Category Archives: USA

Travel guides to help you plan your trip to the United States.

1-4 day itineraries and things to do in popular states including New York, Boston, Chicago and Austin.

18 Best Places to Visit in USA in April – Spring Vacation Ideas

Cherry Blossoms at Tidal Basin Washington Monument

Planning a vacation in April? With the long winter finally over, it feels like there are so many choices that narrowing them down seems impossible.

But with Spring Break and long Easter weekends, an April getaway is an absolute must!

Most of us want to flock to sunny and warm places like Southern California or Florida, but others aren’t afraid to wear their winter jacket a little longer and head up to New England.

Whether you’re looking forward to the blooms, small town charm, or just exploring somewhere new; we’ve got the best places to visit in USA in April detailed in this guide that will keep your itinerary full of fun things to do.

As always, we’ve outlined the temperatures in April for each location, the cultural festivals and events taking place, what the prices are compared to summer and why you might want to visit that destination.

Naturally, the Easter weekend will be more expensive than others and some places may close for Easter Sunday, consider this during your April trip planning.

If you’re planning your spring vacation a little earlier, check out our March guide.

Boston Common park garden

Best Places to Visit in the Spring in the USA (April Ideas)

1. Boston, Massachusetts for Baseball and History

Springtime in Boston means one thing – it is officially baseball season & Bostonians take their baseball very seriously so when Fenway Park opens in the beginning of April, Red Sox fans rejoice.

Even if you aren’t into sports, there is still a lot that you’ll want to do on your trip in April, especially if you’re interested in American history, gorgeous parks, and beautiful architecture. 

If you’re looking for Boston nightlife, this guide will help.

April temperatures range from 37°F to 61°F (3°C to 16°C) with chances of rain so pack accordingly.

Hotel savings are around $25 per night compared to summer.

Fenway Park Boston Ticket Stand

Things To Do in Boston in April

  • Freedom Trail- The Freedom Trail is the place to go to learn about the American Revolution; it is full of museums, churches, meeting houses, and burial sites that all tell a part of America’s story. This walking tour will get your started.
  • Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum- For an interactive experience that tells the story of the crucial moment in American history, head to the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum where the whole family can have fun and learn at the same time.
  • Boston Public Garden- The first public botanical garden in the nation, the Boston Public Garden still shows its Victorian roots and is beloved by locals and visitors.
  • North End- Boston’s most vibrant, oldest, and heavily Italian neighborhood, North End is full of pubs, cafes, bakeries, boutiques, iconic architecture, festivals, and more. 
  • Fenway Park Walking Tour – Whether you’re a Red Sox fan or don’t know much about them at all, this guided tour of historic Fenway Park will leave you ready to see the game; get your tickets to the tour here. 
Freedom Trail Walking Tour Boston

2. Lancaster, Pennsylvania for Culture and Hot Air Balloons

Lancaster is an underrated vacation spot that is great for anything from a romantic weekend away to a family-friendly trip.

Step into the simpler life in Amish Country, check out the hottest spots downtown or find adventure for everyone at a theme park.

April temperatures range from 38°F to 67°F (3°C to 19°C) with a chance of rain so pack accordingly.

Some hotels are around $30 cheaper than summer prices but others are similar in price.

Things To Do in Lancaster in April

  • Dutch Wonderland – Dutch Wonderland is a family-friendly theme park filled with magical moments in the rides, attractions, and shows.
  • Tour Amish Country – See a 15-acre working farm and authentic farmhouse that an Amish family once lived in with stops to Amish roadside stands and a visit to an Amish BBQ barn; get your ticket here.
  • Take a Balloon Ride – See Lancaster County from above with The United States Hot Air Balloon Team either during the day or night.
  • Downtown Lancaster- Step away from the simpler ways and go for a drink, grab dinner, see the street murals, visit an art exhibit, go shopping, and more.
  • Strasburg Rail Road – Ride through Lancaster County on America’s oldest operating railroad, Strasburg Rail Road, and see the countryside as you sit back and relax.

3. Washington D.C for Cherry Blossoms and Free Museums

With over 3,000 trees blooming, it’s no surprise that Washington D.C. is one of the best places to visit in the USA in April because of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. 

The city hosts numerous events surrounding the blossoms, and many local restaurants, hotels, and businesses join in on the fun with cherry blossom themed offers.

You could come for a day trip or spend a week, but you’ll never get tired of looking at the magic of the pink and white trees – be sure only to look and not touch; it is against the law to pick them.

April temperatures range from 43°F to 71°F (6°C to 21°C) with a forecast of rainfall so pack accordingly.

There is a slight saving in Washington DC hotels in April compared to the summer months.

Cherry Blossoms at Tidal Basin Washington Monument

Things To Do in Washington DC in April

  • The National Cherry Blossom Festival – There are so many events at the Cherry Blossom Festival like the Parade, Petalpalooza, and the Blossom Kite Festival, but you can hang out at the Tidal Basin to get the best view of the blossoms all season long (Early – Mid April)
  • Cherry Blossom Festival Tour – If you want to see the best photos spots, learn some history and get a bit of exercise in too, take this guided bike tour
  • See the Murals of DC – Take yourself on a walk and see all of the colorful and vibrant murals throughout the city, be sure to include Columbia Heights, Union Market, and U Street.
  • The Smithsonian National Postal Museum – The Smithsonian National Postal Museum is a free museum that showcases America’s history of written communication through stamps and postal artifacts.
  • Recreation Pier at The Wharf – Get a cold drink or something to eat at one of the nearby bars, kick back, relax next to the water, and watch people
Cherry Blossom tree next to US Capitol Building in Washington DC

4. Annapolis, Maryland for Cool Temperatures and Boating Activities

Well known for being one of the prettiest and most charming towns, Maryland’s capital city is full of fun things to do around every corner, many of which are based around Chesapeake Bay.

Hailed as the Sailing Capital of the US, Annapolis is the ideal spot for boating and sailing enthusiasts and holds such much history and artistry.

April weather is usually cool and temperatures range from 43°F to 67°F (9°C to 16°C). It does rain in April so pack accordingly.

There is a slight saving of $15-35 per night for Annapolis hotels in April compared to the summer months.

For more East Coast road trip top spots, read this guide.

Things To Do in Annapolis in April

  • Downtown Annapolis – The romantic downtown area is the perfect mix of old East Coast charm and metropolitan shopping; with antique shops, art galleries, boutiques, and lots of places to eat, you could spend your whole day here. If it rains, which is probable in April, you could hop in and out of shops at Downtown.
  • Go Boating- This city is surrounded by water, so it’s no surprise that it has a rich boating culture; you can charter a private tour, take a cruise, or rent a boat and try your hand at sailing it yourself.
  • The Historic District – Annapolis is one of America’s most historic cities and is even called a “Museum without Walls” because of the sheer amount of 18th-century brick buildings; everywhere you look, there is something to see.
  • Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show – The Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show takes place at City Dock, the most well-known spot in Annapolis, where viewers can see dozens of different boats and can take some lessons as well.
  • The Annapolis Arts District – Full of art galleries, museums, stores, salons, dining, and more, the Annapolis Arts District is full of colorful and lively things to do.
Annapolis, Maryland, USA State House and St. Mary's Church viewed over Annapolis Harbor and Eastport Bridge

5. Williamsburg, Virginia for Adventure Activities and History Buffs

Perhaps the most popular place to relieve America as it once was, Williamsburg is home to Colonial Williamsburg, a fully immersive experience where “the future may learn from the past.”

If you’re searching for a vacation spot for golfers, adventure seekers, and American History lovers, Williamsburg will hit every mark.

Visit during Easter for a a choice of Easter egg scavenger hunts taking place at locations such as Peace Hill Farm, New Quarter Park and Lee Hall Mansion.

April temperatures range from 46°F to 76°F (7°C to 24°C) with a chance of rain so pack accordingly.

April accommodation can save you up to $50 per night compared to summer prices in Williamsburg.

Things to Do in Williamsburg in April

  • Colonial Williamsburg- The largest outdoor museum in America, Colonial Williamsburg is a true chance to step back in time and see life as it once was; visitors can see the public armory, Governor’s palace, the public gardens, and eat in historic taverns.
  • College of William and Mary – The College of William and Mary was built in 1693 and is the second oldest college in America; you can visit the grounds and see where many early U.S. Presidents were educated.
  • Go Golfing – You can golf at many golf courses in Williamsburg, like the 175 acre Colonial Heritage Golf Course, or the traditional Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, or one of the many other choices. 
  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg – Take the whole family out for a day of adventure at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, where you can ride the coasters, play in the water park and see incredible live performances. 
  • Jamestown and American Revolution Museum – Get a one-week unlimited entry ticket to the Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown here.
State Capitol building Williamsburg Virginia red stone with trees

6. Hilton Head, South Carolina for Golf

Any golf enthusiast will have a visit to Hilton Head in April on their bucket list, but there’s actually so much more to see and do once you step off of the green. 

Hilton Head is a feast for the eyes, draped in beauty at every turn; it’s also only 30 miles away from Savannah, making it a perfect spot for a day trip.

Want to see more East Coast beaches? Check this guide out.

April temperatures range from 55°F to 78°F (12°C to 25°C) with a chance of rainfall so pack your waterproofs if golfing.

Things To Do at Hilton Head

  • RBC Heritage golf tournament- The most significant thing happening in April is the PGA’s RBC Heritage golf tournament, which is frequented by golf A-listers of its 50+ year run; you can volunteer or get tickets to attend. (Mid-April)
  • Explore the Bike Trails- With over 65 miles of trails to explore, Hilton Head has been designated a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists; the trails are a great way to explore the island at your own pace.
  • Hit the Beaches – With the weather warming up, the beaches will start seeing some action again; Coligny Beach is by far the most popular spot, while Burkes Beach is a quieter spot with fewer amenities – and fewer people. 
  • Coastal Discovery Museum – The Coastal Discovery Museum is a free museum where visitors of all ages can see the giant oak trees, wander through the butterfly gardens, learn about Hilton Head’s historical figures, and more.
  • Take a Sunset Cruise- Visiting an island is the perfect reason to take a private sunset cruise with your friends and family; kick back and take in the sights for two hours; get your tickets here.

7. Macon, Georgia for Warm Places to Visit in April

So much more than a warm place to visit in April, Macon will envelop you right into their culture as if you’ve lived here all along.

Just an hour south of Atlanta, Macon holds everything from stunning museums and historic landmarks, to local markets where you can truly get a taste of what the town has to offer.

Macon also features in our guide to the best places to visit in the US in March for its cherry blossoms and festival.

April temperatures range from 50°F to 80°F (10°C to 26°C) with a chance of rainfall so pack accordingly.

There is little difference in price for hotels when comparing April with the summer months in Macon.

Things To Do in Macon in April

  • Every April, Fried Works exhibits functional and sculptural pottery featuring different artists each year.
  • Just Tap’d is another popular spring event where craft beer fans sample beer while listening to live music in Downtown Macon.
  • Hay House – In the middle of Macon stands the Hay House, an Italian Renaissance Revival Style historical landmark; you can visit via a guided tour or attend one of the many events hosted there.
  • Tubman Museum – America’s largest museum dedicated to educating people about the art, history and culture of African Americans, the Tubman Museum is a must see.
  • The Grand Opera House-  The Grand Opera House holds over a century of music related history; today you can see films, performances, entertainers, concerts, and more in this stunning building.
  • Visit a Local Market – Macon is home to several markets where you can get fresh, local produce and hand crafted items like Mulberry Street Market, and Wesleyan Market; or head to Smiley’s Flea Market where you can find hidden treasure.
  • Georgia Sports Hall of Fame – One of the largest sports museums in the country, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame is over 43,000 square feet large with over 3,000 artifacts for you to see.
Macon, Georgia buildings and blue skies

8. Delray Beach, Florida for a Beach Vacation

One of the best spring vacations in the US for beachbums, Delray Beach is 50 miles north of Miami and still gives off small-town vibes with fun beach culture.

You’ll come here for the sandy beach, blue skies, and warm temperatures; but you’ll stay for the colorful and lively town and its inhabitants.

April temperatures range from 67°F to 83°F (19°C to 28°C).

Budget travelers can enjoy huge savings booking hotels at Delray Beach in April compared to July.

Some hotels are 50% cheaper during this spring month.

