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9 Captivating Cities in the USA to Visit in Spring

9 Captivating Cities in the USA to Visit in Spring

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Are you thinking of planning a trip in the US in Spring but aren’t sure where to go? Keep scrolling to check out my top 9 picks for the best cities in the USA to visit in Spring!
This list of the best cities to visit in the USA in Spring was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Even though summer is the time of the year when most people choose to travel, there’s something about exploring cities during the springtime that brings in a whole new layer to places you may already know well.

Spring tends to bring in lower prices, fewer crowds, and milder weather, all of which create the perfect recipe for traveling.

Moreover, this time of the year tends to be magical, with flowers blooming all over, festivals taking place, and locals feeling generally happy now that winter is gone.

If you want to plan an escape somewhere new but don’t know where to go yet, here’s a list of some of the best cities in the United States to visit in spring.

The Best Cities in the USA to Visit in Spring

1. New York City, New York

Even though it likely won’t be that warm, the Big Apple is another great city in the USA to visit in spring.

For one, you’ll be able to enjoy the city’s major attractions without having to deal with the summer crowds. We recently spent a week in NYC and it was incredible!

Walking around Central Park during the spring has a much more local feel to it.

Image of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC on a rainy day
The Met is a perfect rainy day activity in NYC!

Plus, museums are significantly quieter at this time of the year. My top picks include the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met), and others.

Aside from that, cherry blossoms begin to bloom all over the city once spring creeps in.

Central park at spring sunny day, New York City
It’s hard to beat Central Park in the Spring.

Lovely places to see them include Central Park, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, New York Botanical Garden, Roosevelt Island, Sakura Park, Washington Square Park, and Green-Wood Cemetery, to name just a few!

If you’re thinking about doing a family trip, here are our top kid-friendly NYC hotels!

2. Portland, Oregon

As the largest city in Oregon, Portland is one of the most unique cities in the United States and a wonderful spring destination if you don’t mind somewhat chilly temperatures.

Portland Oregon skyline downtown buildings and marina.
Portland is a fun Pacific Northwest getaway.

Located right between the Willamette and Columbia rivers, Portland is a place where you’ll find culture all over.

The city is known for its incredible coffee culture, delicious craft beer, artsy vibes, and quirky establishments. It’s also a symbol of eco-friendly and sustainable cities.

Image of the Portland Oregon sign
Don’t miss the Portland Oregon sign!

Moreover, Portland is a wonderful hub to explore some of the best Oregon has to offer in terms of nature, making it a wonderful place to visit if you want to mix nature and city for your next getaway.

It’s a great jumping-off point to see some small towns in Oregon, the Seven Wonders of Oregon, or even some amazing Oregon Coast towns!

3. Chicago, Illinois

Warm weather shouldn’t be expected on a spring getaway to Chicago. But, it’s the biggest city in the Midwest and the third largest in the United States. It’s glorious to visit if you love humongous concrete jungles.

Chicago skyline and Buckingham Fountain in the morning. No brand names or copyright objects.
Springtime in Chicago can be lovely.

Famed for its skyscraper-lined skyline, baseball, and delicious food, the Windy City has a whole lot more to offer visitors on its menu. There are tons of Chicago tours for families!

A couple of days should be enough to experience the main highlights if you only have a weekend to spend, but if you have more time, you’ll never really run out of things to do during your visit! There are tons of kid-friendly things to do in Chicago!

Spring in Chicago, Illinois. Skyline of Chicago with cherry blossoms.
Enjoy cherry blossoms throughout the city.

During the spring, cherry blossoms bloom up all over Jackson Park, colorful tulips blanket Michigan Avenue, and the entire city seems to turn green.

Outdoor restaurants and parks start seeing life again, and the entire vibe around the city bursts to life now that sunny days are back.

4. Monterey, California

Warm weather, beautiful parks, beach goodness, and a whole lot of marine life are the staples of this stunning city in California.

The Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, California, a famous tourist attraction
Old Fisherman’s Wharf is a popular Monterey attraction.

Located on the Pacific Coast, Monterey is a city known for its relaxing vibes. It’s pretty much the capital of marine life in the United States thanks to the vibrant ecosystems that live under its waves.

It’s also home to an incredible aquarium (Monterey Bay Aquarium). This is where thousands of species live. Visitors can enjoy educational opportunities through exhibits and fun interactive activities.

California Bixby bridge in Big Sur in Monterey County along State Route 1 US
Explore the California Coast in Monterey.

Moreover, Monterey is also a wonderful place to explore some of the best the California coast has to offer, with plenty of easy day trips available.

For a quiet day spent exploring quaint streets, head over to Carmel-by-the-Sea to enjoy its charming European feel.

Or if you want nature, you can drive over to Point Lobos State Park or Pfeiffer Beach State park to get a taste of the best the Big Sur area has to offer in terms of scenery!

