, and the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, home to one of the world’s largest collections of Winter Olympics memorabilia. 

Where to Stay: High Peaks Resort is offering special eclipse packages and events. There’s also the Grand Adirondack Hotel, The Point on Saranac Lake, and The Lodge at Schroon Lake.  

Related: How to See the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse 

Washington, D.C.

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Spring is lovely in the nation’s capital, and the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival from March 20 to April 14 makes it a truly special time. I had the good fortune to be in Washington during the bloom a few years back, and I still recall the visitors’ awe, as well as my own, at the beauty of the delicate blossoms overhead and carpeting the ground at our feet. Mild weather encourages time outdoors strolling along the National Mall, The Wharf, and Union Market. The many fantastic museums in D.C. offer something for every interest, as well as perfect places to shelter on a chilly or rainy day. 

Where to Stay: At The Wharf, Washington’s exciting waterfront neighborhood, stay at the Pendry Washington D.C or InterContinental Washington D.C. The Wharf. Other top hotel picks include The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington D.C., Salamander Washington D.C., and The Morrow Hotel.

Oxnard and Ventura, California

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These coastal cities, located less than 100 miles from Los Angeles, are ideal for a spring (or summer) escape from the city. Oxnard is known for strawberries, and in April, the berries begin to ripen, continuing throughout the summer. The region produces one-third of the state’s strawberry volume, and visitors flock to the area to pick their own fruit and enjoy strawberry shortcakes, pies, ice cream, and beverages. Nearby Ventura, home to beaches, hiking trails, and ferries to Channel Islands National Park, will host the California Strawberry Festival at Ventura County Fairgrounds later in the year from May 18-19. 

Where to Stay: Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach in Oxnard reopened recently after a multi-million dollar transformation. Waypoint Ventura offers unique accommodations in restored vintage trailers. 

Napa Valley, California

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Fans of wine, gorgeous scenery, and shoulder season travel will enjoy Napa Valley in April. Summer crowds are still months away, California poppies are in bloom, and you might catch the end of the wild mustard season’s bright yellow flowers. Tasting rooms are open, and Sullivan Rutherford Estate (a stunning winery I visited last year) offers Merlot Mastery, an immersive educational experience. At Silverado Resort, guests can up their racquet games with Pickleball Camp (April 20-21) and “Backhands, Vines, and Volleys” tennis camp (April 25-27), or go for a round of golf. Take in vineyard views from the Napa Valley Wine Train or enjoy the scenery with a drive among grapevines and fields of spring flowers.

Where to Stay: Meadowood Napa Valley is a personal favorite for its perfect combination of luxury and rustic atmosphere. I also enjoyed my stay at the romantic and elegant Poetry Inn where each suite is unique and all offer spectacular views. 

Come Along on T+L’s Top U.S. Adventures

Salt Lake City, Utah

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Looking for spring skiing? Consider Utah’s capital your starting point and spend a few days in the city before you head for the slopes. You’ll find lively nightlife, restaurants, breweries, pubs, and views of snow-covered mountains to add to your anticipation. Less than 40 miles away, ski at Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird, and Park City, where there are snowy slopes for all levels of skiers, snowboarders, and winter sports fans. While I’m not a skier, I loved my winter visit to Park City where I tried snowshoeing (loved it!) and enjoyed the charming downtown and excellent restaurants.  

Where to Stay: In Salt Lake City, we recommend staying at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City or Kimpton Hotel Monaco

Tampa, Florida

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Temperatures in the low 80s with sunny days and cool nights make April an ideal time to visit Tampa. Spring also brings the Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival (April 9-13), with a Chef Showdown competition, tasting events, and celebrity guests. The annual Taste at The Straz on April 27, held at the Straz Center on Tampa’s Riverwalk, raises funds for its outstanding theater productions, operas, and concerts. Stroll along the river, explore Water Street, and take a boat ride (or rent your own as I did on a trip last year, floating along in a craft that resembled my old ‘57 Chevy). Another personal favorite is the Ybor City Historic Walking Tour, where you can learn about Tampa’s role as a center of cigar production.