Things To Do at Delray Beach in April

  • Hatsume Fair- The Hatsume Fair transforms the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens into a Japanese Festival with music, food, a costume contest, artisan booths, and more. (Early April)
  • Atlantic Avenue- Delray Beach’s main street, Atlantic Avenue, is the place to go for unique shopping, restaurants, clubs, bars, souvenir shops, and more.
  • The Big Apple Shopping Bazaar & Flea Market – If you want to visit New York but also really want to spend your vacation at the beach, just head to the NYC-themed Big Apple Shopping Bazaar & Flea Market, where you’ll get unique finds at discount prices.
  • Cornell Museum- The Cornell Museum shows “nationally and internationally recognized, contemporary artists who create innovative and provocative works of art” and will captivate you every moment that you’re there.
  • Delray Municipal Beach- You can’t visit Delray and not go to the Delray Municipal Beach; the 1.5 mile beach where visitors spend their time swimming, surfing, volleyball, sailing, wind surfing, or just napping on the sand.
Aerial drone photo of sandy beach and blue ocean at Delray Beach Florida

9. Columbus, Ohio for Springtime Blooms

Sure it might still be a little chilly in Ohio in April, but just grab your scarf and head over to Columbus for a visit anyway. 

See the springtime blooms, relive your college days, or jump into the art scene; Columbus has a lot to offer this spring.

April temperatures range from 39°F to 69°F (4°C to 20°C).

As to be expected, there is a good chance of rainfall so pack comfortable clothing.

Hotel savings are likely when comparing April bookings to summer in Columbus. Some hotels are $70 cheaper per night.

Things To Do in Columbus in April

  • Ohio University – Not only does Ohio University have a fantastic display of Cherry Blossoms, but they also have been voted in the top 15 most beautiful college campuses, so stroll around the grounds with a cup of coffee and see why.
  • Ohioana Book Festival – The Ohioana Book Festival gives book lovers the chance to come together and celebrate what they love most. Readers can speak with authors and attend panels, purchase books, and more. (Late April)
  • German Village – Settled by German Immigrants in the mid 19th century, this historic district is full of historic buildings, coffeehouses, art galleries, and specialty stores and is popular with locals and tourists.
  • Gallery Hop – A beloved Columbus tradition, the Gallery Hop takes place on the first Saturday of the month on the High Street in the Short North Arts District to celebrate art in any form with food, drinks, music, and more.
  • Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – There’s no better place than Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to see the blooms and butterflies. 

10. St. Louis, Missouri for Art, Parks and Cherry Blossoms

On the border of Missouri and Illinois and along the Mississippi River is a city that never gets enough attention and is often overshadowed by nearby Chicago.

St. Louis is full of vibrant and fun things to see and do, with many of them being outdoor activities that let you experience the best of springtime weather and nature, including cherry blossoms!

April temperatures range from 43°F to 72°F (6°C to 22°C). Rainfall is common.

April and July prices are similar for hotel bookings.

Things To Do in St Louis in April

  • The Gateway Arch- The most iconic park of St. Louis, The Gateway Arch, is a top attraction for all visitors; head 63 stories high to see the 30-mile radius view.
  • Forest Park- One of the world’s most beautiful urban parks, Forest Park is 1,300 acres with a golf course, a planetarium, tennis courts, a zoo, art pavilion, history museum, theatre, and more.
  • Take part in the annual Earth Day at Forest Park for food and fun yet educational activities.
  • Citygarden- Right by the Gateway Arch, you’ll find Citygarden, a lush and green space filled with sculptures and art installations where the whole family can play, explore and see cherry blossoms
  • Missouri Botanical Garden- The Missouri Botanical Garden is a year-round top spot to visit. Still, if you go in April, you’ll see the daffodils and tulips and the cherry blossoms in the Japanese Gardens in perfect bloom.
  • Take a Trolley Tour – Take a tour of the city in an authentic trolley to see the top spots like Busch Stadium, The Gateway Arch, Downtown St. Louis, and more while learning all about the history behind it all; get your tickets here. 

11. Nashville, Tennessee for Music, Cherry Blossoms and Wine Festival

Music City is always a top destination year-round; with music, museums, and murals, everyone enjoys their trip to Nashville.

However, if you visit in April, you’ll get the bonus of the amazing Cherry Blossoms in their full bloom and the events that surround them. 

April temperatures range from 47°F to 75°F (8°C to 23°C). Rainfall is common.

Savings on hote prices can be enjoyed in Nashville in April compared to summer. Some hotels are $80 cheaper per night, others are similar in price.

Things To Do in Nashville, Tennessee

  • Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival – The Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the strong bond between Japan and Nashville with thousands of Cherry Blossoms, Japanese-inspired food, kid-friendly activities, plus it has events like a 2.5 mile Cherry Blossom Walk, live Japanese music, a Cosplay contest, and more. (Early April)
  • Mural Walking Tour – Take yourself on a self-guided walking tour to see as many murals as you can; with over 100 in the city, there’s always something to see around the corner.
  • Country Music Hall of Fame – You can’t visit Nashville and not go to the Country Music Hall of Fame; it is one of the world’s largest museums devoted to country music with hundreds of costumes, instruments, cars, and more on display.
  • Nashville Wine & Food Festival- Get the best of the best of what this city has to eat and drink at the Nashville Wine & Food Festival alongside live music, talks, and lots of sampling. (Mid April)
  • Grand Ole Opry- The Grand Ole Opry is a Nashville bucket list item, see a show there to complete your trip; get your ticket here.
Downtown skyline of Nashville, Tennessee

12. Natchez, Mississippi for Spring Pilgrimage

When people think about Colonial American history, they usually flock to Boston or Philadelphia.

Still, Natchez is the oldest post-European settlement on the Mississippi (founded in 1716) and has a whole world of its own to come and see.

Southern Charm is modeled after this town, but it remains largely unknown and untouched by tourists… unless you visit during the Spring Pilgrimage that usually takes place from mid-March to mid-April – you know when it is spring in the USA when it’s time for the Pilgrimage.

April temperatures range from 53°F to 80°F (12°C to 26°C). Rainfall likeliness decreases as the month goes on but it is still advised to pack for wet spells.

There is not much difference in hotel prices in Natchez when comparing April with summer but prices are affordable.

Things To Do in Natchez in April

  • The Spring Pilgrimage – During the Spring Pilgrimage, many Antebellum homes open their doors to visitors and staff in period costumes give tours, tell stories, and invite the guests to step back in time to learn about how life once was.
  • Grand Village of the Natchez Indians – The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians is a 128-acre park with a museum, nature trail, and three prehistoric Native American mounds where visitors can learn about the life of the Natchez Indians from 700-1730.
  • Natchez Bluff Trail – Walk the Natchez Bluff Trail for amazing views of the Mississippi River and learn about the town’s long history through the interpretive panels along the way. 
  • Natchez in Historic Photographs Gallery – With a requested donation of $5, you can see the visual side of Natchez’s history with over 150 years of photographs in the Natchez in Historic Photographs Gallery, showing everything from steamboats to family portraits.
  • Natchez American Museum of History and Culture – Natchez is steeped in African American history and culture. The best place to learn about it is at the Natchez African American Museum of History and Culture.

13. Skagit Valley, Washington for Colorful Tulips

If April showers bring May flowers, something must have gotten crossed in the wires in Skagit; over one million people flock to see the millions of tulips in full bloom each April.

It is much easier (and cheaper) than a trip to Holland and the same – or even better – views of the rainbow of tulips, Skagit Valley is 70 miles north of Seattle, making it one of the top places to travel to the USA in the spring.

If gazing out into endless tulip fields isn’t enough for you, Skagit also has an abundance of festivities orchestrated around the event like a street fair, a gala, kids-geared events, and more, amongst tons of local fun to have as well. 

You may also like our Washington bucket list guide.

April temperatures range from 41°F to 60°F (5°C to 15°C). Rainfall decreases as the month goes on but it is still advised to pack for wet weather.

Things To Do in Skagit in April

  • Skagit Valley Tulip Festival – The height of your visit; includes art shows, a downtown street fair, craft stations for children, and more. (All April)
  • Tour the Show Gardens- Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde are the two main spots for tulip-lovers. RoozenGaarde is the larger of the two; Tulip Town has food & drinks seating areas, trolley rides, and a marketplace; they each charge admission but have free parking.
  • Little Mountain Park – Hike or bike through the 10 miles of forest in Little Mountain Park and see the views at the top from the two observations spots. 
  • Get a Drink – See how the local drinks are made and get a feel for the local culture at the There are plenty of spots to get a drink between the vineyards, brewery, and distillery.
  • Take a Tour – If you’re planning on visiting from Seattle, you can book this tour to see the gardens, get lunch, and enjoy some local wine. 
Yellow Red Purple Tulips Flowers Snow Mountains Skagit Valley Washington.

14. Palm Springs, California for Warm Places to Visit in April

Who doesn’t want to visit Palm Springs in April – or any time of year, for that matter?

Whether you want a USA spring break trip or just a quick weekend getaway, you can’t go wrong. 

This is a place where you can relax in the sun, rock out at a music festival, enjoy the great outdoors and see the stars– literally. 

April temperatures range from 56°F to 89°F (13°C to 31°C).

April and summer prices are similar for accommodation.

Things To Do in Palm Springs in April

  • Coachella – This music and arts festival is world renown; Coachella is the place to be if you want to see the best musical acts and art installations. (Mid-Late April)
  • VillageFest – Every Thursday evening, VillageFest takes over Downtown Palm Springs and turns into a night filled with artists, entertainers, designers, crafters, food and drink, and more.
  • Pioneertown – Take a trip 30 miles north to spend the day at Pioneertown, created in the 1940s as a “Living Breathing Movie Set,” and is now loved by visitors from all over who reminisce in the charm of the Wild West.
  • Palm Springs Stargazing – Have you ever seen the Milky Way? You can with Palm Springs Stargazing, and a whole lot more too!
  • Joshua Tree National Park Van Tour- This driving tour of Joshua Tree National Park will show you all the must-see spots and learn all of the history behind the best national park to visit in April; get your tickets here.
Western style building at Pioneertown California

15. Santa Fe, New Mexico for Easter and Museums

Santa Fe, also known as “The City Different,” is precisely that; a place full of creatives merged with centuries of history right in the middle of some of the most beautiful landscapes you’ll ever see.

This is the place to be if you want to surround yourself with art and culture and people who can’t wait to share it all with you and is one of the best places to visit in the spring in the USA.

April temperatures range from 30°F to 67°F (-1°C to 19°C).

$50 per night savings can be made by booking Santa Fe in April instead of summer.

Things To Do in Santa Fe in April

  • Enjoy Easter weekend at one of the 19 Pueblos in Santa Fe.
  • At the end of April, The Gathering of Nations takes place in Albuquerque, an hour drive from Santa Fe.
  • Meow Wolf – Meow Wolf was founded by Santa Fe artists and is full of immersive and interactive experiences for people of all ages to enjoy.
  • Classes and Workshops – Take a class or join a workshop to harness your creative energy, learn how to cook a new dish, learn wilderness survival skills, and more.
  • Georgia O’Keeffe Museum – Dedicated to the American artist, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum shows over 3,000 items of her artwork and her inspirations and creative process.
  • Museum of Contemporary Native Arts – The only museum in America for “exhibiting, collecting, and interpreting the most progressive work of contemporary Native artists,” the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts has over 9,000 works on display.
  • Architectural Walking Tour & Wine Tasting- See Santa Fe’s Eastside neighborhood, see the classic New Mexican architecture on this tour, & finish off by tasting some locally-made wines; get your tickets here.
Typical architecture of Santa Fe the State Capital of New Mexico USA

16. Muskogee, Oklahoma for Azaleas Bloom

If you want to get away to a town that’s under the radar but is full of history and charm, Muskogee might be your ideal US April getaway spot.

Plus, anyone who enjoys seeing thousands of colorful flowers in bloom has to come to the Azalea Festival, where azaleas, wisteria, tulips, and dogwood fill a 40-acre park. 

April temperatures range from 37°F to 75°F (2.7°C to 23°C).

Hotel prices are similar in spring and summer at Mukogee but they are affordable.

Things To Do in Mukogee in April

  • Azalea Festival- Celebrated all month long, the Azalea Festival in Honor Heights Park attracts worldwide visitors who come to see the 30,000+ azaleas in bloom along with the live entertainment, a parade, a variety of food vendors, and more.
  • USS Batfish- Visitors can go inside and explore the USS Batfish, which once sank three enemy submarines; the WW2 submarine located in Muskogee War Memorial Park. 
  • Roxy Theater – Over 70 years old, the historic Roxy Theater was once just a cinema but now sees everything from local talent to professional touring acts along with showing beloved films.
  • Five Civilized Tribes Museum- Celebrating and preserving the art, culture, and history of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee, and Seminole tribes, the Five Civilized Tribes Museum is housed in the Union Indian Agency Building, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 

17. Burnet, Texas for Bluebonnets

If you want to kayak on the beautiful blue lakes, go cave exploring, and even see a castle, Texas Hill Country is the place!

But if you visit Burnet, Texas, (located 60 miles Northwest of Austin) in April specifically, you’ll see the bright blue rolling fields full of bluebonnets and celebrate them at the Bluebonnet Festival!

You may also like our guide to the best Texas beach towns.

April temperatures range from 53°F to 81°F (11°C to -.5°C).

Prices are similar across the Hill Country in spring and summer.

