April travel has two halves: Up until mid-month, couples looking for a romantic place to celebrate an anniversary ought to be careful to avoid places overrun with spring breakers. The majority return to school by April 15, so you don't have to be quite so careful about where you go.
April is when the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place in Washington, D.C., and the gorgeous trees lining the tidal basin are in full bloom.
An hour away by water taxi (longer by car), National Harbor is a compact, walkable, upmarket community by the Potomac River that has three appealing hotels: AC Hotel National Harbor By Marriott, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, and MGM National Harbor, which contains a casino.
One of National Harbor's most popular April events is Sakura Sunday, which features a Japanese market, sake and beer garden, and live performances that relate to D.C.'s cherry blossom festival.
Yet anytime is a good time for a romantic getaway to National Harbor. Couples have their choice of more than 40 eateries, can cuddle as they ride the Capital Wheel that soars 180 feet above the water (go at sunset), and take the free shuttle to Tanger Outlets in case you want to pick out anniversary gifts together.
Have a shell of a time on the quiet side of Lee County in southwest Florida. While bigger and busier Fort Myers may draw some spring breakers, smaller and quieter Sanibel and Captiva islands are havens for grown-ups.
Every morning a bounty of seashells wash ashore on their clean, protected beaches where sunsets draw a nightly crowd. At the island’s marine, freshwater and hammock habitats river otters, loggerhead sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, bald eagles and hundreds of native and migratory birds find refuge and so will you.
Couples who appreciate full-service accommodations should consider South Seas Island Resort on Captiva, which boasts 2.5 miles of beach along the Gulf of Mexico.
Inspired by roadside lodgings that catered to medieval pilgrims, Portugal’s pousadas (country inns) reflect the customs, culture, and cuisine of the country.
Desire a relaxing country retreat, a convenient site near Lisbon, or a location near gilded museums and centuries-old cathedrals? You can find them all. and the weather should be comfortable and there are fewer crowds than in summer.
Some pousadas are former convents or monasteries with superb architecture and dazzling azulejo tiling. Others are adjacent to historic monuments and even located in wine country.
In enchanting, one-of-a-kind pousadas, the hospitality and dining are as authentic as the structure itself. In addition to their authentic charm, pousadas' intimate size gives a couple an opportunity to meet and get to know the people of Portugal.
Since it's home to Adobe, Yahoo, and Google, most people associate Silicon Valley with the high-tech industry, not romantic getaways. Yet San Jose, as California’s third-largest city, is a good pick for an April anniversary celebration. Its gentle climate (average temperature is 81 degrees F) and easygoing attitude add to the appeal.
Couples will appreciate that San Jose is culturally endowed with concerts, plays, museums, galleries, a professional hockey team and a state university all within walking distance of downtown. A drive from downtown, lively Santana Row is a three-block stretch of shops, day spas, cafés, restaurants, and clubs.
And if you want to stop and smell the roses, they're always something in bloom at the Municipal Rose Garden, home to more than 3,500 plantings and 189 varieties.
An added plus: Lovers of California wine can find numerous vineyards a few minutes' drive from San Jose in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The growing area is less commercial and far less crowded than Napa Valley.
April is autumn in New Zealand, and the weather couldn't be better: Expect sunny days under clear blue skies and temperatures in the mid-60s F.
The country's extraordinary scenery — glaciers and rain forests, beaches and mountain ranges, volcanoes and geysers, tranquil lakes and fjords, meadows and plains, thunderous waterfalls and serpentine rivers entice adventurous couples to spend time exploring outdoors. More than a third of the land has been set aside in national parks, reserves, and heritage sites that preserve the country's ecological treasures.
Nearly a third of the way down the Blue Ridge Parkway, Roanoke is a good stopover point to stretch your legs and reward yourself with a memorable meal.
Prefer to travel the waterways? You can kayak through town on the Roanoke River and other nearby scenic waterways.
Surrounded by verdant farmland and inspired by Southern cooking and hospitality, Roanoke eateries offer a variety of foodie experiences. Sample the city’s culinary scene with Roanoke Food Tours, which surveys downtown food and culture.
Open every day, the Historic Roanoke City Market is the place to score picnic-worthy fruit, vegetables, cheese, and baked goods from local farmers. Shops, museums, and restaurants surround it.
Magical Thinkers: Sedona, Arizona
Thanks to its distinctive red rocks and their energy that some believe they emanate, Sedona takes couples out of everyday life and surrounds them in an otherworldly destination — and sometimes that's just what you want on your anniversary.
Explore the surroundings on a pink jeep tour or from above in a hot-air balloon. Afterwards, repair to L'Auberge de Sedona, one of the most romantic retreats in the Southwest. Located on 11 acres in a canyon by a stream, this French country inn offers couples the choice of cuddling in a charming room in its two-story lodge or a secluded cabin with a working fireplace.
Culture Lovers: Budapest, Hungary
The capital of a small country that didn’t wrest itself from communist control until 1989, Budapest has flourished in the intervening years. Some couples come on their anniversary to see and sail the Danube, some because Hungary is part of their family heritage, some because they’ve heard about wonderful Hungarian wines and want to sample them, others simply because they want to explore its cultural, World Heritage, and natural treasures.
What makes an April visit especially appealing is the Budapest Spring Festival. It features performances of classical music, opera, jazz, world music, dance, contemporary circus, theater, and the visual arts and gives visitors an opportunity to discover more of the city by visiting the multiple venues where the events are held. And there's no more romantic place to stay than the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest.
Rainy season is normally over by April, yielding gorgeous weather in Hawaii. One of the great things about the 50th state is that there is lots more to do here than in most tropical destinations.
Definitely plan to experience more than one of the islands on your anniversary. An ideal way to experience multiple ones is on a cruise.
Learn more about the state's six major islands and which ones are most likely to satisfy your romantic longings.
Sun Lovers: San Diego, California
San Diego's ideal climate and balmy breezes lure guests year-round. Pride of the city, its Hotel del Coronado is among the country's finest examples of Victorian architecture.The distinctive, red-shingled roof evokes the mission heritage of San Diego, while the white-painted woodwork is as ornate and delicious as a wedding cake. This grand dame prides herself on old-world service combined with modern conveniences.
A grassy promenade alongside the hotel beach is dotted with palm trees, separating tennis courts from the water. Golfers can play bayside at the nearby Coronado Golf course. In the greater San Diego area are more than 50 golf courses, including Torrey Pines, site of the annual San Diego Open. Across from the hotel is the picturesque marina on Glorietta Bay, where visitors may surf, fish, or rent a sailboat. As dusk settles, lilac-hued sunsets cast a romantic glow.