1. Wilmington, NC
With spring comes the blooming of the year’s most colorful flowers and there is no better place to see these blooms than Wilmington. Every April, Wilmington welcomes the Azalea Festival – a week long celebration of the natural beauty surrounding the city. From garden tours to parades and concerts, the festival offers something everyone in the family will enjoy. And if you don’t get enough blooms at the Azalea Festival, Airlie Gardens are beautiful during the spring. The 67 acres of Airlie are filled with gardens, live oaks, tall pines, lakes abundant with wildlife and a butterfly garden. If you want another reason to visit Wilmington this spring, don’t forget the three beaches that surround this waterfront city as well as the riverfront boardwalk filled with restaurants and one of a kind shops.
2. Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Beach has so much to offer year round, but especially in the spring. It’s finally warm enough to spend some time outside and there are so many options to choose from. You can go flying through the trees on a zipline at their adventure park (kids love it) and visit the aquarium while you are there. If you are looking for some fun in the water, why not go kayaking with dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life with Surf & Adventure Co. And while you are at it, why not go surfing. They offer the best surf lessons in Virginia Beach. You can also head over to Pungo for some therapeutic horseback riding. Pungo is home to Cullipher Farm where you can pick your own strawberries and if you can’t get enough strawberries, every May, Pungo offers the Pungo Strawberry Festival. The Pungo Strawberry Festival includes a parade, entertainment, one of the largest carnivals on the east coast, a pie eating contest, pig races, arts and crafts, and some of the best strawberry featured food you could ever imagine. If you are more into the partying style of spring break, Virginia Beach offers a boardwalk filled with great restaurants and all kinds of nightlife.
3. Atlanta, GA
Spring in Atlanta means lots of festivals, starting with the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Every April, Atlanta holds this festival in celebration of the blooming of its native dogwood trees. The festival includes live music, arts and crafts, food booths, and the famous U.S. Disc Dog Southern Nationals, a world-class competition starring the top Frisbee dogs in the nation. Also in April, Atlanta offers the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Lasting 8 weekends every spring, a 16th-century European country fair with nearly 1,000 characters wearing period costumes comes to the city offering period activities such as jousting tournaments, glass-blowing demonstrations, and sword-swallowing shows. You will also find acrobats, jugglers, magicians, dancers and wandering minstrels at the festival as well. If you are looking for a “big city” feel this spring, Atlanta has you covered for that as well. For some theme park fun, Six Flags Over Georgia kicks off its season in March. If you are a sports fan, you can head over to Turner field for a tour and learn all about the Atlanta Braves. If you go after mid-April, be sure to take in a Braves game while you are there. CNN is also open for tours. You can get an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes. You can even get your picture taken at a CNN news desk. It’s also just warm enough to have some fun splashing around and riding the skyview ferris wheel at Centennial Olympic Park.
4. Washington, DC
There’s nothing like spring at the nation’s capital. Every year DC holds The National Cherry Blossom Festival. With 3,000+ trees, it is the largest festival in the nation. More than just the celebration of the cherry blossoms, the festival is also a celebration of American and Japanese cultures and the close bond formed between the United States and Japan that began with Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki’s gift of the trees back in 1912. The citywide festival creates a “City in Bloom” and features performances, exhibitions, and entertainment across the city. A great way to see the blooms from the water is to rent a paddle boat and paddle along the Tidal Basin. Not only will you get a different view of the cherry blossoms, but you will also get a view of many of the monuments and memorials as well. If you are a baseball fan, you can head over to Nationals Park to take in a Washington Nationals game starting in April. Another must in the spring is Passport DC. Twice a year, the doors on Washington, DC’s Embassy Row open up to the public for a month-long festival in May paying tribute to the international side of the city. This experience allows you to get a look into the international side of DC by going inside a foreign embassy with the “Around the World Embassy Tour” and the “Shortcut to Europe”.