Best Cities to Celebrate Easter
Easter is typically a big consumer holiday that rakes in billions and gives Americans toothaches. In fact, 80% of Americans celebrated the holiday last year, and this year consumers are expected to spend $24 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. In the weeks leading up to the holiday, grocery stores will offer an abundance of seasonal foods like chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps, as well as extra eggs for people who want to dye them. For Christians, however, Easter is less of a commercial event than a holy experience. It not only marks the end of Lent — a 40-day period of fasting, reflection, prayer and repentance followed directly by Easter Sunday — but it also celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and represents the “new covenant” between God and humanity. In observance of the holiday, many families will attend services.
Some Americans will feel the Easter spirit more than others, depending on where they live. In order to determine the best cities for celebrating Easter, WalletHub compared the 100 most populated cities across four key dimensions: 1) Easter Observers, 2) Easter Traditions, 3) Kids’ Easter and 4) Easter Weather. Metrics looked at things like the number of candy and chocolate stores, churches per capita, park space, and weather patterns. The best places to celebrate include great spring weather, a family-friendly atmosphere, and great places to celebrate the occasion.
Desert destinations offer a sunny holiday
In many southwestern cities, warm and dry weather can make the Easter holiday a great time to visit (just be careful—some higher altitude desert towns can see serious snow this time of year, too). Three desert climate towns make the top 10 for WalletHub's list: Albuquerque, New Mexico ranks 9th, Las Vegas, Nevada ranks eighth, and El Paso, Texas takes third place.
Las Vegas ties with New York City for the most candy and chocolate stores and ties in 3rd place (with North Las Vegas) for the best Easter season weather. However, it may not be the best place for those interested in a church setting or family-friendly Easter (Sin City ranks 39th and 48th in the Easter Observers and Kid's Easter categories, respectively).
El Paso, TX ranks third overall and third for the size of the Christian population, seventh in the Easter Observers category, and twelfth in the Kids' Easter category, so those seeking a traditional and family-friendly Easter will find this town fits the bill. There are plenty of egg hunts planned for Easter weekend.
Florida cities take the top spot for traditions
Miami ranks seventh overall, and Orlando comes right ahead in sixth, for the best cities to celebrate Easter. In the Easter Traditions, category, they both come out on top—Miami is first, and Orlando is second. If you're looking for great Easter gifts and decorations, Florida has you covered: Miami comes in fourth for the most flower and gift shops per capita, while Orlando ties in first place for the most flower and gift shops. Orlando also comes in fifth for most churches per capita.
While both Florida towns got points off in the weather category—as an afternoon thunderstorm isn't unusual for the state—visitors can still expect wonderfully warm days, and many storms pass quickly. As such, there are plenty of fun outdoor events like egg hunts, farm and zoo events, Easter Bunny photo ops, and more.
Southern towns full of the Easter spirit
It's no surprise that Southern towns come out on top when it comes to a holiday typically spent at church—after all, these places make up the Bible Belt. Birmingham, Alabama ranks fifth overall, thanks to its first place rank for the most churches per capita of any city. And while New Orleans is most often considered for its big parties the other side of Lent (Mardi Gras), plenty will be celebrating Easter—they have the second largest Christian population.
New Orleans ranked fourth overall for the best place to spend Easter. As a mostly Catholic town, there are many places to attend services on Sunday morning. Afterwards, visitors won't want to miss the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade.
Most festive Northern cities
While colder-climate towns may not spring to mind when it comes to enjoying April (at this point, most people are tired of the rain and snow), two northern cities made WalletHub's top spots. Buffalo, New York ranks second overall, thanks to a second place finish for most churches per capita and fifth place rank for percentage of the population that identifies as Christian. This year, Buffalo has several fun events for all ages happening around the city, including brunches, Easter Bunny sightings, and even a unique egg hunt/ghost hunt experience.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania came out as the number one best place to celebrate Easter. The town performed well in almost all categories and, impressively, has the fourth highest number of chocolate and candy stores (which may make up for an otherwise lackluster finish in the "Kids' Easter" category). Downtown Pittsburgh is also home to several great restaurants that make an ideal place to celebrate.
