The Best Spring Vacations in America

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Washington, DC from Cities that come alive in the springtime

The Best Spring Vacations in America

April showers bring May flowers
The Best Spring Vacations in America

John McCormick/Shutterstock

When you hear the birds chirping and see the colorful flowers blooming, you know that spring has sprung. Spring is the perfect time for festivals, picnics and other celebrations to enjoy family time in the warming weather. Many cities and towns are great to visit any season of the year, but if you visit these cities during the spring, you’ll be in awe of the bustle of activity and stunning sights.

 

Washington, DC

Washington, DC

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Washington, D.C., has far more to offer than just federal government buildings. Visitors will be blown away by the many festivities that take place during the city’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival. These beautiful flowers typically bloom around late March or early April and last for a week or two, giving visitors plenty of time to see some of the most stunning cherry blossom blooms on Earth. Other fun activities include a bike parade, the Blossom Kite Festival and canoeing.

Holland, Michigan

Holland, Michigan

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You don’t have to fly for close to 10 hours to partake in a Dutch heritage celebration. Holland, Michigan, is one of those small American towns that makes you feel like you’re in Europe. Holland sits on the shore of Lake Macatawa, and what really shouts spring in this Great Lake town is its Tulip Time Festival. Locals and tourists alike gather to view the beauty of the tulip fields, indulge in Dutch food, enjoy carnival rides and partake in Dutch dancing.

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

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Sedona offers different outdoor activities that any adrenaline junkie would enjoy. Despite being a desert town, it’s surrounded by 1.8 million acres of national forestland that can be a hiker’s dream. Sedona is best known for its hiking trails through the area’s red sandstone canyon, which is perfect for amateurs and seasoned hikers alike. If you want to see the sights from a different point of view, consider a ride in a hot air balloon that glides over the Red Rock Country.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

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A city known for its amazing Southern cuisine and more than a few haunts, New Orleans can throw a party. During the spring, visitors can experience everything from music festivals with loud trumpets parading down the street to festivals celebrating NOLA’s deep French culture. If possible, plan a trip for mid-May, when you can enjoy three days on the bayou listening to music that comes from boats, kayaks and other inflatable watercraft at the Bayou Boogaloo.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Outer Banks, North Carolina

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Whether you’re looking for a spring vacation with the family or a romantic adventure, this island that borders the coast of North Carolina is a great escape from your usual routined life. This barrier island’s shoreline stretches 130 miles, meaning there’s plenty of space to relax on the sandy beaches. Welcome spring at the Elizabethan Gardens as the season brings life and color through its abundance of plant life. With flowers like Carolina yellow jasmines and beautiful pansies, the Outer Banks a place that any gardener would adore. It also makes the perfect photo background for a springtime wedding or engagement.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

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Stroll through fresh camellias and azaleas at Hampton Park, one of Charleston’s largest parks, and enjoy being surrounded by the park’s extensive floral displays. It will be hard to not see families having picnics or frisbee games once winter has passed. Movie lovers will enjoy Cypress Garden — a famous movie location you can actually visit — where scenes from “The Notebook” and “The Patriot” were filmed. Hop on a swamp boat ride or even hike up the trail with your significant other for a romantic moment to cherish.

Macon, Georgia

Macon, Georgia

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If you’re looking for one of the best spring break destinations in America, look no further than Macon. There’s something for everyone, from The Allman Brothers Band Museum to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. But the best place to witness spring come alive is Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, which is known for its Native American history. There, you can walk along the continent's only reconstructed earth lodge with the original 1,000-year-old floor.

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

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Portland really lives up to its nickname, the City of Roses. Indeed, this West Coast city bursts into full bloom in early March, and visitors can expect to see parks and gardens filled with beautiful azaleas, rhododendrons, cherry trees and of course, roses. Out-of-towners and locals can look forward to the Portland Rose Festival with events that highlight diverse interests and cultures through parades, races and delicious food and drinks. Craft beer fans will also love Portland — the metro area is home to over 110 breweries. In fact, it’s one of the best cities for beer lovers.

Durango, Colorado

Durango, Colorado

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Durango is one of the most underrated small towns in America. Here, springtime fun can include ziplining through the treetops while enjoying the beauty of Colorado’s pristine mountains, meadows and rivers. Looking for something a little less adventurous? Spend the day horseback riding near Vallecito Lake or hop aboard one of the most scenic train rides in America on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, with views of the San Juan Mountains and the Animas River.

Ennis, Texas

Ennis, Texas

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Just 25 minutes south of downtown Dallas, Ennis is the place to be for a quintessential springtime experience. This city was named the “Bluebonnet City of Texas” after the gorgeous bright-blue flowers that grow right in its backyard. For over 60 years, the people of Ennis have been welcoming spring with the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival, which includes shopping, food, wine-tasting, kids activities and live music. But that’s not all this city has to offer — you’ll find locals celebrating Czech food and culture at the National Polka Festival, where people come dressed in traditional Czech kroj and enjoy a day of parades, dancing and polka music.

