31 Best Places to Travel to in the US in the Spring

Central Park in NYC. Photo courtesy Phillip of centralpark.com

There is nothing like the excitement of Spring — warmer weather, the opening of outdoor cafe’s, the blooming flowers and trees, the return of baseball, the knowledge that this is just the beginning — things are going to get warmer and fun-er as we head into Summer.

It’s a time to get outdoors, travel, and have fun.

An article in the investing magazine Insider Monkey — which appeared on Yahoo Finance on Feb 20, 2024 — listed the best places to travel to in the United States in the Spring.

Their methodology: look at places that:

  1. have pleasant weather,
  2. have outdoor beauty (scenic views and outdoor recreation), and
  3. have floral blooms known to be loved by travelers.

They then took to Reddit to observe how many times people said the place was ideal for a Spring vacation.

This is their list — we have added our own observations to many of the locations, with links to websites for more information, and added all the pictures. We also added a 31st location to their list, found as #1a at the end of the article. So here’s the list:

30. Destin, Florida

Located in the Florida Panhandle by the Gulf of Mexico, known for its pristine white sandy beaches and emerald green waters.

29. Lake Tahoe, California

Features Yosemite National Park with its granite cliffs, waterfalls, sequoia groves, lakes, and diverse wildlife.

28. Kauai, Hawaii

The weather in Hawaii in Spring is comfortably warm with fewer rain showers, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking and beach outings. Also Spring falls within Hawaii’s shoulder seasons, causing fewer crowds and more affordable accommodation rates. Kauai is known for Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast, it is Hawaii’s 4th largest island.

27. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Known for its geothermal wonders, diverse wildlife, and majestic landscapes in the western United States. It actually sprawls across Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

26. Maui, Hawaii

Known for its diverse landscapes, from lush rainforests to stunning beaches. The 2nd largest Hawaiian island. See #28 above which describes Hawaii’s ideal weather and hotel rates in the Spring.

25. Moab, Utah

Near the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. It serves as a hub for mountain bikers riding the vast trail system, including the famous Slickrock Trail. Also draws off-roaders attending the annual Moab Jeep Safari.

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

24. Savannah, Georgia

Ocean-front southern city with beautiful parks, horse-drawn carriages, and antebellum architecture.

23. Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii’s main island — where Honolulu is located. See #28 above which describes Hawaii’s ideal weather and hotel rates in the Spring.

Photo courtesy Rob Perez.

22. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is beautiful and affordable. The town has interesting shops, museums, old buildings, and excellent breweries. Nearby is the incredible Blue Ridge Parkway — you drive in the mountains overlooking the Shenandoah Valley.

View of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

21. Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Florida

Stunning beaches and “unparalleled seashell collecting”. Sanibel has a tranquil atmosphere and quaint charm.

20. Bryce Canyon Country, Utah

In southern Utah, you can visit Bryce Canyon, and also take in “two other National Parks, three State Parks, two scenic byways, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation area, and lots of Dixie National Forest.” Best time to visit this area is in the Spring to avoid crowds.

19. Yosemite National Park, California

In the Spring, roads reopen and trails become accessible after winter closures. The paths are uncrowded. You can view stunning waterfalls at their peak flow. Temperatures are pleasant; wildlife is abundant.

18. Phoenix, Arizona

Camelback Mountain, which offers amazing views, is one of the places people go for spring break in the US. Lots of outdoor activities in Phoenix such as hiking and biking.

17. Hilton Head, South Carolina

Known for its top-notch golf courses, beautiful beaches and charming small-town vibe. Known as a great family destination in the Spring. There are quaint shops in Harbour Town, and great Southern dishes at local restaurants along the beautiful coastline.

16. Palm Springs, California

Desert resort city that used to be a frequent location of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Then gave birth to the stoner rock of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age. Nearby is Palm desert, and the amazing Joshua Tree national park. See our coverage here (for the concerts by Kyuss in the desert) and here (for Joshua Tree).

Palm Springs, California

15. Key Largo, Florida

Amazing Florida retreat at the bottom tip of the keys. Great weather. Great fun. The first new resort constructed in Key Largo in over two decades recently opened: Playa Largo Resort.

14. Cannon Beach, Oregon

Amazing coastal landscape. Prime whale-watching season occurs in the Spring on Cannon Beach — gray whales migrate northward along the coastline, and can be spotted from elevated ocean viewpoints. In April, Tufted Puffins return to nest on Haystack Rock. There are many art and food festivals in the city in the Spring as well.

13. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Great time to explore Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks without the crowds. The area offers vast, unspoiled landscapes, and opportunity for a wide array of outdoor activities from fly fishing to scenic hikes and wildlife sightings. The Lodge at Jackson Hole is a known place to stay.

