Ah, springtime. After months of grey winter blues, hope for better weather springs eternal.
Don’t worry. Your friends here at Proud American Traveler have hand-picked four perfect springtime destinations that will warm your bones, satisfy your stomach and even bring you up close and personal with airborne border-crossing fish.
We’ve even included one out-of-the-way overseas spot you might not have thought of.
A spring getaway can be tricky.
If it is sunshine, blue skies and blooming azaleas you envision, you need to pick your destination carefully. Perhaps no season of the year is as dependent upon geography for good weather as spring.
It’s still snowing in Boston and Kansas City. Pouring rain in Seattle. Minneapolis is digging out from yet another blizzard.
And the Weather Service just issued a Tornado Watch for the Great Plains.
But there are plenty of vacation spots where springtime almost guarantees bright colors, clear skies and Instagram-ready pictures that will make your northern co-workers green with envy.
Here are four favorite spring destinations from the globe-trotting editors at Proud American Traveler.
In spring the desert turns green, the blue sky brightens and the sun reflects off the red cliffs of Northern New Mexico — all under comfortable daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s.
Perfect weather to explore 1,000 year old cave dwellings and petroglyphs at Bandelier National Monument, browse through the ancient markets of Old Santé Fe or hike to the top of Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch for the same spectacular views that inspired Georgia O’Keefe.
Okay, so the Chamber of Commerce prefers the more appealing (and descriptive) name “Emerald Coast”. But no matter whether you prefer the local slang or the Visitors’ Bureau label, springtime is a great time to visit the Gulf Coast beaches of Alabama and Florida.
The coastline from the honky-tonks of Panama City Beach to the historic Civil War-era Fort Morgan at the mouth of Mobile Bay is our pick for the most beautiful stretch of sand in the world. You will never forget your first glimpse of emerald green water lapping gently on white sand that looks AND feels just like sugar.
And if you really want to put the “Redneck” into your American Riviera vacation, don’t miss the opportunity to throw a fish from Florida into Alabama at the infamous 35th Annual Flora-Bama Mullet Toss being held this year the last weekend of April.
TEXAS HILL COUNTRY
The rolling hills west of Austin come alive every spring with a blanket of bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush and primroses, a kaleidoscope of color under the mild springtime Texas sunshine.
It is a perfect day for that favorite Texas pastime — the Hill Country Roadtrip!
Don’t forget to stop for Old World antiques and some homemade Jägerschnitzel in Fredericksburg, which still wears the German heritage of its settlers on its lederhosen sleeves…
…and for brisket and sausage smoked for hours over post oak at the world famous Salt Lick Bar-B-Que in Driftwood…
…and relive Willie & Waylon’s famous song in Luckenbach with a cold Shiner Bock longneck…
…and cap it off with a live show from a Texas legend such as Jerry Jeff Walker, Robert Earl Keen or Two Tons of Steel at Gruene Hall, the oldest dancehall in Texas.
Here’s one you may not have thought of — Sicily, just off the southern boot of Italy!
We wouldn’t recommend northern Italy in spring. It’s still snowing in the Alps. It’s raining in Tuscany. And busloads of tourists are swarming the Vatican.
But on the Mediterranean island of Sicily, the sun is shining on wide open spaces and ancient monuments to the Greek gods.
Come to Sicily for the Arab influenced Italian food and the best preserved Greek temples outside of Greece. One glimpse at the 2500 year old sandstone ruins of Segesta set against the brilliant blue Mediterranean sky nestled on a hill covered in yellow wildflowers and you’ll know why you came to Sicily in springtime.