5. St. Augustine, Florida

This is the oldest city in the United States and a true gem to visit any time of the year thanks to its year-round warm temperatures.

St. Augustine, Florida, USA.
St. Augustine is one of the prettiest historic cities in the United States.

As you walk its charming streets, you’ll feel as though you’re walking amid a city in Europe. This is all thanks to its lovely colonial architecture and historical landmarks that date back 500 years ago when settlers founded St. Augustine.

Aside from simply gawking at its architecture, there’s a whole lot more to do here, including lounging at the beach, enjoying water activities, visiting its incredible zoo, tasting craft beer, and much more.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine.
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine.

Spring is a wonderful time to check out St. Augustine because the weather isn’t as hot in comparison to summer.

Moreover, you’ll see significantly fewer crowds just as long as you don’t visit during Spring Break!

6. Miami, Florida

Another glorious spring destination if beaches and warm weather are what you’re after is Miami.

This is where you’ll enjoy golden beaches, shallow waters, multicolored neighborhoods, a plethora of nature activities, and some of the most exciting parties in the country.

Miami Beach at sunset
There are tons of exciting things to do in Miami Beach!

Miami has a little something to offer everyone no matter their travel styles and interests.

Here, you can spend days on end lounging by the beach, enjoying water sports, exploring streets lined by Art Deco buildings and striking wall murals.

Or spend the day enjoying the variety of multicultural gastronomy you’ll find all over the city.

Airboat in Everglades Florida Big Cypress National Preserve.
Airboat in Everglades Florida Big Cypress National Preserve.

Heading out to nature is also an option, with places like Everglades National Park being just a stone’s throw away.

Granted, if you’re not into crowds and big parties, you may want to avoid visiting Miami during the week of Spring Break. Any other time, though, you should be treated to emptier streets compared to the summer!

7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Commonly known as the Steel City, Pittsburgh is another wonderful spring destination if warm weather isn’t at the top of your priorities list.

The city was made famous for its production of steel, but these days, you’ll find it’s actually a pretty interesting place to visit.

Image of the Pittsburgh skyline
Pittsburgh is an under-rated spring destination in the U.S.

A lively nightlife, plenty of shopping options, and a huge variety of museums are all part of what makes Pittsburgh an amazing choice. 

The Andy Warhol Museum, the Cathedral of Learning, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Museum of Natural History are all places you don’t want to miss out on visiting while in Pittsburgh.

Incline operating in front of the downtown skyline of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
The Incline is a popular Pittsburgh attraction for families.

Spring also means plenty of colors start popping up all over the city. Cherry blossoms blanket the streets of Pittsburgh, and tons of wildflowers start blooming at the top of Mount Washington this time of the year!

8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is another gorgeous spring destination if arts and history are your thing.

The city is filled with some of the most important historical landmarks in the United States. There are also plenty of incredible museums and some of the most iconic buildings in the country like Independence Hall.

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The best part of Philly lies in its Historic District, a place that played an important role in the history of the United States as an independent country.

These historic landmarks and incredible museums are perfect to take a respite if the weather gets too chilly. Other wonderful things to do include checking out the Drexel University Academy of Natural Sciences, Sesame Place, and the Philadelphia Zoo.

Elfreths Alley in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in spring
Elfreths Alley in Philadelphia.

As a tip, you can combine a spring trip to Philadelphia with a visit to New York City since they’re just a short train ride away from each other and can easily be combined into a single visit!

9. San Juan, Puerto Rico

The United States covers so much territory that visiting the Caribbean on a quick getaway is very much possible without even needing a passport!

Plaza de Armas in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Plaza de Armas in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, is a place as colorful as it gets and a wonderful spring destination for sun-worshippers who don’t want to deal with the crowds of winter and summer.

Moreover, temperatures are milder at this time of the year and are perfect for walking around Old San Juan’s multicolored streets.

View of the coast from the cemetery at Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.
View of the coast from the cemetery in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Enjoying drinks at beach clubs, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, visiting historical sites that date back to the Spanish colonization, and tasting Caribbean food as delicious as it gets are all part of what makes a trip to San Juan an absolute dream.

There are also lots of things to do in Puerto Rico with kids!

If you’re into nature, you can also take a day trip out to El Yunque National Forest, which is the only tropical rainforest in the entire United States.

Best Places to Visit in Spring in the US Wrap Up

Have you ever visited any of these cities during the spring? If so, which ones did you enjoy the most and why?

If you have any other recommendations for cool cities to visit during the springtime in the United States, please feel free to drop them in the comment section below!

Looking for more Spring getaways? Find out the cheapest places to do Spring Break in the US, how to save money on a Spring Break vacation, Spring Break spots to learn about history, and how to spend Spring Break in Mexico with kids!

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