Spring Blossoms Often Signal End of Winter

As dreary winter days begin to become a faint memory, it is not very long until small buds begin to emerge from slumber and dazzle the landscape with a blast of colors and scents. As there are seasonal differences across the globe, when blossoms begin to open there are many gorgeous blooms that can be seen at various times.

There are many terrific places to visit to see new flowers bloom, some perhaps a day trip away or others may even be in your own backyard. Here are 10 of the great places in the world to see beautiful spring blossoms in no particular order.

1.  Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington D.C.

Come late February/early March the crocus begin to awaken in the D.C. Metro area and not soon afterward come the cherry blossoms. Every year Washington D.C. hosts the 2-week long Cherry Blossom Festival to celebrate the Japan - United States relationship. The U.S. Capital region is famed for its blossoms and celebrate with an annual festival that commemorates the gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Japan to the U.S. which was given in 1912.  

Cherry Blossom Festival - Washington D.C.
Credit: Leigh Goessl/All rights reserved

A view of the Jefferson Memorial during the 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C.

Both tourists and locals alike bask in the beauty of the pink and white cherry blossoms that scatter the landscape. I try to get down there during peak views every year and for the last 2 years have seen some gorgeous blossoms.  The National Mall is the center of the festivities with many free events are ongoing, including dancing, a parade and fireworks. A camera is an absolute must during cherry blossom season - breathtaking.

2. Philadelphia International Flower Show, Pennsylvania

It is not uncommon in the Northeast for winters to be cold, blustery and covered in snow. However, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, visitors to the annual International Flower show can see beautiful flora even if Jack Frost decides to stretch his visit a bit longer. The show, which takes place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, takes on a theme and displays marvels of blossoms. This flower show has been dubbed as "the world's largest indoor display of flowers"  by the Independent Traveler. 1 Visitors can expect to see arrangements and gardens that are bound to dazzle the senses.

3. Chicago Botanic Garden, Illinois

The Midwest also has its share of beautiful shoots and clusters splashed with color.  The center's garden, which is 385 acres, including nine islands surrounded by lakes. The Botanic Garden boasts 24 display gardens and four natural areas

The center states on their website they have 2.4 million plants that represent 9,084 different kinds of plants. If a diversity of blossoms is what you're aiming to see, Chicago may be the city for you. To see what's in bloom at any given time frame, you can visit the garden's calendar of events. In addition to blooms, visitors often get the opportunity to enjoy art shows.

A Colorful Evening at Chicago Botanic Garden
Credit: Sandeep Pawar via Flickr/CC by 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/saneepix/4569424129/

4. Matsue Jozan Koen Park, Japan 

Matsue Jozan Koen Park is located in Tonomachi Matsue-city, Shimane and surrounds the Matsue Castle. 2 Annual festivals showcasing the camelia and cherry blossom illuminates the beauty of these flora. The camelias bloom first, and the annual blooms of cherry trees in Japan generally aligns in the same time frame as Washington D.C., late March or early April.

5. Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands

Holland is renowned for its tulips, and springtime in The Netherlands blooming in color is a sight to take in. The Keukenhof Gardens, located near Amsterdam in a former hunting area, boasts flora that almost appears to be a mirage, another wonderful photo opportunity to capture the wondrous shoots. The spectacular displays at Keukenhof open to the public in late March and the spring events draws visitors from all over the world to come view the magnificent presence of the spring blooms.

Keukenhof Gardens
Credit: yisris via Flickr/CC by 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/yisris/18028410795/

6. Yellowstone National Park, U.S.

The Yellowstone National Park encompasses a wide acreage spanning Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Peak flora views are in June and July, however the natural beauty residing in this region of the U.S. can be seen from May through August. The Independent Traveler describes the scenery as "carpets of wild irises, shooting stars, yellow violets, ladies’ tresses and countless other wildflower species."