Where to Stay: JW Marriott Tampa Water Street features Beacon, a rooftop lounge with panoramic views. The Tampa Edition is a new five-star hotel on Channelside Drive, and the boutique Hotel Haya is a great option in Ybor City. 

New York, New York

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Flowers are blooming in the city that never sleeps, and visitors can find cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden, and more than 30,000 varieties of flowers at the annual Macy’s Flower Show. The free event also includes seminars, demonstrations, and more. Spring showers are the perfect excuse to see a Broadway show, go shopping, or visit one of the best museums in New York City. There are also plenty of free things to do in NYC — stroll through Central Park, walk along the High Line, or enjoy the view from the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Where to Stay: The InterContinental New York Times Square is a luxury spot, steps from Broadway theaters. I recently spent two nights there — I loved the buffet breakfast and The Stinger bar and restaurant. The new Virgin Hotels New York City is located in NoMad, a central location ideal for tourists who want to see it all. 

Kauai, Hawaii

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The “Garden Island” is Hawaii’s oldest and northernmost island. Kauai’s weather is wetter than the other islands, but the rewards for waiting out those showers are waterfalls and rainforests with lush vegetation. Because April is part of the island’s shoulder season, you might score a deal on flights or accommodations, and you can still catch the tail end (pun intended) of whale-watching season. From relaxing on Kauai’s gorgeous beaches to tubing along mountaintop canals, there are many ways to enjoy the island. 

Where to Stay: The luxe 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay opened last year. Families love Kukuiʻula, with a wide variety of amenities and accommodations.  

London, England

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April is one of the best times to visit London because it’s before the arrival of summer’s visitors and after the chilliest days of winter. The annual London Marathon, happening on April 21, is one of the world’s most popular, with Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, and Canary Wharf along the route. After the excitement, relax with afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason, The Dorchester, or Brown’s and indulge in savory and sweet treats. If a cocktail is more your style, the city’s hotels offer plush lounges and creative menus — and we’ve rounded up the top cocktail bars in London so you can find the best sips.  

Where to Stay: Last year, I stayed at the charming Beaverbrook Town House and toured the Chelsea Townhouse. The Westin London City features specialized services for marathon runners through a new Westin Hotels & Resorts program.

Western Australia

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From Perth’s sophisticated urban vibe to the historic port town of Fremantle and the beaches of Rottnest Island, visitors have a variety of ways to enjoy Western Australia. Warm weather continues into April, and Perth’s Indian Ocean shores feature sandy beaches and stunning sunsets. Rottnest Island, a 30-minute ferry trip from Fremantle, is car-free with beaches, walking trails, cute quokkas, and an opportunity to learn about the island’s history and Aboriginal people with a visit to the Wadjemup Museum. Tour the area from above on a seaplane flight or from the sea aboard Seabourn’s Kimberley cruise, an expedition along the rugged coast. In the Margaret River region, about 100 wineries welcome visitors with tours and tastings. 

Where to Stay: In the Margaret River region, Chambré Estate is a newly renovated lodge, and adults-only Edge Luxury Villas are built over a lake in a forested area. In Fremantle, stay at the recently restored historic Warders Hotel.

Kyoto, Japan

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Renowned for UNESCO World Heritage Sites including ancient temples and shrines, Kyoto is especially beautiful during spring when the cherry blossoms bloom. The pink and white sakura, reminders of rebirth after winter, are celebrated with festivals, parades, and nightly illumination. April weather is pleasant for exploring Kyoto’s gardens, teahouses, and historical sites and for savoring traditional kaiseki cuisine. Kyoto is a short bullet train trip from Tokyo, and with InsideJapan Tours, guests can explore Kyoto on a private journey, small group tour, or self-guided adventure.