Things To Do in Burnet in April

  • Bluebonnet Festival – Every second weekend in April, Burnet hosts the Bluebonnet Festival, complete with live music, parades, activities, rides, games, and more.
  • Longhorn Cavern State Park – A great day out for the whole family, the Longhorn Cavern State Park offers three-hour guided cave tours for eight and over participants.
  • Torr Na Lochs Vineyard- Tour the vineyards and have a glass or two at Torr Na Lochs Vineyard while overlooking Inks and Buchanan Lakes 
  • Falkenstein Castle – You don’t have to go to Germany to see a Bavarian castle; Burnet is home to Falkenstein Castle. While you can’t tour the castle, you can book out the six-bedroom castle to stay!
  • Inks Lake State Park – The shining star of the 1,2000-acre Inks Lake State Park is the 803-acre lake where you can kayak, swim, fish, and more year-round, as well as hike, bike, and picnic on land.

18. Big Bend National Park, Texas for a Road Trip

Hike, swim and row over to Mexico at Big Bend National Park in West Texas.

For bluebonnets flowering by the side of the road, make April the month to visit.

April temperatures range from 53°F to 83°F (11°C to 27°C).

Big Bend National Park Road Bluebonnets

Things to do at Big Bend in April

  • Drive with the bluebonnets lining the side of the road.
  • Hike the 201 miles of trails such as Dog Canyon. Remember to start early to avoid the midday sun and pack water.
  • Soak in Boquillas hot spring next to the River Grande, it is free to access and you can park close to the hot spring.
  • Get the boat to Boquillas in Mexico! Dine on Mexican food, drink a cerveza. Remember your passport. Cash only.
  • Canoe through Santa Elena Canyon or stargaze at the black skies while you eating s’mores by the camp fire.
  • Dine at the Starlight Theater at Terlingua, Texas ‘Ghost Town’ on the outskirts of Big Bend.

You may also like our Austin to Big Bend road trip itinerary.

Grande River running through Big Bend National Park Boquillas

Final Thoughts

April is such a great time for a USA vacation, especially if you love seeing the all of the flowers blooming (and who doesn’t love that?!)

With the worst of the winter behind us and the country finally getting to defrost, it means all 50 states can’t wait to welcome you back to show you the best that they have to offer.

From Washington to Florida and anywhere in between, use this guide and you can’t go wrong on this years getaway.

14 Best Places to Visit in USA in May: Mother’s Day, Memorial Parades & Fun Getaways

Dolphins swimming at Monetary Bay in California

Looking for the best places to visit in the USA in May? In this guide, we’ve detailed options for every type of vacation. So whether you want to see springtime in bloom, escape to somewhere warm or to plan the prefect mother/daughter Mother’s Day getaway, let us help you plan your May vacation.

As always, we’ve outlined the temperatures in May for each location, the fun festivals and events taking place, what the prices are compared to summer and why you might want to visit that destination.

The following US destinations offer lots of variety so be sure to tell us in the comments where you choose to visit. We love to hear it! If we’ve missed your favorite spot, do tell us.

If you are still choosing what month to travel in, check out our guide on the best places to visit in the US in April too.

1. Monterey Bay in May for Spring Blooms and Whale Watching

South of San Jose, Monterey Bay is one of the best destinations on California’s central coast in spring. 

May weather is usually cool and dry with temperatures ranging from 49°F to 62°F (9°C to 16°C).

Monetary is celebrated for having 27 species of marine life including dolphins and whales.

May happens to be when whales migrate and travelers can glimpse humpback whales, killer whales, and blue whales making their way through the Bay on a special water tour

This is definitely a California bucket list item you want to experience.

Dolphins swimming at Monetary Bay in California

Nearby Garrapata State Park is full of blooming California poppies, calla lilies, wild irises, and Indian paintbrush flowers.

There’s also Fort Ord where hikers and bikers can discover more than 35 species of rare plants and animals. 

Don’t miss the popular California Roots Music & Arts Festival happens every year during Memorial Day weekend. 

Over the year, Monetary has attracted artists and crafts people so there are many galleries to enjoy all year round.

Foodies will have a great time exploring local restaurants and wineries that have plenty of fresh, local ingredients to offer, including seafood. 

Monterey Bay is one of the most affordable California destinations and the local visitors bureau is a good way to discover discounts. 

Prices for accommodation in May are similar to that in summer.

If you have time and a car, drive the 17 miles to Carmel-by-the-Sea for a scenic route and beaches.

Carmel-by-the-Sea also features in our guide to most romantic places to visit in the US.

Ocean crashes onto cliff rocks in Carmel California

2. Washington D.C in May for Free Events and Memorial Day Parade

While many flock to the nation’s capital city for the cherry blossom festival in March and bloom in April, there is still lots of reasons to visit Washington DC in May.

Washington D.C. usually sees pleasant springtime conditions with temperatures ranging from 54°F to 76°F (12°C to 24°C) and occasional rain.

Take an easy stroll along the Mall to see famous monuments and tranquil reflecting pools, or catch a bus to cover the most ground

If the weather’s rainy, plan to spend the day in some of the best museums the U.S. has to offer including the Smithsonian Museums, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Archives Museum, and the National Gallery of Art. All have free admission. 

The first full weekend of May is when the annual Flower Mart is held at Washington National Cathedral. 

Also, the month-long Passport DC event gives the public a unique chance to explore 70 embassies and attend special cultural performances and festivals. 

United States Capitol building. Washington DC at dusk

If you’re in town on Memorial Day, you can’t miss the National Memorial Day Parade that runs down Constitution Avenue. 

Disappointed you’ve missed the cherry blossoms?

Plan a visit to Washington DC in April for peak blooms or the end of March of the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Washington D.C. is full of great food from the city’s unique half-smoke hotdog to a unique offering of Ethiopian, Vietnamese, and Korean cuisines. 

A trip to Washington D.C. is usually a little pricey, especially in the peak spring and autumn seasons.

Although airfare may be expensive, the city does offer plenty of free events and museums to explore and you will find that accommodation is slightly cheaper in May compared to peak summer months.

Washington Monument on the Reflecting Pool in Washington, DC

3. Louisville, Kentucky in May for Bourbon and Festivals

Louisville, known as Bourbon City, is a historic destination for horse racing fans and cocktail connoisseurs. 

The legendary Kentucky Derby is held in Louisville every May, bringing thousands of spectators to Churchill Downs for the famous horse race. 

May is a wonderful time to explore Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail, a state-wide network of bourbon distilleries that offer tours and tastings. 

You also shouldn’t miss the Urban Bourbon Experience, a city-wide trail through Louisville that’s dotted with micro-distilleries and cocktail bars.

You’ll have plenty of things to do in May besides sip your way through the city. 

The annual Kentucky Derby Festival is a month-long series of events including fireworks, athletic competitions, hot-air balloon rides, bed racing, and outdoor concerts. 

You’ll also have a chance to attend the Kentucky Reggae Festival that features Jamaican music and food. 

Spring is also a great time to visit the Louisville Nature Center, a 41-acre urban forest where you can see blooming flowers and do a little bird watching. 

May temperatures range from 56°F to 78°F (13°C to 26°C) with occasional rain.

Louisville is emerging as a rich culinary city with a few local dishes you should try including a Hot Brown sandwich, spoonbread, Derby-Pie, rolled oysters, and barbecue. 

Travelers can expect higher-than-normal prices in May due to city’s busy calendar of events however some hotels come in around $100 cheaper than July.

4. Mackinac Island, Michigan in May for a Stress-Free Vacation

The scent of lilacs will be in the air as temperatures warm on Mackinac Island in May. 

The charming Michigan island community on Lake Huron is the perfect springtime escape before the busy summer season begins. 

There are no cars allowed on the island, so plan on getting around by foot, bicycle, or horse-drawn carriage. 

Downtown Mackinac is home to a wide range of restaurants and pubs. 

No trip to the island is complete without sampling some of the famous locally-made fudge

Also, make a stop at Doud’s Market, the oldest grocery store in America. 

May temperatures are typically cool, ranging from 41°F to 60°F (5°C to 16°C) with occasional rain. 

Springtime travelers will have a pleasant time taking in the views from historic Fort Mackinac or playing a round of golf at one of the island’s unique courses. 

Most of the island is part of Mackinac Island State Park 

Mackinac Island has options for travelers on almost any budget.

You can find accommodations for less than $100 per night to nearly $5,000. 

A ferryboat to the island is only $30.

Mackinac suspension bridge on clear day in Michigan

5. Southern Utah in May for Outdoor Adventures and Stargazing

Southern Utah is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the U.S., and a handful of national parks. 

Visitors can bounce around between Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches National Parks all located within the Southern Utah region. 

May is usually pleasantly warm and sunny around the region, which is great for camping and outdoor adventures. 

Explore the parks by foot, or take an exciting UTV tour in East Zion

Temperatures range from about 50°F to 80°F (10°C to 27°C).

Spring visitors enjoy fewer crowds and beautiful desert wildflowers throughout the region’s parks. 

May is also the beginning of the best star gazing conditions in the region’s dark sky parks and communities. 

Cedar Breaks National Monument hosts special stargazing events from May through Labor Day.  

The smaller towns in southern Utah offer a surprisingly sophisticated selection of local restaurants. Look for bites in Moab, Kanab, Bluff, St. George, and Cedar City.  

Scenic drive in Zion National Park Utah with blue skies

6. Northeast Georgia in May for Wildflowers and Wine

North Georgia’s mountainous landscape comes alive with lush vegetation and a diverse mix of wildflowers in May.

The region offers opportunities for outdoor adventures, relaxing spa getaways, and even wine lovers. 

Camp on the banks of Lake Lanier or Lake Hartwell and explore nearby waterfalls and small towns. 

Spend a day with your kids and take a ride on Georgia’s Mountain Coaster in downtown Helen. 

Or, sip on local wine in one of the region’s many mountain wineries including Wolf Mountain Vineyards in Dahlonega. 

Take home some of the region’s famous locally made preserves, boiled peanuts and honey from Sunrise Grocery

Blairsville hosts its annual Spring Arts, Crafts & Music Festival over Memorial Day weekend featuring regional art and music. 

With so many opportunities to get outside, a trip to Northeast Georgia can be very affordable. 

Temperatures range from about 53°F to 78°F (11°C to 25°C).

7. Memphis, Tennessee in May for Music Festivals

Memphis is always full of great food and music, but May is when visitors can enjoy the best of what the city has to offer. 

May temperatures range from 62°F to 81°F (16°C to 27°C).

The Memphis in May International Festival is a series of events that drive huge crowds to the region. 

Athletes can run through the city during the Great River Run. 

Foodies can experience the best barbecue at the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in the city that already prides itself on its great barbecue ribs. 

And music lovers can jam out in the birthplace of the Blues at the Beale Street Music Festival. 

While you’re there, try to catch a tour to explore Memphis iconic attractions and experiences.  

Spend some quiet time with the flowers at the Memphis Botanic Garden

Visitors can also take a relaxing stroll through the Victorian Village, a historic neighborhood that was once dubbed Millionaire’s Row for its stunning mansions. 

Prices can get high in May due to the influx of visitors, so plan on booking your trip a few months in advance. 

Memphis Tennessee skyline at dusk

8. Denver, Colorado in May for Live Music and the Rockies in Spring

Springtime in Denver is full of pleasant weather and special events as the city emerges from its cold winter. 

May temperatures range from 45°F to 73°F (7°C to 23°C) with about six days of rain. 

Tourism starts to pick up in May, but crowds and prices are still manageable. 

Spring is a wonderful time to explore the city’s various cultural aspects. 

Hang with the locals at Five Points Jazz Festival that celebrates the neighborhood’s rich jazz history. 

Hundreds of thousands of visitors attend Denver’s annual Cinco de Mayo Festival that features latin food and music. 

Denver is a city surrounded by rich natural beauty, and visitors can easily get out of the city to tour the Rocky Mountains

If it’s raining, spend a day at the Denver Art Museum, exploring local marijuana dispensaries or breweries. 

Catch a show at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Denver Colorado. Red Rocks Amphitheater with blue skies

9. Marfa, Texas in May for Movies

Marfa in West Texas is a unique town where you will find modern art installations by the side of the road and a mix of hip transplants and Hispanic locals.

The town is tiny when it comes to population but offers a lot in the way of galleries and events.

In May, Marfa plays host to a film festival called CineMarfa.

Screenings are free and open to the public.

Temperatures at the start of May see lows of 47°F (8°C) and highs of 88°F (31°C) by the end of the month.

10. Phoenix, Arizona in May for Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

Head to Downtown Phoenix for the longest running event in Arizona’s capital city’ calendar, Cinco de Mayo.

Enjoy dance shows performed by local baile folklórico groups and dine on authentic dishes made by Phoenix’s best food trucks during the festival which highlights the Battle of Puebla and Mexico’s victory of France in 1862.