12. Pella, Iowa

During the first weekend in May, the 3-day annual Tulip Time Festival is held in Pella celebrating Dutch heritage with tulip gardens,  crafts, music, food, Dutch costumes, and parades.

11. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

The amazing Shenandoah Valley starts up by Winchester, Virginia in the Northwestern part of Virginia, and runs 4oo miles southward through the heart of Virginia. To the east are the Blue Ridge mountains; to the west are the Alleghenies. In between is Shenandoah Valley and the Shenandoah River. Campgrounds, fishing, outdoor activities and amazing views — especially if you take the scenic highway — Skyline Drive — which goes up into the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers spectacular views.

10. Park City, Utah

Spring is best time to visit due to “shoulder-season deals, making it more affordable. As the town sheds its Sundance glam, it adopts a laid-back mountain vibe.”

9. Breckenridge, Colorado

Renowned for skiing and has budget-friendly lodging. Some ski runs stay open into Memorial Day. On top of that, melting snow creates amazing rafting trips. Breckenridge’s historic downtown comes alive with live music in the Spring. while Boreas Pass offers panoramic mountain views. Visit nearby towns Alma and Dillon to add a touch of funkiness to your trip.

8. Brockway Mountain, Michigan

Brockway Mountain Drive in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers incredible views in the Spring of Lake Superior and Isle Royale National Park — as winter recedes and the scenic road reopens. Amazing stars at night and you can see the Northern Lights here.

“There are few places darker anywhere in the Midwest”, says an article on DarkSiteFinder.com.

The Milky Way as seen from Brockway Mountain.

7. Texas Hill Country, Texas

Colorful flowers like bluebonnets bloom everywhere in the Spring, especially in Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area. You can explore small towns and natural places like caves and rivers. Also recommended is trying the local wine.

Texas Hill Country

6. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Known for its art scene with outdoor markets that showcase local art talent, including the Northern New Mexico Fine Arts & Crafts Guild. Weekend markets re-open for the Spring. Outdoor activities include birdwatching tours and cycling.

Downtown Sante Fe

5. Antelope Valley, California

Located 80 miles north of Los Angeles near the town of Lancaster. The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve provides amazing location to view the super bloom. You will see expansive patches of vibrant orange amidst the desert landscape — “a mesmerizing sight”.

Antelope Valley, California — with poppy flowers blooming.

4. Chena Hot Springs, Alaska

Located 50 miles north of Fairbanks, it is favored for its amazing natural hot springs and is a favorite place for people from all over the world to see the Northern Lights (aurora borealis). The best time of year to see the aurora at is between late August and early May; the chances are about 70%.

Chena Hot Springs Resort
Northern Lights as seen near Chena, Alaska

3. New Orleans, Louisiana

In the Spring you get festivals such as the French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest. The Jazz Fest runs from April 25 to May 5 in 2024.

Also Spring is more temperate weather wise for New Orleans — versus the hot heat of summer.

2. Coachella Valley, California

Coachella Valley is midway between Los Angeles and San Diego — but inland in the valley of the Mojave desert. Coachella boasts 300 days of sunshine each year, making it one of the sunniest places in the US. The annual Wildflower Festival is held each Spring.

In addition, the music concert Coachella is held in the middle of April each year — this year from Friday, April 12 thru Sunday, April 21, 2024.

Coachella Concert

1. Central Park, New York City

“Rich history and cinematic allure” caused Central Park to be ranked #1. Over 230 movies have been filmed in the park, including such classics as “The Out of Towners” with Jack Lemmon, and Woody Allen’s “Rainy Day in New York”, which we covered in this article. Beware: these days due to the massive illegal immigration, NYC hotels are maxed out and prices have gone thru the roof — a typical hotel stay in NYC that ran $350 a night several years ago now goes for $700 to $1000 a night. But you can stay in Brooklyn, Staten Island, or New Jersey and take public transport into the city.

One Final Location

Again — this is not our list — this is the list put out by Insider Monkey. We have added some of our own observations to the locations, with links, and added all the pictures.

Maybe someday we’ll put out our own list but their’s seems pretty good except for the fact that they obviously weren’t baseball fans — there are no Spring training locations listed sans Phoenix (home camp of Milwaukee Brewers).

So we will add a 31st entry to the list:

1a. Tampa, Florida

Where the NY Yankees play Spring Training. Also a heck of a town for Spring or any time of year.

Here are the locations of each baseball team’s Spring Training home city: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Major_League_Baseball_spring_training_cities

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