Travel Here for a Springtime Fling

We reveal the best cities to visit in the spring, including Amsterdam for a spectacular tulip festival  and New Orleans for a well-renowned jazz festival.  

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Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

“For a taste of some serious amore, jet-set to the city of Firenze, where couples canoodle in piazzas, sharing bites of creamy gelato and soaking up the warm sunshine. Stroll across the quaint Ponte Vecchio with your someone special-- perhaps they’ll splurge on a gift from one of the iconic jewelry shops that line the bridge. Single women, beware: As you wander the streets, you’re sure to hear an Italian man call out to you, “Excuse me, I think you dropped something!” When you turn around, concerned and confused, they’ll laugh and say, ‘You dropped my heart!’” -- Allee, Producer 960 1280

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Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica, California

“My favorite thing about spring is the changing of the weather, so I choose to be outside and by the water. My ideal spot for a spring fling would be Santa Monica, CA. I love Santa Monica’s quieter areas, away from the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk area, with lesser-known yet out-of-this-world restaurants that are home to memorable dishes. My first time having barbecued tofu was off the city’s Main Street. The restaurant, located behind a wooden fence, had no name on the front. Ask around. Folks will know!” -- Rani, Managing Producer 960 1280

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Joe's Valley, Utah

Joe's Valley, Utah

“Spring is the perfect time for a climbing adventure in Joe’s Valley, Utah. With ideal springtime temps, this is the best season to enjoy bouldering, camping and other outdoor fun. Located about 2 hours north of Moab, this is one of the world’s premier bouldering destinations, offering hundreds of sandstone boulders for climbers ranging from novice to professional. There is no better place to see the beauty of Southern Utah.” -- Arthur, Video Project Manager 960 1280

Arthur Hsu  

Charleston

Charleston

"Blooming magnolia trees and 75 to 80 degree weather make Charleston a great spring destination. You'll enjoy a mix of lowcountry culture, mouthwatering cuisine and beautiful beaches. And what could feel more like spring than strolling through garden plantations sipping on a sweet tea cocktail? It seems we aren't the only ones who have this Southern belle on our radar lately. Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards just named Charleston the 'No.1 City in America.'" -- Kathleen, Producer 960 1280

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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

“When picking my perfect spring fling, my choice would have to be a road trip to Myrtle Beach. With over 100 courses, this stretch of coastal South Carolina is one of, if not the premier, destination for golf on the East Coast. Grab a few sixers, light up a couple of cigars and hit the links with some of your closest buddies -- it's the ideal mancation spring fling.” -- Ben, Producer 960 1280

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Paris

Paris

"I never knew the charm of spring … till April in Paris." American songwriter Vernon Duke's famous lyrics about the City of Light are so true. Paris' charm lies in its beautiful gardens, like the Jardin des Tuileries, where it's not uncommon to see couples and a group of good friends lying on the grass, chatting, sipping wine and snacking on a fresh baguette and cheese. Take a stroll by the Seine, visit the open-air market on Rue Montorgueil or people watch outside a café in Le Marais. Romance and a fun adventure are always around the corner no matter where you are in this historic city." -- Kwin, Managing Producer 960 1280

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Washington, DC

Washington, DC

“Spring is a great time to visit DC’s National Mall. Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the Tidal Basin, the reservoir bordered by thousands of cherry blossoms in full bloom this time of year. Also, be sure not to miss the Tulip Library on the north side of the basin, where you’ll find nearly 100 varieties of tulips. And come nighttime, stop by the World War II Memorial, where you can sit by the edge of the cascading fountain at its center, resting your head on the shoulder of your evening date … who may just turn into more than a spring fling.” -- Lisa, Producer 960 1280

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San Francisco

San Francisco

"My latest spring fling took me to San Francisco -- a city ideal for any gastronomically-inclined couple, thanks to its plethora of great dinner date spots. From the hole-in-the-wall Ramen Underground to the farm-to-table-fresh Super Duper Burger, you'll indulge in basically the best food ever. After stopping for tea and cookies at the picturesque Japanese Tea Garden and a scoop of "Chocolate Smoked Sea Salt" ice cream at Humphry Slocombe, go for a bike ride down the Embarcadero or head back across the Golden Gate Bridge for a hike through the Marin Headlands to work off your week of foodie fun." -- Amanda, Producer 960 1280