This is a family-friendly event.

May temperatures range from lows of 65°F to highs of 99°F (18°C to 37°C).

Mother’s Day Getaway Ideas For This May

11. New Orleans for Foodie Moms

New Orleans is a fun trip all year round but May is a good time to visit before the summer temperatures hit.

Expect to wear layers and be prepared for some rainy showers.

Temperatures range from 69 F (18 °C) at the start of the month to 88 F (31 °C) by the end of May.

For breakfast enjoy French beignets at Cafe du Monde, Muffuletta or Po-Boys for lunch and Jambalaya or Gumbo for dinner.

If your mom likes a cocktail, New Orleans is where it’s at.

Go for Hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s, Brandy Milk Punch at Brennan’s Restaurant and if she’s feeling NOLA wild, a Hand Grenade from Topical Isle on Bourbon Street.

White building Saint Louis Cathedral in New Orleans with blue sky

While food and drink is a huge part of the culture in New Orleans, there are plenty of other things to do there to make your mom’s trip special.

Hit the water to listen to jazz on the Steamboat Natchez, learn about voodoo and the darker side of New Orleans during a 2-hour tour or relax in the upmarket Garden District.

Bamboulas New Orleans

12. Niagara Falls for Moms who like Nature

Stay in the quirky city of Buffalo and plan a day trip to the wonder that is Niagara Falls.

During your trip to the falls, be sure to book a boat trip so you can see both the US and Canadian sides.

The tour provider will supply a rain poncho so you can stay somewhat dry from the powerful waterfall spray!

Niagara Falls State Park has a variety of hiking trails and food options such as the Top of The Falls Restaurant.

Buffalo is New York’s second biggest city and home to buffalo wings, local creatives and Letchworth State Park – ‘Grand Canyon of the East’ is located near by.

Alternatively, stay at Niagara Falls.

May temperatures at Niagara range from 43°F to 71°F (6°C to 21°C).

American side of Niagara Falls with water crashing into landscape

13. Biltmore Estate in North Carolina for Moms who like History

Stay at The Inn On Biltmore Estate for European vibes in Asheville, North Carolina.

Explore the 8000-acre estate, gardens and enjoy a 60 minute guided tour which takes visitors to the roof top of this Châteauesque-style mansion.

Relax while taste testing their multi-award-winning wines then relax at your accommodation pool, bar or restaurant.

“America’s Largest Home” was built for George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895 and is now open to the public.

Asheville is a cool city with lots of trendy food and drink options.

May temperatures in Asheville range from 49°F to 77°F (9°C to 25°C).

14. Cape Cod for Moms who like the Ocean

Idyllic Cape Cod in Massachusetts opens up again around May with a busy spell around Memorial Day weekend.

If you Mom likes to be beside the ocean, seafood and small towns then Cape Cod may be the ideal Mother’s Day vacation for you.

Temperatures see lows of 48°F (8°C) and highs of 62°F (16°C).

If you have time you can hop on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard from Falmouth or Nantucket from Hyannis.

Accommodation on Cape Code can be up to 50% cheaper than July prices.

Gay Head Cliffs with blue ocean Marthas Vineyard

10 Best Places to Visit in February in USA: Snow, Sun & Festivals

New Orleans beads on fence, ski boarder and a sunny beach

Sun, ski and seasonal events! If you are looking for the best places to visit in February in the USA this guide details destinations with winter scenes for ski or spas, hot temperature trips for sun worshipers, romantic ideas for Valentine’s Day, and locations with a jam-packed events calendar for those who like to keep busy during their vacation.

We’ve shared things to do, festivals to attend and provided a rough idea of accommodation prices for each destination.

If you prefer to travel on a budget, check out our guide to the cheapest citifies to visit in the US.

Choosing a destination for Valentine’s Day weekend? Here’s our guide to the most romantic places in the US.

Places to Visit in February in US

1. Park City, Utah for Ski & Sundance Film Festival

Park City, Utah is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts, but there’s more to the city than just skiing. 

If you get to town a little early, try to catch the Sundance Film Festival. The famous film event usually falls in late January and early February.

Most people come to Park City, which is a 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City, for the slopes.

In fact, the mountain town hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and still has training facilities for recreational and professional winter athletes. 

In February, expect typical winter weather in Park City. February temperatures range from 15°F to 37°F (-9°C to 3°C).

After a day of skiing or snowboarding, head downtown to warm up and explore the town’s old west roots.

Downtown is full of 19th-century charm from the area’s silver mining history.

Today, Park City boasts a diverse food scene with award-winning restaurants and bars. 

Park City has plenty of options for travelers on almost any budget but you can expect accommodation to be at least double the cost of July.

Dig deep for big snow experiences!

Ski boarder at sunset on snowy mountain

2. Big Sky, Montana for Snow

Big Sky, Montana has more than 5,800 acres of skiable terrain at the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park.

The impressive slopes are why the town is widely considered America’s biggest skiing destination – also making it one of the best places in the U.S. to visit in February. 

But if skiing the Northern Rockies isn’t your thing, travelers can also get outdoors for plenty of other winter activities.

There are options for snowshoeing, ice skating, dog sledding, sleigh rides, ice climbing, snowmobiling, and touring Yellowstone National Park. 

When it’s time to eat, Big Sky travelers have several tasty options to choose from nearby. More dining options are available with a scenic drive to downtown Bozeman, Montana.

Plan on wintery conditions for your Montana trip.

February temperatures range from 9°F to 36°F (-12°C to -2°C).

As with Park City, accommodation prices are 2-3 times more than their July rates.

3. Honolulu, Hawaii for Sun & Nature

Want to escape cold and dreary February weather?

Consider a trip to tropical Honolulu, Hawaii on the island of Oahu.

Honolulu typically has the warmest February temperatures in the U.S., ranging from 65°F to 81°F (18°C to 27°C). The top temperatures are why it’s considered one of the best places in the U.S. to visit in February.

Hawaii’s humpback whale season peaks in February, giving whale watchers a great excuse to spend time on the water.

Plus, travelers can catch a festival to celebrate the whales’ arrival to the islands, like the Maui Whale Festival

Whether you’re spending the day on Waikiki Beach, surfing the waves, or touring the islands by boat, there’s plenty of warm weather fun to look forward to. 

Foodies will have a fantastic time exploring the island.

Oahu is home to some of the best chefs in the world specializing in different cuisines featuring fresh produce.

For cheaper options, try one of the many food trucks or small neighborhood eateries.

There isn’t much difference in cost for accommodation for Honolulu in February, July and September.

Honolulu also features in our warm places to visit in December and festive lights top locations.

Blue ocean, sandy beach and cliffs of Hanauma Bay, Oahu in Hawaii

4. San Antonio, Texas for Food & Festivals

The historic city of San Antonio is known as a modern city that fully embraces its diverse Spanish culture.

Travelers can explore San Antonio’s famous River Walk, stop by the historic Alamo, admire beautiful southwest scenery, and catch a concert at one of the many local entertainment venues.  

Desirable temperatures and a full calendar of events make February the best time to visit the old west town.

San Antonio’s February weather tends to be pleasant with temperatures ranging from 43°F to 67°F (6°C to 19°C).

Accommodation, outside of events, can be $100 cheaper in February that July!

Although you may not need a jacket this time of year, bring a loose pair of pants to comfortably enjoy San Antonio’s bustling culinary scene. 

The city is famous for its Tex-Mex and barbecue eats; and the new wave of upscale restaurants is putting the city on the map as a foodie destination.

Plus, the famous San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo comes to town every February, attracting two million visitors. 

For the best deals, try to plan your trip a few months in advance of the city’s peak tourist season. 

Colorful umbrellas of restaurants along the San Antonio Riverwalk in Texas

5. Los Angeles, California for Parades

All eyes are on Los Angeles in February as the city hosts famous awards shows including the Grammys and Academy Awards.

First, the month kicks off with Lunar New Year and the famous Golden Dragon Parade in Chinatown before awards season gets in gear.  

Temperatures range from 51°F to 69°F (11°C to 21°C), which is comfortable for sightseeing or a guided tour of the city

The LA food scene is one of the best, with plenty of options for any type of eater and budget.

If you’re in town for Valentine’s Day, you won’t have a problem finding a romantic restaurant to impress your date.  

Check out Mama Shelter Los Angeles’s rooftop for homemade meals, city views and original cocktails or the stylish Margot for Italian in a contemporary indoor rooftop restaurant.

The cooler temps may not be great for the beach, but they can help you get better hotel and airfare deals.

Accommodation can be around $50 cheaper than in July.

Check out our LA bucket list to see how many items you can tick off.

Large lake of water and cityscape at Echo Park in Los Angeles

6. Miami, Florida for Food & Art Festivals

Miami’s gorgeous weather, delicious food, and plenty of art await visitors who are looking to escape cold February weather.

Miami is home to world-class restaurants, lush botanical gardens, white-sand beaches, and museums.

Just a few days in the sunny city can help anyone shake off the winter blues. 

Miami temperatures in February are very comfortable, ranging from 64°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C).

That’s probably why some of Miami’s biggest annual events happen in February including the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Coconut Grove Art Festival, Miami International Boat Show, and the Miami Marathon

All of these events make Miami one of the best places to travel in February in the US for people who like to keep busy and immerse themselves in local culture.

To relax, spend a morning on the water for a boat tour of Miami’s most impressive homes before dining at one of Miami’s amazing restaurants. 

After dinner, enjoy sunset drinks at a rooftop bar such as Area 31.

Remember that February is a busy month for in Miami, so be prepared to see higher prices this time of year.

Accommodation is coming in at around $50-100 more than July per night.

Find out more: 24 hours in Miami guide and how to spend Christmas in Miami, if February doesn’t appeal.

Miami Beach Ocean boulevard pastel colored art deco buildings in Florida

7. New Orleans, Louisiana for Mardi Gras

For great parties and unforgettable cultural experiences, one of the best places to visit in February is obviously New Orleans.

The city of New Orleans comes alive in February as the epicenter of Mardi Gras.

There are parades, festivals, and non-stop parties in the days leading up to Fat Tuesday which falls on the day before Ash Wednesday.

Fat Tuesday isn’t always in February, it sometimes lands at the start of March so be sure to forward plan your trip to New Orleans if you aim to go for the Mardi Gras celebrations.

Even if Mardi Gras lands in March you still want to be there for the parades and parities on the run up.

Mardi Gras actually kicks off on Kings Day, the Twelfth Night and the Epiphany, where locals celebrate with colorful cake.

Accommodation starts to book out around August and there is usually a four or five day stay minimum.

If Mardis Gras is you calling, there are more destinations which celebrate it featured in our US in March and US in April guides.

New Orleans beads on a gate

Aside from world-famous Mardi Gras celebrations, February is also time for Tet Fest to ring in the Vietnamese New Year as well as Black History Month. 

Escape the crowd for a few hours aboard the historic Sternwheeler Steamboat Natchez for a two-hour jazz cruise around the city

No trip to New Orleans is complete without partaking in a crawfish boil.

Other famous local dishes include gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, beignets, king cakes, po-boys, and bananas foster. 

February weather can be pretty unpredictable in the Big Easy, so wear light layers and comfortable shoes. Temperatures range from 47°F to 66°F (8°C to 19°C). 

February is the most popular time to visit New Orleans, so plan on higher prices and limited ticket availability.

NOLA also features in our best places to visit in May in the US guide as an idea for a Mother’s Day vacation.

Jazz players on stage at Bamboulas in New Orleans

8. Napa Valley, California for Cheaper Wine Travel 

As one of the most romantic destinations in the U.S., Napa Valley, California is among the best places to visit in February in the U.S. – especially for Valentine’s Day. 

Couples can spend lazy days meandering through vineyards, sampling the best California wine, dining at Michelin-rated restaurants, and taking in beautiful natural scenery. 

Enjoy brunch at the Oxbow Public Market, where you’ll find upscale restaurants such as C Casa for tacos and Hog Island Oyster Bar.

February falls in Napa’s off-season, but it also happens to be peak cabernet season.

That means plenty of great wine and reasonable prices at luxurious California hotels just in time for Valentine’s Day. 

Visitors can also catch the Yountville International Short Film Festival held every February. 

Bring a jacket if you do go. February temperatures range from 37°F to 60°F (3°C to 16°C).

Accommodation at Napa Valley in February saves you around $100 per night compared to July.

Wine vineyard, grapes on vine

9. Sedona, Arizona For Budget Travelers

Stunning desert landscapes, pleasant weather, and a wide selection of relaxing spas make Sedona, Arizona a perfect Valentine’s Day getaway. 

Expect temperatures to range from 36°F to 64°F (2°C to 18°C) with a small chance of snow in higher elevations. 

Sedona’s moderate temperatures and stunning landscape make for great hiking, scenic drives, or a romantic dinner at the Grand Canyon

Wine lovers will be delighted to know Sedona’s Verde Valley Wine Trail has some of the nation’s best vino. There are also plenty of gourmet restaurants and health-conscious cafes to choose from. 

