7 Places in the US to See Flowers This Spring
Searching for the perfect spring getaway? Consider a scenic road trip to spot seasonal blooms—including stunning wildflowers that run the gamut from poppies to cherry blossoms to bluebonnets, depending where you’re traveling. From region to region, the bounty can surprise and delight: some years, for example, California experiences a rare superbloom, and plenty of other destinations burst into color once winter melts away—these are some of the best places in the US to see spring flowers.
Our nation’s capital comes to life each spring when about 3,800 cherry trees begin to blossom around the National Mall Tidal Basin, ushering in the city’s National Cherry Blossom Festival. While the cherry blossoms may get all the media attention, saucer magnolias also bloom here, as do tulips, which can be admired at the nearby Floral Library. Alternatively, venture a little outside the city and take a day trip to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, where you’ll find lovely lilacs, or to the Bluebell Trail at Bull Run Regional Park (which, you guessed it, is known for its blossoming bluebells).
Also known as the City of Roses, Portland is chock full of springtime cheer thanks to the abundance of its signature flower (thousands of them, in fact) at Peninsula Park and the International Rose Test Garden. You can also admire rhododendrons (check out Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden) and trilliums (found at Tryon Creek, about 15 minutes from Downtown). Lastly, embark on a day trip from Portland to nearby Catherine Creek in the Columbia River Gorge overview for scenic hiking and prime wildflower viewing.
North Carolina's Jackson County is known for its mountainous terrain, which offers the ideal landscape for flora. Here, you’ll find over 12,000 species of plants, including rhododendrons. You won’t have to search too hard for these flowers in the spring, as they can easily be spotted along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Panthertown Valley, or Whiteside Mountain. Additionally, while Jackson County may be most famous for the rhododendron, visitors can also see Dutchman’s breeches, dogwoods, and trilliums.
The Hill Country
Every spring, countless tourists flock to the Texas Hill Country—an easy day trip from San Antonio and Austin alike—to fawn over flowers such as bluebonnets, paintbrushes, poppies, and more. Make the charming town of Fredericksburg your home base for exploring. It’s also here where you’ll find the largest wildflower farm in the country, Wildseed Farms. From there, embark on a lovely 13-mile (21-kilometer) drive along the Willow City Loop, where wildflowers abound. Lastly, don’t skip town without wine tasting: the region is home to over 50 wineries.
San Luis Obispo County
San Luis Obispo is ideally situated halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, making it the perfect weekend getaway from either city. Upon arrival, head straight to Carrizo Plain National Monument to spot kaleidoscopic blooms including daisies, phacelia, tidy tips, owl’s clover, goldfields, and coreopsis. Point Buchon and Valencia Peak, both of which are accessible via Montaña de Oro, are each vibrant with wildflowers.
Magnificent Monterey County is best known for its postcard-worthy surroundings and abundance of wildlife. Each spring, the destination transforms into a floral-filled oasis. Purple-hued ice plants can be found along the Pacific Grove coastline, which is part of the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. Next, check out Garrapata State Park, where the hills are filled with poppies, irises, and paintbrushes. It’s also here where you’ll find Calla Lily Valley, which doesn’t disappoint with its sea of blossoming calla lilies.
A little over an hour outside of Atlanta lies the small, charming city of Macon. Each spring, the city’s 35,000-plus Yoshino cherry trees become a must-see when they’re in full bloom. To celebrate, Macon hosts an annual Cherry Blossom Festival complete with parades, crafts, and concerts. One new addition is the Pink Provisions Trail, which features Instagram-worthy rose-colored food and drink offerings from local purveyors.