So much to do, so many places to see, but so little time to do it all. That's where Destination Unknown comes into play. At the beginning of each month, HuffPost Canada Travel will be putting together a list that offers something for everyone — those on a budget, those looking for something unique or those simply looking to get away. Curious? Good. A sense of wanderlust is always healthy. So, without further ado, here's April's Destination Unknown round-up.
April showers bring May flowers but March's departure also means a slew of new destinations to see over the next 30 days. For travellers in need of motivation to see the world after a month of madness, April will not disappoint. Granted, April may lack March's bounty of holidays, but it makes up for it with warm, sunny and genuinely pleasant weather in many parts of the world.
April's also the time for travellers to get the jump on popular destinations before they're swarmed by the summer rush of tourists, making cities in Europe, the U.S. and Asia ripe for the picking — both in terms of bookings and deals. As for those looking for something out of the ordinary, April also has a few surprises in store for the traveller who's just about seen it all. To see April's finest travel offering, check out the slideshow below.
The best place to travel to in April. Slideshow text follows for mobile readers.
When it comes to plants, Amsterdam is synonymous with a particular green plant. But during the month of April, cannabis takes a back seat to tulips, daffodils and hyacinths during the city's Tulip Festival at the Keukenhof Gardens. The festival technically starts in late March and runs till mid-May but April is the best time to see the flowers in full bloom. Travellers looking for something more engaging can get their share of street entertainment during Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) on April 30. The city celebrates the country's Royal family with concerts and dancing during the night and children's activities and street markets the next day. This year's Koninginnedag is also a special one as it marks the abdication of Queen Beatrix and the crowning of the country's new king, Willem-Alexander.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Looking to get your feet wet in Thailand's culture? The Songkran Water Festival is a good place to start — just don't expect your feet to be the only thing wet by the time the three-day festival is done. Think of it as a city-wide water fight where travellers and locals alike arm themselves with buckets, water balloons, hoses and water guns in a free-for-all battle with one objective: leave no person dry. The festival takes place across many cities in Thailand but the one in Chiang Mai is the most feature packed with a mixture of activities like religious sermons and prayers by Buddhist monks, as well as opportunities to splash water on strangers.
For those who like to party without the fear of getting utterly soaked, Spain's Feria de Abril may be a better fit. Better known as the "April Fair", the festival runs for six days on the banks of the Guadalquivir River in Seville, one of Spain's largest provinces. The festival dates back to the 18th century and started as a livestock fair between two councillors in Spain's northern region. The fair's focus on animals is still very much alive in 2013 as horse shows and bull fighting make up the day-time events. Women dress up in vibrant flamenco dresses and men don short jackets and pants akin to that of matador bull fighters as part of tradition. During the night, locals indulge with plenty of tapas and dancing and drinking.
Want to see the cherry blossoms but can't make it to Japan? Well, for a stunning floral experience that's closer to home, Washington D.C.'s National Cherry Blossom Festival is a traveller's best bet. The festival starts in late March but the bulk of the events runs during the first two weeks of April. Aside from the beautiful pink and white blossoms in full view spread across the city's three national parks, there's also a number of family-friendly activities like the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and the Sakura Matsuri, a Japanese street festival with martial arts performances, Japanese cuisine and music.
Las Vegas, Nevada
For travellers looking to leave the kids at home and get away for an adults-only getaway, Sin City has lots to offer in April. For starters, travellers in search for sun and warmth can look forward to average temperatures in the 25°C to 28°C and up to 13 hours of sunshine. The city is also rife with cheap hotel bookings, plenty of casinos, bars, clubs and lounges for some adult-only fun.
Sometimes the most obvious suggestion is one of the best. Simply put, Paris in the springtime is beautiful. It's not as warm as say, Las Vegas, but warm enough that Europe's chilly weather ought to be nothing more than a distant memory. On top of that, the warmer weather marks the return of book vendors along the Seine River and cafe that open their doors so diners can spill onto the sidewalks. It's an experience that marries the best of Parisian travel without the annual influx of tourists found during the summer.
Was there a destination that didn't make this month's list? Let us know in the comment section or on Twitter via @HPCaTravel