You can catch the Sedona Yoga Festival as well as the Sedona International Film Festival that usually happen every February. 

Although Sedona may get a bit of snow into February, travelers can avoid crowds and score some deals on hotels.

Sedona is a cheap place to visit in February in the US so if you’re on a budget, consider it.

There are some savings to be made in accommodation compared to summer.

10. Fairbanks, Alaska for Dancing Aurora Borealis

If you are hoping for a decent chance of seeing Aurora Borealis in the US consider Fairbanks in Alaska.

While March is the best time to catch them, Fairbanks also features in our US in March guide, the window in which the Norther Lights can been seen here is August 21st until April 21st.

Fairbanks is located under the Auroral Oval, a huge ring above the Earth’s Geomagnetic North Pole, and locals recommend Lake Chena for sightings!

You can even use the Aurora Tracker to see in real-time visibility.

Other things to do in Fairbanks in February include, World Ice Art Championships where artists craft sculptures into ice and Denali Winterfest which starts at the end of the month and features dog sledding, snowshoeing and food.

Looking for a romantic activity? Check out Chena Hot Springs for a relaxing dip.

Visiting Fairbanks in February will save you on accommodation!

Some hotels are double the price by summer.

Dark night with Aurora Borealis over Lake Chena in Alaska

18 Best Places to Visit in USA in March: Sun, Ski, & St Paddy’s Day

Chicago Skylines building along green river of Chicago River on St. Patrick's day festival in Chicago Downtown

Planning a vacation in March and don’t know where to start? 

A springtime vacation can go either way; you can find a way to make winter last a little bit longer if you’re a snow bunny who prefers being bundled up, or you can escape to somewhere with year-round sunshine.

In this guide, we’ve shared options for every type of vacation you could need; whether you want to ski in the cold, see springtime in bloom, or escape somewhere a little warmer, there is a perfect spot for you on this list of best places to visit in USA in March.

There’s also a whole heap of fun festivals and celebrations going on the US in March. St Paddy’s Day anyone?

Looking for a pink explosion? Keep reading to find out where to see cherry blossoms in March.

Let’s dive in and find your dream vacation; it could be anywhere from Alaska to Arizona and there’s plenty to do in between.

If you are also considering where to travel in the months surrounding March, we have guides on the US in February and vacation ideas for April too.

South Beach, Miami Beach. Florida

Top Spots to Visit in USA in March

1. Fairbanks, Alaska for The Northern Lights  

Fairbanks, Alaska, is the place to visit in March in the USA if you desperately need to evade Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder.

From the beginning of March to the end, you’ll get anywhere between 10 to 13 hours of daylight – even better than Miami, which only gets up to 12 and a half hours a day. 

You get the best of both worlds if you love winter activities but need a break from the long dark nights.

Even though Alaska is cold, seeing the Northern Lights will be well worth the extra layer or two once you see them in the sky.

The Aurora Borealis season is from August 21-April 21, making March a perfect time to come and be utterly bedazzled by the sights.

You can even use the Aurora Tracker to see in real-time visibility.

Things to do in Fairbanks in March

  • The World Ice Art Championships – Carvers from all over the world come to show dozens of meticulously crafted ice sculptures at the World Ice Art Championships, one of the largest ice art competitions and exhibitions in the world. (Mid-February – end of March)
  • Denali Winterfest is a community-based festival that includes dog sledding, a 5K race, snowshoeing, hiking, park ranger programs, and more. The Denali Winterfest kicks off with a potluck and closes with a chilli feed and cakewalk. (End of February – early March)
  • Open North American Championship – The Open North American Championship is the world’s oldest sled dog race takes place over three days with teams from all over the world. The teams compete in two 20.9-mile and one 28.6 mile race, and spectators can watch from multiple viewpoints along the Alaska Dog Mushers Association’s trails. (Mid-March)
  • International Curling Bonspiel – Curling enthusiasts have come from far and wide to participate in the International Curling Bonspiel for nearly a century. The themed event encourages participants to dress up to keep up the party atmosphere with DJs, dancing, and live music over the three days (Late March/ Early April)
  • Chena Hot Springs – If you want to see the Northern Lights while staying warm and toasty, Chena Hot Springs is the place for you. You can also visit their Aurora Ice Museum, take a snowmobile tour, go ice fishing, and more. 
  • Article Circle Tour- If seeing the Northern Lights is on the top of your list, take the hassle out and book an Article Circle tour to see the Northern Lights here.
Dark night with Aurora Borealis over Lake Chena in Alaska

2. Newport, Rhode Island for New England Charm

Do you dream of wrapping your warm cardigan tighter around you while sipping a cup of coffee and looking wistfully out into a wintery sea?

Head to Newport for this March, and that could be your reality!

A little winter weather doesn’t knock that charm out of this New England town, and despite not being able to lay out on the beach in your swimsuit, there is so much else that you can, so you won’t even mind not getting a tan. 

Newport, in particular, is a vibrant town that can trace its roots to Colonial America but came to life in the last 19th Century Gilded Age with mansions constructed by America’s wealthiest families like the Vanderbilts, the Astors, and the Morgans.

Today, most people visit for the abundant sailing community and escape to the seaside resort as well as the rich US history.

Since March is low season, you can take advantage of the cheaper accommodation prices in the area.

Things to do in Newport in March

  • Cliff Walk – Be sure to bundle up before you head down to 3.5 mile Cliff Walk where you’ll get the spray of water from the crashing waves on your face with picturesque sea views on one side on gorgeous mansions on the other.
  • Hot Chocolate Bar at The Chanler – A blustery March day needs a trip to The Chanler’s Hot Chocolate Bar, located on Cliff Walk; these artisanal creations are the perfect way to warm up after a walk.
  • Newport Vineyards – Newport Vineyards is the vineyard for everyone, offering craft beer and farm-to-table dining along with their wines.
  • Mansions of Newport – If you’ve ever wanted to walk through opulence without the hefty price tag attached, visit one of the many mansions in Newport and roam the gardens, explore the exhibits, and take a tour to learn all about them.
  • Ocean Drive – A 10-mile strip of coastline that will take you through the best the town has to offer and give you so many great spots to get a snap for the ‘gram.
  • International Tennis Hall of Fame – Any tennis fan will love a visit to the interactive International Tennis Hall of Fame with nearly 2,000 items on display to tell the story of Tennis history.
  • Newport Art Museum  The Newport Art Museum was founded based on uniting people from different backgrounds through the power of art and still holds true to that mission today with its exhibits and permanent collections that reflect a variety of diverse artists.
  • Scenic Trolley Tour – Enjoy a Scenic Trolley Tour that takes you through historic downtown, The Newport Waterfront, Marble House, and more, get your tickets here.

You might also like our guides of road-tripping through New England or New England beach towns.

Sunset over Claiborne pell bridge Newport Bridge in Rhode Island

3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for St Paddy’s Day & Foodie Activities 

Philadelphia has got an action-packed month – there is so much to do that you’ll never struggle for choice.

Because it is truly the birthplace of the US as we know it, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a city with less history in it, and they genuinely know how to make the most of it all month long.

Feminists will rejoice; Philly loves to celebrate Women’s History Month in style with various events to celebrate both historical and modern women and their achievements. 

If you believe that we’re all a little Irish on Saint Patrick’s, you’ll love the many organized bar crawls that will not only help you see some of the best spots in Philly but also help you celebrate in style.

If you want fewer pints and more Irish culture, Philadelphia has that too, with many restaurants serving traditional Irish meals and with live Irish music.

Things to do in in Philadelphia in March

  • The Justice Bell – Styled after the Liberty Bell, The Justice Bell was created by a woman to be the unofficial mascot of the 1915 state referendum on women’s suffrage. It has since become a national symbol for women’s voting rights; see it at the Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge National Historical Park.
  • The Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Parade – The second oldest in the country, The Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Parade has been running since 1771 and is world-famous for a reason; this is truly something you have to see to believe. (Mid-March)
  • East Passyunk Restaurant Week – Well known for its top food choices, East Passyunk Restaurant Week is the place to be if you want to enjoy some of Philly’s tastiest foods from perfectly curated prix fixe menus. (Early March)
  • Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest – Get the last moments of Winter Wonderland on the Delaware River Waterfront at the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest and go ice skating, rent a cozy cabin, get food and drinks, and more. (Early March)
  • Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens – Escape the cold to the indoor oasis of the Conservatory and see the majestic orchids in their full and colorful bloom at Longwood Gardens, famed for its majestic year-round exhibits. (All March)
  • Spirit of Philadelphia Cruise – Once daylight savings ends, take advantage of the later sunset with a dinner cruise and live music and dancing; get your tickets here.
Independence Hall at night in Philadelphia with bronze statue

4. New York, New York for Parades and Last Minute Ice Skating

Is there ever a bad time to visit New York? While you maybe have visited during the holiday season, don’t ignore NYC in the spring, because it is one the best places to visit in March in the USA.

March is a funny time of year for New York, the city is finally shaking off the worst of the winter, and the flowers are daring to bud again, but the weather can be very temperamental.

New York is known to see at least one snowstorm in March – but a week before that, you might be wearing sandals.

If you are struggling with what to pack, just think of layers with study warm footwear (you can always grab a pair of sandals if you absolutely have to!) 

The winter is harsh in New York, so when March rolls around, New Yorkers are excited to venture out again; plus, since this is the off-season, you’ll find fewer crowds and wait times, so you’ll be able to see and do more. 

Things to do in NYC in March

  • St Patrick’s Day Parade – This is the largest and oldest St Patrick’s Parade in the world, it is an amazing spectacle to behold, and the entire city turns Irish for the day to celebrate together down Fifth Avenue. (Mid-March)
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral – If you would prefer to stick to a more religiously oriented method of celebration, get a Fastpass for St Patrick’s Cathedral Official Audio Tour here.
  • Macy’s Herald Square Flower Show – Not only is Macy’s the biggest and one of the oldest department stores in the world, but they also host their famous flower show every spring where the ground floor is truly turned into an oasis with an original theme each year. (Late March)
  • Bryant Park Winter Village – Although it’s marketed as a Christmas activity, Bryant Park Winter Village doesn’t close until just before spring meaning you can still ice skate and sip hot chocolate in NYC’s only free ice skating rink. (Early March)
  • The Orchid Show – Head to the New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx for the “Spotlight on Orchids” in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, a great way to stay warm as you see the blooms of spring come to life. (All March)
  • Knicks/Liberty Game – The basketball season is in full swing, so if you’re into sports, this would be a great time to catch a game at Madison Square Garden, try to plan ahead though, last-minute tickets might be pricey.

You may also like this guide on Unique Things to do in New York.

5. Chicago, Illinois for Green Rivers & the Shamrock Shuffle

The Windy City might not be at the top of your list of places to go to in blustery March, but there is so much happening that you’ll regret not making the trip. 

With so much Irish history, you can be sure that this city knows how to celebrate with bar crawls, live music, and Irish flags on every corner.

Even if you aren’t here for the party scene, you’ll still find so many ways to enjoy yourself on your stay here.

Things to do in Chicago in March

  • The Chicago River – For over half a century, the Chicago River has been dyed emerald green each year at 9 am on the Saturday before St Patrick’s Day, with spectators lining up early in the morning to watch the magic before it disappears by the end of the day. (Mid March)
  • Chicago Polar Plunge – Chicago Polar Plunge is a charity event benefiting Special Olympics Chicago where people donate money to plunge into the freezing cold water at North Avenue Beach. Plungers then dry off and enjoy the post-plunge party with music, food, and drinks. (Early March)
  • Shamrock Shuffle – The Shamrock Shuffle has been a part of Chicago culture for 40 years, with runners clad in green aged eight and up from all over coming to participate in the run through the heart of Chicago. (Mid March)
  • Chicago Restaurant Week – Enjoy the best of Chicago’s eats at Chicago Restaurant Week with prix fixe menus that offer the best of the best for brunch, lunch, and dinner. (Mid March)
  • Blackhawks Game – March is right in the middle of hockey season, making it a great time to catch a home game and watch Chicago’s National Hockey League Team, the Blackhawks, at United Center. 
  • Mob and Crime Bus Tour – On this 90-minute luxury bus tour, you’ll get to learn the inside scoop of Chicago’s murky past include Al Capone and the Chicago Mob, from a knowledgable tour guide. Get your tickets here. 

For more fun in this city, check out our 3 days in Chicago Itinerary

Chicago Skylines building along green river of Chicago River on St. Patrick's day festival in Chicago Downtown

6. Breckenridge, Colorado for Awesome Skiing & Mardi Gras (!)

If you thought you could only ski during the harshest winter months, think again!

Colorado’s vast terrain means that many places have best place to ski in March in the US, Breckenridge included, where you get longer daylight hours, softer snow, and bright blue skies and not in the harsher winter months.

