Many states in the northeast recently experienced frigid temperatures and snowfalls. With the coming of the new season, winter’s cold will fade into memory. Trees that lost their leaves will experience new growth. Robins will emerge from their nests to dig for worms. Spring flowers will bud and begin to bloom beneath the warmth of the sun. These are nature’s signs for us to turn our attention outward to enjoy the newness of the season. Here are three great destinations worthy of your visit this spring.
Washington D.C. – Each year more than 1.5 million visitors flock the nation’s capital to witness over 3,000-plus Japanese flowering cherry trees turn luscious shades of pink. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a longstanding Washington tradition that honors American and Japanese cultures. The flowering trees were gifted to the city in 1912 by Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki. While it’s difficult to accurately predict when the buds will open, National Park Service horticulturists closely monitor five stages of bud development and do their best to provide forecasts and updates. The festival this year runs from March 17 to April 15th, with peak viewing season expected to begin on or about March 27 to 31. For breathtaking views of the blossoms, take a 45-minute river boat ride on the Potomac on the Cherry Blossoms and Washington Monuments Cruise departing Georgetown. For additional adventure, see the Blossoms by Bike on a two-hour guided bike ride past the blossoms surrounding the Potomac Tidal Basin to East Potomac Park and more. Those interested in history will want to consider the Cherry Blossom Galore Tour. Ride aboard a climate-controlled mini coach-bus tour. Enjoy stops at the U.S. Navy Memorial, U.S. Capitol, White House, World War II Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, MLK Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. Book your tours today!
New Orleans, Louisiana – 2018 promises to be an exciting time for the city known as the Paris of the South. This year marks New Orleans’ 300th Anniversary. The city is packed with events ready to celebrate its rich history, exciting traditions, and diverse culture. From April 12th to the 15th, enjoy the French Quarter Festival. Presented by Chevron, the music event features a whopping 23 stages and a large array of music genres. Come hear soulful gospel music, inspiring jazz, rich classical music, rousing brass bands, joyful funk, and exciting Cajun & Zydeco! The French quarter is called the Crown Jewel of New Orleans and is considered one of the most historic neighborhoods in the United States. Founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city developed around a central square, the Vieux Carré. Many of the historical buildings were constructed in the late 1700s during a period of Spanish rule, or during the early 1800s. Two fires destroyed much of the original French architecture, and most of what is seen today reflects the Spanish style; including stucco, brick, and “lace-iron” balconies. New Orleans possesses a large variety of specialty restaurants and hotels that reflect the many heritages that are proud to call the energetic city home.
Grand Canyon, Arizona – The Grand Canyon is well-known and beloved for its remarkable geological features, rich wildlife, and exotic flora. Each year, over 5 million visitors explore this national landmark. Those looking to beat the winter blues will find the Grand Canyon a dramatically refreshing experience. Though snow in April and May is not unheard of, warmer and more favorable weather increasingly makes its way into the region during springtime. The Grand Canyon is situated approximately 80 miles northwest of Flagstaff, Arizona. The steep-sided canyon is an amazing 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and a mile deep. Dramatically carved by the Colorado River, the canyon offers adventure amidst the most stunning vistas of the world. Both the canyon and the adjacent rim are contained within Grand Canyon National Park. The area is listed as a National Historic Landmark District and features over 250 structures such as those built by park concessioners. Visitors can travel to scenic viewpoints or take private shuttle or commercial buses to explore the landscape and sites. The area boasts museums, tours, ranger programs, hiking and camping options, mule rides, rafting trips and more. Take the chance of a lifetime to witness picture-perfect landscapes and unforgettable sunsets in this ultimate spring destination.