One of my favorite times of the year to travel is April to May. The weather is tolerable, the summer crowds have yet to arrive, and it feels like you have the whole place to yourself. The flights are cheaper (I saw one last week for SFO-CDG for $550 in April!) and the hotels are not impacted.
Checkout 10 destinations for tourist-free spring travel.
1. Lisbon, Portugal
This tops the list as Lisbon always seems to be somewhat quiet, yet April is truly unique. The cafes are filled with locals, and not overpacked with the summer-goers. It’s warm enough to enjoy the days outside and sip on Portuguese wine on the terrace.
Read: All Portugal articles.
2. Annecy, France
Having been in the summer, I surely wish I had gone before the crowds. This magical town in the alps and along a lake is dubbed as the most romantic place in Europe. It has winding streets with canals, and the cuisine is second to none.
Read: Annecy Travel Guide.
3. Vancouver, Canada
With the summer months come the tourists, and often can feel crowded. Come a bit earlier (and bring a jacket in case!) to have cheaper prices and enjoy a city that is not full yet with visitors. The city is full of wonderful surprises like top restaurants, outdoor adventure and more.
Read: The Vancouver City Guide
4. Mexico City, Mexico
A city that knows how to show you a good time is in prime during spring. The sun warms up the days, making it perfect to stroll the neighborhoods and dive into the rich food scene.
Read: The Mexico City Guide
5. Chicago, Illinois
Have you seen the rush of summer here? Often lines can be frustrating, and the summer heat stifling. Come in the spring for a less-crowded experience, where the weather is more mild and there is still plenty to do.
Read: The First-Timer’s Guide to Chicago
6. Florence, Italy
It seems no matter what time of year, Florence is a bustling city. Though before the summer, it quiets down enough to have an intimate experience, without the crowds. Come for a mid-week stay, and enjoy a truly wonderful place.
Read: A Weekend Guide to Florence
7. San Francisco, California
One of my favorite times in San Francisco is around late April. The city has a different tempo and it’s truly enjoyable. The summer fog hasn’t kicked in, and the days are pleasant.
Read: Favorite San Francisco Spots by Neighborhood
8. Tulum Area, Mexico
If you time it right, you can come after the spring break travel and before the summer rush. Head here for crystal clear waters, soft-sand beaches, and historic places.
Read: 10 Best Things to Do in Riviera Maya
9. Montreal, Canada
A lovely city in French Canada, it stores a ton to do in the arts and culture scene. I love coming here for great food, exploring the old quarter, and museum hopping.
Read: How to Spend 48 Hours in Montreal
10. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
A historic, all-American town that brings the best of western lifestyle and great amenities. During the summer it can be busy due to its proximity to Grand Teton National Park, so come before school gets out to beat the crowds.
Read: The Jackson Hole Guide