Most people think of crowded beaches full of crazy teeneagers when they think of the most popular and best places to travel in the US in April.
Spring Break crowds can definitely put a hamper on your US travel in the month of April, but you don’t have to choose the crowds for your US April travel destination.
If you’re looking to escape the crowds, consider a family hiking adventure in a US national park or state park, or take a relaxing road trip down the Pacific Coast Hwy.
And, if you just have to do the family fun Spring break, we’ve got a few options for you to consider in this list of best places to travel in April in the USA.
Best Places To Travel In April For Adventure
April is one of the best times to travel to a US national park with the family.
While the crowds may swell a bit with Spring breakers, chances are they will still be considerably lower than those summer crowds.
Check out these US national parks for some Spring break adventure.
Channel Islands National Park, California
When deciding where to travel in the U.S. in April, consider exploring island and ocean wildlife on your trip. A secluded archipelago off the coast of Southern California, Channel Islands National Park is the perfect location to enjoy warm weather and well-preserved marine ecosystems. The month of April brings the birth and migration of many animals to the islands.
Take the ferry to Santa Cruz, the largest of the Channel Islands, and you may find you’re hiking alongside young fox pups that are native to the National Park. You might even catch a glimpse of sea lions and birds nesting on shore.
The best way to experience the sea creatures of Channel Islands is by booking a kayaking tour through the gorgeous sea caves that have naturally formed in the cliffs. If you’re lucky, you may even spot Grey Whales as they finish their migration to Mexico. Although it’s underrated compared to other National Parks in California, Channel Islands is definitely a destination that should be added to your bucket list!
Laura Wilkens of Adrift Aesthetic
Denali National Park, Alaska
Denali National Park is the third largest National Park in the United States. The natural wildlife, meandering rivers and gorgeous mountains make this park the perfect holiday destination for your next adventure trip. There are several hiking trails to follow or you can simply explore the place by roaming around. This huge national park is located in the central area of the Alaska Range and has an area of 7408 square miles.
Denali is open throughout the year, though Summer is the peak season to travel here. I will recommend to visit Denali National Park in mid-April to avoid the crowds. However, visiting Denali in fall time can be rewarding for its spectacular fall color of the entire park.
Best Things to do in Denali National Park:
- Mount McKinley is the most popular tourist landmark of this park. You will get some stunning view of this mountain from different angle throughout the park. This is also the tallest peak of North America.
- Experience hiking in the marked trail of the first 15 miles of the park which is allowed for the visitors. If you are an adventure seeker then you can go for off-trail hiking to explore the wilderness of this beautiful place.
- Don’t miss the chance to camp in Denali National Park. It is really a thrilling experience to stay one night under the pith black sky with a breathtaking night view. Advance booking is recommended for the campsites as the camping spaces are limited there.
Trijit Mallick from BudgetTravelBuff
Havasu Falls, Arizona
April is a great time to visit Havasu Falls because the Arizona weather is warm but not yet too warm. At this time of year, it’s a perfect temperature to attempt the Havasupai hike, which is around 10 miles from the trailhead parking lot to the falls. It’s a challenging hike, but it’s incredibly beautiful and rewarding. Most of the hike takes place through a slot canyon, which is an incredible experience in itself!
When you arrive at Havasu Falls, there’s a campsite where you can set up for the night. If you want to, you can also swim and float in the striking blue water that comes off of Havasu Falls. In April, it’s warm enough to enjoy a dip in the water but cool enough to still get a good night’s sleep afterwards.
Jodie – Alajode.com
Sedona in April is the perfect time to visit. It’s getting warm in this northern Arizona city but not too hot. The climate is perfect for checking out some of the best hikes in Sedona such as Devils Bridge or Cathedral Rock. These hikes are the perfect family adventure and one of the best ways to see the red rocks around Sedona.
Nicole of American SW Obsessed Travel Blog
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
April is a great month to visit Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park because it is less crowded. Located about 1 ½ hours from the Denver Airport it is a must-see if you are in Colorado. Rocky Mountain National Park is adjacent to Estes Park, the cutest little town, so save time to explore it also.
One of the best things to do in the park is to go for a hike. There are more than 300 miles of trails in the park. One of the most popular hikes for people of all ages is the 2-mile hike to Dream, Nymph and Emerald lakes. A very simple hike if you have a family is the 0.6-mile hike around Bear Lake.
If you are brave and don’t mind winding roads with drop-offs, then take the Trail Ridge Road by car. This road is 12,000 miles above sea level and you will cross the Continental Divide.
