The Best Places to Visit in the USA in April

The 15 Best Places to Visit in the US in April

April showers may bring May flowers, but stunning blooms of all kinds tend to happen in April in the US as well, creating some particularly scenic vacation spots. From tulips to cherry blossoms, the US comes alive in April. Winter has said goodbye in March, paving the way for warmer temperatures and brighter days. I love traveling around the USA in April as the weather is great and the summer break crowds have yet to descend.

However, spring break will be in full swing. College spring break tends to happen in March, though some schools do have spring break in April. However, elementary, middle, and high schools most often have spring break tied to the Easter holiday. 

If you want to avoid the crowds, generally steer clear of the biggest family-friendly destinations in the US, like Walt Disney World. These areas often see their largest crowds of the year around school breaks, like spring break.

With so many places to visit and see, how can you choose where to go on your April vacation? To help you out, we’ve compiled our list of the best places to travel in the US in April for you. From small towns with a lot of charm to places to get in the last ski trip of the season, stick with these April travel recommendations, and you’re bound to have an amazing time on your spring vacation!

Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 15 Best Places to Visit in the US in April

The 15 Best Places to Visit in the USA in April

1. Bodega Bay, California

Best Places to Visit in USA in April: Bodega Bay, California

When we think of Sonoma County, we often picture its many wineries. But in the county’s Bodega Bay, you’ll find a lot more than picturesque tasting rooms. You’ll also find tons of outdoor activities that are just ramping up during your vacation in April.

The Bodega Head peninsula is one of the best places to go whale-watching on the West Coast, and April is prime time to see these majestic creatures as they migrate north after heading south for the winter. Other outdoor activities perfect for April include kayaking, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. 

April is also when the area has its Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival, a family-friendly celebration honoring the bay’s fishing history. Originally used to mark the start of the salmon fishing season, it’s now a festival featuring live music, kids’ entertainment, crafts from local artisans, and wine tasting from wineries all over Sonoma County. 

For even more family-friendly fun, you can take part in the annual wooden boat challenge, which sees competitors build their own vessels and race out on the water. On Sunday, you can also participate in a local tradition and see the Blessing of the Fishing Fleet.  

2. Miami, Florida

Must Visit Places in April: Miami, Florida

April is generally shoulder season for sunny Miami. Although you’ll see some spring break crowds, Miami is most often quieter in April because the “snowbirds” who come to the South for the winter have already gone back up north and the summer crowds haven’t yet arrived. Despite the lack of crowds, it’s plenty warm enough to take a dip in the clear blue Atlantic waters.

But it’s not just the beaches that’ll have you wanting to travel to Miami in April. One of the factors that make this location one of the best places to visit in April is that the month marks the start of Miami Attractions & Museum Months, which last through May. 

This annual event offers significant discounts and offers to more than 31 of Miami’s museums, tours, performing arts theaters, zoo, and much more. If you want to see Miami on a discount, vacationing in April is a great way to do it!

If you arrive early enough in the month, you’ll also be able to partake in the Miami Riverday Festival. This annual event offers free Miami River boat rides, environmental education, historical reenactments, live music, and much more. 

Also early in the month are the Miami Beach Pride Weeks, which offer entertainment celebrating the diverse culture of the Miami LGBTQ+ community. It all leads up to the annual Miami Beach Pride Festival and its parade, which happens mid-month.

3. Anchorage, Alaska

Best Cities to Visit in USA in April: Anchorage, Alaska

Summer is the busy season for Anchorage, but April tends to be much quieter. However, there’s plenty to do to keep you occupied on your vacation in April. From skiing to winter biking to hiking, outdoor lovers will have a great time on their Anchorage trip – although they’ll need to be bundled up! But with a flightseeing tour, you’ll be able to see the great outdoors from the comfort of a helicopter or plane. 

It’s not just the majestic sight of the snow-covered mountains and native wildlife that makes Anchorage one of the best places to travel in the US in April. Anchorage has a diverse cultural scene that you’ll love embracing. 

Best Places to Visit in USA in April: Anchorage, Alaska

Head to the Performing Arts Center to see the Anchorage Symphony or a touring Broadway show. Or get your ticket to the Native Youth Olympics, a celebration of Alaskan Native skills in which more than 500 athletes come out to compete. 

If you’d like to see more of Alaska, hop on the Aurora Winter Train. This scenic train ride takes you between Anchorage and Fairbanks, where you may just see the Northern Lights!

