Top Places in the World to See Spring Flowers
Nothing heralds a new season seeing your favorite spring flowers. Daffodils, tulips, lilacs, cherry blossoms, or even late spring and early summer roses help us to shrug off winter blues and feel inexplicably cheerful.
Flower festivals and shows are not the only way to appreciate seasonal blooms. But they are an easy and family friendly excuse for a spontaneous weekend away to nearby town or city. Here are some of my favorite places to spot spring blooms around the US and in other parts of the world as well.
What flower show or festival do you never miss? (Tell us below!)
Tulips in The Netherlands
The Keukenhof Garden in The Netherlands calls itself “The most beautiful spring garden in the world.” If you’re a fan of tulips it’s hard to disagree. Located in the town of Lisse, this 32-hectare garden features seven million tulip bulbs in 800 different varieties. If looking isn’t enough, the garden also features exhibits on tulip history, cultivation ideas and tips on how to make your garden as colorful as theirs (yeah, right). This year, it’s only open from March 24 through May 16. So don’t wait too long!
If you can’t make it the Netherlands, look for tulip festivals closer to home, in the U.S. and abroad.
Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto, Japan
Nowhere on earth celebrates the coming of spring quite like Japan. Up and down the country, people of all ages take time to sit under the blooming sakura, or Japanese cherry trees. The delicate pink and white blossoms often hit their peak in April, and there’s no place like the traditional city of Kyoto to see their beauty in full force. While visiting, be sure to wander through the incredible temple complexes and maybe try some sakura-flavored snacks, too!
Cherry Blossoms in the U.S.
If Japan’s not in the budget this year, try the yearly Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC (right and top). The trees around the Tidal Basin near the Washington Monument were a gift from the people of Japan in 1912, and it’s a stunning sight to see hundreds of pink and white trees blooming along the water.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden in NYC has its Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom festival in early May.
Several other cities across the U.S. have cherry blossom festivals, too.
Wildflowers in Death Valley, CA
The desert may not come to mind for seeing beautiful spring flowers, but when conditions are right even one of the driest places on earth can produce a stunning display of natural wildflowers. April visitors to California’s Death Valley should look to the canyons and higher valleys to see native beauties like Desert Paintbrush, Mojave Aster and Bigelow’s Coreopsis. Since this is a National Park and these flowers wild, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see blooms. But even spotting a single flower in the desert is a sure sign that spring is here.
Popular Favorites in Central Park, NYC
New York City’s Central Park shakes off the snow every spring and comes alive with blooming wild and planted flowers. The park is massive, and you can easily spend a few hours strolling around and appreciating a respite from the busy city. Near Strawberry Fields you’ll see see azaleas, cherry trees and magnolias blooming. If you prefer cultivated European-style gardens, the Conservatory Garden in the park offers traditional English, French and Italian gardens.
Lilacs for Late Spring
It’s hard to miss the heady scent of lilacs, a sure sign the spring is advancing and summer is around the bend. Rochester, NY and Mackinac Island, Michigan both hold town-wide festivals every year with food, concerts and other events that celebrate the distinctive purple bloom.
Jen O’Neal is the founder and CEO of vacation home rental aggregation site Tripping.com.
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