Spring has sprung, which means it's the perfect time to witness some of the world's most beautiful gardens, flower festivals and floral displays. To help you discover these delightful destinations, Tripping.com CEO Jen O'Neal has highlighted her favorite places to stop and smell the roses (and many other flowers). Here they are:
1. Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto, Japan (or Washington, DC)
Nowhere on earth celebrates the coming of spring quite like Japan. Up and down the country, people of all ages take time every spring to sit under the blooming sakura, or Japanese cherry trees. The delicate pink and white blossoms often hit their peak in April, and there’s no place like the traditional city of Kyoto to see their beauty in full force. While visiting, be sure to wander through the incredible temple complexes and maybe try some sakura-flavored snacks, too!
If Japan’s not in the budget this year, try the yearly Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. These trees around the Tidal Basin near the Washington Monument were originally a gift from the people of Japan in 1912, and it’s a really stunning sight to see the hundreds of these trees blooming along the water.
2. Tulips in Keukenhof Garden, the Netherlands
The Keukenhof garden in the Netherlands openly calls itself ‘the most beautiful spring garden in the world’, and if you’re a fan of tulips, it’s hard to disagree. Located in the town of Lisse, this 32 hectare garden features 7 million tulip bulbs with 800 different varieties. If looking isn’t enough, the garden also features exhibits on tulip history, cultivation, and tips on how to make your garden as colorful as theirs. This year, it’s only open from March 24th through May 16th, so don’t wait too long!
3. Desert Wildflower Bloom in Death Valley, CA
The desert may not come to mind when thinking about where to see the most beautiful spring flowers, but when conditions are right, even one of the driest places on earth can produce a stunning display of natural wildflowers in the spring. April visitors to Death Valley in California should look to the canyons and higher valleys to see native beauties like Desert Paintbrush, Mojave Aster, and Bigelow’s Coreopsis. Since this is a National Park and these flowers aren’t planted, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see blooms...but even spotting a single flower in the desert is a sure sign that spring is here.
4. American and European Favorites in Central Park, New York City
New York City’s Central Park shakes off the snow every spring and comes alive with blooming wild and planted flowers. Since the park is massive, you can easily spend a few hours just strolling around and appreciating the peaceful environment. Head towards Strawberry Fields to see azaleas, cherry trees, and magnolias in bloom. For visitors dreaming of seeing cultivated European-style gardens here in the US, the Conservatory Garden in the park offers three sections: traditional English, French, and Italian gardens.
Jen O'Neal is the founder and CEO of Tripping.com, the world’s leading search engine for vacation rentals. Under her leadership, Tripping.com has grown to offer over 8 million rental properties in 150,000 destinations worldwide. Jen was an early employee of two multi-billion dollar companies, she's worked with the world's top brands across the US and Europe, and she's passionate about bringing transparency and convenience to the vacation rentals market. Jen lives in San Francisco and graduated Cum Laude from UC Berkeley.