Places to Visit in California in April

California is a fabulous place to plan your vacation any time of year, but there are specific places to visit in California in April to enjoy all spring has to offer! Plus you can’t beat the weather this time of year.

We’ve asked our travel friends to share their favorite places to Visit in California in the spring, specifically during the month of April. You’ll find a variety of spectacular sights and unique destinations, offering something special for every type of traveler.

California in April list of places to visit

The April weather around California is idyllic, with temperate climates that offer a perfect blend of sunny days and cool nights.

For those seeking a retreat into nature, visiting desert landmarks like Joshua Tree National Park or Death Valley is perfect in April. The summer’s intense heat hasn’t arrived yet, so you can comfortably hike and explore these stunning arid landscapes.

The rolling green hills that come to life at this time of year are not to be missed. They’re dotted with colorful wildflowers, offering breathtaking views and perfect photo opportunities for nature enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

Grab this free California Bucket List Packet for even more things to see, do and eat all around the state in the month of April! Simply click the graphic below to get a ton of vacation ideas for visiting California!

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map showing places to visit in California in April

Map of California Vacation Spots in April

Here is a map of places to visit in California in April to help you plan your travel itinerary! This map guides you through California’s most coveted vacation spots in April to enjoy sunny beaches, mountainous trails, and vibrant cityscapes.

We recommend the California GuideAlong App to hear fun behind-the-scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location as you drive through the state!

Places to Visit in California in April

Traveling to California in April is an invitation to experience the Golden State’s vibrant spring season.

California National Parks in the Spring: Depending on the location of the park, April could still be cold at the higher elevations. Parks on the coast will be chilly with spring rain. The desert parks will be crowded as people visit to enjoy the moderate temperatures.

Southern California Vacation Ideas: With spring in full swing, the region typically experiences average daytime temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the low 70s Fahrenheit, accompanied by a gentle breeze and minimal rainfall. This time of year is ideal for outdoor activities

Northern California Vacation Ideas: While Southern California enjoys mild temperatures in April, Northern California’s climate can be quite different during the same time of the year. Conditions in the northern part of the state are typically more variable, with temperatures often ranging from the low 50s to the high 60s Fahrenheit.

Northern California can experience more rainfall as well, particularly in areas farther north and closer to the coast. However, these showers often bring about the lush greenery and blooming wildflowers that Northern California is known for in the spring, creating stunning landscapes that are perfect for nature photography and sightseeing.

We’ve asked our travel friends to share their favorite California vacation spots for the month of April! Here are their recommendations and tips!

Big Sur beach
Big Sur waterfall

Big Sur in April

April is a great time to explore Big Sur. As winter fades, this coastal gem comes to life with an explosion of wildflowers – blanketing the cliffs and valleys in a rich tapestry of violet and tangerine.

The moderate temperatures this time of year are for outdoor adventures – making it an ideal period for hiking the scenic trails that wind through the redwood forests and along the dramatic coastal bluffs.

It’s also a great time of year for wildlife enthusiasts, especially for whale watching in California. April marks the return of humpback whales to the Monterey coastline, which can be seen both on land and sea excursions. It is also the tail end of the elephant seal breeding season, so there’s a good chance you’ll spot young pups along the beach!

April offers a sweet spot before the summer crowds, with accommodation options both cheaper and easier to snag. My personal favorite is Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn, a historic redwood hotel tucked alongside a babbling creek, whose well tended gardens are draped in fragrant wisteria every spring. (Recommended by Rose, Rose Campau Blog)

Big Sur Lodging & Tours

Carmel by the Sea
Cottage of Sweets in Carmel by the Sea

Carmel by the Sea in April

Carmel, more affectionately known as Carmel by the Sea, is a lovely, European-inspired city to visit in California all year. However, in April, we start to see wildflowers bloom along the coast, making the stunning scenery even more beautiful.

When you visit in April, make sure to plan a day to drive around the outskirts of Carmel and see the rugged rocks along the water and fields of these wildflowers. A great spot for this is Point Lobos State Park.

