Spring is soon to arrive, and that means blooms on blooms on blooms. Yes, this is the season when thousands of flowers burst forth from the ground and cover the earth with a rainbow of color. Where should you go to see spring’s best blooms? We asked some fellow travelers to share their favorite spots. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, you can see some amazing spring flowers peaking in March, April & May. The southern hemisphere’s spring is in September-November. For a wonderland of floral delights, here are some top choices across the globe: the best places to see flowers in the spring (and which varieties you’ll see!)
Bluebonnets in Texas
After President Johnson left the white house, Lady Bird Johnson encouraged Texans to plant the native plants along the highways. Now, fields are filled with the Texas state flower each year for a few weeks in March and April. The higher north you are the later in the spring they will last. There is even a Bluebonnet festival each April in the small town of Burnet, Texas that attracts tens of thousands.
As long as you are in Texas during the right time, you will find plenty of rolling hills covered in Bluebonnets. Just be safe, keeping your eyes on the road and avoiding busy roads.
-Dan, Honeymoon Always
Valley of Flowers, India
A trip to the Yumthang Valley or the Valley of Flowers in Sikkim is magical and can leave you in an enchanted state for months! This alpine valley is situated in North Sikkim, India amidst the Himalayan ranges at an elevation of 3,564 meters, approx 11,693 feet above sea level.
The best way to reach Yumthang Valley is to hire a private vehicle from Gangtok (State Capital in East Sikkim) and travel to Lachung (Hilltown in North Sikkim) while enjoying scenic landscapes and numerous waterfalls on the way! The valley is situated at a distance of 2 hours from Lachung, so an overnight halt at Lachung is advisable.
The beautiful Yumthang Valley is enveloped with stunning flower fields in the spring season. During March to May, a variety of colorful vibrant flowers cover the entire landscape. It is like a rainbow of flowers to the artistic eye. The picturesque valley hosts the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, which in turn is home to the over 35 species of rhododendron. Rhododendron is also the state flower. You can also find iris, primulas, cobra lilies, louseworts, poppies and other Himalayan flowers to keep you company. It is highly recommended to visit this pretty valley in India during springtime!
-Aditi, Travelogue Connect
Cherry Blossoms, Washington, D.C.
If you’re looking for stunning flowers, one of the perfect destinations for spring travel is Washington DC. Many people flock to the United States capital city to catch a glimpse of the annual cherry blossoms here. In late March and April, the city fills with these coveted white and pastel-pink blooms, which line some of the main areas such as the Tidal Basin, the Jefferson Memorial, and all along the Potomac River. During this time, the city hosts the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which includes a popular 10-mile road race throughout the city. The festival boasts a parade around the city, a kite festival, art installations, as well as various open-air performances. Additionally, during the months of the festival, there’s a cherry blossom pop up bar to accompany the festival, where guests can purchase themed drinks in a festively decorated venue. For a glimpse at these famed cherry blossoms, pack your bags and head to Washington DC!
– Kay Rodriguez, Jetfarer
Tulips in Holland
Every spring in Holland, you can experience one of the most colorful flower shows in the world. Large tulip fields of all sorts of color bloom between the end of March and the begging of May, creating a sensational colorful show for the eyes.
The easiest way to see blooming tulip gardens and fields is to visit Keukenhof Garden, situated near Leiden, at only an hour bus drive from the city center of Amsterdam. Keukenhof is actually a beautiful botanical garden, where you can see all kinds of tulip variants and compositions. The garden has an original Dutch windmill in it, and if you want to see large tulip fields in the area, you can rent a bike at the park entrance and ride between these fields near Keukenhof Park.
-Gabor, Surfing the Planet
Poppies in California
The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve showcases the state flower during its annual bloom. The reserve is protected by the state of California as one of the locations with the most consistent blooms. It is located only 80 miles outside of Los Angeles. Explore the eight miles of trails as they meander through the rolling California hills. See how the harsh desert landscape transforms into a brilliant orange carpet of California poppies that stretches as far as the eye can see. It is best to explore the bloom in the middle of April and stop by the local California Poppy Festival. Although the little orange flowers make it very tempting, don’t take one as a souvenir, It’s illegal!
-Jason, Getaway Couple
Daffodils in Wales
The daffodil is the national flower of Wales, and for a few weeks each year you can see them all over the country. They usually appear in mid- to late February, just in time for St David’s Day on March 1 st which commemorates Wales’ patron saint.
