April 15, 2016

Have you ever felt like you needed a rest right after your vacation? That can surely happen when you fight crowds during peak season. Avoid the rush this year! Experience your dream vacation when you visit one of these gorgeous destinations now, before the summer rush: Jackson Hole in Wyoming, Cape Town in South Africa, St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, or Paris, France

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole, WyomingEveryone needs a trip to this remarkable and beautiful place, called Jackson Hole because it’s a valley in the midst of gorgeous mountains on all sides.  It’s a virtual paradise, situated near Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and the National Elk Refuge.

The shoulder season of April and May provides an opportune time for animal lovers to visit.  Animals emerge from hibernation with their young this time of year.  Jackson Hole also observes Elk Fest May 21-22, 2016. That’s a weekend jam-packed with activities celebrating nature, hunting, and increasing ecological education.

Fly fishing provides another fantastic spring activity.  As the days are getting warmer, melting some of the snow, river fishing is excellent.  Try out Snake River, fishing for trout.  A thoroughly relaxing way to spend your day.

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Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town's Table MountainSince this part of Africa lies in the southern hemisphere, the summer season is just wrapping up when April arrives.  Since most tourists travel to Cape Town during the summer months, April and May see significantly fewer crowds.  Perfect time to make your vacation in this glorious place!

Don’t miss Cape Town’s most recognizable landmark, Table Mountain.  Trails exist for hiking, for the more adventurous. You can also experience the breathtaking beauty by taking the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway.  This system of suspended cable cars, which rotate a full circle, offer passengers a sensational view of the city and the ocean.

You can also take a short ferry ride to Robben Island, an amazing destination that is rich with history.  Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison at this location, in addition to other political prisoners.  You don’t want to miss this peek into the past.

Also visit the reserve tucked away in Hottentots Holland Mountains, near Cape Town.  A glorious place to hike, or even zip line with Cape Canopy Tour Zipline.  This will take you through the center of an amazing paradise.  A virtual playground for those who love adventure.

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St. Thomas

St. Thomas beachVisit St. Thomas from April until June for the most favorable experience.  You can expect very little rain, mild weather, and fewer tourists.  This island boasts an abundance of wonderful things to see and do.

The history and culture of St. Thomas provide many intriguing things to study.  Fort Christian is the oldest structure still standing in the entire Virgin Islands, and houses a museum with memorabilia and old maps tracing the history of the islands.  Nearby Market Square, currently a busy produce market, flourished as part of the West Indies’ slave trade in the 18th century.

Another amazing find on St. Thomas? Water temperatures change very little from one season to the next.  Even in the extremely mild winter, they hover near 79 degrees fahrenheit! In April the outside high temperatures generally hover around 85 degrees fahrenheit, rarely dropping below 82. So this means swimming and other water sports can be enjoyed during the spring months, and you can appreciate that the beaches will be less crowded with tourists.

You’ll definitely want to spend some of your time at Magens Bay Beach. National Geographic and Conde Nast both featured this area as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.  You can not only sunbathe or swim, but kayak, paddle boat, or rent a sailboat.  Especially visit the lovely restaurant and bar on the beach, with a shop for chair rentals and other things you may need.

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Paris, France

Notre Dame CathedralParis can be a bit mild in the spring months, with April’s projected high to be about 52 degrees fahrenheit.  But what a glorious place to be, even if you’re wearing a light jacket! Paris boasts a lifetime of things to see and places to go, including and beyond the popular Eiffel Tower or The Louvre, which are amazing.

And the other great news about visiting in the spring is that you won’t run into as many tourists. It’s always a great time to visit, but especially during the spring.

You must see the Notre Dame Cathedral while you’re in Paris. This Gothic cathedral’s construction began in the 12th century, but it took about 300 years to complete it.  A landmark in Paris, and one of the oldest cathedrals.  Notable for its history, as well.  In 1909, Joan of Arc was famously beatified at Notre Dame Cathedral by Pope Pius X.

Don’t miss lesser known gems, such as the Musee Rodin Museum. Famous 19th century sculptor Auguste Rodin previously lived here, and his timeless sculptures remain.  See The Hand of God, The Kiss, The Thinker, and many more.  More than 6000 sculptures! Also beautiful, see the accompanying rose garden on the grounds.  Expect a peaceful atmosphere when you visit this museum.

For another serene experience, visit Palais-Royal Gardens, a collection of beautiful gardens and elegant shops.  These are part of a 17th century palace that used to be a royal residence.  You could enjoy an entire day here, perusing the shops or the garden.

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