Amanda DiGiondomenico  

Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

"I've heralded Charlottesville's charms before, but hear me out on why this college town is the perfect springtime getaway. Starting in April, you can catch the free concert series, Fridays After Five, and then dine alfresco on the Historic Downtown Mall. Round out the weekend with a bagel at Bodo's, a historic tour of Monticello and a drink on the patio of Blue Mountain Brewery or glass of wine at King Family Vineyards, with the Blue Ridge Mountains just beyond." - Sara, Producer 960 1280

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Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis

From its summer music fest to its holiday flower and train shows, the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis hosts many annual events. But the garden easily stands on its own, with 79 acres of beautiful displays that include a 14-acre Japanese garden, garden founder Henry Shaw's original 1850 estate home, and one of the world's largest collections of rare and endangered orchids. 960 1280

Missouri Botanical Garden  

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA

Southern charm abounds at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA. Its stunning classical domed conservatory houses an orchid collection, as well as an annual butterfly exhibit (Memorial Day weekend through mid-October). A giant accessible tree house is part of the garden’s interactive children’s area. And in the winter, the garden dazzles with an annual display of more than half a million lights. 960 1280

Don Williamson Photography  

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus, OH

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus, OH

Large greenhouses make visiting Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, OH, easy year-round. The conservatory houses more than 400 species of plants in environments that include desert and rain-forest habitats. Seasonal displays of blooms, from colorful bulbs to varieties of conifers and grasses, span the outdoor gardens. There is also a unique glassblowing pavilion for demos and classes. 960 1280

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens  

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix

You’ll quickly dispel any notion of a lifeless and colorless desert landscape when visiting the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. With a distinct mission of focusing solely on desert plants, the garden’s 145 acres showcase more than 50,000 plants, including a unique collection of cacti. The garden is great to explore year-round, but spring is especially popular for the annual butterfly exhibit and wildflower blooms. 960 1280

Desert Botanical Garden  

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, Albuquerque, NM

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, Albuquerque, NM

Located in Albuquerque, NM, on the banks of the Rio Grande, the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden has 36 acres of gardens to explore along more than 1 1/2 miles of paths. Two popular exhibits are the Japanese garden, which was designed by noted landscape architect Toru Tanaka, and the children’s garden, which is guarded by a 14-foot topiary dragon. The BioPark also includes a zoo and aquarium. 960 1280

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden  

United States Botanic Garden, Washington, DC

United States Botanic Garden, Washington, DC

One of the oldest botanical gardens in North America, the United States Botanic Garden was established by Congress in 1820. Located adjacent to the Capitol, this small garden packs a big punch. A conservatory and 2 outdoor areas display a collection of some 65,000 plants, including rare finds such as ferns that date nearly as far back as the garden’s founding. Like at the nearby Smithsonian museums, admission is free. 960 1280

United States Botanic Garden  

San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco

San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco

It’s all about the San Francisco Botanical Garden's magnolias from mid-January through March. During this time, nearly 100 rare magnolias erupt in vibrant pink and white flowers. If you miss the magnolias, you can still feast your eyes on a towering redwood grove and rare cloud forest plants. The garden is located in Golden Gate Park, which is also home to a Japanese garden and flower conservatory. 960 1280

FarOutFlora, flickr   

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta

Take a 600-foot-long canopy walk among the branches of oaks, hickories and poplars while looking down on native azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, perennials and bulbs. That’s just one of the fantastic ways to experience the Atlanta Botanical Garden. There is also an orchid center, which has the largest collection of orchid species on permanent display in the US; a garden pond filled with aquatic plants; and a children’s garden with fountains, sculptures and fun exhibits on botany and ecology. 960 1280

Deborah Dimond, flickr  

New York Botanical Garden, New York City

New York Botanical Garden, New York City

You’ll find this 250-acre oasis in the middle of the Big Apple. The New York Botanical Garden's historic, Victorian-style glass house provides a world tour of 11 distinct plant habitats, including a tropical rain forest and desert environments of the Americas and Africa. Two of the garden’s major events are its spring orchid exhibit and its winter train show. 960 1280

Lorraine Boogich/ iStock/ Getty Images  

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

Spanning 26 gardens and 4 natural areas, the Chicago Botanic Garden draws about a million people annually. At nearly 400 acres, it is one of the largest botanical gardens in the US. And its collection of 185 bonsai is one of the best public displays of the miniature masterpieces, with works by bonsai master Susumu Nakamura. Considered a living museum, the garden also does groundbreaking plant conservation research. 960 1280