— Visit WalletHub to view the full list of rankings.
Earth-friendly Travel Ideas for April
Earth Day is officially celebrated on April 22nd, making this month a perfect time to travel more sustainably, learn about our environment, and enjoy the outdoors. The warmer spring weather definitely makes a nature-focused trip more appealing as well. Below are several eco-friendly ways to spend Earth Day—or any day—celebrating our amazing planet. Take a hike in a national park Supporting our national parks directly supports maintaining those environments for future generations to enjoy. Aside from being budget-friendly, there are great options across the country, meaning that you don't have to travel far (in turn, minimizing your carbon footprint from transportation); camping is a sustainable, energy-efficient alternative to hotel stays as well. Hikes for any age and athletic level can be found at most parks, making it an accessible option for anyone to experience the beauty of nature. This is also a great time of year to see incredible springtime blooms across many regions. Restore coral reefs in the Florida Keys Coral reefs in the Florida Keys - courtesy of the Coral Restoration Foundation In the Keys, visitors can participate in the Coral Restoration Foundation's dive programs to help restore coral reefs off the coast of Florida, learn about coral restoration, and assist with clean-up and planting. Volunteers with an extended stay can also work in the coral nursery, outplant new coral, or monitor the coral. The Recreational Dive Programs let all ocean lovers make a difference and can be tailored to all skill levels—even if you're a beginner (and scuba gear is available for rental). As a snorkeler, you can visit the nurseries, and help with monitoring corals on the outplanting sites. Participate in an Earth Day initiative Participate in a global cleanup project - courtesy of earthday.org If you’re looking for a way to pitch in, or simply learn more about our planet on this and every day, find an initiative near you at Earthday.org, which lists things like foraging walks, online seminars, tree-planting projects, and The Great Global Cleanup, where you can join a group cleaning up somewhere nearby, or get tips on how to launch one of your own. They even have something called “plogging,” which is apparently picking up trash while jogging. Fun to do (if you like jogging) and fun to say. See climate-focused art Consider catching the Yanomami exhibit in New York (open now through April 16), focused on preserving rainforest and Indigenous rights, or take a stroll through downtown Columbus, Ohip to check out climate-focused art installations displayed in storefront windows. Go off-the-grid at the Greater World Earthship Community Earthship biotecture and bottle wall in Taos - courtesy of roadtrippers.com In the high mountain desert of Taos, New Mexico lies the thriving Greater World Earthship Community. This unique off-grid community welcomes tourists to learn more about their innovative living structures designed by architect Michael Reynolds. The "Earthship" is a sustainably-built, fully self-sufficient home that was pioneered in the early 1970s by Reynolds. Today's structures run off natural energy, harvest water, produce food, and even treat waste. Explore their visitor center or book one of their unique rentals. Near the site, take an educational trip to the Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about regenerative land practices Ted Turner Reserves in New Mexico - courtesy of tedturnerreserves.com The Ted Turner Reserves are comprised of four private New Mexico ranches, where work restoring and safeguarding "America's wild spaces" take precedence. The reserves include four properties where guests can stay, and stays can include tours with private guides of the lands, which are some of the most beautiful and well-preserved ecosystems in the country. Conservation efforts on the reserves include the protection of rare and iconic species – such as the North American bison, Bolson tortoise, Rio Grande cutthroat trout and Mexican wolf – along with initiatives like the riparian restoration plan and the Ponderosa pine restoration project. The reserves also host environmental researchers and scientists as part of our overarching mission to preserve wilderness areas for generations to come. Turner's wish is "to share his love of nature and discovery in the hope that those visiting his properties will develop a deeper appreciation for and awareness of what our Earth has to offer and, just as importantly, a shared responsibility for the well-being of our environment." Visit an eco-friendly resort Grounds at the Farmhouse Inn in Woodstock, Vermont - courtesy of the Farmhouse Inn In Woodstock, Vermont