It’s April. Let’s go somewhere!
There is so much talk about eating seasonally. Why not take that same approach to travel? Just like tomatoes taste better in August, destinations simply shine certain times of the year. And it’s not always the places you think! I love to take advantage of great weather and events, all while trying to avoid crazy crowds (and the price hikes that go with them!). With that in mind, here’s a few destinations you should consider right now.
Welcome to the heart of Cajun Country. It’s a place where you’re never far from a good dance, fantastic live music, great food and one of America’s best-preserved and most unique cultures. Cajun Country clearly moves to its own beat. Here, hospitality isn’t a travel buzzword, but a way of life.
Why go now? The weather! It’s perfect in the spring– warm, but not oppressively humid. It’s also prime crawfish season. Need I say more?
What to eat: Those crawfish aren’t going to eat themselves! Visit Dwight’s Restaurant for an excellent crawfish boil.
Where to mingle with the locals: Every April, Lafayette hosts the Festival International de Louisiane, the largest non-ticketed outdoor Francophone festival in the country. Bands from over 20 countries play this iconic festival, now in its 33rd year.
Where to stay: Book at Mrs. Rose’s Bed and Breakfast, where you not only eat crawfish, but fish for them yourself.
No one really wants a crummy T-shirt: I love bringing home a little something from a trip, and finding a one-of-a-kind piece is way more memorable than a shot glass or T-shirt. Check Sans Souci Fine Crafts Gallery for something locally made.
Fresh air alert! Lafayette’s Lake Martin is home to a swampy ecosystem that supports water birds, native plants and gators. Explore via kayak, canoe or on foot.
Intrigued? Read about my favorite places in Lafayette here.
I love the coast of Maine. The ice cream is creamier, the beaches more Idyllic, and the locals have a salty-but-heartfelt demeanor. It also has a food scene that goes beyond boiled lobster and popcorn shrimp. However, once school lets out it becomes busy! Even though there’s always room for your blanket on the beach, the time between April to June is a perfect, crowd-free time to go.
Why go now? Long walks on the beach (while cozied up in a sweater). Warm locals. Less crowds.
What to eat: Lobster is the obvious answer, but you’d be a fool to skip Flo’s Hotdogs.
Where to stay:Book at the Cottages at Cabot Cove and act out your own Beach House in Maine fantasies. Located nearby (& charming) Kennebunkport.
Fresh air alert! April means the start of whale watching season. Learn more here.
Here’s a few more of my springtime favorites in Maine.
Baltimore is more than a city. It’s a tapestry of tight neighborhoods, giving travelers an exceptional diversity of experiences. This city boasts resilience and a DIY spirit that’s infectious. Yes, Baltimore has overcome incredible challenges, but what should be more well-known and revered is its place in American history, and its unique brand of easy going urban hospitality.
Why go now? Baltimore is a lovely, walkable city that is a bit under the radar. There’s tons of history here, and if you go in April, you’ll wedge your trip between spring break and summer, thus missing prime travel season.
What to eat: Hello, soul food! Visit Ida B’s Table for chef David Thomas’ beautiful, modern interpretations of dishes like fried chicken, po’ boys and more.
Where to mingle with the locals: The Columbia Festival of the Arts! Just a few miles southwest of Baltimore, you’ll find this annual celebration of the arts and entertainment. The festivals kicks off April 8 and ends on the 24th.
Where to stay: The Sagamore Pendry Baltimore is certainly a splurge, but puts you in the center of it all– walking distance to Fells Point, South Broadway and right on the river. You can walk everywhere! Think of what you’ll save on Ubers.
Souvenirs with a story: The creative spirit is alive and thriving in Charm City. Why not bring a piece of that home? Check out Made in Baltimore, a network showcasing local artists and entrepreneurs.
Fresh air alert! The Baltimore Orioles have one of the most underrated ballpark in the nation, and there’s roughly a bazillion games every season. Even if you don’t love baseball, it’s a great opportunity to sit outside and drink a beer. See the schedule here.
Are you mentally packing your bags? Me too! Learn more about why I love Baltimore here.
Charleston is a city known for its carriage rides, cobblestone streets and southern charm. It possesses a beauty that makes it a rare jewel, not just in the United States, but the world. This city’s uniqueness comes from its physical beauty, as well as its people – like the Gullah, a people with their own arts, language, and song. Add in great food, music and cocktails best sipped outdoors and it’s easy to fall in love with this town.
Why go now? Sundress in the day, jean jacket at night. More flowers. Less crowds. Brunch al fresco.
What to eat: No shortage of great options– Charleston is truly a gastronomic Mecca. But since you’re here, you have to visit Rodney Scott’s BBQ, the only pitmaster to ever win a James Beard Award.
Attention fellow snoopers! Whenever I see big, beautiful houses, I always wish I could go inside. Say hello to the Festival of Houses and Gardens. From mid-March through mid-April, us regular folks can step inside Charleston’s most opulent homes and gardens.
For more of my favorite Charleston spots, go here!