Jen Juneau
March 16, 2017 8:00 am
HBO/New Line

There are tons of great perks to traveling in April. The weather is generally not scorching hot or freezing cold in most places. It’s not summer break yet for Americans, and it’s a little past spring break for us.

Oh, and it’s right about the time we get our tax refunds too, so might as well treat ourselves to a little R&R, right? The old adage “April showers bring May flowers” — not to mention holiday travel being pretty minimal compared to Thanksgiving and Christmas — could mean lower flight costs across the board.

So where should you jet/sail/cruise/drive off to? We scoured the interwebs looking for the best destinations based on weather, festivities, costs and everything in between to help you nail down the perfect April getaway this year.

Amsterdam

If you’ve ever fancied a trip to the canal-laden city of Amsterdam, April is the perfect time to make that dream a reality. Surprisingly, April is actually the least rainy month of the year, and April 27 is King’s Day, when the Dutch people celebrate the birth of King Willem-Alexander. King’s Day is a huge outdoor extravaganza, complete with all-day flea markets and a toast of Orange Bitter: an orange liqueur that came to be in 1620 to celebrate Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange.

April is also the time of year when Amsterdam’s tulips light up the city during its annual Tulip Festival, which honors the flower’s introduction to Dutch merchants from the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the 17th century.

New Orleans, La.

Sure, the hubbub of Mardi Gras is over, but that’s one of the perks. April is almost better anyway because it’s definitely not cold out, definitely not suffocatingly hot and humid out, and there’s the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

If you’ve never been to Jazz Fest, you’re missing out. Some of the hugest names in music — this year, the insane lineup includes names like Stevie Wonder, Maroon 5, Dave Matthews, Meghan Trainor, and Lorde — paired with the best food and coolest culture in the entire country and laid-back people just there to have a good time, sans the pressure to flash your boobs for beads? Yes, please.

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Before the cruise tourists come pouring into St. Thomas for the summer, April is a great time to visit if you want to party like a local. VI Carnival kicks off at the beginning of the month and runs all the way through to the end, featuring calypso shows, parades, pageants, fireworks, live music, and a food fair. Wild costumes are not only recommended but encouraged. Halloween in April FTW!

And if you get a little bored with the raucous festivities, tranquility isn’t far away. Take a dip in the waters of Magens Bay, a gorgeous white-sand beach on the north part of the island, nestled right in the middle of gorgeous hills.

Walt Disney World (Orlando, Fla.)

Six words: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This annual event actually spans almost three entire months, but April is right in the middle, meaning the initial crowd and the last-minute one will be absent and you’ll have what’s left: low prices and short wait times (compared to other times of the year), pretty flowers, great weather, lots of tasty international food, and multi-day concerts by some of your fave artists.

The Flower & Garden festival tends to be a lot less crowded than fall’s International Food & Wine Festival too, so if you’ve ever wanted to eat and drink your way around the world from the comfort of Disney and not have to elbow your way through too crazy of a stampede, April is a great time to go.

Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Africa

Does your bucket list have “See the Seven Natural Wonders of the World” on it? If so, April is a great time to check one of those off in the form of Victoria Falls, which is situated on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa. Located on the Zambezi River, this stunning, huge waterfall (it’s the largest in the world) is at its peak in April — meaning the falls’ spray rises extremely high, making it visible from miles and miles away and almost impossible to see anything in front of you when you get close.

This might be a trip for the adventuring thrill-seeker, as it’s definitely one of those experiences that makes you feel tiny…in the best, most humbling way possible.

Cairns Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

April falls kind of in the middle as far as rainfall goes in Australia — it’s less rainy than summer months (aka December through February), but also not as dry as June through November. But with this balance comes better prices, which is nothing to sneeze at if you’re having to travel across the globe to get there.

In April, the diving conditions for the Great Barrier Reef are pretty solid. The water is starting to cool down, but not enough to need wetsuits yet, and prices are lower. Cairns itself hosts beautiful temperatures, with average highs around 84 degrees Fahrenheit and lows around 72.

Happy travels!

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