Are you fortunate enough to have some vacation time coming up and looking for a great spot for a photo adventure? I know I’m itching to get out there and shoot after spending a rainy winter renovating my house. Bleh! Shoulder spring months, April and May are an excellent time to travel because most places are less crowded and you can often find discounts on flights and hotels.
Are you feeling the wanderlust? Here are some suggestions for interesting, awesome places to visit in the spring. The hotel recommendations are places I’ve stayed personally and enjoyed.
1. TOFINO, Vancouver Island
Tofino has beaches, old growth forests, and the most delicious fish tacos you’ll ever eat. After visiting Tofino, you’ll know why I made the move back to the island from New York a few years ago. The peace and beauty will make you smile. April and May is still the shoulder season, so hotel prices are lower and the tourist season has yet to begin. The weather is still cool, but on sunny days it can get up to 17C/63F. Warm enough for a sun dress on the beach if you are Canadian ;)
Chesterman beach in Tofino, is Canada’s nicest beach in my opinion. It has a lovely curve to it that is perfect for landscape photos, and it’s less popular than Long Beach which makes it feel more private and wild.
There are several good hikes in the area ranging from easy peasy (I’m wearing flip flops and a dress in this photo from the Rainforest trail) and pretty darn hard. You can hike or surf or just chill on the beach or photograph people doing all three whilst munching on a Tacofino taco.
Best places in Tofino to photograph:
- Chesterman Beach
- Long Beach
- Wild Pacific Trail
- Rainforest Trail
2. TUSCANY, Italy
There is never a bad time to visit Tuscany. I visited in May because I have always wanted to photograph the poppy fields there. The best time of year to capture poppies in Tuscany is mid May. I found the best fields to photograph around the small hill top city of Monteriggioni and in the Val d’Orcia region.
The weather was a bit cool at times in May, but there were few tourists and hotels were a bit cheaper in the countryside. It was still sunny most of the time and I got some gorgeous sunsets. And when it rained, there was wine and spaghetti carbonara that kept me warm.
Best places in Tuscany to photograph:
- Val d’Orcia
- Podere Dionara near Montepulciano
3. BIG ISLAND, Hawaii
The Big Island is one of my favourite tropical destinations. I love it so much, I honeymooned here.
The Big Island is more rustic than Maui and it’s quite a bit bigger. I drove around the whole island and was amazed at the differences in climate and landscapes. Things are just bigger and bolder on the Big Island.
If you are a fan of volcanos, you can get a pretty good view of Kīlauea’s Halemaumau Crater smoking away at night.
Best places to photograph on the Big Island, Hawaii
- Mauna Kea for star shots
- Kīlauea’s Halemaumau Crater
- Waipio Valley Lookout
- Pololu Valley
4. EL CALAFATE, Patagonia, Argentina
The fall colours will be out in Patagonia and there is not a better spot than El Calafate. Just make sure you pack some gortex and warm woolies and you will be good to go. One of the most spectacular places to see is Perito Moreno Glacier. A huge blue glacier jutting out of the water makes for some incredible photos.
If you want to get up and personal, you can arrange a tour and walk on top of the glacier. Bring all of your gear because there are spectacular shots up there!
Also, did you know they have flamingos in Patagonia? I didn’t, and was pretty shocked to see these guys chilling the shores of Lago Argentino. They are jerks to photograph though. As soon as they see you, they smugly move just far enough, so you can’t get a good shot of them with a standard 70-200mm zoom. You almost need a bad boy 600mm for these guys.
Best places in El Calafate to photograph:
- Perito Moreno Glacier
- Lago Argentino
- Parque Natcional Los Galciares
Eolo, Patagonia’s Spirit (This one is pricey, but all inclusive and so lovely. Worth a splurge, even for a night)
5. DUBLIN, Ireland
The capital city of the Emerald Isle is one of the friendliest cities, I’ve ever traveled too. I found it easy to get around, and extremely beautiful to shoot. One of my favourite spots was Trinity College campus near the centre of town. I felt smart just walking about. Spring is lovely in Ireland and anytime before June is less crowded and touristy. These photos were taken in November, so just imagine some leaves and flowers on those winter branches ;)
If you have time, rent a car and start road tripping around the island. It’s my plan for late May. I’ll let you know the details when I have them.
Best places to photograph in Dublin:
- Trinity College (don’t miss the library)
- St Stephen’s Green
- Temple Street
- Ha’penny Bridge
- James Joyce Bridge
Hope these photos inspire you on your next adventure and let me know if I missed any spots in these wonderful places or if you have any other ideas or thoughts.
Let me know: Where do you think the best places to go photograph in spring are?