20 Destinations That Totally Own Spring

20 Destinations That Totally Own Spring

Some countries take spring more serious than others. The Japanese, for example, consider the blooming of the sakura (cherry blossom) a sacred time. There is a blossom report that is even more important than the weather forecast. The beautiful season, which is often seen as a symbol of new beginnings, offers a lot more than pretty flowers. The rising temperatures lure keen explorers to destinations with extreme adventures. As nature comes to life, opportunities for recreational activities such as sailing, hiking, zip lining, camping, and mountain biking become ever more popular.

Twentynine Palms, California

The city in in San Bernardino County will charm you with an abundance of spring wildflowers and Joshua trees. You'll be close to the north entrance of Joshua Tree National Park, an ideal location for nighttime photography, stargazing, and camping under the stars. Don't miss the Wildflower Wanderings on April 8, which is an all-day field class going on a tour through the colorful flowers of a desert spring.

Lisse, Holland

Most people go to see the tulip fields outside Amsterdam, one of the most colorful places on Earth and a "museum" of the most beautiful sights in the entire country. But the "Garden of Europe," or Keukenhof Park, is worth a visit to marvel at stunning tulips and other bulbs. It is one of the most beautiful spring gardens in the world. There are more than 7 million bulbs and around 800 varieties of tulips.

Havana, Cuba

The restrictions on visiting Cuba as a tourist have been loosened, for now, so you can start planning your vacation to explore the beauty that lies in Cuba. Consider staying at the historic – and recently renovated – Hotel Saratoga on the outskirts of Old Havana. Don't miss a chance to enjoy the rooftop pool, from which you can see the entire city and its classic beauty. Havana can be a thrilling spring break destination. Some of the best adventures include zip lining, running the Malecón (Havana's harborside esplanade), and of course, enjoying the bustling nightlife. 

Navy Pier, Chicago

This landmark in Chicago is famous because it's on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The most iconic attraction is the Ferris wheel. Spring is the time to go to enjoy the annual flower and garden show, which lures more than 40,000 garden enthusiasts and newbies every year from across the Midwest. The 2017 show theme is celebrating Chicago's neighborhoods, cultural institutions, urban design innovations, cutting-edge food fusions, and greener living.

Cap Cana, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is always a popular destination, but it's cheaper and less crowded in the spring. Cap Cana is a tropical heaven on the eastern tip of the country, facing the rising sun, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic, and the Mona Passage hugs the shore. This is a great location for people looking to combine adventure and relaxation in one vacation. Golf, fishing, polo, boating, cave expeditions, and eco-tourism are all possibilities

Alishan National Scenic Area, Taiwan

This is where you go to see some of the most stunning cherry blossom displays in the world. The mountain resort and nature preserve is by far one of Taiwan's top attractions. There are many Yoshino and Formosan cherry trees, about 1,000 Yaebenishidare (double-blossom dropping cherry trees). You can also enjoy and explore the surrounding local villages, forests, waterfalls, tea plantations, and hiking trails.

Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

On the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia lies Tofino, a sweet and sleepy surf town that comes alive in the summer, but has its own unique charm all year round. With extensive beaches, waves perfect for surfing and bodysurfing, thick forests great for hiking, and calm waters for kayaking, this is the perfect spot for an active vacation. Tofino is also a great spot for whale watching.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal has one of the best bike sharing programs in the world, so why not make the most of it and explore this beautiful city in an active and adventurous way? Montreal is a city brimming with fine food, contemporary design, and festival after festival, celebrating the city's rich architectural and historical heritage. People interested in fashion will admire the latest collections from the city's reputed designers during Montreal Fashion Week. In May, the metropolis is heaven for culture seekers, especially around Montreal Museum Day.

Douro Valley, Portugal

The Port wine production activities and the unique scenery sculpted by the Douro River and its streams are highpoints for tourists. The valley, which has its own micro-climate, is home to three World Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO. You'll see breathtaking landscapes, beautiful buildings and riverbanks, otherworldly plant life, and stunning green hills covered in almond and olive trees. You can also go canoeing, biking, or birdwatching or take an environmental cruise.

Washington, D.C.

The "nation's greatest springtime celebration" is in the nation's capital. The tradition started in 1912 when the mayor of Tokyo gave 3,000 cherry trees to the U.S. as a sign of friendship. Some of the favorite events during the event are the Blossom Kite Festival and the parade down Constitution Avenue, which also happens to be one of the largest displays in the country. This year's event lasts until April 16.

