Reward yourself for making it through winter with a warm-weather getaway. TravelAwaits writers have been all over the place at different times of the year, so we turned to the experts to tell us where to go in April 2023. Here are their recommendations!
1. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
“You’ll be surprised by how warm — or cool — Baton Rouge is in April.
“Baton Rouge’s oldest neighborhood, historic Spanish Town, is a must-visit. This community has been around longer than the French and English, leaving its mark with pink flamingos and its own Mardi Gras parade. Nearby is the stunning Louisiana State Capitol, with the tallest tower in the United States and a round-about porch on top for a beautiful view of the city and river. Home to a spectacular sprawling live oak tree, the Old State Capitol is a beautiful National Historic Landmark with a free museum. Just keep in mind that it’s closed on Mondays.
“Two plantations, Magnolia Mound Plantation and LSU Rural Life Museum, are well worth a visit. The best part is their presentation of the true story of enslaved people’s experiences in each building. The city has lots of trees, lakes, and scenic running trails, including a few through the LSU campus grounds.” — Ann Bush
Pro Tip: Check out Peggy Cleveland’s article, 8 Fabulous Restaurants To Try In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for delish Bayou eats!
2. Catalina Island, California
“If you’re yearning for an easy-to-access island with year-round temperate weather, look no further than Catalina. April might just be the best time to visit with temperatures that are warm but not hot, setting the scene to enjoy a wide array of outdoor adventures.
“Most visitors depart from Los Angeles or Orange Counties aboard the Catalina Express and arrive 60 to 90 minutes later in the small town of Avalon. Spend time browsing the boutique shops, relax on the beach, or hop on a submarine for an underwater tour of Lover’s Cove.
“If you’re feeling more adventurous, head out to explore Catalina’s wild side. Protected by the Catalina Island Conservancy, 88 percent of the island is undeveloped. Take a 3-hour Eco Tour to learn all about the wildlife on the island and keep your eyes open for bison and island fox. Or hike along the Trans Catalina Trail with Catalina Backcountry.
“While most visitors just spend the day in Catalina, it is really worth an overnight stay. After all the day trippers return home, the island is even more peaceful at night. Grab dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants like Bluewater Avalon and watch the sun set over the harbor.” — Wendy Lee
3. Galveston, Texas
“A majestic fleet of tall sailing ships returns to Galveston April 13–16. Tall Ships® is a fascinating festival featuring family-friendly fun, food, special events, live music, and sailing excursions.
“Rescued from a Greek shipyard and restored, Galveston’s 1877 Elissa is a floating museum that actively sails, welcoming over 40,000 visitors yearly. This National Historic Landmark serves as the official tall ship of Texas.
“Stay at the Grand Galvez hotel and spa, the Queen of the Gulf since 1911, and enjoy fresh Gulf Coast seafood at its Galvez Bar & Grill, plus Sunday brunch. Eat fresh seafood at the historic Gaido’s or any local eateries in the Strand Historic District, including the Black Pearl Oyster Bar or Rudy & Paco Restaurant and Bar.” — Janie H. Pace
4. Gulf Shores, Alabama
“With average highs in the mid-70s and lows in the upper 50s, April weather in Gulf Shores, Alabama, can’t be beaten. Sugar-white sandy beaches and the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico make for a relaxing day of doing nothing. Of course, if you somehow tire of lying on the beach there’s great shopping, excellent seafood, and a myriad of spectacular golf courses at your disposal.
“I recommend taking a cruise with Wild Hearts on their 53-foot catamaran. There are plenty of sailing adventures to choose from, but my favorite is the Dolphins & Angels, available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the spring. On this incredible tour, you’ll witness breathtaking aerial displays performed by the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s precision flying team, during their practice session.” — Tami Brooks
5. Hilton Head, South Carolina
“Hilton Head is a stunning vacation destination island with Atlantic Ocean views. Best known as a golfing destination, Hilton Head also has beautiful beaches and excellent restaurants.
“The average high in April is 76 degrees, perfect for getting in a round of golf with your besties. I love visiting the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse and Museum on the southwest coast. Book a tee time at Sea Pines Resort’s spectacular Harbour Town Golf Links and try to play 18 holes like the pros.
“Take time off the links and score a dayboat ride out to Daufuskie Island. Rent a golf cart and explore the island’s peaceful Lowcountry vibe. Daufuskie was a haven for emancipated slaves who lived in isolation for generations, resulting in the area’s unique African/Creole Gullah culture.
“Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks is hands down the best place to eat. I’m a big fan of small plates and they offer lots of options. I love their oysters Rockefeller, Maryland-style crab cake, and the local fried green tomatoes. It offers a coastal casual vibe with perfectly crafted cuisine.” — Sandi Barrett
6. Huntsville, Alabama
“April is the perfect time to visit Huntsville, Alabama, because winter is gone and the heat of summer has yet to arrive. Plus, Huntsville’s concert calendar is bulging with events. Hunstville aspires to be Music City and various venues ensure that the North Alabama city’s musical aspirations take flight. Don’t limit your preferences to the Von Braun Center’s venues or The Orion Amphitheater. Try these quirky venues, too:
- Have a Huntsville music experience at Lowe Mill, a former 190,000-square-foot textile mill now repurposed into an arts and entertainment district. With 152 studios, seven galleries, and four venues, something is always happening.
- Find a unique instrument at The Cigar Box Guitar Store. Luthier Jeff Mello also creates guitars from other recycled materials like lunchboxes and baseball bats. Learn how to play the instrument on Saturdays. Other classes teach cigar box guitar building. Check out all of the cool classes at Lowe Mill in April.
- Traditional guitars and mandolins are in Tangled Strings Studios’ province. Tangled Strings continues the musical lifecycle in its 105-seat live performance venue.
“Beyond the music, every form of art, including culinary art, lives at Lowe Mill. Try an In-Fidel pizza at the Happy Tummy. It’s a Cuban sandwich turned pizza. The restaurant’s smiling stomach logo makes it a winner before your first bite.” — Roxie Yonkey
7. Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
“No words can describe the beauty of Hawaii’s tropical landscape. It is beyond anything you see in photos; it surpasses stunning. April is a great month to go to Maui, the state’s second most visited island. The average high is 73 degrees, the winter rains have passed, and the large winter waves have calmed.
“Golf at the Ka’anapali Golf Courses in Lahaina promises views you only see on the Golf Channel, and if you love a challenging game, it definitely belongs on your bucket list.
“The courses are just a short walk from some of Lahaina’s best resorts. Stay at Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Molokai, Maui & Lanai Towers. One of my favorite amenities during my stay was a massage in a beachside cabana — dreamy.” — Sandi Barrett
8. Las Vegas, Nevada
“Las Vegas is a fun destination any time of year, but April is one of the best times to visit. The weather is perfect, spring break is usually over, and things seem less busy. We aren’t big gamblers, but we still like to visit Vegas for all the other things to do. High on our list are the nearby parks.
“Valley of Fire State Park is so gorgeous it could pass for a national park, and Red Rock Canyon has excellent hiking trails. Both are less than an hour from The Strip. Speaking of The Strip, I like the vibe downtown better. The casinos are much closer together, so you’re not walking miles to get from one to another, and the minimum bets are less. Then you can Uber to The Strip and check out some celebrity chef restaurants, catch a show, and head back downtown for the night. The Fremont Street Experience downtown is a good time and you can’t beat the people watching.” — SJ Morgensen
“Las Vegas is a great year-round destination, but April is perfect for 80-degree temps and a visit before the days hit over 100. Flying into Las Vegas makes the most sense, but if you are close enough to drive in, I would absolutely add on a visit to Valley of Fire State Park (the oldest in Nevada and second most visited in the country) and the incredible Hoover Dam. Living in nearby Mesquite, I go weekly. I recommend getting off The Strip for fabulous museums and attractions, such as The Mob Museum, Fremont Street Experience, Ethel M Chocolate Factory, and Container Park.
“Stay at Circa Resort for a stellar rooftop pool offering or one of the Station hotel options for the best prices. Dine at Nacho Daddy, Cornish Pasty Co., or Chicago Joe’s. For a splurge, go to Dig This Vegas to operate heavy machinery in the nation’s first heavy equipment playground.” — Melody Pittman
9. Palm Springs, California
“April is a great month to visit Palm Springs, California, when temperatures average around 85 degrees.
“Walk around downtown and you’ll find several museums to visit, boutiques to shop, and dozens of dining options (Sherman’s Deli & Bakery is a must). The Palm Springs Village Fest street fair is held Thursday nights.
“Farther out, you can play one of the famous golf courses, pamper yourself at a spa, hike trails and canyons, visit the zoo or a garden, take in a play or concert, or ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of Mt. San Jacinto.
“The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is held in April in Indio, 25 miles southwest, so expect a bit of traffic on the highways.” — Stan Thomas
10. Roswell, New Mexico
“Best known for its alien and UFO incident, Roswell is an exciting city. Crowds are thick during the summer when temperatures are in the 90s, so April is an optimal time to visit. My husband and I visited about this time last year and the sun’s intensity made the mid-to upper-70s weather feel much warmer.