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island

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Traveling to Newport and love flora? Make sure to visit the Blithewold mansion and gardens when it opens in April. The estate is among the few intact examples of the Country Place Era, which occurred during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and focused on extensive gardens. As the season changes, the estate reveals what it is known for: flowers. People from across the nation come to see the extravagant daffodil displays that cover the 33-acre seaside estate. Visitors can also view the mansion, which is filled with family heirlooms and antique furnishings to maintain the look of the lifestyle of the family who owned it.

Lancaster, California

Lancaster, California

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If you’re looking for a peaceful spring vacation in the Golden State, Antelope Valley is one of the best places in the world to see beautiful spring blooms. Located on the northern edge of Los Angeles County, Lancaster is home to the Poppy Reserve. With 80 miles of trails through rolling hills, the place is covered in different colors and scents from the wildflowers that bloom during the spring.

Mount Vernon, Washington

Mount Vernon, Washington

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Nestled between Seattle and Vancouver, Mount Vernon has a lot to offer in the spring, and one of the main attractions is the blooming tulip fields in Skagit Valley. Every year, people can take a scenic drive through the valley during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and view the beautiful crops from the local farmers. Family-friendly events like barbeques and art shows are sprinkled along the valley between La Conner and Mount Vernon, so there’s something for everyone.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

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Gatlinburg, a mountain town in the eastern part of Tennessee, may be better known as one of the best places to visit in the fall, but this town thrives in the spring as well. Spring is when activities such as ziplining, rafting and golfing start back up. But the annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, with guided tours through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, is also something to experience. Join one of the hikes to learn more about the region’s natural and cultural resources while being surrounded by wildlife.

Grand Portage, Minnesota

Grand Portage, Minnesota

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The town of Grand Portage sits right on the coast of Lake Superior. It’s stunning in the springtime, when the wildflowers start blooming and the waterfalls escape their icy tombs. Grand Portage is home to the largest waterfall in Minnesota, and when you can hear the water roaring, it’s a sign that spring is back. The 120-feet High Falls of the Pigeon River has earned the nickname “Niagara Falls of Minnesota.”

New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven, Connecticut

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Home to one of the most beautiful college campuses in America, New Haven is full of seemingly limitless springtime fun. Foodies flock to the New Haven Food Truck Festival at the Long Wharf waterfront, where there’s a diverse selection of food — it’s one of the best food festivals in America. That isn’t the only festival in town. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival and Meriden Daffodil Festival bring families together to celebrate the coming of spring while being surrounded by music, crafts and of course, beautiful flowers.

Akron, Ohio

Akron, Ohio

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Hiking makes for a great spring pastime, especially at places like Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which sits between Akron and Cleveland. Visitors will feel immersed in nature as they walk through trails filled with new plant life, hear the birds chirping and witness the beauty of Brandywine Falls. This 65-foot waterfall is one of the most popular attractions in the park. Be sure not to miss the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, one of the most scenic train rides in America.

Pella, Iowa

Pella, Iowa

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Pella is big on tulips. This Hawkeye State town comes together for its annual Tulip Time Festival to not only welcome back spring, but also celebrate its Dutch heritage. Locals transform the town with traditional Dutch costumes, singing and dancing, and parades fill the streets with decorated floats. The beautiful colors and sights make this destination one of the most romantic vacation spots in America.

New York City, New York

New York City, New York

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New York City is one of those places you should never visit in the summer, but it’s an ideal location to vacation in the spring. The botanical gardens in Brooklyn, The Bronx and Flushing provide an up-close look at spring flowers and trees in a city that oftentimes feels gray instead of green. Come to see the cherry blossoms bloom at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens or the Orchid Show that takes place from late February to mid-April at the New York Botanical Gardens.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, Maine

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Bar Harbor is a five-hour drive from Boston but it’s definitely worth the trip during the spring. Not only is this coastal town filled with different natural beauties, from ocean cliffs to rocky beaches, but also people can’t stop talking about Acadia National Park. During the winter, Acadia is a ski and snowboard heaven. But after the snow melts, spring brings back the gorgeous trees and plants that border the lakes and cascades along the mountains.

Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

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Charlottesville can be enjoyed in any season, but there are some events and activities that make spring a special time of year. This city located roughly 100 miles south of Washington, D.C., has more to give than its beautiful blend of the urban and rural lifestyles. Don’t miss your chance to join the locals in watching a horse race during the Foxfield Spring Races, which has become a springtime tradition for the city. Or if you’re more of a nature explorer, check out Hawksbill Mountain in Shenandoah National Park, one of the most breathtaking spots in America’s national parks.

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