I’d recommend staying right downtown in Carmel. Pine Inn is an adorable boutique-style hotel that is walking distance from almost everything, and right across the street from the Cottage of Sweets, a must-visit on your trip! One of my favorite activities in this city was simply walking around. There are countless boutiques, my favorites being Diggity Dog and Quail and Olive, along with art galleries, cafes, and restaurants.

After each day of hiking or shopping, I suggest making your way down to Carmel Sunset Beach to watch the sunset. Carmel is a very dog-friendly city, so if your furry friend is with you, they can come, too! (Photo and Recommendation by Sarah, Sarah Seeks Adventure)

Carmel, California Lodging & Tours

Death Valley National Park in California
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park in April

Death Valley National Park is known for being the hottest, driest, and lowest place in the USA. During April, temperatures in the park range from a high of 89°F to a low of 62°F. 

Spring is the most popular time to visit Death Valley because there’s a possibility of seeing spring wildflowers. If there’s been rain throughout winter, during the month of April you’ll spot beautiful flowers throughout the park. 

It can get quite hot in Death Valley, even in the spring, and so the key to visiting at this time of year is to enjoy the park early in the day, and in the late afternoon and evening. It’s best to rest midday, when it’s hottest.

Death Valley has many different landscapes, from salt flats to snow-capped mountains. On the Artist’s Drive loop, you’ll have panoramic views of Death Valley’s colorful hills.

At 282 feet below sea level, Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America. This massive salt flat was originally a large lake that eventually evaporated, leaving a 1-5 foot layer of salt.

Mesquite Flat sand dunes are found in the northern region of Death Valley. Head to Mesquite Flats in the evening and walk out into the dunes and watch the sunset over the park. 

There are three hotels inside Death Valley National Park as well as several well-equipped campgrounds to choose from. The Inn at Death Valley is a recently renovated resort that has a spring-fed pool, bar, restaurant, and a gym. (Photo and Recommendation by Erin, Pina Travels)

Death Valley Lodging & Tours

Disneyland California Adventure
Disneyland Wine & Food Festival at California Adventure

Disneyland in April

If you’re visiting Southern California during April, the weather is perfect for a trip to Disneyland. Temperatures stay cool during the days, but there’s still a slight chance for rain in April, so be sure your Disney Packing List includes a rain poncho!

There are a variety of fun events in April, making it one of the best times to visit Disneyland throughout the year. The Disneyland Wine & Food Festival takes place at California Adventure Park from early March through the end of April.

If you’re headed to the park around Easter, also be sure to check out the Easter Egg hunt throughout Disneyland and California Adventure. You can purchase a scavenger hunt packet from participating shops throughout the resort, find all the eggs, turn in your packet, and then receive a prize. If you’re visiting Easter weekend plan on making an advance dining reservation because this is a busy day to visit for many locals. (Photo and Recommendation by Sondra, Cuisine & Travel)

Anaheim Lodging & Tours

Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park in April

Joshua Tree is one of the top National Parks in California. The park is well known for, of course, its Joshua trees but also for its incredible views and unique stargazing opportunities. 

Some of the best areas to visit in Joshua Tree include The Hidden Nature Valley, Barkers Dam, and the Cholla Cactus Garden for a magnificent sunset view. While at the park, also remember to keep your eye out for an array of wildlife. Animals such as black-tailed Jackrabbits and Kit Foxes are known to reside here.

A Joshua Tree travel tip to know is that there are no service stations or gas in the park, so make sure to get those things before arriving. The park is open all year round, but April is the perfect time to visit due to the warm (but not too warm) weather conditions. 

You could even consider camping at the park at this time of year. Just make sure to book in advance. (Photo and Recommendation by Samantha, Find Love and Travel)

Joshua Tree National Park Lodging & Tours

Treasure Island Park in Laguna Beach
Treasure Island Park, Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach in April

Laguna Beach is a beautiful coastal city in Southern California with over 30 beaches. It has a walkable downtown, great beach parks, and excellent seafood restaurants. In spring, you can go whale watching, explore tide pools, or enjoy coastal views from a beach park. 

Heisler Park and Treasure Island Park are both excellent public beach parks with picnic areas, benches, and restrooms. From the parks, you’ll have an incredible view of the coast. They have easy access to the beaches, where you can enjoy the sunset or explore tide pools. During Spring, the weather is in the low 70’s, and it’s one of the best times to spot marine life. 

