Featured Photography Travel

Best Places to Travel and Photograph in April and May

lisabettanytofino

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 ;)

Long Beach, Tofino BC

Long Beach, Tofino BC

 

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.

lisabettanytofinoforest

Rainforest Trail, Tofino, BC

 

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

Recommended hotels:

2. TUSCANY, Italy

lisabettanypoppiesmonterigionni

Dancing in a poppy field, Monterigionni, 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.

tuscanysunset

View from the hill top town of Montepulciano

 

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
  • Monterigionni
  • Montepulciano
  • Piensa

Recommended hotel:

3. BIG ISLAND, Hawaii

blacksandbeachhawaii

Black sand beach, Pololū Valley

 

The Big Island is one of my favourite tropical destinations. I love it so much, I honeymooned here.

lisablackandwhitesandbeach

Walking down the black and white sand beach in Pauoa Bay

 

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.

kileueavolcanohawaii

Kīlauea’s Halemaumau Crater

 

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

Recommended Hotels:

4. EL CALAFATE, Patagonia, Argentina

peritomoreno

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.

walkotopofperitomoreno

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!

flamingoselcalafate

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

Hotel recommendations:

Eolo, Patagonia’s Spirit (This one is pricey, but all inclusive and so lovely. Worth a splurge, even for a night)

5. DUBLIN, Ireland

trinitycollegedublin

Sunshine on Trinity College Campus

 

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 ;)

dublingriffithpark

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

Recommended hotel:

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?

 

 

You Might Also Like

13 Comments

  • Reply
    ivan
    April 4, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    If you want tips of Ireland let me know, lived there for 6years head South to Baltimore and Cork as well as West to Galway a d the Burren up north go to Donegal and closer to Belfast Dunluce Castle and don’t miss the Hedges where they ha e recorded tons of movies including GoT

    • Reply
      Mostly Lisa
      April 6, 2016 at 1:01 PM

      Thank you! How long do you think I need to see the West and North? I was thinking about 3-4 weeks.

      • Reply
        Ivan Gomez
        April 6, 2016 at 2:57 PM

        that should be more than enough I did the North and West from NI to Donegal passing through the Fanad peninsula in 1.5 weeks. The west is at least another 2 weeks, specially if you go all the way around Dingle, Kerry and Cork. If you are trying to find good spots try a guy call Peter Gordon on Explorelight.com he runs some of the best tours in West of Ireland specially Connemara and I am sure he wont mind sharing some great locations.

  • Reply
    Fred DeCock
    April 6, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    Tuscany was fantastic in September.

    • Reply
      Mostly Lisa
      April 6, 2016 at 1:02 PM

      did you get some good photos? love it there.

  • Reply
    Mercedes Catalan
    April 8, 2016 at 9:02 AM

    I would add the Samuel Beckett bridge to the Dublin “best places to photograph” list!! :) It’s one of the most photographed places in Dublin but still is a nice one: the modern buildings around, the old Jeanie Johnston tall ship and the reflections on the Liffey…. It’s one of my favourite spots in this city!! Specially on clear evenings :)

    Btw, I found your blog on Instagram! Now I love it :)

    • Reply
      Mostly Lisa
      April 8, 2016 at 9:21 AM

      I will add it :) It rained a lot when I was there, so I didn’t get to see as much as I would have liked. I’m coming back in June though :) Thanks for dropping by. Just peaked at your blog. So jealous of your puffin picts!!! I just missed them when I went and was gutted. They have such sad clown faces.

      • Reply
        Mercedes Catalan
        April 14, 2016 at 2:37 AM

        Thanks for visitig my blog!!! :)!!
        I’ve discovered the puffins while I was planning my trip to Iceland and I think I made every possible stop in the country to see them! I love how cute they look! hahaha….. But after seeing some northern lights photos I think I would have gone in winter and I would have happily changed the puffins for a chance to see the aurora!!!!
        If you come to Dublin in June you’ll have the best weather of the year! :) I hope you have enough time to explore the city! Go to Phoenix park to see the wild fallow deers… and Wicklow mountains are really close! There you’ll find the Glendalough lakes and old monastery…. One of my favourite day trips from the city! :)

        • Reply
          Mostly Lisa
          April 14, 2016 at 11:20 AM

          I’ll trade you some Northern Lights for some puffins ;) You could also make a trip to Norway, Sweden or Finland to see the lights. I’ve always wanted to stay in that Swedish Ice hotel. Thanks for the Dublin tips. I’m sure I will ask you for more…

  • Reply
    Daniel Lai
    April 13, 2016 at 5:06 PM

    Spring, Japan – cherry blossom season but can be quite difficult to get the timing right – I was a week too early for full bloom.

    • Reply
      Mostly Lisa
      April 13, 2016 at 8:18 PM

      The timing of the cherry blossoms in Japan is so difficult. I have tried for many years to time a trip to Japan during this time, but it never works out. Did you get some good shots anyway?

      • Reply
        Daniel Lai
        April 17, 2016 at 11:28 AM

        I managed to get a few but not quite what I was after – I was there for a general trip anyway and managed to get photos of a lot of other great scenes. If you’ve never been, there’s plenty else to photo all year round.

  • Reply
    Elnora
    May 3, 2016 at 7:03 AM

    Love those pics and places. Just amazing :)

  • Leave a Reply