Best Spring Vacations
Spring is the ideal time to visit many of the world's most popular vacation destinations. Before the peak summer crowds roll in, travelers can often find pleasant temperatures, fewer tourists and affordable lodging and airfare rates. Based on traveler votes and editor analysis, U.S. News assembled a list of the top escapes for the spring season. Explore the destinations and vote for your favorite spots below.
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Anytime is a good time to visit London, but pleasant spring temps mean exploring outdoor sights like Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens will be that much more enjoyable. To dodge tourist crowds, aim for an early spring visit.
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Pleasant temperatures hovering in the 60s and 70s will allow you to experience the best Spain's capital has to offer, including world-class museums, striking architecture, alfresco dining and vibrant nightlife. You'll also find flight and hotel costs are cheaper than during the peak summer season.
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By mid-spring, Montreal's snow has melted and temperatures hover in the 50s and 60s, making this season the perfect time to stroll through Old Montreal and the Montreal Botanical Gardens. If your trip coincides with a few rainy days, head indoors to see unique sights like the Notre-Dame Basilica and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
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Everyone from thrill-seekers to epicureans will love Sydney. Plus, travelers will enjoy iconic sights like the Sydney Harbor and Opera House. Expect daily highs in the upper 60s to upper 70s (remember: it is autumn in the Southern Hemisphere) and more affordable rates on airfare and hotel rooms.
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Springtime ushers in plenty of tourists, but it's still the best time to visit our nation's capital. While affordable lodging may be hard to find, the many monuments, museums and budding cherry blossom trees are free to enjoy. Temperatures can range from the 50s to the 70s, so bring along a jacket.
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Brussels attracts travelers with its medieval roots, Gothic square and world-renowned Belgian delicacies. Visitors love the photos ops from the Grand-Place and Mini-Europe. But with spring temperatures that range from the upper 30s to the mid-60s, you'll need to pack layers.
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Prime ski conditions may be Jackson Hole's claim to fame, but the spring shoulder season is also an excellent time for other outdoor activities. Horseback riding, fly-fishing and hiking are all traveler favorites here, and animal lovers can see wildlife emerge from hibernation and participate in the annual ElkFest. Another plus: Room rates will be at the year's lowest.
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From Stanley Park to Grouse Mountain, Vancouver's natural attractions are its biggest draws during spring. Plus, travelers can participate in events like the International Dance Festival and the Vancouver International Children's Festival. Spring is also a great time to secure deals on hotels.
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This Portuguese city has something to offer everyone. History buffs will love Lisbon's colonial roots and ornate architecture while culture hounds will appreciate the traditional music, affordable fare and friendly locals, not to mention the decrease in hotel rates and crowd density.
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Sedona's red rocks and colorful desert vegetation are at their most beautiful during spring. The area boasts more than 100 hiking trails, including the popular yet challenging Cathedral Rock Trail. Closer to town, explore the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village or take a self-guided tour along the Verde Valley Wine Trail. Note: This is peak season in Arizona, so make reservations at least a month in advance.
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Although Telluride is best known for its snow-covered slopes, this Colorado town is a hidden gem the rest of the year. Spring offers ideal conditions for kayaking and whitewater rafting on the San Miguel River, as well as fewer travelers at the area's up-and-coming restaurants. Just call ahead to make reservations, as some eateries stay closed until June.
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This year-round destination is at its quietest during spring. Skiers have left the slopes and the summer boating crowd hasn't arrived yet, making it the perfect place to get some peace and quiet. It's also the best time to secure a deal on accommodations, so you'll have more money to spend at luxury boutiques or the Harrah's Casino.
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Spring brings bright, sunny days, and Athenians have yet to flee from imposing summer tourists. You'll find shorter lines at popular sights like the Acropolis and Ancient Agora, but the seaside city does experience winds that the Greeks describe as "having teeth," so pack a jacket.
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Why not skip the crowds of the peak summer season and visit this phenomenal natural wonder in the spring? You'll have easy access to stunning lookout points along the South Rim, plus you should be able to score discounted rates on airfare and lodging.
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After the influx of winter skiers have departed, you'll practically have this quaint Austrian city to yourself – meaning more affordable lodging rates. But keep in mind that temperatures don't rise above 30 degrees, so pack warm clothes.
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A quick road trip from New York City, Boston or Montreal, the Adirondacks are an East Coast hideaway. If you visit in early spring you may still be able to ride the slopes, but keep in mind that some attractions close until summer. By May, temperatures are warm and sights like Whiteface Mountain and Saranac Lake start welcoming hikers, boaters and more.
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While there's no bad time to visit the shores of South Beach, the spring months bring lower rates than the peak winter season. Keep in mind that you may run into college coeds on spring break during the month of March. For a quieter stay, head to North Beach.
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Monaco boasts year-round appeal. But for pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds, come in the spring before visitors arrive for the Grand Prix. Travelers can test Lady Luck at the elegant Monte Carlo Casino, while sun-seekers can relax on Larvotto Beach.
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If you're craving a beach getaway during spring, head for this Gulf Coast barrier island. Visiting in April or May means you'll pay less for accommodations and will have more room to spread out on the white sands made of Appalachian quartz. A consistent traveler favorite, Destin's small-town charm will make you feel right at home.
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