Besides the beaches, you can go on a trip to Catalina Island. The Catalina Island Ferry leaves from Dana Point harbor, which is just a 20 minute drive from Laguna Beach. Catalina Island has snorkeling tours, zip-lining, golf, spas, and plenty more to enjoy for a weekend getaway. (Photo and Recommendation by Layla Pond, Leisure Trip Guide)

Laguna Beach Lodging & Tours

Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley

Napa Valley in April

Napa Valley is renowned as one of the best places to visit in California, and in springtime the area really shows off! April in Napa Valley brings mild temperatures, blooming flowers, and lush greenery. The weather is typically pleasant with warmer days and cool nights, making it ideal for outdoor activities including wine tasting and picnicking.

Also in April, the vineyards of Napa Valley burst into vibrant colors as the grapevines awaken from their winter dormancy. The rolling hills and picturesque landscapes create a stunning backdrop for exploring the region if you are spending a weekend in Napa.

With the pleasant spring weather, April is an excellent time to enjoy outdoor activities such as hot air ballooning, cycling through the vineyards, or hiking along scenic trails. Overall Napa Valley offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor experiences in April. (Photo and Recommendation by Erin, The Simple Salty Life)

Napa Valley Lodging & Tours

Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs

Palm Springs in April

From music festivals to art shows, there are endless things to do in Palm Springs during the month of April. Not to mention, the weather in April is perfect. It’s just beginning to warm up, but it’s still not too hot yet. You’ll have plenty of sunny days to go hiking, spend time at the pool, or check out all the events happening around town.

First up on the list is the internationally renowned Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. This two-weekend event brings together some of the biggest names in music, like Bad Bunny, Jay-Z, Billie Eilish, and Karol G, for a one-of-a-kind experience on the grounds of the Empire Polo Club. More of a country music fan? Don’t miss Stagecoach, which also takes place on the polo grounds, and see some of the best country music artists perform live. 

If you’re looking for a more low-key experience, check out Desert X, which draws visitors from around the world. Exhibitions take place every two years between April and May in Palm Springs, featuring outdoor art installations all across the Coachella Valley. Or, you could take a tour in Palm Springs, such as the exciting San Andreas fault Jeep tour or one that takes you up close to the famous windmills. 

No matter what you end up doing in Palm Springs in April, you’re sure to have a great time! (Recommended by Jen, Jen on the Run)

Palm Springs Lodging & Tours

San Diego
San Diego

San Diego in April

In April, San Diego truly comes alive, offering a myriad of exciting activities and events that perfectly capture the essence of this charming Californian city. The gentle warmth with temperatures typically ranging from the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit, creates a delightful climate that’s not too hot, nor too cold. 

This fantastic weather sets the stage for an array of outdoor activities that San Diego offers in April. From the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch — a stunning spectacle of blooming flowers that will leave you awe-struck — to the Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, there’s a burst of nature’s colors waiting to be explored. 

Foodies can savor local culinary delights at the Seven Seas Craft Beer & Food Festival, while art enthusiasts can enjoy the annual springtime event, Art Alive, at the San Diego Museum of Art. Sports fans, on the other hand, can catch a San Diego Padres game at Petco Park.

And let’s not forget about Balboa Park, one of San Diego’s iconic landmarks. In April, the park is a visual treat with flowers in bloom and lush greenery, making it perfect for leisurely strolls, picnics, or simply soaking up the sun.

With its mix of festivals, outdoor activities, and cultural events, San Diego is an ideal place to visit in California in April, whether you’re exploring San Diego solo or with friends! (Photo and Recommendation by Goya from Goya Galeotta)

San Diego Lodging & Tours

View of Alcatraz in San Francisco
View of Alcatraz in San Francisco

San Francisco in April

San Francisco, nestled on the picturesque shores of California, captivates visitors with its iconic landmarks, diverse culture, and stunning landscapes. April paints the city in a vibrant hue, making it an ideal time to explore its many treasures.

The city’s famed Golden Gate Bridge stands majestically against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, offering breathtaking views and photo opportunities. Visitors can wander through the charming neighborhoods of Haight-Ashbury and the Mission District, each pulsating with its unique character and history.