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4. Shenandoah National Park

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in April: Shenandoah National Park

Located in Virginia, Shenandoah National Park is one of the best places for a vacation in April as it falls during the park’s shoulder season. It should be noted that this massive park has many elevation changes, so the temperature can vary.

But, generally, the weather is quite nice for outdoor adventures in April – although rain is not uncommon. Still, that rainfall is what makes the waterfall hikes so particularly impressive this time of year.

In addition to stunning waterfalls, you’ll also spot an abundance of wildflowers, which are just starting to bloom. You can see them on hiking trails or take the scenic Skyline Drive. You’ll want to make several stops along the drive as dozens of overlooks offer incredible panoramas. 

If you’re stopping by this National Park, be sure to take a visit to nearby Luray Caverns, the largest caverns in the eastern US. You can go on a guided underground tour here, while your little ones will love the Rope Adventure Park located here. 

5. Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Best Places to Visit in USA in April: Carlsbad Caverns National Park

New Mexico can get quite hot in the summer, hot enough to make it unsafe for strenuous outdoor activities. So it’s no wonder spring is the peak season for Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It’s warm enough to explore the park but not hot enough to make you want to stay inside. Still, April is usually the least busy month during the peak season. 

The main attraction here is the caverns themselves. You can venture inside on a self-guided tour or go in with a ranger, who can give you more insight into how these marvels formed. Bats also tend to arrive in mid-to-late April, so keep your eyes peeled for them. There are also plenty of hiking trails and scenic drives to go on throughout the park

6. Pinnacles National Park

What Places to Visit in USA in April: Pinnacles National Park

If you’re searching for the best places to travel in the US in April, this is the best time to visit Pinnacles National Park, one of California’s lesser-known national parks. Not as rainy as in March but not as hot as in May, you’ll find that the temperatures here are just right for outdoor excursions. Although April is the peak season for Pinnacles, it’s never particularly crowded since it’s not a very popular park. 

On your vacation in April, head inside the two talus caves, Bear Gulch Cave and Balconies Caves. Be sure to bring a flashlight and potentially be prepared to get wet if it rained recently. 

But you’ll love exploring these stunning caves, where you just might spot some bats hanging out, literally. These caves close for two months starting in May for bats to raise their pups in peace, so you’re going to want to check them out before they’re shut down.

Visiting in spring also means seeing the wildflowers in bloom, which you’ll see across many trails. There’s no lodging in the park, but camping is allowed, which you’ll love because this park has some of the best stargazing in all of California! 

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7. Williamsburg, Virginia

Best Places to Visit in USA in April: Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg is known for being one of the best vacation destinations for history buffs, mainly thanks to Colonial Williamsburg. This town-within-a-town is a living history museum filled with fun and educational activities for the whole family. 

Tour historic buildings, watch tools being made in the blacksmith shop, admire the works in the art museums, stroll through the beautiful arboretum, grab a bite at the authentic public house, hop on a carriage ride, and much more. Your little ones will have so much fun they’ll hardly know they’re actually learning along the way.

But it’s not just Colonial Williamsburg that makes this destination so great for history lovers. You can also stop by the Jamestown Settlement, another living history museum, this time dedicated to everyday life in Jamestown. You can even visit dig sites to see the artifacts that were uncovered here. 

Williamsburg is generally more crowded in the summer. You’ll see far fewer people in April, which will come in handy, particularly if you want to spend some time at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. If you want to ride the coasters here, you’ll appreciate that there are barely any lines in April. 

8. Skagit Valley

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in April: Skagit Valley

Skagit Valley in Washington State is one of the best places to travel in the US in April for one very important reason: the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival! This incredible festival, which lasts for the whole month, sees people come from all over to see fields upon fields of technicolor tulips. 

Depending on when you visit, you’ll see all different kinds of tulip-themed events. Early in the month is the Tulip Parade, where locals don their very best to celebrate the season. Throughout the month, you’ll also enjoy art classes, massive cookouts, and a showcase of work made by local artists.

9. Las Vegas, Nevada

Best Cities to Visit in USA in April: Las Vegas, Nevada

Vegas tends to be pretty busy year-round, but April is one of the calmer months, making going here one of the best US vacations in April. And while it’s still hot, it’s nowhere near as hot as it gets in the summer. 

