If you are a versed traveler, you know very well that spring is one of the best seasons for such activities. Especially if you are looking to stay on budget, most touristy places are off-season, making them cheaper and less crowded. Spring is all about birds chirping, new flowers, warmer temperatures, and travel opportunities. With the U.S. being so full of fantastic budget destinations, picking a place for an early spring vacation will be super easy and fun.
Why Vacation in Spring?
If you have not tried traveling in spring yet, you do not know what you have been missing out on. Most of us tend to travel during the summer because of longer vacation time, but that puts us at risk of unbearable crowds and heat. Whether you want to lounge by the beach for an extended weekend or prefer a nature hike in the mountains, early spring is the time to explore the U.S.
Planning an extended vacation? Pack like it!
Packing can be daunting, especially if your family has more than two members. Remembering everything the kids need, organizing bags—most of us dread it. On top of that, if planning a longer stay, you will probably need more than one bag per person. You might also plan on working while on your long-term vacation, which can additionally complicate things. Try to make lists and prepare a bit ahead of time. Doing so will help you remember everything and stop you from over-packing. Another thing to keep in mind is to check long-term weather forecasts. If you are traveling between seasons, it is essential to have a variety of clothes for all occasions.
From Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, and Newport Beach to Palm Springs, all of these destinations are affordable springtime getaways. The average temperatures will allow you to enjoy the beaches, amusement parks, and hotel pools before the summer heat starts. For an early spring vacation on a budget, avoid peak travel dates like school breaks and music festivals. Here are some Southern California road trip ideas:
- Flower Fields in Carlsbad—The 50-acre waves of blooms during the spring are the season’s highlight
- Santa Monica—family fun at the beach and the Pacific Park amusement park
- Pismo Beach—Dinosaur Caves Park or a horseback ride along the dunes and beach trails
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina
America’s most popular national park, home to a major theme park, and miles of trails and streams. If you enjoy domestic travel and spending time in nature, you will not go wrong with this destination. You can spend an early spring vacation here and go fishing, hiking, and taking scenic drives on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. For an authentic Tennessee music experience, visit Dollywood. Go for thrill rides such as the Wild Eagle and Mystery Mine.
Point Pleasant, New Jersey
The famous boardwalk opens in spring and is the perfect opportunity for a family to visit. Point Pleasant gets super crowded in summer. For those who enjoy being part of a major scene with New Yorkers and Philadelphians who love Jenkinson’s Boardwalk and the beach here—summer is the better option. However, if that is precisely the scene you are trying to avoid—come in early spring. As early as April, the rides are open, cotton candy is everywhere, but the hotel rates just a block from the beach can be as low as a third of the summer price. This awesome budget destination for an early spring vacation is a great choice, especially if you live in one of the neighboring states. Just a car ride away, and voila, it’s vacation time!
Although Hawaii is never really off-season, winter and summer are typically more popular times to visit the islands. Therefore, spring tends to be a cheaper season for Hawaii tourism. The weather between April and June is surprisingly better than in winter. There is less rainfall, and the temperatures are pleasant—from 68 to 86 degrees. During spring, the water temperature is higher, and the waves are calmer. Springtime airfares and hotels are about half the price of summer and winter.
The only difficulty you will face is picking an island for you and your family. Hawaii is the perfect place for those who love the beach, surfing, and exploring the islands’ underwater world. The volcanic wonders of Hawaii are always in season, but visit them in spring to experience events like the Big Island’s Merrie Monarch Festival and the Waikiki Spam Jam.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Early spring weather in Cannon Beach can be quite chilly, but it’s still a great time to visit the beach. You can explore tide pools, watch puffins and other sea birds, or just enjoy watching the waves hit the shore. If you have a dog, you’ll be happy to know that this is a dog-friendly beach, and leashes are not required. Your pet can enjoy playing in the sand just as much as you. Oceanfront lodging is available, and there are also many hotels, vacation rentals, and campsites. The town offers shops, restaurants, spas, and theaters. The area is quite casual, and the scenery makes it an excellent spot for families, couples, and groups.
The nation’s capital seems to offer every attraction for free. Think tours of the Capitol building, countless galleries, and exhibits of the Smithsonian Institution ranging from the National Archives to the Library of Congress. This city offers more cultural attractions for free than anywhere else. Visiting in the spring allows you to enjoy the air and breathtaking cherry blossoms. You cannot miss visits to the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
Measuring approximately 277 river miles in length, this massive canyon in northern Arizona is an awe-inspiring natural wonder. The Grand Canyon has expanded with the help of the Colorado River, and people from all over the world have traveled to enjoy its red and orange splendor. The Grand Canyon is officially designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and welcomes approximately 6 million visitors every year. Now imagine going to this famous site during summer or winter holidays—calling it crowded would be an understatement. For a break from the crowds, make it an early spring vacation. It may not be empty, but it will offer you at least a bit more space to breathe. Enjoy some backwoods camping and hardcore hiking. For an unforgettable view of the canyon, consider going for a helicopter tour.
Chillwall AI are creators of a superhuman concierge helping visitors to discover new travel experiences without searching.
Una Lake is a travel blogger with years of experience in budget traveling around the US. In her free time, she loves to read science fiction and paint.