With the year behind us, it’s time to start looking forward and thinking about our future travel plans. Spring is consistently a great time to travel, thanks to mild weather, fewer crowds, and events galore. Plus, this April is looking better than ever, with areas opening back up and waiting for travelers to return. While international travel is still a bit difficult, there is an endless supply of life-changing destinations within the United States to enjoy.

01Enjoy the beauty of the Texas Hill Country

hill country park bluebonnets dhughes9 / Getty Images

Non-natives often think of Texas as a long series of plains, but it really is so much more. Deep in the heart of Texas is a verdant oasis of green, full of wildflowers, forests, and rolling hills. Drop by Wildseed Farms to sip some wine and discover the graceful beauty of Indian paintbrushes, wine-cups, and bluebonnets of the nation’s largest wildflower farm. Take a hike along the Guadalupe River with your family, or stop by some of the more popular spots for some fishing. April is a great time to try and grab some Guadalupe or Largemouth Bass.

02Climb the walls of Joshua Tree National Park

Spring, especially April, is the perfect time to visit Joshua Tree National Park in California. Temperatures are mild throughout the day and not quite as chilling at night. Plus, you can see all of the blooming wildflowers as you hike through the park. Whether you’re there to see the Mojave’s legendary flora or to tackle one of the world’s best areas for rock climbing, you’re sure to enjoy yourself. The desert sky becomes a perfect canvas for the stars at night, so don’t miss out on the overnight camping.

03Take the scenic route to Brockway Mountain

Highway 41 in Autumn jimfeng / Getty Images

A good road trip is a path to lifelong memories. As you travel along the Brockway Mountain Drive, you’ll enjoy one of the most scenic routes in America. In April, you can watch flocks of hawks migrate across Lake Superior and perch on the many ridges and cliffs of Brockway Mountain. At the peak, take in a panoramic view of the surrounding forest and over 700 species of flowers that dot the horizon. If you prefer the road less traveled, there are some seasonal paths and miles of back roads available.

04Party on in New Orleans

There’s a reason that New Orleans is one of the most popular travel destinations in the United States. This legendary city is bursting with history and culture, and you can feel it as you walk through vibrant streets. April marks the beginning of this year’s French Quarter Festival and the Jazz and Heritage Festival. Whether you’re a fan of food, music, or parties, there’s never been a better time to visit.

05Enjoy springtime snow in Alta

Because last year’s events prevented most of us from traveling, we missed out on some winter staples. Despite this, there’s plenty of time to catch up on some fun in the snow. Alta, Utah, often tops lists of the best snow for skiing and snowboarding, but it is also one of the best locations for spring skiing. Plus, to encourage people to travel again, some of the lodges are offering bonuses in April. These include complimentary meals, wine tastings, free kids’ rentals, and more. If you’re looking for a few more activities, participate in Alta’s community-wide Easter egg hunt.

06Let the music play in Phoenix

Phoenix may end up being one of this spring’s best destinations. Last year, the city had to push back the much-anticipated Country Thunder to April of this year. Event runners promise that this musical celebration is sure to be something special. Outside of the concerts, you can visit the incredible Heard Museum for a detailed look at Native American history or stop by the Phoenix Museum of Art’s beautiful collection. Foodies have plenty of options, with restaurants offering cuisine from all over the world.

07Swim together in Kapolei

Couple walk along beach. Lanai Kai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. MichaelDeLeon / Getty Images

Kapolei may not be quite as famous as Honolulu, but it has just as much to offer. The rapidly-growing city is home to some of Hawaii’s best retreats, including the Disney Aulani resort. Stop by the lagoons for a quick swim or to relax on the warm sands. Make sure to bring some snorkeling gear for a better look at the gorgeous local fish. If you want to fully enjoy the surrounding ocean, take your friends and family out paddling or enjoy the deep blue waters with a glass-bottom boat tour.

08Explore and relax in Bar Harbor

bar harbor maine buildings Peter Unger / Getty Images

Spring has long been considered to be the best time to visit the charming town of Bar Harbor. If you’re from a bigger city, Bar Harbor almost feels like it exists in a different world. The area is most famous for Acadia National Park, which is full of rough coastlines and gentle lakes. Take a kayak or canoe tour to take in the scenic waters. Animal lovers should take one of the many nature tours available and catch sight of some adorable puffins and seals. Of course, if you’re visiting a New England town, you have to enjoy the region’s incredible cuisine.

09Walk with history in Boston

Photographing Boston skyline at sunset FilippoBacci / Getty Images

History, culture, cuisine, entertainment — is there anything Boston doesn’t have? Make the most of the gorgeous spring weather by walking the Freedom Trail and taking in the city’s most historic sites. Visit the Arnold Arboretum and take in an explosion of color from blooming flowers and majestic birds. Boston’s 12-day Design Week begins in late April. Watch as artists, landscape designers, urban designers, and many other individuals put their talents on display. For a bit of fun and history, hop aboard the spooky Ghosts & Gravestones tour to discover the city’s haunting and dark past.

10Embrace nature in New River Gorge

A woman perched on a rocky outcrop looks out over the New River Gorge Bridge in Wild West Virginia. A moody sky and foggy river below add drama. Brian Evans / Getty Images

This past year saw the birth of a brand new national park: New River Gorge in West Virginia. While the area is already a popular destination, officials hope that its new status will open up opportunities to make the beautiful park even better. Athletic individuals will adore the park for its rock climbing and whitewater rafting opportunities. Nature lovers will enjoy exploring the gentle streams and towering trees as woodland critters dart across the paths. If you need a break from the more physical activities, learn about the region's history with guided tours of the nearby mining towns, farms, and railroad.