Whether you want to ski for a week straight or just enjoy some of Colorado’s finest, this is a great place to visit in March with so many activities to keep you and your whole family busy – check out their events page for more.

Plus, Denver is only an hour and a half away, giving you a whole world of opportunities for day trips to the state’s capital. 

Things to do in Breckenridge in March

  • Mardi Gras: Breckenridge boasts a Mardi Gras party that can rival that of New Orleans, going all out with the masks, boas, beads, music, and more, and depending on when it falls, might get to be a part of your trip in March. (Early March)
  • Breckenridge Main Street: A colorful street full of locally-owned shops, art installations, and epic views, Breckinridge Main Street has lots to offer; the downtown area is a by-product of the 19th century Gold Rush and reflects its history still today, and the Arts District is where creatives and admirers can find things they love to see and do.
  • Gold Runner Coaster – Ride the Gold Runner Coaster 2,500 feet down the mountain – please note that children must be at least three and over 38″ tall to ride.
  • The BrekConnect Gondola – Take a free gondola ride during the daytime and see the scenic view of the mountain from up above as you go between town and Peak 8 Base Area.
  • Frisco Adventure Park: This family-friendly adventure park offers tubing, sleigh rides, sledding, beginner skiing, & even has a Nordic center that offers skate-skiing, classic cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
  • Frisco Main Street: The next-door neighbor of Breckenridge has a quaint Main Street with shopping, bars, cafes, ice cream parlors, and an international dining scene – all only 15 minutes away.
Three skiers in a ski lift chair over snowy mountains

7. Charlottesville, Virginia for Mountains, Wine & History

If you can’t find a place to visit in March that suits everyone’s tastes, there is only one solution: Charlottesville. 

This city offers the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains for nature lovers, several vineyards for wine lovers, and centuries of American history for the history buffs.

There are also so many events, concerts, and festivals that come through Charlottesville year-round, so there isn’t ever a wrong time to visit because there will always be something new to see and do.

It’s also conveniently located only 2 hours south of Washington DC, making it the perfect long weekend escape from city life into the fresh air.

Come for a weekend or a whole month; you’ll still leave wishing you could stay just a bit longer. 

Things to do in Charlottesville in March

  • Ragged Mountain Natural Area – The Ragged Mountain Natural Area is a 980-acre forest with a beautiful lake in the center (boats are allowed, but swimming is not) and seven miles of trail that you can hike and explore (and it is dog friendly!)
  • Michie Tavern – Established in 1784, they still use 18th Century recipes for all dishes and will give you an authentic taste of Colonial America; they also have a pub called 1784 Pub that replicates that feel of an 18th Century pub-going experience. 
  • IX Art park – This art park uses multiple mediums of art from graffiti to installations to inspire creativity in everyone who visits; it also has Virginia’s first immersive experience, The Looking Glass. 
  • Virginia Discovery Museum – This hands-on children’s museum focuses on arts, sciences, humanities, history, and nature for kids aged 0-8, offering programs and exhibits that allow the children to learn through creative play.
  • Charlottesville 10-Miler – Over the past four decades, the Charlottesville 10-Miler has raised tens of thousands of dollars for local Virginian charities. Runners of all ages loop around Charlottesville, including through UVA’s campus, the historic downtown area, and Main Street. (Mid- March)
  • Virginia Festival of the Book – For both readers and writers, the Virginia Festival of the Book aims to elevate all things surrounding literary culture by working with schools to reach thousands of Virginian students, having open submissions for speakers, and making the festival as accessible to all. (Mid March)
  • Ride the Trolley – The free Trolley loops between Downtown Charlottesville, the University of Virginia Corner, and the UVA Grounds; a great way to see so much of the city.
  • University of Virginia – Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia is an early American artifact and has a beautiful campus you can visit; be sure to see the Lawn, the Rotunda & the chapel.
  • The Monticello Wine Trail – Over 40 wineries are located within the 25-mile radius of Charlottesville on the Monticello Wine Trail, known as the ‘Birthplace of American Wine’, a perfect way for a wine lover to spend the week.

For more East Coast hikes, check out this guide.

8. Richmond, Virginia for Food & Drink Experiences

If you are ready to go to one of best places to visit in USA in March and spend your vacation eating and drinking your way through a city, you’ve absolutely got to come to Richmond.

With event after event, you’ll have to deal with some eventual FOMO, knowing you just can’t do it all.

You can enjoy the fresh spring breeze under the cherry blossoms and some long sought-after sunshine to break away from the cold of winter.

Things To Do in Richmond in March

  • Virginia Wine Expo – It doesn’t get much better than the Virginia Wine Expo, a nine-day event featuring wines, spirits, and ciders from the area with delicious food to go along at Main Street Station. (Early March) 
  • Richmond Black Restaurant Experience – A week dedicated to Richmond’s Black culinary industry, dozens of Black-owned eateries participate in the Richmond Black Restaurant Experience and is a chance for locals and visitors to find a new spot they might not have known about before. (Early March)
  • Church Hill Food Tour – Church Hill is Richmond’s oldest neighborhood and has a variety of eateries for all tastebuds. On this tour, you’ll get the best of the five best different restaurants – get tickets here.
  • Church Hill Irish Festival – A classic St. Patrick’s Day celebration, Church Hill Irish Festival is full of traditions, live music, drink, and of course, food. (Mid March)
  • Shamrock the Block – This free event is for all ages and is a favorite local way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day; Shamrock the Block is a great choice for the whole family; it has food, drinks, live music & entertainment for the kids. (Mid March)
  • See the Cherry Blossoms – Some popular spots are Fountain Lake, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and Windsor Way to see the majestic trees in full bloom. (Mid to Late March)

9. Charleston, South Carolina for Fashion, Food & Flowers

Charleston in March is a city full of southern charm that will make you feel right at home is a great escape. 

With top-notch dining options, fun for the whole family, centuries of history, and an epicenter of culture all of its own, everyone who visits Charleston leave with immediate plans on when to return.

Whether you want a trip full of fun and events or just some shopping, dining, and relaxing, Charleston has it all for you. 

Things to do in Charleston in March

  • Charleston Fashion Week – Held in Marion Square, Charleston Fashion Week showcases designers from all over America, and aside from seeing the height of the upcoming season’s trends, you can also purchase some of the items that you’ve seen on the catwalk. (Late March)
  • Charleston Wine & Food Festival – The Charleston Wine & Food Festival has everything you could want: workshops, hands-on classes, a variety of events, and signature dinners. (Early March)
  • Festival of Houses and Gardens – If you’ve ever wanted to see inside the private houses and gardens in the city’s historic district, you’ll have to attend the Festival of Houses and Gardens (Mid to late March).
  • King Street Shopping – The King Street Shopping District is a thriving retail hub with art galleries, bars, and restaurants all situated on one of the most famous streets in the country, 300-year-old King Street.
  • King Street Foodie Tour – Get all the best that King Street dining has to offer with a two-and-a-half-hour guided tour that gets you all the classic South Carolina staples with the history behind them; get your ticket here.
  • Game Night Charleston – Game Night Charleston allows the adults to be kids again with craft beers, hundreds of board games, and snacks from local suppliers; they also frequently have events like trivia nights, bingo and charity supporting events. 
Sunset over Charleston Downtown buildings, South Carolina.

10. Savannah, Georgia for  Music, Musicals & Markets

Southern hospitality was invented in Savannah and is served up as regularly as sweet tea and is one of the top warm places to visit in March in the US.

On your visit here, you could do absolutely nothing but sit in a rocking chair on a wrap-around front porch people watching and feel like you’ve had the most exhilarating time of your life; it’s just that kind of place.

However, if you do want a few things to stick on your itinerary, Savannah has a lot to offer; with rich cultural and historical ties, there’s always another layer to this city to discover. 

Things to do in Savannah in March

  • Savannah Stopover Music Festival – The Savannah Stopover Music Festival gets its name because most of the acts are artists en-route to South by Southwest in Texas; it has five stages and a food truck court as well as VIP lounges. (Mid- March)
  • Savannah Music Festival – The largest musical arts event in the state, The Savannah Musical Festival aims to inspire and grow audiences of all ages with its cross-genre programs. (End of March)
  • Forsyth Park – Take a picnic, go for a walk, play in the tennis or basketball courts, enjoy the Fragrant Garden, or people watch by the fountain – you might even get lucky and catch one of the many concerts in Forsyth Park.
  • Savannah City Market – Called the ‘Art & Soul of Savannah,’ Savannah City Market is a hub for shopping, dining, art, and nightlife – plus frequent events, such as St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, are held here too. 
  • Haunted History and Ghosts Walking Tour – See what Savannah is like after hours, and from the other side, get tickets here for a guided Haunted History and Ghosts Walking Tour. 

Savannah also features in our guide to warm US winter destinations.

Forsyth Park trees and fountain in Savannah Georgia

11. New Orleans, Louisiana for Mardis Gras

 If New Orleans during Mardi Gras isn’t on your bucket list, it’s time to make some amendments. 

And even if the party scene isn’t for you, there’s a lot more to this city than just beads and masks.

There are things to do for book lovers, foodies, festival-goers, and more, and if all else fails, who doesn’t want to enjoy some creole in New Orleans?

New Orleans beads on a gate

Things to do in New Orleans in March

  • Mardi Gras – The top event of the year, Mardi Gras is a month long celebration with events kicking off on Kings Day and rolling all the way through to Fat Tuesday which is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which sometimes falls in March, or February.
  • Tennessee Williams Literary Festival- In the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter, the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival is a five-day-long event combining writing workshops, theatre events, literary panels, scholars conferences, literary walking tours, music events, culinary and cocktail events. (Late March)
  • The New Orleans Bourbon Festival – Step back in time in this three-day The New Orleans Bourbon Festival featuring seminars, tastings, dinners, burlesque, and more across several New Orleans venues and a 1920s speakeasy. (Mid March)
  • Food History Tour Food History Tour – A 5-stop tour of some of the French Quarter’s best spots, along with stories about the history and culture behind it all, get tickets to the Food History Tour here.
  • BUKU Music + Art Project – A 2-day festival that is a rave and part urban music festival with both underground and well-known performers, BUKU Music + Art Project also showcases local visual artists and various surprise pop-up street performers. (Late March)

Read this guide to find more Unique Things to do in New Orleans.

Mardis Gras also features in our guide to the US in February.

12. Austin, Texas for SXSW

In a state as big as Texas, it’s hard to narrow down where to visit – it’s bigger than some countries! 

While there certainly isn’t a bad place to visit, Austin is a great place to travel to in March and taste some of the local flavors – plus one of the biggest International festivals in the world just so happens to take place there at the same time.

March is home to the 10-day festival South by Southwest where music, film and digital comes takes over the city.

Expect live music, talks, all-night movie theaters and free drink. Find out more in our SXSW guide and where to stay during SX.

Austin skyline from South Congress with man in cowboy hat crossing road

Things to do in Austin in March

  • South by Southwest – One of the best-known multi-media festivals, South by Southwest, brings in people from around the world to see, hear, and participate in the many events. (Mid March)
  • Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – An Austin institution, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema brings its motto, ‘good food, good beer and good film, all at the same place’ to life every day by taking a special interest in all three.
  • ABC Kite Fest – Fun for the whole family, the ABC Kite Fest is the country’s longest-running kite festival and is truly a sight to behold with all the kites in the sky. (Late March)
  • Craft Beer and Brewery Tour – Spend a half-day touring three different breweries in Downton Austin and enjoying samples and behind-the-scenes info, get your tickets here.
  • The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – See 650 native Texas plants in The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, with plants like Texas bluebonnet and Southern Dewberry in full bloom by March.

You can go on your own foodie tour throughout the city with this guide, 22 Places to Eat in Austin.

Check out all of our Austin guide, things to do, where to take photos, Austin at Christmas and Austin to Big Bend road trip.

13. Lancaster, CA for Fewer Crowds

A lesser-known spot one hour east of LA in the Antelope Valley, there’s a quiet but true beauty to the city of Lancaster. 

This is the sort of place to visit if you want to escape the cold and enjoy the outdoors but don’t want to sacrifice culture and fun.

It’s one of the not-yet-discovered best places to visit in the US in March.

Things to do in Lancaster in March

  • Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve – The Antelope Valley California Poppy Preserve is a state park that comes alive in the springtime with wildflower season from mid-February to late May.
  • The BLVD – The central hub of Downton Lancaster, The BLVD has a cinema, games center, virtual gaming experience, and many different events throughout the week.
  • The Museum of Art & History offers a diverse program of exhibits and collections, the 20,000 square foot Museum of Art & History focuses on learning and creating within Southern California.
  • The Civic Musical Road – Civic Musical Road, located on Avenue G between 30th and 40th Street West, was created by Honda. When a car is driven over the road at the correct speed limit, the grooves sound like the finale of William Tell Overture.
  • Prime Desert Woodland Preserve – The Prime Desert Woodland Preserve has an area of about 120 acres with over three miles of trails for visitors to relax, enjoy, and explore.
  •  LA Highlights Tour – Take a day trip to Los Angeles and see the best that the city has to offer on the LA Highlights Tour, from Hollywood to Santa Monica; get your tickets here. 

