Top five off-peak destinations for spring 2005 - Page 2

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on February 10, 2005. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hawaii, Indonesia, Molly Feltner, San Diego, seasonality, vacation package.

Lounging on beach, surfing, and exploring the islands' undersea and volcanic wonders are always in season, but visit in the spring to see unique events like the Pan Pacific Festival, the International Festival of Canoes, and the Maui Classical Music Festival. Visit the Hawaii Tourism website to find other spring events.

To get an idea of the price differences you can expect between spring and summer travel, we compared Hawaiian Airlines fares for travel in April versus travel in July, and found that you could save several hundred dollars with spring travel.

Route Spring fare Summer fare
Los Angeles to Honolulu $298 $517
Phoenix to Honolulu $498 $619
Seattle to Maui $398 $633

Spring fares are based on travel between April 11 and June 9 and summer fares are based on travel July 13 to 20. Prices were found on the Hawaiian Airlines website.

Find the latest sale fares to Hawaii by checking the air section and the websites for Hawaiian carriers that have regular specials and promotions including Hawaiian Airlines and Aloha Airlines. For air-and-hotel packages, check the vacation section.Top

San Diego

Spring weather in San Diego is still a bit brisk for the city's favorite pastime—frolicking on the beach in small swimsuits—but pleasant enough for exploring the region's other attractions and participating in water sports like surfing (with a wet suit) and sea kayaking. Temperatures from late March to June range from about 55 to 70 degrees, and most days are sunny. However, mid-May through June, much of Southern California experiences the "June Gloom," a period when fog hangs along the coastline, particularly in the morning. Head a bit inland to the nearby mountain and desert areas for clear skies.

Visit in March and April to view the blooming wildflowers at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch and Anza Borrego State Park. Or, visit in May to take part in one the city's many Cinco de Mayo fiestas, or in June for the nationally acclaimed Mainly Mozart Festival. Come anytime to see the city's popular family attractions, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and Legoland.

While there's plenty to do in San Diego during the spring, lack of perfect beach weather means fewer visitors than during the summer. As a result, you can take advantage of lower hotel rates. Sample off-peak hotel rates for the spring compared with peak summer rates include:

Hotel Off-peak rates Peak rates
The Beach Cottages $75 to $250 (October 18 to May 10) $120 to $310 (July 1 to September 6)
Coronado Inn $99 to $149 (January 1 to June 30) $125 to $175 (July 2 to N/A)
San Diego Oceanfront B&B $175 to $195 (November 1 to May 31) $195 to $225 (June 1 to October 31)

Prices are based on the per-day double occupancy rates posted on the hotels' websites and do not include taxes. Rates vary by date and may be higher for stays over holidays.

Browsing the websites of local convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) can help you find more spring travel deals. For example, the San Diego CVB is currently offering specials on accommodations and coupons for discounts on dining and shopping. For air deals, check for U.S. airfare sales. Or, visit the sites of budget carriers that service San Diego—Alaska, Frontier, JetBlue, and Southwest—for everyday low fares.Top

Buenos Aires

Located south of the equator in Argentina, Buenos Aires experiences fall during the Northern Hempishire's spring, offering pleasant tempatures in the 60s and 70s. Although spring weather is preferable to the area's cooler winter (our summer), fewer tourists from the north visit at this time. So, if you can break away from work or school a little earlier than everyone else, you can take advantage of better weather and lower prices. Plus, with the Argentine peso down, your American dollars will take you a lot further than in other parts of the world this year.

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