April in San Francisco heralds the arrival of spring, with blooming flowers adorning the city’s parks and gardens, such as the serene Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. Outdoor enthusiasts can embark on scenic hikes in nearby Marin County or stroll along the picturesque Embarcadero waterfront.

Culinary delights abound in San Francisco, with its world-class restaurants showcasing the freshest local ingredients and innovative flavors. From the bustling stalls of the Ferry Building Marketplace to the Michelin-starred eateries of the Financial District, the city promises a gastronomic adventure like no other.

With its perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and culinary delights, San Francisco shines as a must-visit destination in California, especially in April. (Photo and Recommendation by Victoria, Guide Your Travel)

San Francisco Lodging & Tours

Sequoia in Early Spring
Sequoia National Park in the spring

Sequoia National Park in April

Often considered a summer destination, spring in Sequoia National Park shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, some argue that April is one of the best times to visit (as long as you arrive prepared!). In April, temperatures are rising, snow is melting, the foothills are alive with wildflowers, and crowds are a fraction of those in summer.

Average highs fall around 53°F, and average lows are a brisk 30°F. Certain roads and trails remain closed. Planning is important, and snow tires and/or chains are essential. However, with the right gear and preparations, Sequoia is an absolute wonderland in early spring.

When visiting Sequoia in April, you’ll find a variety of fresh blooms in the park’s foothills, ranging from California poppies to redbud trees and marigolds. You can’t miss the General Sherman Tree (the largest in the world by volume), often still blanketed in snow, and the Giant Forest Museum, both open year-round and set in the popular Giant Forest section of the park.

As far as hiking goes, the Big Trees Trail is a 1.3-mile loop open year-round and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. It skirts the edge of a large meadow and winds through clusters of giant sequoias.

Regarding places to stay in Sequoia in April, Wuksachi Lodge is usually open year-round, and John Muir Lodge is open seasonally from late March to October. Camping-wise, options are limited, and the only campground open year-round is Azalea, located in the park’s Grant Grove section. (Photo and Recommendation by Jenna, Up and Away Magazine)

Sequoia & Kings Canyon Lodging

Solvang, California

Solvang in April

One of the most unique places to visit in California in April is the quaint little town of Solvang. Often referred to as a “slice of Denmark in Southern California,” this photogenic town has streets lined with Dutch architecture and windmills. 

Solvang attracts all kinds of visitors, from families wanting to have a getaway with a European feel to couples and groups of friends wanting to shop and sample the local food and wine. 

Some things to plan while spending a day in Solvang include taking a horse drawn carriage ride, booking a wine-tasting tour, or visiting the iconic Hans Christian Andersen Museum. The town even has a Little Mermaid statue that is a replica of the one that has been offshore in Copenhagen since 1913. 

While Solvang takes pride in its Danish atmosphere, it does still have Southern California’s sunny weather. The town is open year round, but to avoid the heat, beat the crowds, and have first pick at those wineries and Danish bakeries, it’s recommended that visitors make their plans before the peak summer months. (Photo and Recommendation by Olivia, Girl With Blue Sails)

Solvang Lodging & Tours

Temecula Winery
Temecula Winery

Temecula in April

Temecula is the perfect destination for couples, and with sunny skies and warm temperatures, April is a great time to visit. Between the wine, the views, and the weather, you’ll want to spend at least a few days in this beautiful wine country. 

Make your first stop at the Temecula Welcome Center to learn about current events and to pick up a wine country map. The guides here are very helpful in letting you know where to should start based on your wine-tasting preference. There are nearly 50 wineries to explore, many with outdoor patios, so you can sip wine with a gorgeous view of the vineyards. 

Aside from wine tasting, there are many other things to do, like hiking trails throughout the Valley, taking a hot air balloon ride, or strolling through the Old Town area- a super cute restaurant and shopping district made to look like the Old West with historic storefronts. 

If you’re looking to unwind and enjoy the outdoors with some delicious wine and food, then Temecula is a southern California can’t-miss springtime destination. (Recommended by Sheri, Sheri Nagle)

Temecula Lodging & Tours

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