One of my favourite places to see daffodils in Wales is in St Davids itself. This is the smallest city in the UK, thanks to its stunning cathedral, the grandest church in Wales, sited improbably in the rural far west of Pembrokeshire. It sits in a hollow below the rest of the city, strategically built out of sight of marauding Vikings and other raiders.
After you walk through a medieval gateway to the cathedral precincts, you see spreads of daffodils everywhere – in the churchyard, in fields, in gardens. It’s a glorious sight, well worth the journey to the westernmost corner of Wales to see it. Once the daffodils have gone, the coast is carpeted with sea pinks, gorse and bluebells, normally between late April and early June.
-David, Delve into Wales
Azaleas in Korea
When it comes to Spring flowers in South Korea, cherry blossoms get all the attention. But, what most people don’t realise, is that Spring’s best treat comes right after the last blossom petal has fallen (and taken the selfie-sticks with it!) Just a few weeks later, in May, a lot of the mountains in Korea are covered by stunning fuschia pink azalea flowers.
My old city, Changwon City, held the Cheonju Mountain Azalea Festival; a famous festival among Korean hikers that, sadly, doesn’t get much attention from foreign travellers. If you’re going to be visiting Korea in the Spring, remember that there are so many more Spring Festivals than just the cherry blossoms. There are lantern festivals, bamboo festivals, and even tulip festivals, too! But, for the pinkest and most breathtaking views in the country, try and check out an azalea flower festival.
-Nicole, Wee Gypsy Girl
Bluebells in Scotland & England
In Scotland, spring always starts a little later than anywhere else, and while you can already see the lambs frolicking between the daffodils in the pastures in April, you will have to wait until May to see Scotland’s most colourful flower display: the bluebells. The best places to see bluebells in Scotland are lush woodlands that let through enough sunlight for the flowers to bloom. You can find many such woodlands in the parks of Glasgow and Edinburgh, but also in the nearby country at Bothwell Castle, by Aberfoyle in the Trossachs hills of the southern Highlands or at the Hermitage in Perthshire. If you visit Scotland in Springtime, seeing the bluebells is a must-have experience for your senses!
-Kathi, Watch Me See
The common bluebell, also known as Hyacinthoides non-scripta, is an iconic British flower and can also be found in woodland throughout the UK during the spring. Predominantly seen in April and May, one of the very prettiest bluebell fields in England is the carpet of blue and purple blooms located on Holwell Lawn in Dartmoor National Park. Head there in early May to see the bluebells at their best- just make sure to bring your camera along! After all, the field is stunning…
-Sophie, Solo Sophie
Wild Flowers, Cape Town
One of the best times of year to visit Cape Town, South Africa is during our spring months. From the 1st of September, the West Coast National Park unlocks the gate to the Postberg area. This little bit of paradise is only open for two months every year, and the land is awash with huge patches of colourful wildflowers.
You can follow the circular driving route around the area, and there’s tons of wildlife to keep an eye out for as well. From zebra to antelope, and even the little guys like tortoises, there’s plenty to see around each corner.
The best part is that you can even get out your car. Head to the popular Kraal Baai and have a braai (BBQ) or lunch or you can have a scenic picnic at Uitkyk Punt.
If a couple of hours isn’t enough for you, the West Coast National Park has a multi-day hike option through the Postberg area. It’s less than 30km and will give you ample time to meander through the beautiful riot blooms without the crowds.
-Lauren, Wanderlust Movement
Wildflowers in Australia
King’s Park in Perth is a spectacular place to visit to see some of the 25,000 plants, showcasing the world’s largest display of Australian wildflowers. The kaleidoscope of colour is simply stunning. From the floral clock, to the Banskia, Grevillia or Hakea gardens the honeyeaters are in abundance feeding on all the irresistible nectars. Perched on the Mt Eliza scarp overlooking the Swan River and the city the Botanic garden is 17 hectares. Unlike many Botanical gardens entry is free to enjoy the impressive display of over 3,000 species of Western Australia’s native flora. You can see fields of pink everlastings or simply stunning kangaroo paws as you wander about the huge park. Be prepared to spend the day there to see some sections which were landscaped by Mother Nature and others that have been meticulously tended by horticulturalists spending over 3,500 hours planting. Part of the gardens include rare and endangered plants so this may be the only place you get to see some species.
-Lyn & Steve, A Hole in My Shoe
Himachal Pradesh, India
Billing is an important paragliding retreat in the lap of Himalayas in India coming under the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. The place is a few kms from the Palampur district and can be reached from either Mcleodganj or Pathankot by traversing a distance of around five hours.