Keep your eyes out for animals in the park and whatever you do, dress warmly. April in the park is usually cool with temperatures about 40 degrees and snow is possible! Enjoy your day and the amazing views and fun that Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer.
Pam Iorg of Travel Hacking Mom
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Just 50 miles from Washington, DC, Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. With over 200,000 acres of protected wilderness containing gushing waterfalls, thick deciduous forest, 500 miles of hiking trails, and the best of east coast wildlife (deer and bobcats and black bears, oh my!) it’s a can’t miss destination for any outdoors-lover.
While Shenandoah is gorgeous year-round, April is one of the best times to visit. The weather is pleasant – warmer than winter, but not as humid and hot as mid-summer. There also aren’t as many crowds in the spring. Peak-tourist season is during the fall when the leaves change color, and many people don’t realize the park is just as beautiful in the spring with the mountain laurel and rhododendrons in full bloom. You’ll also have a better chance of seeing baby animals – fawns and bear cubs run the park this time of year.
So if you’re looking for a way to get away from the cities and enjoy nature without the crowds this April, you should visit Shenandoah National Park!
Maggie McKneely of Pink Caddy Travelogue
Zion National Park, Utah
Zion National Park is an incredible natural oasis in the desert of Southwest Utah. Just a couple hours outside of Las Vegas, Zion is among the best hiking destinations in the United States.
When is the best time to visit Zion? Springtime. Why? 3 reasons.
First, the views and experiences you’ll have will leave your jaw on the floor. Angel’s Landing, The Narrows, and Observation Point are 3 hikes that are all close on the map, but wildly unique! Nowhere else in the United States will you get 3 hikes like these in the same area.
Second, the weather will be ideal for your trip to Zion. As noted, Zion is in the middle of a desert, and gets HOT in the Summer months. You do NOT want to be hiking in a hot canyon in 100 degree heat. Hiking in Spring will balance the midday sun with cooler temperatures.
Finally, the people. Zion can gets very busy as National Parks go, in Spring you’ll BEAT the rush. You’ll be exploring when everyone else is still planning their adventure a month or two away. Incredible sites, beautiful weather, and avoiding the crowds. Head to Zion in the Spring!
Zach of Ruhls of the Road
Best Places To Travel in April For Wildflowers & Spring Beauty
If you are looking for a gorgeous destination to kick off the beautiful weather in spring, you’ll find Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands to be one of the best places to go. April is the shoulder season on Oahu which means that lower crowds bring a calm to the island contributing perfectly to a relaxed tropical vacation.
The island of Oahu is popular for a reason, but busy seasons can lead to higher costs, traffic, and the lack of parking at popular beaches. Take advantage of the lighter tourist population in April and visit Pearl Harbor and the popular Hanauma Bay for snorkeling where parking can impossible at other times of the year.
If the possibility of rain is a concern for you, remember that rain leads to vibrant green valleys, gushing waterfalls, and fragrant blooming tropical gardens. Check out Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens for an easy walk, lovely picnic, and breathtaking views.
While the weather should be mainly sunny and warm, stay in Waikiki for the best chances of sunshine every day of your trip. Drive to the North Shore for shrimp trucks and beautiful beaches when the surf is the calmest.
Don’t miss heading east to Kailua and Lanikai for sugar white sand and the clearest turquoise water you’ve ever seen!
Sierra Schmidt Free to Travel Mama
Texas Hill Country, Texas
The Texas Hill Country is just a stone’s throw from popular Austin and April is the perfect time to visit. The temperatures are just right to enjoy the outdoors in Texas’ most beautiful stretch of land connecting Austin to San Antonio.
Spring in Texas is filled with wildflowers and is meant to be enjoyed, just before May brings the sweltering summer heat).
The best things to do in the Texas Hill Country include visiting the many wineries in Fredericksburg, eating the best Texas BBQ in Lockhart, or catching a live band on the back porch in tiny Luckenbach. If you like the outdoors, hiking in April is ideal.
Trek to the top of Enchanted Rock (a giant granite dome in Fredericksburg), one of the quirkiest, classic Hill Country activities. You can even rent a campsite in the park to see the famous Texas night sky.
Whether you’re camping under the stars or glamping in a nice rental home, a spring trip to the rolling hills outside of Austin will be a trip you never forget.
