Where to Go in April
April is a great time to plan a vacation – in many locations, the weather is mild if not warm, and it isn't yet peak season, so big crowds and high prices are easy to avoid. For some lucky travelers, spring break or the Good Friday/Easter holiday even allows for some real time off to take a trip. But while those occasions do provide the vacation days, it's important to consider that Easter (especially in predominately Catholic countries) can have a big impact on crowds, costs, and travel plans.
Beechwood Photography, Flickr
So where should you go during the fourth month of the year? Here's our roundup of some of the best places to visit in April:
Spain has a wide range of terrain and climates, but it's safe to say that the weather in April is lovely throughout the country, before summer really brings the heat. Average temperatures on the southern coast in Barcelona or Seville are in the 60s and 70s, and in Madrid, April gives lots of sunshine and daily highs in the 60s. Pack a light jacket, because evening temperatures can get chilly. Note also that the northern end of Spain does get some wet weather in April. Regardless, travelers won't be lacking in things to do: From visiting any of the number of top tier museums in Spain, to experiencing the rich historical and cultural sites, or just enjoying some wine and tapas at a cafe (a Jamón serrano and Queso Manchego plate is a must). Check our Madrid and Barcelona city guides for even more suggestions, and beware of crowd surges, higher prices and businesses staying closed around Easter.
Stay: In Barcelona, book a room at AOL Travel favorite Hotel Soho, where rates start at $170 a night. Madrid offers its fair share of deals as well: Rooms at the luxurious Hotel de las Letras in Puerta del Sol are about $160 a night, and a stay at the chic ME Madrid Reina Victoria at Plaza de Santa Ana runs around $170 a night.
Madrid Travel Deals | Barcelona Travel Deals | Seville Travel Deals
The Caribbean is a wonderful April destination. Although mid-spring isn't yet low season for popular resorts and towns in Jamaica, cheaper flights and stays are possible. June through November means hurricane season, so hitting Jamaica while it's warm and sunny (but not yet muggy) makes April a good time to travel down. Fans of water sports – especially snorkeling and scuba diving – will also find the water warm and clear, and it's easy to find time for a trip to Dunn's River Falls or to explore the beauty of the Blue Mountains. Bacchanal Jamaica, the island's Carnival, runs through April, and is chock full of steel drums, festive parades, dancing, competitions and a whirlwind of island spirit.
Stay: Rates at the mountaintop Strawberry Hill/Island Outpost luxury resort outside of Kingston start at $230 a night. Or indulge in some beachfront ease by booking at one of Jamaica's prime all-inclusives, like the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach in Montego Bay ($345 a night) or Breezes Grand Resort & Spa in Negril (starting at $480 a night).
Montego Bay Travel Deals | Negril Travel Deals | Kingston Travel Deals
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If you missed New Orleans and Mardis Gras in the wintertime, consider making a trip down in April. NOLA's springtime weather is very pleasant, with highs hovering in the upper 70s and low 80s, and rain and humidity at a minimum. Beyond the southern charm and party-town flair, the French Quarter Festival is a must-do. It's a four day music festival, the largest in Louisiana, that celebrates all things Cajun: Food, live jazz, parties and more.
Stay: The four star Royal Sonesta New Orleans is in the heart of the French Quarter, and rates start at $230.
New Orleans Travel Deals
Visiting the capital city in April is a fine idea, especially if you can get there early in the month for the world-famous Cherry Blossom Festival and parade. Other highlights include the White House Spring Gardens Tours and Easter Egg Roll. While April isn't the cheapest month for travel rates in D.C., it also isn't peak, so deals can be uncovered. Temperatures tend to be mild (average highs in the 60s), but be sure to pack an umbrella in case you hit an occasional April shower while you museum-hop, explore, shop and take in the array of culture in D.C.
Stay: The hip Hotel Helix offers rooms in April in the $200 range, or catch an affordable night's sleep at the Washington Hilton for around $100 a night. Cherry Blossom packages are also available at certain hotels.
Washington D.C. Travel Deals