Spring is upon us, and with it, warm weather, outdoor events, and even more reasons to get out of town.
If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, then April is spring’s true awakening. All month long, the weather continues to get warmer, the sun shines brighter, the grass gets greener, and rain showers usher in some of the most beautiful blooms of the year.
Rising temperatures, frequent showers, and even-more-present sun—a perfect equation that ushers in riots of color in the Skagit Valley of northwestern Washington and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Here, tulips reach their peak, blanketing the fields and meadows with deep shades of yellow, purple, red, and white. A spectacle to behold.
Meanwhile, 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.
Ready to take advantage of the mild weather before the crazy summer crowds and temperatures descend? These are the places to go now.
Arguably, the state’s most beautiful city, San Antonio has much to offer. Fantastic museums, San Antonio River Walk, La Villita, HemisFair Park, Tower of the Americas, El Mercado, King William Historic District, and, of course, The Alamo are but a few of its highlights. And if you like the Alamo, you’ll love the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, a string of several 15th- and 16th-century Spanish missions in and around the city.
Fiesta San Antonio (April 19-29, in 2018) started in 1891 as a one-parade event as a way to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. It has grown into a celebration of San Antonio’s rich and diverse cultures.
A waterfront village in northwestern Washington, La Conner is nestled beside the Swinomish Channel near the mouth of the Skagit River. La Conner is a unique combination of fishing village, artists’ colony, eclectic shops, historic buildings, and tourist destination. Relax by the water, enjoy fine restaurants, browse through unique shops and art galleries, and visit the beautiful tulip fields of Skagit Valley.
Georgia enters the limelight each April when the Masters golf tournament takes over Augusta. The place to be, however, is Savannah, the “hostess city of the South,” whose antebellum homes, mammoth oak trees, horse-drawn carriages, and cobblestone historic district have charmed all who visit.
Located smack-dab in the middle of Hill Country (think: fields of bluebonnets and local wineries), Fredericksburg is a German-influenced town that has maintained its roots. Visit on any given summer afternoon and you’ll find a lively scene of barbecues and beer, singing and dancing.
Located at the heart of Central Kentucky’s famed scenic Bluegrass Region, Lexington is where champion horses are bred, foaled, trained, bought, sold, raced, and retired. It’s where bourbon was born and historic distilleries are still producing America’s only native spirit.
Each April and October, the nation’s best Thoroughbred owners, trainers, and jockeys converge at Keeneland to compete for some of North America’s richest purse money. Other “horsey” things to do include Kentucky Horse Park, horse farm tours, and Old Friends Farm.
Now that Spring Break is over, South Padre Island is a great place for a beach vacation. Access to this narrow spit of land is at Port Isabel, via the Queen Isabella Causeway.
There are more than just beaches to South Padre Island. Besides the beach itself, there’s Schlitterbahn Waterpark, horseback riding among the dunes, bird watching, and off-shore fishing charters. For birders, there’s the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center.
I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.