14. Tucson, Arizona for the Heat & Hot Air Balloons

If you can’t bear another day of cold, windy, wet weather, then it is time to go to the warm, dry desert.

Tuscon provides respite from the harsh winters but is so much more than an escape; it has a magical wonder all of its own that is begging to be explored on one of the best March vacations in United States.

Things to do in Tucson in March

  • Festival of Books – The Festival of Books is a free event that has programs for children, teens, and adults and aims to improve literacy rates for all people in Southern Arizona. (Mid) March
  • Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway – Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway is one of the most scenic drives in Arizona, with incredible vistas, ornate rockscapes, thick mountain forests, and deep canyons on display.
  • Pima Air & Space Museum – One of the world’s largest aviation & space museums, Pima Air & Space Museum has about 400 aircrafts from countries all over the world.
  • Saguaro National Park – Best known for being home to the world’s largest cacti, Saguaro National Park also is popular for hiking, camping, scenic drives, and cycling.
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride – Start your day by gliding over the Sonoran desert and seeing the perfect 360º views; get your tickets here.
Mountain and cityscape photo of Tucson Arizona at dusk

15. Miami, Florida for Live Music, Film Fest & Golf

Miami is one of the most obvious places to go when on vacation in March and looking for fun in the sun.

This party town doesn’t stop for the winter; with festivals happening nearly every week, you’ll have to schedule in time just to sleep.

So if you need to get to one of best places to travel in March in the USA, book a flight to Miami ASAP.

Miami Beach Ocean boulevard pastel colored art deco buildings in Florida

Things to do in Miami in March

  • Miami International Film Festival – Focusing on the work of both established and new filmmakers, the Miami International Film Festival has been a staple in the film world for nearly 40 years. (Early March)
  • Calle Ocho Festival – This free event consists of 10 stages of musical acts, international food, dancing, and entertainment for all ages, making Calle Ocho Festival the world’s largest Latin music festival. (Mid- March)
  • Miami Open – Even if you aren’t much of a tennis fan, The Miami Open is unmissable; aside from the world-class athletes competing, the event also has international top-notch food, art, and music. (Late March)
  • Winter Party Festival – The Winter Party Festival is a week-long celebration with music, dancing, and fun to fundraise for the LGBTQ community (Early March)
  • Parasailing in Biscayne Bay – If you want to see Miami from a different way, try parasailing in Biscayne Bay and glide over the world from 400 feet above the water. Get your tickets here.

Only have 24 hours in Miami? Read this guide on how to spend the best one day in Miami.

Boca Chita Lighthouse and Miami Skyline on calm day

16. Kaua’i, Hawaii for Rainforests and the Outdoors

Get tropical on your next vacation in March with a trip to Kaua’i, known as ‘The Garden Isle’ due to all of the tropical rainforests.

Kick back in the sun and sand and take in the majesty of the earth’s natural beauty all around you; no matter where you go or what you do since you’re in one of the best places to visit in March in the USA.

Things to do in Kaua’i in March

  • Koke’e State Park – Koke’s State Park is perfect for exploring; you can picnic in the fields, go camping, hike the rainforest, or just watch the nature all around.
  • Waimea Canyon – Waimea Canyon is nicknamed the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific,’ it is 14 miles long, 1 mile wide, and more than 3,600 feet deep, and at the lookout, you can see panoramic views of crested buttes, rugged crags, and deep valley gorges.
  • Poipu Beach – One of the most popular beaches in the state, Poipu Beach offers visitors golden sand, snorkeling, swimming, surfing, and more. 
  • Kilauea Lighthouse – Amid the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge stands Kīlauea Lighthouse, over a century old; it has recently been restored and can be toured by visitors.
  • Wailua Falls – For some of the state’s best waterfalls, Wailua Falls is the place to go, partly morning visitors often also see rainbows due to the sun’s position at the time. 
  • Zipline Tour in Poipu – For a little adventure, you can take a zipline tour in Poipu, giving you a chance to see this fantastic beach from the best view; get tickets here.
Kauai Hawaii blue sea, dramatic cliffs

17. Washington DC for Cherry Blossom Festival

While the candy-colored bloom usually takes place in April, The National Cherry Blossom Festival starts in March and runs through to the next month.

The opening ceremony celebrates the 1912 gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, D.C.

Peak bloom is often at the end of March and the best time to visit the cherry blossoms located around the Tidal Basin is 4-5 days after peak bloom.

This springtime tradition is a popular one so expect DC to be busy, be flexible but also plan ahead.

The weather, mostly the wind, can play havoc with the blooms.

Make sure you have lots of other DC activities added to your itinerary so you are not disappointed.

Visit the Smithsonian museums, for free, check out the iconic monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial and shop at CityCenterDC.

Washington DC also features in our best places to visit in the US in May for it Memorial Day parade.

Cherry Blossom by the White House in Washington DC.

18. Macon, Georgia – the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World

Lesser-known Macon invites you to the ‘Pinkest Party on Earth’ this March.

With over 350,000 Yoshino cherry trees blossoming, there’s a lot to experience including a parade and park festivities.

The Yoshino tree is rare to the south but was discovered by realtor, William A. Fickling Sr in 1949.

Years later during a trip to Washington DC, he realised that the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin were the same as the unique tree in his garden.

The following propagation process then put Macon on the springtime map and the cotton candy pink trees have been celebrated every March since 1982 with a festival.

For dates, check out the official Cherry Blossom Festival website.

Macon also features in our guide best places to visit in the US in April.

Things to do in Macon in March

  • Join in the Cherry Blossom Festival events.
  • Tubman Museum – America’s largest museum dedicated to educating people about the art, history and culture of African Americans, the Tubman Museum is a must see.
  • Macon is home to several markets where you can get fresh, seasonal and local produce. Check out Mulberry Street Market, and Wesleyan Market; or head to Smiley’s Flea Market where you can find hidden treasure.
Cherry blossoms line the park in Macon Georgia

19. St Louis, Missouri for St Paddy’s Day and Mardi Gras Events

St. Louis ‘gladly accepts any excuse to throw a party’ so why not join them?

Two of the biggest events in the St Louis calendar for March are the multi-day Mardis Gras festival and St Patrick’s Day.

Things to do in St Louis in March

  • Head to the Soulard neighborhood for 11 days of Mardis Gras parades, beads and music. The festivities start the Saturday prior to Fat Tuesday.
  • Wrap up St Louis Mardis Gras on Fat Tuesday with an evening parade through the streets of downtown St. Louis.
  • Watch the parade, floats and marching bands for St. Louis annual St Paddy’s Day event the Saturday before St Patrick’s Day.
  • Join the five-mile St Patrick’s Day run which starts at Busch Stadium making its way through the streets of downtown.

Final Thoughts

March is the perfect time for an escape from reality into somewhere new.

With so many festivals, concerts, tours, and events no vacation will be long enough to do everything on your list, but that just means that you can plan a return trip to see everything you’ve missed.

Where will you head to this March; will you go somewhere that only requires a swimsuit and flip flops or are you prepared to layer up? Let us know in the comments. 

22 Unique Things to do in NYC: Hidden Gems, Unusual Attractions & Quirky Tours

Chinatown Buildings New York

If you’re looking to visit New York and avoid the usual touristy parts and instead see some of the weird and wonderful that the city has to offer, this is the perfect guide for you to find all of the unique things to do in NYC.

Even if this is your dozenth visit to the city, but this time you want to try something new and different than Times Square and Fifth Avenue and the rest of the oversaturated spots and go down a little further – even underground – to find some hidden treasure.

From hidden bars to underground burial sites to 5,000-year-old unicorn tapestries, get ready for weird NYC and all it has to hold.

If you’re only coming for a few days and want to cram as much into your trip as you can, read our Jam-Packed 4 Days in New York Itinerary.

Locals! Did you discover anything new? Tell us in the comments.

Yellow Cabs NYC

Most Unique Things to do In New York

1. Take a trip to City Island 

Near the edge of NYC borders lies a tiny island that looks like something out of a New England dream come true called City Island

With the main street full of quirky business fronts and numerous seafood establishments, and nothing like the busy streets of New York, visiting the island is one of the more unusual things to do in NYC.

You can go antiquing, browse the art gallery, check out a book from the public library, eat at the diner, or get ice cream or a cold beer at one of the pubs.  

2. Visit City Island Nautical Musuem

If you want to know more about the island, you can check out the City Island Nautical Museum to learn about the town’s maritime history. 

Just a short drive or bus ride away on the other side of the water lies Orchard Beach, a free beach that is untouched by the tourists its much less popular and gives you a chance to stretch out on the clear white sand or go into the clean, clear water.

Know Before You Go

  • If you visit during the wintertime, some of the shops and restaurants may be closed for the season.

3. Do the Staten Island Ferry

If you aren’t fussed about spending time on Liberty Island but would like to see the Statue of Liberty from the water, hop on the free Staten Island Ferry.

Join the ferry at The Whitehall Terminal and 25 minutes later you’ll get off at Staten Island.

The ferry runs 24 hours hour a day, all year round so you can wrap you doing at night if you want to see New York all lit up!

Staten Island Ferry at dusk with sunset at New York

4. Trek up to the Met Cloisters

Near the top of Manhattan, you’ll find The Met Cloisters (99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park), an extension of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that is America’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the art and architecture of the Middle Ages.

With fantastic architecture that seems misplaced in a place like NYC, it is an amazing chance to step back in time and see something you would rarely see elsewhere.

The most well-known part is the famed Unicorn Tapestries, a series of seven woven hangings that bring people in from far and wide to see.

Whether you’re a medieval fanatic or just want to visit one of the cool spots in NYC, hit up the Met Cloisters and then spend the rest of your day in Fort Tryon Park, one of the least well-known but most beautiful parks in the city. 

You can walk the eight miles of pathway, relax on the laws, wander through the Heather Garden, play ping-pong, volleyball, and more.

Get a ticket for both museums here.

Know Before You Go

  • Closed on Wednesdays.
  • Visits need to be pre-scheduled. 
  • All visitors age 18 and older must also show a valid photo ID. 

5. Go Back in Time at the Lexington Candy Shop

This original luncheonette has been serving New Yorkers since 1925 and is still the picture-perfect image of vintage New York, making it a great spot if you’re looking for cool things in NYC.

Sit at the old-fashioned soda counter and order a malted or egg cream with your classic American breakfast, a big lunchtime sandwich, or the classic burger and fries.

You’ll find Lexington Candy Shop at 1226 Lexington Ave.

Sadly, it doesn’t bear much resemblance to its name anymore; while it once sold candies and chocolates galore, today, there’s little to no candy sold there at all.

But you can still sip your root beer float and reminisce about days gone by after you spend the day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art just around the corner. 

There is limited seating to expect a wait or to take your order to go during rush times.

6. Ride the Roosevelt Tram

Riding the aerial Roosevelt Tram (59th Street and Second Avenue) is one of the coolest experiences in NYC – all for the cost of an MTA Subway ride.

Hop on the Tram at 59th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan, get off at Tramway Plaza on Roosevelt Island, and see the city from a bird’s eye view.

Initially created in 1976 as a temporary option to shuttle people from island to island, it became such a popular option they continued to keep it operating.

Board the tram at 59th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan and get off at Tramway Plaza on Roosevelt Island to check out this very cool tiny island and see the city in a whole new way.

Running daily every 7-15 minutes from 6 am until 2 am on Sunday-Thursday, and until 3:30 am on the weekend, you can access it almost any time you want. 

Once you’re in Roosevelt Island, don’t just turn around and jump back to Manhattan – there’s so much to see and do!

It’s just under two miles long and a great way to check out a less touristy part of NYC.

This island was once known as Welfare Island and from the 1920s to the 1970s was mainly home to chronic care hospitals and mental asylums, and today its history is still reflected.

Notable places to visit are The Octagon, Smallpox Hospital, The Lighthouse, Four Freedoms Park, Blackwell House, and Contemporary art at RIVAA.

Know Before you Go

  • You must pay by MTA MetroCard.
  • Up to three children 44-inches tall and under ride for free on the Tram when accompanied by a fare-paying adult.
  • Non-service/working animals can only board the Tram if they are enclosed in a container and carried.
Aerial drone photo Roosevelt Island Lighthouse with dark water and blue sky in New York NYC.

7. Have one of Rudy’s (Free) Hotdogs

If you happen to find yourself in Hell’s Kitchen with a minimal budget but craving a drink and need something to eat, you’ve got to go to Rudy’s (627 9th Avenue). 