Dawn Demaske/ iStock/ Getty Images  

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, FL

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, FL

Southern Florida’s climate makes for year-round growing at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden near Miami. Among its gems are rare exotic fruit species, including mangosteens, cacao and vanilla orchids. The 83-acre garden also has a butterfly conservatory that showcases almost 3,000 exotic butterflies. Visitors can watch them hatch and be released into the conservatory. 960 1280

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden  

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas

Dallas is known as the city that does it big, and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden doesn’t hold back. Its spring flower fest is the largest in the Southwest, featuring more than 500,000 blooms, and in the fall, the garden becomes a pumpkin village, with over 50,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. The 8-acre children’s area includes more than 150 interactive games and a 20-foot-high waterfall. 960 1280

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden  

Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Travel back to the 16th century at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. This annual fest in Waxahachie, TX, kicks off the first weekend in April, drawing crowds upwards of 200,000 to view some 200 performances, like this round of jousting and horsemanship. See more ideas for where to travel in April. 960 1280

Scarborough Renaissance Festival   

The Final Four Championship

The Final Four Championship

See the best in college basketball face-off on the court at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Hundreds of spectators will converge on the stadium to watch the Final Four Championship. Who will be crowned 2015’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Champs? 960 1280

Raleigh News & Observer/Tribune News Service/Getty Images  

Earth Day at Yosemite

Earth Day at Yosemite

Celebrate Earth Day in one of America’s most treasured national parks. Timed in conjunction with National Park Week, Yosemite celebrates the planet’s big day with bike rides, junior ranger day walks, and even an Earth Day cake and lemonade, yum! 960 1280

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King’s Day in Amsterdam

King’s Day in Amsterdam

Enjoy a ride along Amsterdam’s canals, and don your brightest orange, for the Netherlands’ annual King’s Day. The national holiday celebrates the Dutch royal house (and current King Willem-Alexander) with plenty of “orange madness,” in keeping with the Dutch national colors. 960 1280

passer-by, flickr  

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Show your Boston pride, and find something for everyone to enjoy. The annual Boston Marathon kicks off with a fitness expo featuring more than 200 exhibitors, followed by a 5K set to draw an estimated 10,000 participants as well as a relay challenge -- all topped by the grand celebration of city spirit on Patriot’s Day. 960 1280

Reuters  

Masters Golf Tournament

Masters Golf Tournament

Tee up for the granddaddy of all golf tournaments. The 78th Masters Tournament kicks off the first of 4 major championships, with plenty of betting odds. Will Tiger Woods beat out Rory McIlroy for the green jacket? Head to Augusta, GA the first week in April to find out! 960 1280

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Coachella

Coachella

Get your music fill at the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The annual 2-weekend, 3-day fest kicks off in Indio, CA, with more than 150 performances set for 2014. OutKast, Muse and Arcade Fire headline this year’s show. 960 1280

Reuters  

Alaska's Arctic Man

Alaska's Arctic Man

Go fast, or go home! Prepare for the ultimate adrenaline rush at Alaska’s Arctic Man -- one of the world's toughest downhill ski races, and an exciting snowmobile race, all in one. Skiers begin at a summit elevation of 5,800 feet and drop 1,700 feet to the bottom of a narrow canyon where they’re met by their snowmobiling partner. 960 1280

  

Annular Solar Eclipse

Annular Solar Eclipse

Get out some cool solar shades, and head to the Land Down Under for an unforgettable show: In late April, the Moon passes between the Earth and the sun, creating a sight you don’t see every day. View the solar eclipse across Australia, in between checking out these equally exceptional Australia world heritage sites. 960 1280

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New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Love jazz? Join fellow music lovers at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Held every year since 1970, the annual Jazz Fest, as it’s called, showcases nearly every music genre, from blues to R&B, and everything else in between. It’s all performed across 12 stages during the last weekend in April. 960 1280

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Redneck Yacht Club

Redneck Yacht Club

Wanna channel your inner redneck? Head to Daytona, FL, for the Redneck Yacht Club’s downhome, rowdy roundup of fun: The Daytona Tune-Up Jeep and ATV Weekend features obstacle courses, mud holes and winding trails and hills, and, for the kids, an ATV challenge track, across hundreds of acres of trails. 960 1280

  

Marriott's Aruba Surf Club

Marriott's Aruba Surf Club

There are few hotels this nice on Aruba, with immaculate rooms, a large beach with water sports and a modern fitness center. And the Surf Club has family-style figured out: ping pong tables by the pool, a Nintendo Wii lounge for teens and a Lazy River -- a long, slow-flowing pool that carries rafters from one side of the property to the other.