Billing is one of the paragliding retreats in India and should be visited in spring time to enjoy the endless beauty that it has to offer tourists.There are species of different flowers blooming in propinquity during spring time and it is really a blessing and charm to feel the essence of these flowers.They are found in garden retreats and resorts,in the forests of the Kangra district and the end point of the Himalayan ranges.The color varies from red, yellow, pink, violet, blue,g reen and so on and they are not found abundantly in any other season.
There is also another place named Bir which is 20 kms from Billing where you can get the essence of these beautiful flowers.These flowers are found abundantly in these spiritual arcades and serves as the most important regions in the Kangra district.Spring is therefore considered the best time to pay a tribute to these regions hidden under the Himalayan arcade.
-Somnath, Travel Crusade
Rose Valley, Bulgaria
The Rose Valley which blooms between the city of Kazanlak and Karlovo will bring you a unique experience during springtime in Bulgaria. You will not only walk through long rows of Rosa Damascena but you can also take home a small bucket of these roses for only 15 leva. For locals and foreign tourists, the best time to go is during May because even though the roses start blooming in March, the Rose Festival begins near the end of spring where the fully bloomed roses are ready to harvest. By this time, the air starts smelling like roses and the people starts wearing flower crowns and leis. The Rose Valley is a perfect place to enjoy roses, dancing and singing at the same time.
-Eloise, The Travelling Pinoys
Cherry Trees, Kyoto
The Japanese word Hanami refers to the ancient custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers. If translated literally, it means “flower viewing”. Is there anything better than spending the afternoon going from flower to flower? Well, absolutely not!
If you want to see some of the most stunning flower bloom in springtime, you should book yourself a ticket to Kyoto in early-mid April.
Walk along the Philosopher’s path lined by hundreds of cherry trees, stroll around Arashiyama, the best district where to admire nature in the outskirts of Kyoto. And again, don’t miss a visit to the Kyoto Botanical Garden and the Haradani-en Garden. Surround yourself with cherry blossom and dive into the majesty of the Japanese sakura.
-Cristina, The Lazy Trotter
Tulips in Istanbul
Tulips and springtime go together. And for many when they think of where to see this beautiful flower they think of the Netherlands. And while the Dutch do produce more commercial tulips than any other country, tulips are originally from Turkey. Yep, Turkey. And each year in April Istanbul comes alive with tulips during the International Tulip Festival to celebrate this amazing flower. The parks, public spaces and even roadways are full of tulips.
The display is amazing and since it is everywhere you can’t miss it. For a special treat visit Topkapi Palace or Emirgan Park. And if you have time there is even a Tulip (Lale) Museum to visit near the Emirgan gardens. And if the tulips don’t convince you to visit in April the fantastic weather and the lack of crowds should.
-Elizabeth, Compass & Fork
Rhododendrons & more in Dresden
Rhododendron Park Kromlau has one of the best displays of Rhododendrons and Azaleas in Germany. The park which was established in 1884 sits on the German-Polish border easily visited by car as a day trip from Berlin or Dresden. May is the best time to visit to catch the heavily scented yellow Azaleas in bloom. But it is the Rakotzbrücke “Devils Bridge” that attracts visitors to the park year round. The stone bridge forms an almost perfect circle with its reflection, is said to be engineered so perfectly that only the devil could have built it.
-Kaylie, Happiness Travels Here
Cherry Blossoms in Paris
Paris is probably not the first city that comes to ones mind when thinking about the best places to see cherry blossoms. However, if you visit Paris at the end of march or beginning of April, you will find city basically covered in little pink petals. Only few know this, but Paris is actually one of the best locations to see the “cerisiers en fleur”. You find them in most parks and gardens but also in completely random and unexpected places. Interesting for photography or instagram enthusiasts: Cherry Blossom trees are planted around the most iconic sights of Paris, like the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame.
-Lena, Salut from Paris
Shibazakura Mt. Fuji, Japan
Every year beginning in mid-April a carpet of pink, white, and purple blooms and surrounds Mt. Fuji in Japan. Visitors can experience this beautiful sight at the annual Fuji Shibazakura Festival, located about an hour and a half train ride away from Tokyo. “Shiba-zakura” in Japanese means “lawn cherry,” as these small flowers, which are actually moss phlox, grow across the ground like a lawn. Nature and weather conditions control the bloom each year so you should check the status online each spring to get an idea of how much has bloomed before you make a trip. The rolling carpet of color leading to one of the largest and beautiful mountains in the world is a sight you will never forget.
-Kristen, Travels and Treats