the Farmhouse Inn offers solar-powered accommodations—you can even host your event or wedding here. Locally prepared bath products are provided in bulk dispensers with no individual packaging. Kitchen scraps and table leftovers are brought to the compost pile to be enjoyed by the Inn's hens and, later, the compost is used to mulch the kitchen garden. All inn and event trash is sorted to separate recyclables and returnable bottles, disposable tableware is not allowed during events, and most celebration flowers are donated for reuse at local assisted living facilities. In Kennebunkport, Maine, the Colony Hotel strives "to provide personal gracious hospitality and service with sensitivity to the environment." As such, special care is taken to reduce waste on-site and use non-toxic foods, cleaning supplies, and other items whenever possible. The grounds and gardens are never sprayed with chemicals; waste is recycled, composted, or minimized; and products are purchased locally. The historic hotel also donates $1 for every night stay to the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust. Nestled at the base of 12,000-foot Mount Timpanogos in Utah, the Sundance Mountain Resort calls the Sundance Preserve its home. Protective covenants cover 3,343 acres of land along with the Redford Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve consisting of 860 acres of protected land. Guests who stay at Sundance Resort can participate in the linen re-use program, all rooms are cleaned using non-toxic cleaning supplies, and guests are given the opportunity to recycle their paper, cans and glass products in their guest rooms. Sundance water throughout the resort and in every lodging accommodation comes from local mountain-fed springs.
Ultra-Affordable Airbnbs with Unique Designs
Since Airbnb's Design Category launched in 2022, architects, designers and artists have opened their homes to guests, providing ample opportunities for designer stays at reasonable prices. From mid-century marvels to post-modern head-turners, the Design Category features a collection of over 20,000 vacation rentals chosen for their iconic architecture and interiors. Airbnb recently released lists of the most wishlisted listings in the Design Category—many of which are available for under $100 per night. Below are several ultra-affordable and highly rated rentals in North America that made the list, as well as a handful of equally highly-rated and low-cost options from the Airbnb's artfully inspired collection. Ravinia Bungalow - Dallas, Texas This unique artist's bungalow with lofted bedroom includes a private bathroom with shower. The amazing hideaway is located on a nearly 2-acre property in Dallas' North Oak Cliff neighborhood, just minutes from the Bishop Arts district and a short drive from downtown Dallas. Urban Sanctuary - Chicago, Illinois Urban sanctuary in Chicago - courtesy of airbnb.com This loft is a vintage lover's dream. Starting in the kitchen, you’ll see beautiful zinc alloy countertops, gorgeous antique mirror backsplashes, and a throwback SMEG 50’s refrigerator. Antique lumber detail can be found throughout the loft, from the floors all the way to the night stands. Enjoy the funky wicker swing chair and think of all the chic guests who may have used the closet doors—brought in from NY’s Plaza hotel! Current rates are around $75/night. A Studio With A View - Gatlinburg, Tennessee Mountain views from Gatlinburg condo rental - courtesy of airbnb.com This newly remodeled 400 sq ft condo is perfect for couples or small families. Everything has been tastefully redone from the new flooring, to stainless appliances, to the new queen bed with a memory foam mattress. From the balcony, enjoy sweeping mountain views by day, and the twinkling lights of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge below by night. The condo resort sits at 3,000 feet to enjoy the wonderful views (but is still a convenient 3 miles to downtown Gatlinburg) and inlcudes an outdoor pool. Current rates are just over $110 per night, but on average a night at this condo goes for under $100. Cozy and Stylish Studio in Irving Park - Chicago, Illinois This studio space has everything you need! A bistro-style dining nook is perfect for breakfast for two, and the pampering bathroom features a bathtub/shower, and there's a shared rooftop deck lounge area. Set between South Old Irving and Kilbourn parks, the building lies in one of Chicago's most interesting historical neighborhoods. It's not far from Logan Square and features many great local restaurants and bars. Current rates are only $65/night, and average under $100/night. Beautiful Bedroom in Architectural Gem - Los Angeles, California Rent a bedroom in this architectural gem - courtesy of airbnb.com Designed by architect Neil Denari, this home offers a unique experience for art and architecture fans and has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, and Vogue. The guest area is located in a wing of the original 1940 house, and is decorated in a modern style with nods to mid-century design. Shared spaces are bespoke, modern, and extraordinary. While it's a bit more than some of the other rentals on the lists, it still comes in around $175/night for most dates. Cabaña Geométrica con Piscina Mont Blanc - Tepoztlán, Mexico Geometric cottage in the forest - courtesy of airbnb.com Meet the Geometric Forest Cabin in Tepoztlán! This is a unique, tiny cottage away from the noise of the city and immersed in nature—an ideal hideaway for adventurers, couples, and travelers looking to relax with unparalleled panoramic views of the mountains and valley. There are several cabins on the property and guests share access to beautiful gardens and a refreshing stone pool, ideal for swimming or just relaxing and sunbathing. Current rates hover just above $120/night. The Strazza House - Waco, Texas The Strazza house - courtesy of airbnb.com Even though this tiny container home didn't make the top of the list in Airbnb's research, it still comes out as one of the most highly rated properties in the Design collection. It started as a 20' shipping container, before CargoHome insulated it, paneled the interior in pine shiplap, and trimmed it out in 100+ year-old barn wood. The outside is clad with cedar siding, spaced to allow the original container to still be seen. The fun rooftop deck is surrounded by a custom cable railing system and lit with LED lights that gives the deck a beautiful glow at night. Climb up to the rooftop deck for stargazing or your morning coffee. Current rates come in around $90/night. Artsy Glamping Tiny House - Castleton, Ontario, Canada Tiny house for glamping - courtesy of airbnb.com This unique miniature home set on the hillsides of rural Ontarioalso missed a spot in the official top-ranked list, but comes in with great rates and ratings. Located 200 feet from the main house on the property, guests will have the hilltop around the tiny house to themselves for a unique "glamping" experience. Guests can enjoy walking trails through the woods (30 acres of property), an outhouse, seasonal warm water outdoor shower and small cooling-off pool, a large deck for star gazing, and a seasonal fire pit. This rental is also just a few kilometers from the artsy town of Warkworth. Current rates are just over $110/night.
Great Girls' Trips for Every Type of Friends Group
There are many types of vacations—romantic getaways with your partner, chaotic family trips, or peaceful solo adventures—but the best trips are with your besties. Time to take that vacation out of the group chat, reunite the girls, and celebrate your friendship with a weekend getaway. From snowy mountain hideouts to all-day beach days soaking in the sun, Room Service has got you covered with a list of great girls' trips. Keep reading to explore the best girls’ getaways around the world. For live event lovers and party starters: Nashville, Tennessee Bode Nashville - courtesy of Bode Nashville Nashville is rowdy in the best way and a hot spot for anyone and everyone celebrating their upcoming nuptials. It was recently ranked one of the best cities for a bachelorette trip. Watch a concert, visit a honky tonk, see the Country Music Hall of Fame, take Instagram-worthy photos with the city's many painted murals, and indulge in some good Southern barbecue. Where to stay: Bode Nashville. This hotel is specifically built for large groups. Bode Nashville is a chic boutique hotel that knows how to accommodate parties of up to 14 people with zero stress. With everything from foosball tables, cornhole, large lounging areas, hanging swings, a bar perfect for a mid-day aperitivo, a chef’s kitchen in each Bode suite, and a grab-and-go market with all the snacks you can think of. That list just skims the surface of all the offerings. The space is designed to encourage group gatherings so you can host a BBQ or curl up by the fireplaces. Prices fluctuate drastically but you can get a room for as low as $193/night (up to $1,619/night!). Book here. For foodies: Vancouver, British Columbia The Wedgewood Hotel & Spa - courtesy of the Wedgewood Hotel & Spa Foodies from all over the world flock to Vancouver to experience their infamous night market, sample all the yummy dim sum, and even grab a cup of joe from Tim Hortons. If your group is the type to always split multiple appetizers and save room for dessert, consider going to Vancouver BC to satisfy all your cravings. Where to stay: The Wedgewood Hotel & Spa. Luckily, in