Erin at Sol Salute
Pacific Coast Hwy, California
The drive along the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles is said to be one of the best in the world. We love going on this drive in the spring when the coast blooms with wildflowers and the sweet smell of primroses lighten the humid air. Start your road trip in San Francisco and drive south towards Monterey. On the way, you can go beachcombing at Half Moon Bay and tour the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Have dinner in Monterey and spend the night in the pretty town of Carmel by the Sea.
Next day, explore the beautiful Big Sur region. Highlights include Bixby Creek Bridge, McWay Falls, Pfeiffer Beach, and Point Sur Lighthouse. From many viewpoints along the drive, you can keep an eye out for migrating whales, seals, pelicans, and other wildlife. For your last stop in Big Sur, see the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas. From here you can either drive on straight to Los Angeles or if you have more time, stay the night and explore the vibrant city of Santa Barbara. Whichever option you choose, the drive on the Pacific Coast Hwy is sure to be a memorable one.
Kay of PCH1 Road Trip
Although Washington, D.C. is a wonderful place to visit almost all year long, it is especially popular during the spring, with good reason. Springtime in D.C., and specifically the month of April means the Cherry Blossoms are blooming. Each year, more than 1.5 million people visit the nation’s capital in April to catch peak bloom of the Cherry Blossom trees that line the Tidal Basin and other areas in D.C.
Although it is a popular and therefore overcrowded time to visit, it is definitely still worth it. The blooms vary in color, from white to a spectrum of pinks, and are beautiful even when not quite at peak bloom. The Cherry Blossom Festival also takes place in April every year, although it’s hard to plan it during peak, since that date is unpredictable. The Festival itself includes a Kite Festival, Parade, and Petalpalooza, and is a can’t-miss event when visiting in April. With some planning and a little bit of luck, visiting D.C. in April can be the absolute best time to see the city.
Jordan Cierra Bradford at The Solo Life
Best Places To Travel In April For Families
Alright, if you just have to have that “family fun” place to visit for Spring break, then don’t miss these US travel destinations perfect for families in the Spring.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Visiting the Smoky Mountains and Pigeon Forge in the Spring is great. The Fall crowds are gone, the summer crowds haven’t arrived, and the springtime flowers, festivals, and waterfalls are numerous.
Here are a few things to do in Pigeon Forge in April.
- Rent a Cabin and go hiking during the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park or to a waterfall, like Grotto Falls
- Visit Dollywood’s Festival of Nations
- Stay in one of these great Kid-friendly hotels in Pigeon Forge
- Visit the Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales– Every April and May local musicians and artisans take to the downtown streets on Friday & Saturday evening to share their craft
- Take the kids to the Smoky Mountain Trout Festival- A 2 day tournament to fish for the more 10,000 trout released in the streams of the Smoky Mountains.
Visit our complete guide to things to do in the Smoky Mountains for even more family spring time fun.
New Orleans, Louisiana
If you’re looking to switch things up this year, we highly suggest taking a weekend trip to New Orleans !
There are tons of things to see and do as a family in New Orleans. New Orleans streetcars are the best way to get around to all the main attractions and a super unique experience. Take the streetcar to Mardi Gras World, where you can learn all about the history and planning of the annual event. See the city from the water and take a ride on the Steamboat Natchez, one of the last remaining steamboats in New Orleans.
If you’re looking for a peaceful afternoon away from the hustle and bustle, take a kayak tour. Or check out Jackson Square, home to the St. Louis Cathedral and just a beautiful area to explore.
Hannah & Adam Lukaszewicz @GettingStamped
April is a great time to visit the undisputed theme-park-capital of the world, Orlando Florida; it’s not crazy hot and if the weather takes a rainy turn for the worse there are loads of indoor activities to keep you and the kids happy. Getting there is easy via a shuttle bus from your hotel or your rental car if you’re on a US road trip.
Orlando’s first proper theme-park was established in 1949, a 110-acre alligator (and wildlife) preserve, better known these days as Gatorland, which arguably set a precedent for the more educationally themed parks that followed; Seaworld being the most famous amalgam of nature and entertainment, but also more scientific attractions such as the world-famous Kennedy Space Center and the Orlando Science Center.
Some theme-parks feature a mixture of white-knuckle rides that incorporate both science and nature, Wonderworks is a prime example of the former and Aquatica a perfect example of the latter.
In more recent years Orlando’s established, must-see, theme parks (Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios Florida) have been given a run for their money by the brilliant Legoland, but without doubt, all are definitely worth a visit.
Matt at Go 4 Car Rental
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