15 of America’s Most Beautiful Places to Visit in the Spring
Spring is beautiful everywhere, but these stunning locales have their seasonal celebrations down to a science.
Every spring, Washington, D.C., is blanketed in pink when each of its thousands of cherry blossoms comes into bloom. To celebrate the event, attend the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which takes place from the last week in March to the second week in April. There, you can view the flowers up close, or participate in a number of festival events, such as the cherry blossom parade, the blossom kite festival, or the Pink Tie Party fundraiser. You’ll want to start your tours early, as the festival brings some 1.5 million visitors to the nation’s capital. You can also enjoy the spring weather in one of these best walking towns the United States has to offer.
With 22 town squares overflowing with Spanish moss, colorful azaleas, spectacular fountains, and historic monuments, Savannah, Georgia, is an obvious springtime destination. Grab a drink on the riverfront and watch the ships come in, or hop on a trolley for an informative tour of the city’s historic district.
If tulips are your favorite springtime flower, you don’t want to miss this stunning spring getaway. Each May, more than four million tulips come into bloom in Holland, Michigan, which welcomes the blossoms with its annual Tulip Time festival. The festival celebrates the state’s Dutch heritage and features three parades, carnival rides, and traditional Dutch food.
The Grand Canyon
After compiling data on traveler and expert recommendations, U.S. News & World Report named the Grand Canyon the number one spring escape. Because spring is the offseason, you’ll enjoy shorter lines and better views. You’ll likely find a slew of seasonal deals and festivals, as well as discounted airfare and lodging, too. Plus, it’s never cold (during the day) here, making it the perfect place to go in those early weeks of spring where the weather is still iffy.
Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, Ennis, Texas, is the official Bluebonnet City of Texas. Head here in mid-April to view the prairie in its most beautiful form: covered in wildflowers. Because the flowers are such an attraction, the city’s visitor’s bureau keeps tabs on where the best flowers are on the trails at all times. Call first to get the inside scoop.
Charleston, South Carolina
No list of beautiful spring cities would be complete without mention of Charleston, South Carolina. Delight in hanging moss, cobblestone streets, and historic mansions. And because of year-round pleasant temperatures, you might even hit a beach day in March or April. At the very least, take a stroll through Charleston Waterfront Park for lovely views of the Cooper River.
Antelope Valley, California
Venture northeast of Los Angeles in the spring and you’ll find hills exploding with color, as poppies, California’s state flower, start to bloom in the high desert. Poppies can be finicky, but if you plan it right, you’ll see the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve painted with orange and purple. Looking for an overseas getaway? You won’t want to miss the 15 best places to go in Europe for spring break.
North Cascades National Park, Washington
The North Cascades is home to everything from mountains to forests to meadows, and the landscape transforms in the spring—the snow melts away to bring strong waterfalls, and wildflowers speckle the scenery. Different sections will boast totally unique flora, so give yourself a few days to take in the sights.
Newport, Rhode Island
Beat the crowds by visiting Newport in the spring, when the weather isn’t quite warm enough to sunbathe. Instead, take a stroll on the 3.5-mile Newport Cliff Walk by the bay, and gawk at the city’s famously over-the-top historic mansions.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee
There’s a reason the Great Smoky Mountains is dubbed “Wildflower National Park.” With more than 1,500 types of blooming plants, it has more flower species than any other national park on the continent. Visit in March or April, as the flowers’ season ends in May or June.
Skagit Valley, Washington
Skagit Valley bursts into color with daffodils and tulips in March and April, respectively. Head to the area for some of the brightest flower displays you’ve ever seen, then stay for the hiking, biking, and kayaking down the Skagit River.
Wichita’s Botanica garden in the spring is a must-visit for the 50,000 tulips, 120,000 daffodils, and plenty of other blooms on display. Rent a boat down the Arkansas River, learn about the Old West in the Old Cowtown Museum, and be sure to catch the nightly 15-minute fire display at the iconic Keeper of the Plains.
Central Park, New York
New York is the city that never sleeps, no matter what the season, but springtime is the best time to take a stroll through Central Park. When pink azaleas come into bloom, the park buzzes with tourists and locals alike, ready to soak up some sunshine as winter finally melts away. If you’d rather avoid Manhattan prices, book one of the 16 most affordable spring break destinations.
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
It might be famous for its fall leaf-peeping and winter skiing, but the Berkshires are arguably even better in the spring. Visit Edith Wharton’s summer home in Lenox, let your kids squeal with delight at piglets and lambs at Hancock Shaker Village, or take a hike on the Appalachian Trail—there’s something for everyone here.
Cape May, New Jersey
The charming Cape May manages to be delightful year-round, but it’s even more pleasant when you aren’t dealing with flocks of tourists that swells the population to almost nine times its size on summer weekends. A springtime stay promises strolls past Victorian houses, a browse through antique shops, tours of breweries and distilleries, and of course long walks by the beach.