Vancouver, you can get a luxury stay for a steal of a deal. The Wedgewood Hotel & Spa has decor that must be marveled at and is located amidst the gardens and waterfalls of Robson square, right in the heart of Vancouver. They even had bike rentals so you can tour all the foodie spots across the city. If that’s not your thing, don’t worry, the hotel has a 100/100 walking score and 284 restaurants within 0.3 miles, so you’re right in the center of the action. Nightly rates start around $213. Book now. For a relaxing city stay: Charleston, South Carolina Charleston, South Carolina - courtesy of travelandleisure.com Charleston is an excellent choice for a girls trip – it’s very walkable with no need for renting a car, has plenty of amazing restaurants, and has a relaxing city vibe. It’s like the goldilocks of group city trips. We recommend staying right in the heart of Charleston at The Quarters on King. Where to stay: The Quarters on King - charming, rich with history, and easy-going with just enough Southern hospitality and class. This stay is perfect for a big group as it feels less like a hotel and more like a home. Their suites offer up a great deal of privacy and come with fully equipped kitchens and living rooms so you and your friends have proper gathering spaces for much-needed quality time. Nightly rates start around $314. Book now. For a spa weekend: Palm Springs, California Palm Springs - courtesy of travellens.co Palm Springs is the perfect location to unwind and relax. The sweeping views of the San Jacinto Mountains are sure to put your mind at ease and help you achieve total relaxation. Where to stay: Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs. Usually when you heard “Margaritaville” you think party central but the Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs is the ultimate spa getaway for your and your closest pals. It has the largest resort spa in all of Palm Springs. Their spacious rooms offer up enough space and seating areas for you and your besties to get ready together or perhaps watch a movie. The exquisite and well-lit bathrooms are an added bonus. The spa honors Balinese, Thai, and Indonesian rituals and has 18 therapy rooms. The wide variety of offerings includes everything from hair coloring, makeup services, body scrubs, massages, steam rooms, and much more. Nightly rates start around $187. Book now.If you get bored of the spa, chill out at one of their two pools or go golfing nearby. Then, head back to your room for a movie night or a drink at their on-site bar or tiki-hut-inspired cabanas. For outdoor adventurers: a National Park stay Evergreen Lodge - courtesy of thedailynavigator.com For a chance to truly unwind and get some quality bonding time with your friends, take your trip to the Great Outdoors. Whether you’re into glamping or prefer to stargaze from the comforts of a traditional tent, you can enjoy the natural beauty while unplugging and unwinding from life’s daily stresses. Where to stay: Room Service recommends Zion or Yosemite—two beautiful and popular parks. However, there's plenty of other budget-friendly options or you can pick one closer to your home base. If camping in a traditional tent isn't quite your vibe, you can also check out these great hotels near the parks. Also, check out our Room Service's helpful guide for planning your National Park trip. For a weekend in the mountains: Ontario, Canada Ontario lakeside cabin - courtesy of airbnb.com Sipping on hot cocoa and sitting by the fire — there’s nothing better than watching the snow pile up from the comfort of the great indoors. Ontario, Canada is an idyllic retreat for a girls’ weekend. Where to stay: Book a secluded cabin in the woods from Airbnb. This lakefront a-frame cottage has nightly rates starting around $209. This one even comes with an outdoor fireplace. When you split the nightly rate between your best group of gals, it ends up being cheaper than you think and with few things left to do besides enjoy the snow and each other’s company, it’s a great, budget-friendly trip. For an international trip on a budget: Santa Teresa, Costa Rica Costa Rica - courtesy of Shutterstock Regardless of which coast you’re flying from, Costa Rica is a great middle ground. Plus, Costa Rica is budget-friendly with many places accepting US dollars. You can score amazing flight deals to Costa Rica as well. Where to stay: Point Break Santa Teresa is like a hostel, but more private. You can share a quadruple room with your best friends and save a pretty penny without losing any of the privacy of a more traditional hotel stay. Their rooms come with AC, complimentary toiletries, a safety box, and private furnished terraces. This way you get all the on-site amenities without breaking the