This dive bar began as a speakeasy in the prohibition and has grown ever since and is definitely one of the most unique restaurants in New York City.

Operating as Rudy’s since 1933, it has been beloved by many – including famous faces like Drew Barrymore, Anthony Bourdain, and Paul McCartney – over the years. 

A night at Rudy’s consists of shockingly cheap drinks and a free hot dog with each one plus a jukebox keeping the tunes going all night long. 

Marked by a six-foot pig in a waistcoat and bowtie and a neon sign out front, the inside looks exactly what you’d think a dive bar in NYC would look like: red leather booth seating held together with duct tape, colorful bar stools, and old Tiffany lamps hanging from the ceiling.

The most famed part would be the three mosaics, including Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, and a 12-foot sax, which is a nod to the bar’s early origins in the Jazz era.

If you want to see more of Hell’s Kitchen, try this walking food tour

Know Before You Go

  • The bouncers DO check ID’s so not worth trying to sneak in.
  • Open daily from 12 pm to 4 am. 
  • There’s a terrace through the back, perfect for a summer’s night.

8. Visit the Bryant Park Bathrooms

Using the bathroom isn’t often seen as one of the most unusual things to do in New York City, but going to the Bryant Park bathrooms (42nd Street and 6th Avenue) definitely fits the bill. 

These bathrooms are open daily from 10 am to 10 pm and are manned by attendants, but that isn’t what makes them so unique.

Upon entering the Beaux-Arts building, you’ll come face to face with bouquets of fresh flowers, beautiful paintings (that have been changed throughout the years) made by artists-in-residence, and serene classical music to have a moment of calm in the city’s chaos.

My favorite part is the rotating plastic toilet seat cover; when you walk into the stall, you push a button, and the seat cover will rotate, so you have a fresh and unsullied part to sit on. Furthermore, you aren’t sitting on just any toilet, and it is a Toto toilet, a high-end luxury brand.

Once you’ve done your business, spend some time in Bryant Park, which always has activities no matter what time of year. You can sit in front of the fountain on a sunny day, play ping-pong, ride Le Carrousel, grab a snack, and more. 

Know Before You Go

  • Bathroom attendants don’t accept tips.
  • The bathrooms are wheelchair accessible.
  • Expect long lines; there are only two stalls in the men’s room and three in the women’s room.
Bryant Park New York trees and buildings

9. Head to the Lightship Frying Pan

The Lightship Frying Pan ( Pier 66 Maritime/W 26th Street) wasn’t always just a plan to get some delicious seafood; it operated from 1930 to 1965 as a lighthouse that guided ships in North Carolina. 

The Frying Pan once spent three years sucked in the Chesapeake Bay and was refurbished to be fit for service again; however, the inside still retains its rusted and barnacled appearance. 

For the last 30 years, the ship has lived in NYC and has been a not-so-secret escape onto the water for many, definitely one of the more weird places in NYC to grab some lunch!

Enjoy the ship in fair or stormy weather sitting outside or enclosed eating a giant Bavarian pretzel, fish & chips, or just classic Old Bay fries as you look out over the Hudson River. 

The lightship is also well known to have a vibrant nightlife scene, especially in the summertime!

Know Before You Go

  • It’s open daily from May 1 – October 1, from April 1 – 31 & October 1 – 31 only when the weather is over 65 degrees and closed from November 1 – April 1
  • Dogs are not allowed.
  • No table service, all food is ordered through the website or the bar.

10. Grab a Cuppa in Little Britain

You probably know Little Italy and Chinatown, and you might even know Koreatown, but did you know there was a “Little Britain” in NYC? 

In a tiny corner of the West Village, you’ll find the spot that kicked it all off, Tea and Sympathy for all of your home-cooked British comfort food needs, and they have a shop next door to stock up on crisps, sweets, and any other goodies you can take home with you.

Tea & Sympathy doesn’t take weekend reservations; expect to wait.

11. Eat Fish and Chips like a Brit or Drink Irn Bru like a Scot

If you’re more on the go, you can grab some fish & chips at the nearby chippy called A Salt and Battery served exactly as it would be anywhere in the United Kingdom. 

Myers of Keswick has everything from fresh pork pies to a bottle of the famed Scottish Irn Bru soda, perfect for a DIY picnic that you can carry out to Washington Square Park on a warm day. 

Myers of Keswick operates under UK hours, closing at 6 pm Monday-Saturday and 5 pm on Sunday.

12. Grab a Pint at McSorley’s Old Ale House

Want to check out the oldest pub and most unique places in NYC?

Head to McSorley’s Old Ale House (15 East 7th Street) to experience the most traditional bar around.

Their motto is, “We Were Here Before You Were Born,” and with an establishment date of 1854, they’re more than correct. 

This Irish saloon only began to admit women once legally forced to do so in 1970, and while it now happily welcomes all patrons, that’s the only adjustment they’ve made for over a century.  

If you’re in the mood for a glass of wine or a fancy IPA, you’ll have to go elsewhere; McSorley’s only serves its own brew of light or dark ale, and each order comes in two half-pint glasses.

And when you need to soak up the booze, you can order their classic cracker and cheese plate.

It consists of a sleeve of Saltine crackers, some slabs of cheddar cheese, chunks of fresh tomato, and curls of raw onion & for an extra touch of class, some mustard, and horseradish.

Once you’ve had as many pints as you can manage, wander around the neighborhood and make your way to St. Mark’s Place, where the punk rock culture once was king.

Although much of the area has been gentrified, you can still get a feel for what the area once was.

Know Before You Go

  • First come, first serve
  • Cash only
  • No kids allowed after 6 pm
  • The floors are covered in sawdust

13. Wander the Washington Mews

Just north of Washington Square Park is a hidden private (sometimes gated) street called Washington Mews.

If you need an escape from NYC but don’t have the time, or the budget, just stroll down the cobblestone street of million-dollar homes that were once 18th-century horse stables that carry the colorful feel of old-world European charm.

Once popular with the local artists residing in Greenwich Village since 2018, it has been used as the international houses of New York University.

Spend the rest of your day in Washington Square Park, where something is always happening, whether it’s people playing chess, students picnicking, musicians busking, and more.

There is also an array of cafes, bars, restaurants, and food trucks within a short walking distance; many people get their food to go and eat it on the benches surrounding the fountain. 

Check out more of Greenwich Village with this walking tour

Know Before You Go

  • While the gates are usually open, it is technically private property 
  • The gates are often locked once the sun goes down
Washington Square New York

14. Find a “Hidden” Speakeasy

Some of NYC’s worst-kept secrets are the many speakeasies throughout the city; these hidden bars are a nod to the prohibition era of the 20th Century.

While you don’t have to hide from the law to get a drink, it’s still fun to seek out these quirky, hidden-away bars. 

These are three of my favorite secret places in New York:

PDT (Please Don’t Tell) on 113 St Marks Place sits behind a telephone booth in Crif Dogs, a tiny East Village staple where you can get some of the most creative hot dogs imaginable. 

Once you’ve gone through the secret entrance, you enter a world of dimmed lights and interesting taxidermy and, of course, top-notch cocktails, definitely one of the coolest weird things to do in NYC at night.

Beauty and Essex on 146 Essex Street is a working pawn shop on the Lower East Side with some rare and vintage items available for you to buy.

Make your way to the back, and you’ll enter a glittering world with a grand, wraparound staircase leading to the second floor and a larger-than-life chandelier. 

Enjoy the (pricey) cocktails and food as you sip and dance the night away, experiencing one of the most unique things to do in New York City. 

A little further down from Beauty and Essex is Apotheke bar on 9 Doyers Street, which fronts as an apothecary; the bar carries the theme throughout the decor and the cocktails – over 200 of them.

Check out some other fun activities to do in NYC at night here. 

Know Before You Go

  • PDT can often have long wait times, so come hungry to eat a few hotdogs ahead of time.
  • Beauty and Essex can carry a hefty price tag for both the food and drinks.
  • Apotheke has a “sophisticated” dress code that is strongly encouraged.

15. Enjoy Free Live Music at Pier 54

Keep an eye on the summer schedule for Pier 54 at the Hudson River Park for live bands.

You’ll also see dance classes and other events taking advantage of the hot temps.

All year round you can check out the Apple Garden in the West Village Park which is named after the bronze sculpture designed by Stephan Weiss at its center.

16. Explore the Catacombs

If you want to experience one of the weirdest things to do in New York, you’ll have to go underground to check out catacombs at Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral (260–264 Mulberry Street) by candlelight.

Your 90-minute tour of the 19th-century cathedral will travel to a place where the general public isn’t allowed and explore the two walled cemeteries where many prominent Catholic New Yorkers have been laid to rest. 

When you exit the Catacombs, you’ll be in the heart of Little Italy and should take full advantage!

Find a spot to share some spaghetti and meatballs like Lady and the Tramp or have a glass of limoncello and a cannoli and people watch.

If you want to see some other spooky things you can do in New York, check out this guide.

Know Before You Go

  • The tour is not recommended for children, wheelchairs users, pregnant people, or anyone over 80 years old.

17. Get a Scoop at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Since 1978 this family-run spot has been delighting locals and visitors with their wide variety of regular flavors like Almond Cookie, Green Tea, and Thai Iced Tea.

No matter how many times you the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (65 Baynard Street), there will always be something new to try; they’ve got a rotation of special appearance flavors such as Caramel Bacon Swirl, Chocolate Lavender, and NYC Cupcake.

18. Chinatown Fair Family Fun Center

Once you’ve eaten as much ice cream as you can, walk around the corner to the Chinatown Fair Family Fun Center as seen in the 1984 film, on Mott Street.

Whether you want to play classic games you played as a kid or try something new; the Chinatown Fair will be a fun way to spend an afternoon experiencing one of the most offbeat things to do in NYC.

See all of the hidden spots in Chinatown with this private guided walking tour.

Know Before You Go

  • The shop is tiny, so the line is usually long, especially in the summertime. 
  • The ice cream ranges from $6.50 – $15.75 for a single scoop to a pint.
Chinatown Buildings New York

19. See the Tiny Wonders in Mmuseumm

Have you ever stepped into a freight elevator and realized you were actually in a tiny museum dedicated to the “overlooked, dismissed, or ignored”?

Well, you’ve clearly never been to Mmuseumm (4 Cortlandt Alley), one of NYC’s tiniest oddities!

Conceived in 2012, they make use of every possible space in the 36-square-foot exhibition with everything from the mundane to the magnificent with up to three visitors at a time. 

And even if you have, the micro exhibitions rotate between seasons so you can visit again and again and see tiny new treasures every time. 

If you don’t have time to visit, you can always check in through the viewing window is open 24 hours but is best viewed early in the morning or late at night.

There is a small gift shop and cafe next door where you can get a hot coffee and browse through the souvenirs like 3D postcards and apparel. 

Know Before You Go

  • You can book private viewing for a group of up to 5 people for 45 minutes for $10 or a private guided tour for a group of up to 10 people for $100.
  • Access a free audio guide by calling the 800 number. 
  • Mmuseumm is from April – November, Friday – Sunday, 11 am-6 pm.
  • Mmuseumm is wheelchair accessible and provides exhibition text, a phone-based audioguide in English, and docents.
  • There is a $5 suggested donation for admission.

20. Ride the Seaglass Carousel

At the southern end of The Battery Conservancy lives the SeaGlass Carousel, inspired by the original New York Aquarium that operated from 1896 until 1941; this is one of the most unique things to do in New York.

The carousel consists of 30 gigantic fiberglass fish in 12 different species in a 2,575 square foot pavilion lit up with color-changing LED lights that rotate via four turntables instead of the traditional center pole. 

The atmosphere also has an integrated audio system; combined with the LED “water effect,” it creates an under the water feel.

Know Before You Go

  • The carousel is open daily from 11 am – 9 pm hours and opening times vary; check their Facebook page before you go.
  • Tickets are $5

21. Check out Castle Garden

Once you’ve gone round the merry-go-round enough times, explore the rest of The Battery Conservancy, 195,000 square feet of magnificent gardens and Castle Garden, where millions of immigrants first entered into America in the 19th Century until they began to enter through Ellis Island.  

22. Tour the United Nations Headquarters

Stand in the same spot as Malala delivered her hard hitting speech to the United Nations and learn all about the role that the UN plays around the world by visiting the UN Headquarters in New York.

If you can’t do an in-person tour, check out the virtual tours on a variety of topics such as black history, focus on women and also an architecture tour.

United Nations twisted gun monument in New York

Final Thoughts

Because there is so much to do when visiting New York City, it feels easy to get swept into the popular tourist traps, but there really is so much more to see outside of Midtown. 

In this ever-changing city, there is always something a little off the beaten path to see; hopefully, this guide inspired you to see something unique that you would have otherwise missed.

What other hidden or secret parts of New York do you love to see when you visit? Tell us in the comments so we can add them to our travel list!

Enjoy Our NYC Travel Guides