See Hotel Review.
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Marriott International, Inc.  

Majestic Elegance Punta Cana

Majestic Elegance Punta Cana

Opened in late 2008, the 600-room Majestic is newer, cleaner, and more modern than most all-inclusives on the island. Its giant pool, soft-sand beach, great beds, nightly entertainment, and fun kids’ club make it a popular choice among families on spring break.

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Oyster  

Argonaut Hotel

Argonaut Hotel

This nautical-themed hotel is whimsical yet elegant, with well-kept guest rooms, a restaurant that serves delicious fare and a free nightly wine reception. The hotel sits along Fisherman's Wharf, the city's family-friendly stretch of waterfront with a trolley-car terminus, the ferry to Alcatraz and plenty of shops and restaurants.

See Hotel Review.  
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Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group  

Atlantis Paradise Island Resort

Atlantis Paradise Island Resort

Brimming with activities for kids and teens, Atlantis is a true Caribbean playground. The resort has 11 spectacular pools (including several kids' pools), a 141-acre water park, a speedway for racing remote-control cars, a rock-climbing wall and a marine habitat with sharks, stingrays and dolphins -- and that's just the beginning.

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Atlantis, Kerzner  

Dreams Punta Cana Resort

Dreams Punta Cana Resort

A megaresort with uniquely attentive service, Dreams Punta Cana will appeal to kids and adults alike: The Explorers' club offers a full schedule of activities for young children (like nature tours), and teens will love organized sporting events and the teen disco at night. A huge pool and a name-brand liquor for adults' is a really great deal.

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AM Resorts  

Hilton Hawaiian Village

Hilton Hawaiian Village

The largest resort in Hawaii, the amenity-packed Hilton Hawaiian Village has more to offer families than any other property in Hawaii: 5 pools; tons of animals on the grounds, including parrots and penguins; and calm, coral-reef-protected waters at the beach. Thanks to the Penguin Club, which plans field trips and activities for kids, you can relax sans kiddies.

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Hilton Worldwide  

Hotel Casa Del Mar

Hotel Casa Del Mar

One of Los Angeles' only hotels directly on the sand, the beautiful Casa del Mar is home to spacious, luxurious guest rooms, a classy pool overlooking the ocean and an excellent spa, gym, and seafood restaurant. If that isn't enough, the amusement-filled Santa Monica pier is just a 15-minute walk away, and a 22-mile bike path passes by the hotel.

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The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.  

Loews Miami Beach Hotel

Loews Miami Beach Hotel

In a central part of South Beach and directly on the beach, the extravagant Loews boasts one of the area's biggest, best pools and a popular sushi spot as well as six other restaurants and lounges. Families will love it here: Enthusiastic counselors host beach tours and Nintendo Wii competitions at the Kids Camp, the Toy Library loans out beach shovels, and the hotel can even send DVDs and PlayStation games up to your room.

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Lowes Hotels Resorts  

Rose Hall Resort and Spa

Rose Hall Resort and Spa

One of Jamaica's best hotels, Rose Hall's modern features, professional service and huge on-site water park make this relaxed, beachside golf resort popular with families. The waterslides, waterfalls and swinging bridges of the Sugar Mill Falls water park are bound to be a hit with the kids, but a high-tech gym, a quality spa and 6 tennis courts make Rose Hall popular with parents, too.

See Hotel Review.
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Hilton Worldwide  

Trump International Beach Resort

Trump International Beach Resort

The centerpiece of this beachside hotel may be its grotto-style pool, but the accommodating, genuine service truly adds to a stay here. And families will feel right at home: The large, family-size rooms all have kitchenettes, and many suites also include washer/dryers. Plus, unlike at other Miami hotels, the Kids Club at the Trump is free. Fees apply for meals and some art projects.

See Hotel Review.
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Trump International Beach Resort  

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