On the Strip alone, there’s plenty to do, from concerts to touring Broadway shows to, of course, a little gambling. But Las Vegas also has many family-friendly attractions, both on and off the Strip. From art installations to carnival games, staying busy all day in Vegas is easy.

But because you’re visiting outside of the summer months, you can also expect to enjoy some more outdoor-focused activities without soaring temperatures keeping you inside. Take a trip to the Hoover Dam, kayak around Lake Mead, or take to the skies on a helicopter tour – there are just so many cool things to do in Las Vegas!

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10. Boston, Massachusetts

Where to Vacation in USA in April: Boston, Massachusetts

Spring break is generally a concern when it comes to booking a vacation in April. But spring break is actually what makes Boston one of the best US cities to visit in April. Boston is very much a college town, home to over 70 colleges. During spring break, many students opt to go elsewhere! 

You’ll see something similar happen during winter and summer break as well. This historic city tends to get a little sleepy without the youngins around. Although students are heading out of the city for their spring getaways, much of Boston is actually opening up for the first time since closing for the winter, which can get quite cold.

Boston’s Duck Tours, which take you around the city and onto the Charles River and are one of our favorite Boston tours, generally start at the very end of March for its spring and summer seasons. Meanwhile, the Boston Public Garden’s Swan Boats typically come out in mid-April.

As baseball season starts to kick off in April, it’s also a great time to take in a game at Fenway Park. This iconic stadium is unlike any other, and you can really enjoy marveling at the history here. 

You can take a tour of the stadium, another of our favorite Boston tours, to get the full experience before your game. Even if you’re not a sports lover (or if you prefer the Yankees), it’s hard not to love Fenway.

11. Channel Islands National Park

Best Cities to Visit in USA in April: Channel Islands National Park

One of the things that make California’s Channel Islands National Park one of the best places to travel in the US in April is that it’s made up of five unique destinations. If you’re an outdoor lover, you’ll have an amazing April vacation, hopping from island to island and enjoying everything each one has to offer.

Snorkel around Anacapa Island’s rich kelp forests, kayak over to Santa Cruz Island’s magnificent Painted Cave, see the rare Torrey pines of Santa Rosa Island, take a boat tour to see thousands of seals and sea lions around San Miguel Island, or hike through seas of flowers on Santa Barbara Island. Other things to do around these islands include scuba diving, surfing, camping, and whale-watching. 

Channel Island National Park is typically more crowded in the summer. Visiting in April may be chillier, but it also means contending with fewer people. The water will also be very cold this time of year. If you plan on getting in the water or doing any activity where you may end up in the water, like kayaking, be sure to wear a wetsuit for your safety.

12. Big Island, Hawaii

Where to Vacation in USA in April: Big Island, Hawaii

The island of Hawaii, typically referred to as the Big Island, is the largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It’s also one of the best places to visit in the US in April. It’s typically less crowded here in April than in the summer. Even though April is often the time for spring break vacations, spring breakers tend to congregate more on Maui or Oahu, leaving the Big Island pretty quiet this time of year.

However, there are some events that do bring in more visitors in April, so you may see more people if you visit closer to these dates. But the fun-filled festivals are worth contending with larger crowds. 

One of the biggest events is the Merrie Monarch Festival. Typically taking place the week after Easter, the Merrie Monarch Festival is a week-long party celebrating Hawaiian culture in the Big Island’s Hilo. 

The festival includes a parade and a craft fair with wares made by local artisans. But the real highlight is the hula competition. You’ll love spending the day immersed in the history and culture of hula.

Another festival in April is for those of us with a sweet tooth. The Big Island Chocolate Festival invites you to learn more about the past and present of cacao farms and see demonstrations of how chocolate goes from the farm to a candy bar wrapper. It all leads up to the gala, which invites you to sample dozens of chocolate treats, from chocolate fountains to mole dishes.

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13. Chicago, Illinois

Best Cities to Visit in USA in April: Chicago, Illinois

You may have noticed that we didn’t include Washington, DC, on this list, despite April being prime time to see the cherry blossoms. Well, while visiting DC in April does mean seeing some pretty amazing events, it also means dealing with a crowd of over a million people who also want to see those dazzling buds.

