Cities all over the world get recharged for spring, when color replaces grey and snowy white days, new plants and animals come out of the woodwork, and orchids, irises, cherry blossoms, daffodils, and countless other flowers finally bloom. If your backyard is getting a little old, head to one of these Top 10 Flower Festivals.
Spring Celebration at Callaway Gardens
March 20 – April 24, 2010
The Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia is a year-round attraction, but it puts its very best face on for spring. The Spring Celebration at Callaway Gardens is all about the azaleas! Discover acres and acres of gardens brimming with azaleas, daffodils, butterflies, and more. Don’t get too distracted, though, because there’s also the Plant Fair and Sale and Callaway Gardening School to check out.
National Cherry Blossom Festival
March 27 – April 11, 2010
Cherry blossom trees are native to Japan, but Washington DC turns pale pink in the spring, too. The mayor of Tokyo donated thousands of cherry blossom trees to the capital city in 1912, and DC celebrates them to this day!
Festival of Flowers at the Biltmore Estate
April 3 – May 16, 2010
A 20-acre azalea garden, 100,000 tulips, and a winery are all great reasons to visit Asheville, North Carolina’s famed Biltmore Estate this spring. The Festival of Flowers experience is sort of like visiting an extremely wealthy relative who has a property that sprawls 8,000 acres, except you can invite yourself over and enjoy food, wine, and shops while you’re here.
North Carolina Azalea Festival
April 7 – 11, 2010
It’s not just the azaleas that get 300,000 or so people to attend Wilmington’s acclaimed Azalea Festival every year, but the Southern charm that surrounds every aspect of it. Look forward to everything from a three-hour parade winding through downtown Wilmington to major music concerts (Frank Sinatra and Carrie Underwood have performed in the past).
Tulip Time Festival
May 1 – 8, 2010
While many cities have tulip festivals, Holland, Michigan’s is the biggest of them all. The US’s love of tulips goes way back to when the Dutch first settled there, as the flower is so prevalent in the Netherlands that it’s a symbol of the country and its expatriates. But expect a whole lot more than tulips at the Tulip Time Festival, like Dutch dancing, food, and parades. Holland pretty much transforms into a Dutch theme park in the spring.
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
March 3 - May 16, 2010
Disney World really goes green for spring, with grandiose topiaries of the park’s regulars: see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and the rest of the gang get the flower treatment! In addition to the lavish garden displays, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival features the Flower Power Concert Series, Minnie’s Magnificent Butterfly Garden and numerous workshops and lectures for those who want a greener thumb. The cost of attending Epcot’s Flower and Garden events is included with park admission.
Chelsea Flower Show
May 25 – 29, 2010
The Chelsea Flower Show, also known as the Great Spring Show, just might be the most famous floral-themed event in the world. While you’ll have plenty of “ooh and ahh” moments exploring West London during the show, this one’s for the true horticulturists out there who want to learn as much about gardening as possible.
Portland Rose Festival
May 28 – June 13, 2010
While the Portland Rose Festival has several highlights, it’s the giant Grand Floral Parade (along with its Rose Festival Court) that draws a crowd of about half a million to the city’s streets in late spring and early summer.
Philadelphia International Flower Show
Forget the Great Outdoors. This Philadelphia fest is all about the Great Indoors. Not only is it one of Philly’s biggest events, but it’s the longest-running show of its kind. Every spring, the Pennsylvania Convention Center gets glutted with enchanting floral displays and exhibits that originate from around the world, and are miraculously in bloom for the fest. A bunch of other events, ranging from cooking lessons to dance shows, keep things interesting in between exhibits.
Miami International Orchid Show
Got a thing for orchids? Well, even if you don’t right now, we’re pretty sure you’ll have a new love for them after attending the Miami International Orchid Show, where flower fans from around the world get together to pay homage to the beautiful and vibrant orchid.
Amelia Island Garden Show
Amelia Island’s flower fest is brand-spanking-new and already making some waves in the industry. That’s because it showcases 50+ vendors, nurseries mostly, from around the state. Festival goers who want to stock up on new plants can even take advantage of the show’s convenient “Tote & Carry Service.”