To mark the end of winter, travelers spread out to exotic locales across the globe, either to relax in warm weather or explore off-the-beaten-path cities. A few destinations that meet these criteria hit their peak tourist season from March to May, indicating that spring is the best time to visit. We took a look at the reservations made by FlipKey travelers in 2012 and 2013 and uncovered the season's hotspots. While some of these spring favorites will summon stereotypical images of student-packed beaches, others may surprise you and inspire you to take an alternative spring vacation.
The Sunny Side
Sometimes the best breaks feature beaches, bathing suits, and plenty of sunscreen. Here's a look at the sandy destinations that heat up in spring.
Miami Beach, Florida
The top Florida beach on our list, Miami Beach sees nearly a third of its traveler interest in March each year. Sure, spring break antics aren't for everyone, but Miami has style as well as girls gone wild: Spring is the season to catch Miami International Fashion Week, the Miami International Film Festival, and the Miami Dade County Fair, among other events.
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Have your heart set on a Caribbean vacation? Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman is a choice isle this time of year. Travelers with a competitive edge can find a competition on the island in the Cayman Islands Triathalon. The main event takes place in November, but there are smaller races and training throughout the year.
Panama City, Florida
Panama City Beach spring break officially runs from February 15 to April 15, but the beach town is a great destination even after tax day. If you do come during peak season, you'll be sure to catch plenty of live music, beach parties, and an active nightlife.
Puerto Penasco, Mexico
Head to Mexico during Easter to catch this beach destination at its finest. Once there, discover your inner need for speed at the sand drags, where all terrain vehicles race along the beach at Rocky Point.
Siesta Key, Florida
Vacationers looking to relax need to look no further than Siesta Key to find the ideal destination. In spring, this quiet town is the perfect place to relax on the beach by day and enjoy live music by night. Don't miss the Sarasota Jazz Festival and the Opera Pazzia International Festival.
Beyond the Beaches
If you're the type who doesn't like to sit still on vacation, then these alternative destinations may be for you. Like the beaches above, they hit their stride in between winter and summer. For the international set looking to try something unconventional this season, these places top the list of must-visits.
Seville's April Fair features parades, flamenco dancing, Manzanilla sherry, and bullfighting. What more could you ask for? The city sees 29% of its annual tourist interest in April, making next month an exciting time to visit.
April is "Tulipmania" in Holland, and one of the best times to visit Amsterdam. Not only is the Keukenhof tulip park open all month, but you can also catch the Meibock Festival and Queen's day. A spring vacation to the Netherlands is guaranteed to be packed with Dutch treats.
Prague, Czech Republic
Enjoy your own Prague Spring in May, the most popular month for visiting this beautiful central European city. Time your trip so that you arrive on International Labor Day, May 1, and stick around for the Czech Beer Festival and Sensation Festival later in the month.
Marrakech gets a bump in visitors in March and May, though April is also a great time to visit. In April, cheer on thousands of competitors who head into the Sahara Desert to attempt the Marathon des Sables, a 251 km race through the Moroccan desert. You may not dare to compete, but the spectacle is worth a trip.
Clifton, South Africa
Okay, so Clifton is a beach, but there's much more going on in this Cape Town neighborhood than surf and sun. In fact, the swimming season ends in April, but spring (or fall, on that side of the world) is packed with events from the Cape Town Festival to the Pick n' Pay Cycling Race, the largest timed cycling race in the world.