For those that enjoy the great outdoors and want to experience the beauty of blossoms in an open setting, Yellowstone National Park may be the perfect picturesque setting. Visitors have the opportunity to explore flowers in their natural element.

Flowered valley in Yellowstone National Park
Credit: nncidencematrix via Flickr/CC by 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/incidencematrix/14842227305/

7. Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa, Canada

The Canadian Tulip Festival has been running for over 50 years. According to the festival's website, the festival celebrates:

"The symbolic tulip - Ottawa's official flower - was given as a gift in perpetuity to the Canadian people for having provided a safe harbour to the Dutch Royal Family during the German occupation of the Netherlands."

The tulip is designated as a symbol of international friendship and is celebrated each May for a two week-long festival. Visitors can stand in awe of the marvelous beds of tulips showcased and enjoy the many additional festivities planned to celebrate international diversity.

[Related reading: Five and Unusual Fun Facts About Canada]

Credit: Leigh Goessl/All rights reserved

8. Dallas, Texas

Daffodils in Texas begin to awaken in March and the city of Dallas had formerly marked this event with the Daffodil Days Festival. In 2015 the "Dallas Blooms" festival reached its 30th year. This festival runs from late February until mid-April. Visitors can expect to see more than "500,000 spring blooming bulbs along with life-size Texas themed topiaries, entertainment, food and special activities celebrating the state." 7

Credit: Leigh Goessl

Not taken in Dalls, these daffodils were taken in Haymarket, Virginia during Burnside Farm's annual spring festival in 2015 (this festival is listed next).

9. Burnside Farms, Haymarket, Virginia

Every year Burnside Farms holds its annual "Holland in Haymarket" festival. I've been to this one twice, once at their old site and once at their new (which is a lot larger). With the new site visitors are treated to 8 acres full of daffodils, tulips and Dutch iris. It's a sea of beautiful color with dozens of different types of tulips. Daffodils typically arrive in mid to late March with the tulips coming in early to mid April. Depending on the weather, this varies a bit from year to year.  Visitors can pick and purchase their own flowers to take home.  Not to mention the fabulous photo ops! Can't get enough? There's also another sunflower festival in July which is also gorgeous.

Field of tulips
Credit: Leigh Goessl/All rights reserved

This was taken in 2013 during my visit to the festival's original site (and this is just one section) - the new site is a lot larger.

10. Missouri Botanical Garden Orchid Show, Missouri

The "Show Me" state has lots of interesting events to offer visitors. One such event to show off happens every year at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The facility hosts an event to celebrate the beauty of the orchid and it is designed to astonish.  Each year carries different theme. To get a taste of previous shows, videos are listed at the Missouri Botanical Garden's website.  I've been to St. Louis a number of times including during the spring, and this is one event I wish I hadn't missed.

[Related reading: How to Spend a Day in St. Louis]

 Phalaenopsis P. Jiubao Sweetie at the Pacific Orchid Exposition 2010
Credit: Guillaume Paumier (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 found on Wikimedia Commons)

11. Bonus Blooms: Boscobel House and Gardens, New York

This is not a festival and probably small in comparison to many of the festivals listed in this piece, but it holds a special place for me. The Hudson River Valley holds some breathtaking views all year round, but some areas in the spring really boast beautiful views. The Boscobel Estate in Garrison, which sets on a beautiful location overlooking the Hudson River, showcases a stunning garden. The lovely spring and summer blooms are generally in full force by June, and are splashing with color.  If you're in the area, the tour is interesting and the views are gorgeous. During a visit, you can tour both the house and the gardens.

[Related reading: Museum reviews: Boscobel House and Gardens, Garrison, N.Y.]

Garden at Boscobel
Credit: Leigh Goessl/All rights reserved

A fountain located at the Boscobel House and Gardens

Across the globe there is a lot of diversity and, in the spring, the beauty of flora can be seen throughout many regions across the world, laced with beauty and scent. These are just a few of the top places to see, however  if travel is not an option, chances are there are many beautiful places to view right in your own backyard.