But the reality is that there are so many amazing places in the US to visit in April that have cherry blossoms in bloom. One such place is Chicago

Must Visit Places in April: Chicago, Illinois

To see the cherry blossoms, you’ll particularly want to visit Jackson Park and the Japanese-style Garden of the Phoenix. To see even more beautiful blooms, head to the Chicago Botanic Garden or the Morton Arboretum. Even if you miss peak bloom for the cherry blossoms, you’ll still see plenty more at these picturesque spots. For more to do outdoors as Chicago heats up, you’ll love that the outdoor markets, showing off magnificent local vendors, tend to return in April.

14. Portland, Oregon

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in April: Portland, Oregon

For another great place to travel in the US in April to see cherry blossoms, consider heading to Portland, Oregon. Tom McCall Waterfront Park is one of the best places in the country to see these stunning flowers in bloom.

But there’s another famous flower that’s a big reason why you should head to Portland in April: tulips. In nearby Woodburn, you’ll find the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival every April. Not only will you see an artist’s palette filled with tulips of every color, but you’ll also have tons of family-friendly fun at the festival. 

How many flowers are in bloom will depend on the time of the month you visit and the weather. But the festival has plenty of activities to keep you entertained outside of the flowers, like hot air balloon rides and the TulipFest Run.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Portland area in April can be very rainy. However, that can sometimes work to your advantage as there are many scenic hikes in the area with waterfalls. The water runoff makes these hikes particularly stunning this time of year. Just be sure to wear shoes with a lot of traction, and don’t hike if the terrain is too slippery.

15. Lake Tahoe, California

Best Cities to Visit in USA in April: Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is where to go in April if you want one last snow fix. As it’s the area’s off-season, you should expect to see fewer crowds than if you’d gone in the winter. You’ll also find that accommodations tend to be much more budget-friendly. However, especially earlier in the month, snow will still be on the ground. Tahoe has the perfect conditions to get in one last ski trip before the ski season ends!

But there’s plenty to do in Tahoe outside of skiing. Depending on the conditions, you can either go hiking or snowshoeing, allowing you to take in the picturesque sights of the distinctive blue waters of the lake. 

You can also take a cruise around the water or paddle around yourself in a kayak or stand-up paddleboat. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the water temperature will be very, very cold. For your safety, please wear a wetsuit if you intend to kayak or paddleboard. 

April is also when one of Tahoe’s biggest festivals happens, WinterWonderGrass. What started as a small, homegrown music festival has become an annual tradition. This festival celebrates the marriage between music and nature, allowing you to take in the tunes while also marveling at the beautiful world you find yourself in. 

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There you have it! The 15 best places to travel in the US in April. What’s your favorite spot to vacation in April? Let us know in the comments!


About the Author:

  • Jacqueline Gualtieri

    Jacqueline is a writer and editor pursuing the freelance life to explore the world. Born and raised in New Jersey, she spent her college years in Boston before settling down with her partner and puppy in Monterey, California.

    When she’s not writing, you can often find her planning her next trip. Road trips are her favorite, whether it’s driving across the country or simply exploring a new city in her own backyard. She loves uncovering the history of every new place she goes.

    Jacqueline has a restless passion for learning and makes it a goal to pick up a new skill every year. She’s picked up embroidery, crocheting, knitting, and cross-stitching, but she’s hoping to master more languages to help her in her travels. She’s also a published author, with short stories and poetry appearing in several anthologies.

9 thoughts on “The 15 Best Places to Visit in the US in April”

  1. Oh I’ve always wanted to visit the tulip fields but forget every year!! This is a great reminder. Also, I never would have thought about Alaska in April but taking notes for the future.

  2. So many things to do but I think seeing the flowers starting to bloom makes many places so pretty and worth a visit. I’m looking forward to it.

  3. You have me convinced by all the national parks! Waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park must be incredible in April. Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Pinnacles National Park both look fabulous too – such interesting rock formations!

  4. So many great ideas on places to go in April. I’d be interested in checking out Bodega Bay, Portland and Lake Tahoe. April is one of the best times for travel!

  5. Carlsbad Caverns with a trip to Roswell, NM sounds like a perfect trip. Sending this list to my brothers as they’re always indecisive when it comes to our next family vacations. All the National Parks on your list are great!

  6. I love Hawaii and Vegas is always fun, but it’s spending time in the national parks that I love most. Great list and a few to add to my list to visit asap.

  7. Adventure Brits

    April is such a great time of year to travel, especially for the weather and flora and forna! Whale watching would be a bucket list thing for me, as would all the outdoor adventures that could be had in the Channel Islands!

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