Nothing brightens a dark winter’s day like the thought of fields brimming with the vibrant colors of spring. Banish the winter blues by booking a trip to some of these top hot spots for springtime flower peeping. Pinpointing the precise viewing time and location isn’t an exact science but one thing’s for sure — like all good things in life — these blooms won’t last long.
Keukenhof Gardens (Lisse, Netherlands)
The Dutch countryside does springtime right with a grand display of flowering tulips. Treat yourself to a patchwork of perennials in an array of colorful hues at Keukenhof Gardens. With seven million flowering bulbs on location, it’s no wonder Keukenhof is known as the Garden of Europe. Every year each bulb is diligently planted by hand depicting a unique theme. Walk the footpaths through the nearly 80 acres of beds bursting with Holland’s signature flower and experience the pride of the Netherlands.
Hill Country (Texas, USA)
Each spring these blue beauties take over much of the Lone Star State’s Hill Country symbolizing the vibrant spirit of Texas. Their shape is reminiscent of hats worn by pioneer women, which is only fitting. Finding the best place to experience the Texas State Flower can prove to be a challenge. The best location changes each year depending on several factors. But typically, Ennis and Fredericksburg see a good number of the wildflowers pop up in the spring. Still, be sure to do your homework as heading back to last year’s hot spot just may leave you dragging your camera home behind you.
Maruyama Park (Kyoto, Japan)
One of the world’s best spots for cherry blossom enthusiasts is found in the colorful city Kyoto. Before you book your Asian adventure keep in mind, it’s difficult to predict precisely where and when the best hanami (cherry blossom viewing) will be. Some years all the trees blossom at the same time while other years the blooms are dotted throughout the city.
Val d’Orcia (Tuscany, Italy)
As if sipping Chianti in an Italian villa isn’t enough reason to visit Tuscany, traveling to experience the red poppies is another. Starting in the end of April, the flowers blanket the fields of Val d’Orcia which stretches from Siena to Monte Amiata. Other wildflowers crop up this time of year as well, and you can explore these fields, glass of wine in hand, and embrace the colors of spring.
Hampton Court Palace (East Molesey, UK)
Just a short train ride from London, visitors to Hampton Court Palace can not only tour a world-famous building but explore the gardens that Henry VIII once walked. From meticulously-manicured flower beds to rose gardens and topiaries, Hampton Court Palace has some of the most inspiring flower displays around. Many of the deer that roam the gated estate today are direct descendants of those that wandered during Henry VII’s reign. It’s no surprise that not even deer with a royal legacy are allowed anywhere near those majestic blooms.
Tidal Basin (Washington D.C., USA)
If you can’t make it to Japan to see their cherry blossoms, no need to fret as Washington D. C.’s Tidal Basin is brimming with cherry blooms. The Japanese tradition of cherry blossom viewing was brought to the U.S. in 1912 when Tokyo gifted our capital city with a few thousand of the pink flowering trees. Ever since then, they’ve been delighting visitors each spring. If you happen to hit peak bloom time, don’t waste a minute as prime viewing only lasts a few days.
Claude Monet Garden (Giverny, France)
Step into the canvas of your favorite Monet painting as you walk the grounds of the artist’s French countryside retreat. From water lilies to weeping willows visitors will be immersed in a full impressionism experience. There are two sections to visit. Clos Normand, the flower garden located in the front area and the Japanese inspired water garden nearby. Visitors can even walk the bridge famously depicted in the artist’s work.