“Stroll the historic downtown area and take an in-depth look at the iconic stories in the International UFO Museum and Research Center. Venture into the metaphysical, souvenir, and coffee shops. Dive deeper into the alien craze with Roswell UFO Tours and consider driving out to the alleged UFO crash site.
“Cowboy Cafe has an excellent breakfast with chicken fried bacon and gravy. For lunch, try La Gran Victoria’s tasty mole dishes. Sample wine at Pecos Flavors Winery & Bistro, and grab Dunkin’ Donuts from the shop with the little green man out front.” Melody Pittman
11. San Juan, Puerto Rico
“If you’re looking for warm weather in April, head to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico and its capital city, San Juan.
“San Juan is known for its blue cobblestone streets and Spanish colonial forts, but there is more to explore in the city. Consider taking a food tour and learning about the island’s popular dishes. Or head to Casa BACARDÍ and learn about the history of rum and the island’s sugar cane plantations. Want to learn about Puerto Rican art? Head to the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in Santurce and admire the talent of local artists.
“One of our favorite things to do in Old San Juan is simply wander the streets. Start at the fortresses, then walk to Catedral de San Juan Bautista, the oldest church in the U.S. From here, head to La Fortaleza (the governor’s mansion) and Parque de las Palomas to watch and feed the local pigeon population. Be sure to shop at the local stores and grab a paleta (fruit popsicle) if you need to cool down, or a café con leche if you need a pick-me-up.” — Kirsten Maxwell
12. South Padre Island, Texas
“Enjoy sandy beaches, sunshine, and great weather in South Padre Island, Texas’s tropical paradise. With an average of 80 degrees during the day and 72 at night, this Texas Gulf Coast beach town is a much-desired vacation spot in April.
“Miles and miles of beaches offer plenty of public access. Swimming and scouring for seashells is half the fun, but building a sandcastle on the beach is a blast, too. You can even take a lesson on how to build a sandcastle from an expert. If you want to see dolphins, take a cruise out in the morning — as that’s the best time to see them. (Hopefully you’re a morning person!)
“Spring is a great time to visit, before the crowd starts in for the summer, but South Padre Island offers unforgettable experiences and attractions all year long.” — Kim Croisant
13. West Volusia, Florida
“Offering something for everyone, West Volusia makes for the perfect warm weather getaway in April. Stetson Mansion and Henry DeLand House Museum (currently closed for restoration) are great for history lovers. Blue Spring State Park is the place for a boat ride and the possibility of spotting manatees. Hontoon Island State Park also has lots of wildlife.
“Downtown DeLand has an award-winning MainStreet with lots of unique shops and great dining. If you are craving culture, visit DeLand’s murals along the Wings of the West mural trail. Reputed to be haunted, Athens Theatre offers live performances. If you’re into the paranormal, visit Cassadaga, the oldest active spiritualist camp in the country.
“For living history, you can’t beat Barberville. The pioneer settlement hosts a wonderful Spring Frolic festival in April with over 180 musicians playing and singing folk, Celtic, bluegrass, blues, country, and more. Another amazing event in April is the Cracker Day Rodeo.” — Kathleen Walls
14. Lakeland, Florida
“Lakeland, Florida, is a tremendous multi-generational spring break getaway. High temperatures are typically in the low 80s, which is comfortable for outdoor activities.
“For the grandkids, the new Bonnet Springs Park is a fun place to discover the outdoors, but if it rains, you can take shelter in the nature center. The park’s brand-new Florida Children’s Museum is another rainy-day option. The kiddos will love the playground and have a chance to blow off some steam. The Butterfly House and Botanical Gardens are a few of my favorite areas to explore.
“Check into Margaritaville RV Resort and Cabana Cabins in nearby Auburndale. No RV? No problem. The cabins are a roomy option for the entire family. The cabins have a full kitchen, but there are two onsite restaurants and a couple of tiki bars if you’re not in the mood to cook.” — Amy Piper
15. Winter Haven, Florida
“The temperatures during April in Winter Haven, Florida, are perfect for those who want a spring getaway with the grandkids. Mine are ages 4 and 20, so the age disparity makes it difficult to plan something everyone will enjoy. But Winter Haven fits the bill.
“Younger kiddos will be delighted by Peppa Pig Theme Park, and everyone, even the adults, can get into building intricate structures with LEGOs at LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park and Water Park.
“Family members interested in art and architecture will enjoy exploring the buildings and galleries of downtown Winter Haven’s Historic District. Be sure to check out the restored 1925 vintage Ritz Theatre.
“Spring is also a great time to get out on a pontoon boat and explore Winter Haven’s Chain of Lakes with The Living Water Boat Cruises.” — Amy Piper