If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, then April is spring’s true awakening. All month long, the weather continues to get warmer, the sun shines brighter, the grass gets greener, and rain showers, while frequent in some parts of the world, usher in some of the most beautiful blooms of the year.

Spring showers are the least of anyone’s worries in places like Casablanca, Morocco; or Brussels, Belgium, where April drops the least amount of rain all year. However, if it’s the budget you’re worried about, places like Chicago and Copenhagen—two of the most affordable places to travel this month—offer endless opportunities to experience architecture, culture, and art.

Rising temperatures, frequent showers, and even-more-present sun—a perfect equation that ushers in riots of color. Japan, and particularly Kyoto, celebrates the very brief but truly beautiful cherry blossom season in April when, for a mere two weeks, landscapes are aglow in pink. Over in the Netherlands, tulips also reach their peak, blanketing the country’s rolling fields and windmill-dotted meadows with deep shades of yellow, purple, red, and white. Both are spectacle to behold.

There might be no better way to celebrate the season than to take part in some of its most anticipated outdoor events. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Carnival takes over the streets of St. Thomas, where drops in room rates after high season mean great deals to be found while the parades and the parties are still raging. Meanwhile, in mainland America, Georgia gears up for the famed Masters Tournament in golf, drawing fair-weather fans to charming Savannah and its parks filled with oak trees dripping in Spanish moss—ideal for afternoon picnics and leisurely strolls.

Ready to take advantage of the mild weather before the crazy summer crowds and temperatures descend? These are the places to go now. Looking to make plans for January, February, March, or the rest of the year? We’ve got those recommendations too.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Hurricane season aside, there’s no bad time to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands—a Caribbean paradise of white-sand beaches, world-class water sports, beautiful oceanfront hotels, and restaurants doling out all the conch fritters and mojitos you can handle. Peak season is over by April, but that doesn’t mean the party has ended. Carnival takes over the streets of St. Thomas for the month, bringing with it a fun-filled roster of food fairs, boat races, and rollicking parades featuring eye-popping costumes and music. Escape the commotion at Caneel Bay, a blissful wellness retreat tucked away in Virgin Islands National Park. The best part? You don’t even need to bring your passport.


Read more: http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-places-travel-april#st-thomas

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