New York City, New York

The city looks like it comes alive as soon as the snow starts to melt and the temperature is comfortable. Visit the Butterfly Conservatory Exhibit at American Museum of Natural History this spring, one of the museum's most popular annual seasonal exhibitions. Also, see what the fuss around the Top of the Rock Observatory is all about. Other popular activities are going on the Clipper City Tall Ship Sail, having fun at Luna Park at Coney Island, which opens on April 8, and visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for its iconic cherry blossoms. 

Reykjavik, Iceland

This is the time to visit Iceland for more balanced day/night hours, allowing you to see as many attractions for as long as possible. They include waterfalls, volcanoes, the Blue Lagoon, black-sand beaches, glaciers, and the marvelous Northern Lights. You can also see all of that by horse-riding. In fact, the AdventureWomen Iceland Horseback Riding Trip was named a National Geographic Trip of a Lifetime in 2013.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Make the most of all the outdoor adventure opportunities Scottsdale and its nice weather in the spring have to offer. Go on a half-day mountain bike tour through the Sonoran Desert, home to some the Southwest's best mountain-biking trails, or on a kayak ride through the desert's Salt River, a lush oasis surrounded by red cliffs and wondrous wildlife. Perhaps the most famous of all reasons to go now is Major League Baseball's spring training, a tradition for devoted fans since 1947.

Sydney, Australia

It is fall in Australia right now, and the temperatures are around the comfortable-for-everyone 70 F. Go skydiving for an extreme adventure and relax on spectacular beaches in between quests. Locals say April is one of the best times to hit the coastlines. "The air temperature is cooler but the water is still warm, so the difference is minimal and entering the water less of a shock than at other times," a review on TripAdvisor says. Also, try kayaking on Sydney Harbor, go on a bike ride tour, and learn to surf in Manly.

Madrid, Spain

More daylight hours and flowering parks make Madrid the ideal city to visit and wander through in the spring. Easter in Madrid is definitely a good time to come, with moderate temperatures and interesting religious processions to see, according to Go Madrid. Be there on May 15 for the feast day of San Isidro, the patron saint of Madrid, or enjoy interesting Easter (April 17-21) events. A dozen parades fill the streets of central Madrid from Holy Wednesday to Holy Saturday.

Marrakech, Morocco

April brings the spring season as tourists begin to flock to the city along with rising temperatures. Gardens, markets, and city squares become extraordinary works of art in Marrakech. The city that was founded in 1062 A.D. has historical roots that run deep with a patchwork of modern elements thrown in. Stop in to the infamous Jardin Majorelle, don't miss the electric main square – the Djemaa El-Fna – and spend a night out in the Ville Nouvelle. This incredible city is also loved for its food.

Seoul, South Korea

Set between four guardian mountains, Seoul is a soulful city with a pulse that's almost palpable. The city is a round-the-clock wonder, a haven for foodies, and a site full of history and stunning architecture. Visiting the North Korea/ South Korea border, the international port Incheon, or the World Heritage sites at Suwon is well worth the effort.


Monaco, with a population of about 38,000, has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita in the world.  The country always celebrates the arrival of spring with an eclectic program thanks to the Spring Arts Festival, a unique cultural celebration developed around a different central theme each year, according to Visit Monaco. It features music, operas, recitals, concerts, dance, theatre, cinema, and art, with the added attraction of discovering new talents or admiring established artists.

Greek Islands

People flock to Greece in the summer but spring is just as adventurous, with the added bonus of fewer tourists and cheaper prices. Nature is flourishing with exotic flowers and shining waters. Most of the country is mountainous, presenting quite the challenge even for avid hikers. But most of the popular routes are well-maintained. The hiking adventure will take you to the serene realms of Tinos and rocky Amorgos. You'll come across churches, cliff-perched monasteries, and tiny beaten villages.

Vancouver, Canada

Japan has given Vancouver more than 37,000 cherry blossom trees. No wonder the city gets so into the sakura celebration. Visit in time for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival when hundreds of blossoms at a time can be found in different parts of Vancouver and its 50 parks. Two of the favorite spots for pictures are Stanley Park and the Queen Elizabeth public garden.