Spring Blooms Across the U.S.
March 23, 2011 | Permalink
As spring warmth edges across the landscape, there are some beautiful spots across the country that you’ll want to put on your road trip list for the coming months.
Wild Flowers, Daffodils, and Tulips in San Francisco, California
Spring beauty comes earliest to the South and West. Although Mark Twain complained that the coldest winter he ever experienced was in San Francisco one summer, he must have loved the Bay Area in March. The winter rains slow down, and daffodils and tulips are everywhere. Additionally, summer fog hasn’t started up. Weather varies from cool to warm, but it is rarely uncomfortably hot or cold. This makes spring the perfect time to view the harbor seals at Fisherman’s Wharf and to ride the classic, hand-crafted carousel on Pier 39. Wild flowers blanket the rolling hills and the slopes of Mt. Diablo and Mt. Tamalpais (“Mount Tam” to locals). And just down the peninsula, the16 acres that comprise the historic estate of Filoli Gardens are overflowing with cultivated blooms.
Exotic Desert Flowers in Phoenix, Arizona
Early spring is also gorgeous in Arizona, as the desert bursts into bloom. Outside Phoenix, you can hike any of the surrounding mountains for a magnificent display—and without the potential heatstroke that you would face during summertime in the same place. If your time (or energy) is in shorter supply, head to the Desert Botanical Garden, located between Phoenix and Scottsdale, and ramble through its many regional gardens, finishing up with a refreshing glass of prickly pear iced tea at the Patio Café.
Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C.
Mid-March to early April, cherry trees blossom in various cities all throughout the East. If at all possible, at least once in your travels, you’ll want to be on hand for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 26-April 10, in Washington, D.C., with not only the spectacular blossom displays from thousands of cherry trees, but also performances, fireworks, fairs and other entertainment. If you can’t make the festival (or just want to enjoy the sight in more peace and quiet), you can take a blossom-viewing stroll along the Tidal Basin, throughout West and East Potomac Parks, and near the Washington Monument.
Bluebonnets in Chappell Hill, Texas
Down in Texas, by early-to-mid April, the prairies are covered with waves of blooming bluebonnets. About sixty miles from Houston, you can enjoy the Texas Bluebonnet Festival in Chappell Hill, April 9 & 10. If you’d like to sweeten the experience with some fine food and drink, take in the Spring Bluebonnet Wine and Cheese Trail during the first three weekends in April. Wineries throughout the prairie country west of Houston (another easy daytrip) offer pairings of wines and artisan cheeses, and some even give visitors packets of Texas wildflower seeds.
Lilacs in Boston, Massachusetts
If you’re in the Boston area on Mother’s Day (May 9), you can take your choice of two beautiful garden events. Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum celebrates its annual Lilac Sunday, with performances and picnicking on the grass, surrounded by gorgeous lilacs. Or if you prefer (especially if you have kids along), head out to Boston Common to enjoy the balmy weather and to join in the annual Duckling Day/Mother’s Day Waddle, following in the footsteps of Robert McCloskey’s Mr. and Mrs. Mallard in Make Way for Ducklings.
Roses in Minneapolis, Minnesota
By June, even snowy Minneapolis is usually in full bloom, and one of the great sights is the Lyndale Park Rose Garden in Minneapolis. The second oldest public rose garden in America, the venue boasts more than 250 varieties and 3,000-plus rose plants—all in an easily strolled acre planting.
Inspiring shows of wildflowers, cultivated gardens and flowering trees can be found on hiking trails, along the roadside and in the midst of bustling cities all over America. Wherever your travels take you, be sure to set aside some time to take in some of these gorgeous sights.
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