The Top 10 Places to See Flowers Bloom This Year
You can only get so much color out of your own garden. Explore these destinations in the United States to see blooms by the thousands.
Flowers are fun to look at in any setting, but they're especially amazing when you can see them by the acre. Across the United States, there are many places where flowers bloom in bulk—and you should make them the destination of your next vacation. Most outdoor nature havens are kid-friendly, so bring the whole family to make memories and get excited about what Mother Nature can do.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a largely outdoor museum with four different desert gardens to walk through and enjoy. But if you’re looking for blooms, head to the Desert Garden and Cactus Gardens. In the Desert Garden, check out stunning desert flowers like jimsonweed, desert marigold, and desert globemallow. Many of the species in the garden rebloom, so you can see a show most of the year. The Cactus Garden has dozens of species of cacti for you to see. To experience tons of yellow flowers, go in May when the prickly pears are in bloom.
McKee Botanical Garden
Vero Beach, FL
The McKee Botanical Garden hosts their Annual Waterlily Celebration to recognize the amazing variety of waterlilies. Their collection features over 80 varieties, and they grow over 400 plants every year. Bonus: You can submit the photos you take of waterlilies and lotus at the garden into a photo contest—winning photos will be featured on the McKee Botanical Garden website.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
You don't always need to seek out a field off the beaten path to find amazing wildflowers. See bluebonnets, along with other stunning Texas wildflowers, at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. If you're dead set on seeing honeysuckle in full bloom, check their website to find out when to schedule your trip—you can see what's currently blooming that month.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Calling all rhododendron lovers—you need to take a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains this summer. White, pink, and purple blooms line the road in late spring and early summer in the Asheville area. The two most common varieties are the Catawba and Carolina rhododendron. Also enjoy the rhododendron's native cousin, the azalea, in shades of pink and orange. We can't imagine a more scenic drive.
Nothing screams spring quite like fields-worth of ranunculus, tulips, cherry blossoms, and wildflowers. Take a nature lover's dream road trip and see these amazing floral displays. Maybe you'll find a new favorite vacation destination that promises seasonal color every year.
Crested Butte Wildflower Festival
Crested Butte, CO
Called the wildflower capital of Colorado, Crested Butte Wildflower Festival is the place to go for native color. The 2019 festival runs from July 5 to 14 and offers events like hikes, photography classes, and birdwatching. There are also kids events, so everyone in the family can enjoy themselves. If you are unable to make the festival, you can still support Crested Butte’s mission of preserving and protecting wildflowers by making a donation.
Although a longer flight away, a trip to McBryde Garden in Hawaii is worth the trip if you love tropical plants. Located on the south shore of Kauai, McBryde’s Biodiversity Trail is a 10-minute hike that takes you through 450 million years of plants. On this trail, you’ll see ferns, mosses, orchids, and even exotic spices. McBryde and the adjacent Allerton Gardens both have a large focus on conservation, so you may be lucky enough to see some rare varieties.
The Flower Fields
If you’ve always dreamed of walking through fields of flowers, now’s your chance. The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California is open from March 1 through May 12 and lets you explore rows and rows of ranunculus in orange, red, white, and pink. After your visit, you can leave with a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers from the garden center on site.
National Cherry Blossom Festival
You don’t need to travel to Asia to see amazing cherry blossoms. Head to our nation’s capital to see trees full of light pink blooms. Check their bloom watch to see updates on the bloom season progress and predictions. Florets are already visible on the branches this year and peak bloom time is expected early- to mid-April. The National Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 20 to April 13 and offers events like flower crown classes, bike tours, and a kite festival next to Washington Monument.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Choose from 10 park trails full of wildflowers (or tackle them all!) to get your fill of spring blooms. Each year, the National Park hosts Pilgrimage in the Park: a weekend of birding, hiking, and educational classes. Over 850 people flocked to the park in 2018 to see dozens of types of fungi, ferns, wildflowers, trees, and medicinal plants.
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Mount Vernon, WA
Welcome spring by celebrating the iconic spring bulb: the tulip. Take a trip to Washington's Skagit Valley Tulip Festival between April 1 and 30 to see millions of tulips blooming. There is no technical “site” of the festival since the tulips fields are spread throughout the area, so pile into your car to see it all on a driving tour. Besides seeing the flowers, there are many events in the area that honor the tulip as well, like a street fair, concerts, and wine tastings.