April in the United States: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Cherry blossom sunrise
Catch the sunrise during the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. Getty Images/Kevin Voelker Photography

Since the cold frost of winter is finally thawing in most parts of the country, April is one of the most delightful times to take a trip in many parts of the U.S. The snow has typically melted in northern parts of the country while the extreme heat and humidity of the south is still a couple of months away. Overall, temperatures are comfortable and ideal for being outdoors—maybe even at the beach.

Some schools may celebrate spring break at the beginning of the month, especially if Easter falls in April, but apart from some late-season spring breakers, April is the shoulder season. Look for travel deals on flights and accommodations to many destinations, in case you need an extra excuse for taking a vacation.

United States Weather in April

The only guarantee of the weather across the U.S. during the month of April is unpredictability. The transition period of spring can range from what feels more like the final days of winter to full-on summer beach weather. However, temperatures are generally quickly rising throughout the month, so a trip at the end of April is much more likely to have sunnier weather than a trip at the beginning of the month. It really comes down to what specific part of the country you plan to visit.

April can be quite windy and rainy as cooler temperatures give way to the longer, warmer days of spring. If you don't see the "fun" in getting caught in the rain, avoid places in the Pacific Northwest, such as Seattle and Portland. Rain in the region is standard throughout the year but showers are guaranteed throughout the spring.

Meanwhile, summer downpours in the Southeast are still far off and places like Florida and Louisiana typically see more sun in April than they do in the summer. If you are traveling with children and are afraid of a rainstorm trapping you in a hotel room, head to a big city like Boston or San Francisco, where there are still plenty of museums and other indoor activities that are designed with children in mind.

  Average High Average Low Average Rainfall
New York City 60 F (15 C) 45 F (7 C) 3.94 inches
Los Angeles 71 F (22 C) 54 F (12 C) 0.97 inches
Chicago 57 F (14 C) 39 F (4 C) 3.62 inches
Washington, DC 66 F (18 C) 42 F (7 C) 3.15 inches
Las Vegas 78 F (26 C) 56 F (13 C) 0.15 inches
San Francisco 63 F (17 C) 49 F (9 C) 1.46 inches
Hawaii 83 F (28 C) 69 F (21 C) 0.63 inches
Grand Canyon 60 F (15 C) 32 F (0 C) 1.06 inches
Miami 83 F (28 C) 68 F (20 C) 3.14 inches
New Orleans 78 F (26 C) 59 F (15 C) 4.57 inches

What to Pack

Given the many different climates in the United States, a packing list for your April trip can vary considerably depending on what you're planning to do. A beach vacation, after all, looks very different than an April trek through the Grand Canyon.

The northeast part of the country will require a packing list with many winter staples: A coat, a scarf, gloves, and other accessories are still necessary. But a trip to the south may include a bathing suit, sandals, shorts, and other warm-weather gear. It indeed depends on where you're visiting. Regardless of where you're traveling in the U.S., an umbrella and comfortable walking shoes are must-pack items for April.

April Events in the United States

With spring thoroughly kicking off, many destinations, such as Washington, D.C., celebrate the season's blossoms. There are also unique events dedicated to food, art, music, and more. (Plus, it's the start of Major League Baseball season—a true American pastime.)

  • The National Cherry Blossom Festival: Held in Washington, D.C., this event runs from the end of March through mid-April. The sight of the bright pink blossoms all over the city is spectacular, and temperatures in the low 70s make for perfect strolling weather.
  • Easter: Many schools are closed for the days surrounding the holiday, which typically falls in early April. Many churches and communities hold Easter egg hunts and other festivities. Easter brunch is also a favorite tradition for many families.
  • Major League Baseball: The season kicks off in April. The sitting president typically throws out the season's first pitch, and there are usually upward of 100 games during April alone.
  • Earth Day: A popular day for education and celebration in the U.S. Held on April 22, many cities commemorate the day with parades, protests, and other special events to promote taking care of the environment and being good stewards toward the planet.
  • Tribeca Film Festival: One of the world's best film festivals, New York City's biggest movie event typically takes place during the last two weeks of April. The event screens independent films and draws huge celebrity names. The 2021 festival was delayed until June.

April Travel Tips

  • Some schools observe spring break during April (specifically close to the Easter holiday weekend). Because of this, some of the country's most popular family destinations, like Disney World, will be especially crowded.
  • The best travel deals can usually be found in the latter half of April during the lull between spring break and summer vacation.
  • The U.S. is home to stunning national parks—and many of the best ones are less crowded during the spring. If you want to get outside, April is a great month to do it.
  • Spring is shoulder season for many destinations, like Alaska. This means deep discounts on lodging, airfare, and, in some cases, tours and other activities.
  • A few popular ski resorts, like Telluride in Colorado and Mount Bachelor in Oregon, remain open into early April for snow bunnies who don't want to leave the slopes.