An authentic adventure in the Far East, a stunning port city that caters to wine lovers, and other destinations that’ll inspire your next trip.
by LINDSAY SILBERMAN MAR 6, 2019
Often, the hardest part about planning a vacation is choosing a spot that satisfies your travel wants and needs. In search of a little inspiration? We’ve got it.
Whether you’re looking to avoid the high season crowds or you want to cash in on the prime weather conditions in an exotic location, we’ve rounded up the 10 wanderlust-worthy vacation ideas to put on your radar for April, from Marrakech to Raleigh and everything in between.
“Marrakech is ideal in April when the weather is perfectly mild,” says Tamara Lohan, the founder of travel club Mr & Mrs Smith. “You might not be the only traveler to opt for an Easter break, but hole-up in El Fenn and you’ll feel as though you’ve truly escaped the busy city, despite being a stone’s throw from the lively Medina.” While you’re in town, pay a visit to Musée Yves Saint Laurent, which opened in October and showcases the late designer’s most influential and personal work. Another suggestion? Take a tour of the city from the seat of a vintage sidecar. Travel companies like Black Tomato and Insiders Experience offers customizable itineraries that give visitors a decidedly unique point of view.
There is arguably no destination more beautiful in the spring than Kyoto. The city’s spectacular cherry blossom season is carefully forecasted each year, and predictions for 2019 suggest that the flowers will arrive on March 23, with the peak viewing taking place from early to mid April. Luckily, that means you still have time to plan a trip. For those who love luxury hotels but still want an authentic local experience, book a room at Hoshinoya Kyoto. The top-rated property promises travelers the experience of a traditional ryokan (Japanese-style inn) with an elegant, five-star twist.
“Porto has all the charms of Lisbon—wine bars, killer seafood, golden rooftops—without the crowds, and April is a great time to visit, before the summer tourism rush,” says Amir Segal, the VP of Global Supply at travel booking app HotelTonight. For a property with waterfront views, check out 1872 River House, and for design lovers, Hotel Teatropromises dramatic décor and a central location.
With temperate weather but thinner crowds and lower prices, March and April are low season in this history-rich city, according HotelTonight. Among the must-do’s for visitors? Take a horse drawn carriage ride, shop the boutiques along Broughton Street, and pop into the Telfair Museum (the oldest public art museum in the Southeast). You’ll also want to indulge in Savannah’s standout food scene with stops at The Olde Pink House (for a traditional experience), Bubba Gumbo’s (for fresh shrimp and oysters), and Leopold’s (for ice cream).
“The charming colonial city in the Yucatan is never overrun with tourists and has a thriving art culture,”says Lohan. “April is a perfect time to visit as it’s just before the sweltering summer heat descends on Mexico. Chable Resort is in the jungle just outside of the city and has an incredible spa; Coqui Coqui Merida is the spot to stay if you want to be in the middle of all of the city action.”
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Though much of Puerto Rico is still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, things in San Juan are back up and running—and the country could use a tourism boost now more than ever. Spend the day relaxing at one of the area’s pristine beaches, then wander the streets of Old San Juan, where colonial architecture and candy-colored buildings reign supreme. Dinner at Marmalade on Fortaleza Street is a must, as is ordering a piña colada just about anywhere—the tropical cocktail is said to have been created in San Juan more than 50 years ago.
“If you want to check a safari off your bucket list, Botswana is the place to go. The country is blessed with some of the most dramatic wilderness areas in Africa,” says Tom Stein, Vice President of American Express Travel. “The best months to visit are from April-October during the dry season because it offers the best game-viewing.” Stein specifically recommends visiting The Moremi Game Reserve, where guests can canoe through the river alongside hippos, lions, elephants and rhinos. “It’s a truly life-changing experience,” he says.
Newport Beach, California
With oceanfront mansions, high-end shopping, laid-back beach bars, and historical cottages, the sophisticated seaside city in Orange Country caters to both yachties and surfers alike. Though the area is pleasant year-round, April is a particularly buzzy time thanks to the Newport Beach Film Festival. Now in its 20th year, the annual event lures more than 50,000 cinephiles to town for eight days of film screenings, premiere parties, and nightly galas, kicking off April 25. Equally buzzy is the newly opened Lido House, a 130 room boutique property that brings a Cape Cod aesthetic to Newport Beach. The hotel is home to Newport Beach’s only rooftop bar, Topside, catering to out-of-towners and locals with champagne pairings and prime waterfront views.
“Typically we think of Greece as a destination for the height of summer, but temperatures really start to rise at the end of April and it’s an ideal time to get to the islands before the masses descend,” suggests Lohan. “Crete has plenty of chic family-friendly hotel options if you’re traveling with children in tow, but Kapsaliana Village is a destination unto itself—quite literally a village comprised of ancient hillside lodgings, a museum, pool, restaurant and its own olive press.”
Raleigh, North Carolina
For a low-key weekend away, head to North Carolina’s capital city. Your itinerary should include a visit to one of the area’s craft breweries (like Trophy Brewing & Tap Room), a meal at Poole’s Downtown Diner, a 1940s-era eatery from James Beard Award-winning chef Ashley Christensen, and a stay at The Umstead, a cozy 150-room hotel with an award-winning spa and art gallery.