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Spring Retreats That'll Make You Wish for an Early Thaw

Spring Retreats That'll Make You Wish for an Early Thaw

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Getaway Staff
Updated: Mar 1, 2022

Spring has sprung, and you want to go somewhere far-flung. There are ideal vacation destinations in the U.S. and abroad, and the crowd forecast looks sunny with a chance of showers. The best thing about this time of year? The shift away from winter ushers in a festive mood in the Northern Hemisphere, and outdoor events sneak back onto calendars. It's also flower season. Impressive floral displays dot many of your favorite cities, and they may inspire you to seek the rays and flourish right along with them.

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01Cape Town, South Africa

Cable Car Cape Town stonena7 / Getty Images

Down in the Southern Hemisphere, it's autumn between March and May. The shoulder seasons are the best time to visit South Africa's Mother City. Without the December and January crowds, queues to must-see attractions such as the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway and Robben Island are much shorter. And the weather, though it may change three times a day, is pleasant overall, unlike in winter when the city's wet bluster is liable to blow you into the Cape Peninsula.

Enjoy a spa day in the Winelands, swim with penguins at Boulders Beach, or take in the vibes at the V&A Waterfront. A Camps Bay Airbnb with jaw-dropping views is the perfect base for your excursions.

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02Lisbon, Portugal

Beautiful view of Lisbon from the Tagus River alanphillips / Getty Images

Spring in Lisbon has the potential to wake any winter-weary soul. We promise sighs of contentment between affordable mouthfuls of pastéis de Belém. When your belly is full, visit the circus academy, Chapitô, in Alfama, and you might see some of the clowns-in-training prepare for the upcoming parades. The restaurant here also offers some of the most striking views of the legendary Tagus River and arguably one of the best terrace views you'll ever see. In spring, Lisbon is aflutter with carnival and street parties. But you'll want to travel to Torres Vedras for the most happening festas. Be sure to take a day trip to enchanting Sintra too.

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03Munich, Germany

A small waterfall in the English garden - Englischer Garten - in Munich StreetFlash / Getty Images

Head to Munich in May, and the city will delight you. The Englischer Garten's Eisbach is full of bathers who can't resist the artificial river in the middle of the town, even though swimming isn't allowed. You'll spend at least 15 minutes watching the freshwater surfers do their thing. Pack a picnic for Olympia Park and catch one of the many springtime concerts and events while you're at it, but confirm pandemic protocols first.

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04Vancouver, Canada

Always beautiful, Vancouver takes things up a notch in spring. The cherry blossoms wash the city in cotton candy pink, and you can pretend you're in faraway Japan at Nitobe Memorial Garden. Vancouver is warm and dry in spring, and May's a good time to go whale watching for orcas. Round off your day with the season's bounty at sustainable restaurants like Forage.

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05St. Petersburg, Russia

Grand Cascade in Peterhof Palace, Saint Petersburg scaliger / Getty Images

Avoid the summer tourist influx by visiting romantic St. Petersburg in late spring. The city is still chilly, but you can happily spend your time outdoors if you dress appropriately. Plus, there are plenty of music festivals where you can warm up with a bit of moving and grooving.

Keep an eye out, and you might see the ice from Lake Ladoga as it makes its way to the Gulf of Finland or catch the fountains at Peterhof dancing away. In early May, you'll be treated to fireworks and Victory Day festivities while you stroll over bridges and canals that rival Venice's famous waterways.

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06Dublin, Ireland

Temple Bar Dublin Ireland

Dublin can be a little cold and rainy in spring, but don't let that put you off. March in the city is epic, what with all the St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the Irish capital. The revelry paints the town green and ends with a family-friendly parade. If you want to check out some world-class choreography, be sure to catch the Dublin Dance Festival in May.

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07Bariloche, Argentina

Backpacking across the valleys of San Carlos de Bariloche, Patagonia Argentina Agustina Camilion / Getty Images

It's fall in this Patagonian gem, and the foliage changes outfits for one last hurrah. There's so much to do, and you'll find yourself wishing you had more time to soak up the area's unique ambiance and diverse scenery. In between hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, you can pop into the National Chocolate Festival to indulge in truffles and treats. Or check out the museums and cultural spots detailing Bariloche's history.

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08Delhi, India

People in Urdu Bazar or market street of historical part of Chandni Chowk locality of Old Delhi in the evening

If you've always wanted to participate in a Holi festival with its explosion of rainbow colors, then spring is the time to head to the Indian capital. Everyone comes out to play, and the joy is palpable. Delhi's also an excellent place for purchasing books and ayurvedic products—ashwagandha, anyone?— at low prices. Take a tuk-tuk to Chandni Chowk and Delhi's Havelis for a taste of heritage.

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09Orlando, Florida

Orlando. Located in Lake Eola Park, Orlando, Florida, USA.

The Sunshine State is a fabulous Spring Break option. The weather in Orlando is warm but not oppressively humid. Easter events and Mardi Gras are drawcards, and once you're done having fun at the attractions and slightly less-crowded-than-usual theme parks, you can venture a little further to the coast for mangroves, beaches, and cattle ranches.

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10Koh Samui, Thailand

High Angle View Of People Celebrating Water Festival Karn Bulsuk / EyeEm / Getty Images

It's fry an egg on the pavement levels of hot in April, but the water activities provide much-needed cool-downs. One such activity occurs mid-month at Thai New Year or Songkran celebrations. Imagine a water fight but at scale. The super-soaked island experience makes for a jolly good time for all ages.

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