Travel

The Best Places to Travel in April

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.

Kyoto, Japan

A 1,000-year-old history. Countless shrines and temples. Geishas strolling down ryokan-lined streets. It’s easy to see why this former imperial capital of Japan was voted the world’s best city in 2015 by Travel + Leisure readers. Kyoto’s romance peaks in April, when the country’s famed cherry blossoms blanket the landscape in pink. The place to stay is Hoshinoya Kyoto, a century-old riverside villa opening this month with not one but two landscaped gardens where one can take in the foliage after a traditional kaiseki meal. For a further retreat into nature, head two hours southeast to the Mie Prefecture, where the minimalist Amanemu, Aman’s new hotel inspired by the classic Japanese onsen experience, looks out over tranquil Ago Bay.

Copenhagen, Denmark

The allure of Hans Christian Andersen town is irresistible from May through October. April, in contrast, marks the tail end of Scandinavia’s brisk spring, making Copenhagen one of the world’s cheapest places to travel this month. Those that take advantage of low-season rates are in for another treat: the seasonal reopening of Tivoli Gardens, one of Europe’s oldest and most charming amusement parks. After a spin on the wooden roller coaster or the Star Flyer, the world’s second-tallest carousel, stop by Kähler i Tivoli for a traditional open-faced sandwich snack.

Bogotá, Colombia

Rain falls often in Bogotá during the summer, and April is no exception. But this Colombian capital offers more than enough shelter in way of its culinary scene, which is currently experiencing something of a renaissance. An increasing food hot spot, Bogotá has everything one needs to embark on a cultural culinary adventure, from empanada stands to ramen bars to burgers to Middle Eastern comfort food at Israeli-born chef Nimi Molad’s Baita. Make your base the Four Seasons Casa Medina, housed in a storied 1940s mansion—and don’t miss the tapas at its glass-roofed courtyard restaurant, Castanyoles.

Even as its winter gusts wind down, Chicago remains one of the most affordable places to travel this month—and the hotel , what with newcomers like the Art Deco-spun Chicago Athletic Association and the enovated Peninsula Chicago becoming destinations in their own right. Outside your digs, all signs point to warmer weather, and in Chicago, there’s plenty to keep you busy: world-class museums, restaurants, a nightlife scene that continuously raises the bar, and—finally—baseball, as both the Cubs and White Sox home openers kick off the season to roaring crowds.

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