bank and you get to stay in the same room as your friends instead of questionable hostel companions.Nightly rates start around $76. Book now. For a little something for everyone: San Diego, California San Diego - courtesy of blog.sandiego.org With plenty of relaxing beaches, a lively nightlife in the Gaslamp quarter, and exceptional restaurants in Little Italy, San Diego is one of the best girls’ trip destinations. It’s a well-rounded city that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for all the personalities in your group. Where to stay: A remodeled beach house. Nightly rates for this house on the water start around $694—and when you split the cost between your group, it ends up being much cheaper than most hotels in the area. This one is spacious enough for your group to not have to crowd around in one bathroom mirror and it’s right on the water so you can start your mornings peacefully before hitting the nightlife when the sun goes down.
With spring officially underway, landscapes across America have begun to burst into color with incredible blooms. Some of the most lovely scenery in the country becomes infinitely more magical as seasonal plants and flowers come to life. If you're looking to take advantage of this unique time of year, head to one of these locations below. With desert valleys, mountain meadows, prairie fields, and more, there's something for everyone, everywhere. Desert "Superblooms" in Death Valley - California Wildflower bloom in Death Valley National Park - courtesy of nps.gov Death Valley is famous for its spectacular, spring wildflower displays, but those are the exception, not the rule. Only under perfect conditions does the desert fill with a sea of gold, purple, pink or white flowers. These tend to average once a decade, with the most recent superbloom years being 2016, 2005, and 1998. Most of the showy desert wildflowers are annuals, also referred to as ephemerals because they are short-lived. Oddly enough, this limited lifespan ensures survival here. Rather than struggle to stay alive during the desert’s most extreme conditions, annual wildflowers lie dormant as seeds. When enough rain finally does fall, the seeds quickly sprout, grow, bloom and go back to seed again before the dryness and heat returns. By blooming enmasse during good years, wildflowers can attract large numbers of pollinators such as butterflies, moths, bees and hummingbirds that might not otherwise visit Death Valley. If you're not sure when to plan a trip, the National Park Service and several websites exist to track the Death Valley blooms each season. While there is not predicted to be a superbloom in Death Valley in 2023 due to a lack of fall and winter rains, visitors can still spot decent spring flora most years. Rarely is there a year totally absent of flora. However, elsewhere in California there may be superblooms to visit this year. California even has a tracking page for bloom predictions. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is expected to have small pockets of wildflower blooms throughout the park this year. Sand verbena, desert lily, dune evening primrose, and desert sunflowers are blooming with enthusiasm at Coyote Canyon/DiGiorgio Road, Henderson Canyon Road, and June Wash. Chino Hills State Park also has a great wildflower viewing experience along Bane Road and the Bane Ridge Trail with flora including canterbury and school bells, arroyo lupine, and California poppy. Ennis Bluebonnet Trails - Texas Ennis bluebonnets - courtesy of Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival Ennis, Texas was designated by the 1997 State Legislature as the home of the Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail and was designated the Official Bluebonnet City of Texas. From April 1-30, Ennis showcases over 40 miles of mapped driving Bluebonnet Trails sponsored by the Ennis Garden Club. These trails are the oldest such trails known in the state, and tens of thousands of visitors make the short trek to Ennis to view this wonderful wildflower show. The Ennis Garden Club will drive the trails to check the bloom status each week starting in April. The Club then reports to the Ennis Welcome Center about the latest status of the bluebonnets so that visitors can be well informed where the best flowers are on the trails at the time of their visit. Each year, the bluebonnets will appear on different trails as these are natural to the area. In Ennis, the bluebonnets typically peak around the 3rd week of April. This can vary year to year due to weather conditions and terrain, so please check their website or call before visiting. The Ennis Welcome Center will be open 7 days a week in April (closed Easter Sunday). Downtown Ennis also hosts an annual Bluebonnet