Where to Stay: Choose Roku Kyoto, LXR Hotels & Resorts or Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto located next to Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Five-star Hotel the Mitsui Kyoto offers a Sakura Experience with private garden tours, a visit to a local temple, and afternoon tea, according to general manager Manabu Kusui who invites guests “to immerse themselves in the rich heritage and traditions of Kyoto through these cultural experiences.” 

Lake Como, Italy

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This lake in northern Italy can thank James Bond and George Clooney for some of its fame, but the historic villas, resorts, and charming towns that line its shores get most of the credit. April is shoulder season, when the hotels are reopening and visitors begin to arrive. The summer months, naturally, are the popular season, but spring is beautiful and the weather is mild. A boat ride is the best way to see the elegant villas with intricate landscaping, and several are open to the public for tours. I toured Villa del Balbianello a few years ago and marveled at the grounds, the building, the art, and the history. Lake Como’s resorts are among Italy’s most beloved, as confirmed by Travel + Leisure’s readers in the 2023 World’s Best Awards. 

Where to Stay: Il Sereno topped the list, with Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni and Villa D’Este also receiving high scores in 2023. I have wonderful memories of Grand Hotel Tremezzo — so I’m happy it’s a readers’ favorite, too.

Vancouver, British Columbia

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You can combine a visit to a great city with diverse neighborhoods, fabulous restaurants, and mild weather with a convenient late-season ski trip when you visit Vancouver. Just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, Grouse Mountain offers skiing and snowboarding until early May as well as a skating pond, dining, and more. About two hours north, world-class snow sports await at Whistler Blackcomb with more than 200 runs over 8,000 acres of terrain. Home to Vancouver International Airport, nearby Richmond offers history, art, an authentic fishing village, and the Richmond Olympic Oval, an indoor multi-sport center. 

Where to Stay: In the heart of Vancouver, Rosewood Hotel Georgia and Fairmont Pacific Rim are luxurious options. Kim Carmichael, the spa director at Fairmont Pacific Rim, told T+L about their Nordic spa, a new outdoor hydrotherapy experience with hot and cold environments in a circuit. “With April being a time when we experience a rapidly changing climate in Vancouver, it’s an ideal opportunity for self-care.”

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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The third largest of more than 60 islands that make up the British Virgin Islands, Virgin Gorda offers pristine beaches, luxury resorts, and national parks. Swimming, diving, snorkeling, and boating are among things to do, and hikers can enjoy the view from the top of Gorda Peak. According to Emily Oakes, vice president of business at Oil Nut Bay, “The crystal blue waters and temperate weather, along with fewer crowds compared to earlier in the year, make April a lovely time to visit our beautiful island. Travelers wishing to fully immerse themselves in the island can book tours to explore The Baths, see Devil’s Bay National Park, and even scuba dive to the Wreck of the Chikuzen.” Visitors can arrive by air from Miami, St. Thomas, and now from San Juan via a semi-private jet. Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada, and several private island resorts are also popular BVI destinations. 

Where to Stay: Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Bitter End Yacht Club, and Oil Nut Bay are among the best resorts in the British Virgin Islands, with luxe accommodations and ocean views.

River Cruise in France

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Spring begins the European river cruise season, with most lines starting in mid-March. France is especially beautiful in April, and cruising is an ideal way to see many of the cities and small towns along the country’s rivers. Guests aboard AmaWaterways Paris and Normandy cruise begin in Paris and cruise the Seine to Le Havre, the historic Normandy Beaches, medieval Rouen, and Monet’s home in Giverny before returning to Paris. Viking offers a variety of ways to cruise the rivers of France, including a scenic Lyon and Provence cruise. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises also features cruises along France’s rivers, including trips as long as 22 days with the Ultimate France itinerary. 

Where to Stay: No need to worry about finding hotels — unless you extend your trip at either end of your cruise. You also won’t have to plan transfers, find restaurants, or pack and unpack between stops — these are just a few of the major benefits of exploring Europe via river cruise. I’ve cruised the Rhine, Danube, Douro, and Nile, and I’m a fan of the relaxed pace, shore excursions, and views of the passing scenery that a river cruise provides.


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