Festival in the middle of April. The event features kids activities, live music, arts and crafts vendors, food, and, of course, wildflower walks. Biltmore Blooms - North Carolina A bird's eye view of the gardens and conservatory at the Biltmore - courtesy of biltmore.com Spring at the historic Biltmore estate in North Carolina is one of the property's most glorious seasons. Experience a spring break mountain escape with all the charm of a European retreat. Immerse yourself in thousands of colorful tulips as Biltmore Blooms transforms our gardens and grounds. The estate's horticultural experts continually work to preserve Frederick Law Olmsted’s original vision for the gardens and grounds, including the Rose Garden that features more than 250 varieties. As a century-old model for forest conservation (and, more recently, for sustainability, thanks to nine acres of solar panels), Biltmore continues to honor George Vanderbilt’s legacy of environmental protection. Skagit Valley Tulip Festival - Washington The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington state was officially inaugurated in 1984 by the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce. Chamber directors Jerry Diggerness and Joan Houchen saw that people were coming by the thousands to view the tulips and, through a retreat, decided to add events and festivities to enhance the visitors’ trip to the Skagit Valley. In 1994 the Tulip Festival broke off from the Chamber of Commerce and became an entity of its own, eventually opening a separate office and store. The festival is one of the destination events for the Pacific Northwest, held through the entire month of April, celebrating millions of tulips bursting into bloom. As with all things governed by Mother Nature, the tulips bloom according to their own schedule sometime during the festival. The tulips allow us to share our corner of the world and showcase Skagit Valley agriculture. Crested Butte Wildflower Festival - Colorado Crested Butte, Colorado - courtesy of Crested Butte Wildflower Festival A little later in the year, during July, the "Wildflower Capital of Colorado" hosts a Wildflower Festival. The event is an annual 10-day festival offering over 200 workshops in wildflower expertise each July, be it painting, pollination, photography, culinary arts, or leading hikes into the wild beyond in the heart of Crested Butte. The festival is held by a local organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the beauty of the montane and alpine wildflower environments in and around the Gunnison Valley. Holland's Tulip Time - Michigan Holland's only tulip farm is ablaze with acres of tulips from late April to mid-May. Veldheer farms began in 1950 when Vern Veldheer planted a couple hundred tulip bulbs as a hobby. Now, Veldheer's plants around 5 million tulip bulbs each year! In addition to tulips, there are several other imported flowers and perennials for you to enjoy and even purchase for your own garden. Several varieties of lilies bloom throughout the spring and summer, and you can enjoy the beautiful perennial gardens through mid-October. Veldheers is a must visit for garden and floral enthusiasts. Over 8 days in May, the town also hosts the Tulip Time festival. It features events and activities that take place in different locations, most within a 4-mile radius of Downtown Holland. Tulips can be seen for no charge in public parks and along downtown streets. However, for just a $15 ticket you can access an incredible, unique display of 65,000 tulips create by world renowned Dutch horticulturist, Ibo Gülsen. The outdoor exhibit allows visitors to be in the midst of the blooms at eye-level for an exciting display and photo-perfect experience. Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Smokies - Tennessee & North Carolina Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, Great Smoky Mountains National Park - courtesy of Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage After a quick drive through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you'll quickly see why it's dubbed "Wildflower National Park," in the spring and summer. For an expert-led tour, arrange your trek during the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage (SWFP) in April, which takes you the park's most beautiful displays with a naturalist. The SWFP is an annual nonprofit event features professionally-guided walks, exhibits, and other learning opportunities to explore the region's rich natural and cultural resources. Pilgrims from more than 40 states and several countries make the pilgrimage each year to learn more about fungi, ferns, wildflowers, trees and shrubs, medicinal plants, insects (terrestrial and aquatic), salamanders and snakes, birds, mammals (bats to bears), journaling, art and photography, and park history. Kauai's McBryde Garden - Hawaii Located on the South Shore of the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i, McBryde Garden is nestled in the picturesque and historic Lawa’i Valley. The garden is a veritable botanical ark of tropical flora and home to the largest ex situ collection of native Hawaiian flora in existence. Our extensive collections of palms, flowering trees, rubiaceae, heliconias, orchids, and many others have been wild-collected by botanists and biologists from throughout tropical regions around the world and transported to McBryde Garden to research, cultivate and thrive. Tours of McBryde Garden and the adjacent Allerton Garden are available by appointment only. Visitors are transported into the garden via a short, narrated shuttle ride along the stunning coastline of the South Shore. Be on the lookout for whales, dolphins and other marine life as you make your way into the garden over a historic railroad trestle road and into the magnificent valley. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve - California Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve - courtesy of timeout.com Each spring, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve comes alive with the seasonal surprises of the Mojave Desert Grassland habitat. The duration and intensity of colors and scents vary from year to year. The wildflower season generally lasts from as early as mid-February through May, with a variety of wildflowers creating a mosaic of color that changes daily.Eight miles of trails through the gentle rolling hills, including a paved section for wheelchair access, make the park a wonderful place to hike and explore any season. Get away from the city and relax in the quietude of the countryside, with the birds singing and hawks gliding silently overhead. Benches located along the trails make good places to sit quietly and watch for wildlife, such as meadow larks, lizards, and gopher snakes. If you're lucky, you may spot a coyote or bobcat. Numerous burrows around the trails may shelter mice, gophers, kangaroo rats, beetles, scorpions, or others. Delta Magnolias and Wetland Blooms - Mississippi Known for is dependability, resiliency and of course, beauty, Mississippi is aptly named the Magnolia State for sharing qualities with the flowering tree within its history and people, and these characteristics are especially present in the Delta region. Experiencing this beloved flower in the spring, whether it’s through Quapaw Canoe Company’s Mississippi River excursions or along the Blues Highway, is an ideal time to visit given its peak in bloom and Mississippi’s gorgeous climate during the spring months. As one of the most well-preserved wetlands in the United States, the coastal region of Mississippi is untouched oasis, offering a variety of aquatic plant life (and of course, beautiful Gulf views). The American Lotus, native to Mississippi and a symbol of enlightenment, blooms in the marshes along the coast, bringing new life each spring and a vibrant yellow-white color to the area. North Cascades National Park - Washington North Cascades wildflowers - courtesy of travel-experience-live.com Wildflowers can be found everywhere in the North Cascades in Washington state. They occur across the entire range of habitat types from wet hillside seeps and moist, shady forest floors to dry east-side slopes and exposed alpine ridges. The great differences in elevation, exposure, and precipitation that exist in the North Cascades promote a range of flowering times. Some plants are flowering by late February and early March in the low elevation forests, and as late as August and early September in the alpine zone. While most of the flowers are insect or wind pollinated, those blooming during the relatively warmer days of April and May, such as salmonberry, Indian plum, and red-flowering currant will be visited by hummingbirds returning to breed. The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch - California For over sixty years, Mother Nature has transformed the rolling hills of North San Diego County into one of the most spectacular and coordinated displays of natural color and beauty anywhere in the world. The 55-acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that make up The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch in Carlsbad, California, are in bloom for approximately six to eight weeks each year – from early March through early May – literally bringing the famous fields back to life. This annual burst of color, which has become part of the area’s local heritage, also is one of nature’s official ways of announcing the arrival of spring here in Southern California.