See the Cherry Blossoms in Alexandria, VA, Late March
The last week of March, the DC Metro area lights up bright pink with the peak bloom of the Cherry Blossoms and Alexandria is filled with a variety of cherry blossom trees of its own from delicate white Yoshinos to fluffy pink Kwanzans that eventually speckle the cobblestone roads pink. Additionally, the city is connected to D.C. via water taxi, Metrorail and bike share so exploring the blooms in the nation’s capital is just minutes away, yet hotel stays are typically 30 percent more affordable. Spring is also a great time to enjoy the alfresco, waterfront dining, embark on a river cruise or visit one of the area’s breweries.
Dogwood Trail Celebration in Paducah, KY, Mid-April
Paducah’s Dogwood Trail Celebration showcases approximately 12 miles of brilliantly blooming trees and gardens through historic downtown Paducah, the Lower Town Arts District and other residential neighborhoods. The celebration starts when the Dogwoods bloom, usually in mid-April. Walk, bike or drive the trail to see blooming dogwood, Japanese maple, redbud and weeping cherry trees as well as seasonal flowers. The lighted trail can also be enjoyed at night.
Spring skiing in Vail, CO, Through April 11
Grand Hyatt Vail is a family-friendly winter playground primely nestled at the base of Vail Mountain along picturesque Gore Creek. Grand Hyatt Vail is ideal for skiers and non-skiers alike within an expansive ski-in/ski-out resort featuring Vail’s only resort-side open-air chair quad lift, perfectly suited for social distancing and capturing the finale of 2020-2021’s ski season which concludes April 11th. Beyond the resort’s array of accommodations, guests have access to a plethora of amenities and weekly activities within the resort’s vast campus. Chair 20 at Grand Hyatt Vail is located on-site, steps away from the resort’s luxury ski rental, valet and concierge. Adjacent to Chair 20, the resort offers an immersive outdoor experience within its new Cascade Village Square, featuring the Grand Hyatt Vail Ice Rink (complimentary skating for guests) and Private Yurt (with private rentals for $350 ideal for a unique family experience), al fresco Fire and Ice Bar, Axe-Throwing, Gore Creek Food Truck and outdoor fire pits, ideal for the entire family. Book online and save 15% through ski season or opt for the Spring Ski Rental package which includes rentals for two people per day 3/21/21 – 4/11/21.
Spring skiing in Aspen, CO, Through April 18
The Gant Aspen is a socially-distanced residential stay haven minutes from the base of Aspen Mountain with private adventures for snow seekers hoping to soak in all of the winter season which concludes April 18th. Complement days spent on unparalleled resort terrain at Aspen Snowmass with curated private winter experiences with trusted local partners including Nomad Inc. and Aspen Center for Environmental Studies to explore Aspen in a more intimate setting with individual traveling parties. Activities cater to avid skiers and snowboarders, winter scenery admirers and families alike, including Rocky Mountain Flightseeing, Dog Sled Tours, Guided Heli-Snowmobiling and Skiing, Private Guided Backcountry Touring, Guided Snowshoe Tours, Ice-Karting and Uphill Skiing. Situated upon five acres of open space within a tranquil enclave at the base of Aspen Mountain, The Gant’s location, complemented by residential-style accommodations and resort amenities and services, is primed for socially distanced stays. With full kitchens and dining rooms, families have the option of cooking in as well as ordering to go from the resort’s pop-up with locals-favorite Propaganda Pies on site. Offering winter promotions with rates from $359/night.
Explore the Lowcountry Back Roads in Charleston, SC with Emeline
While there are so many beautiful things to discover in downtown Charleston, nothing offers a more authentic Charleston experience than exploring the live oak-lined streets of the Charleston Lowcountry during spring. The Emeline team will curate the perfect showcase of the mysteries of the Lowcountry that includes a stop by the Angel Oak, which stands at 65 feet and is celebrated as a symbol of nature’s strength and fortitude at an estimated 400-500 years old. Then continue on the backroad adventure at Deep Water Vineyard, South Carolina’s only vineyard and winery, with a stroll around the 5-acre estate and a wine tasting. For the perfect afternoon, let Emeline’s culinary team pack a picnic to enjoy in a quiet spot under a tree at the vineyard. With the complimentary reservation of an Emeline house Mini Cooper, guests are primed for the open roads for an authentic Lowcountry experience. The entry to Angel Oak & Deep Water Vineyards is free. Deep Water Vineyard Tours are available Tues-Sat from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for $10.00 pp which includes 6 samples.
Hike the Dale Ball Trails in Santa Fe, NM
Just outside downtown Santa Fe is a nearly 25-mile network of trails in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which come to life with a colorful array of wildflowers in springtime. Sites like Picacho Peak offer sprawling views of Santa Fe and the high desert, while the entire system is lined with wildflowers and scenic greenery that can be explored on a leisurely hike or strenuous bike ride. Other hiking options include Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks with its series of conical sandstone formations and the Nambe Lake Trail, which presents a steep climb that concludes at a pristine Alpine Lake above the high desert. Spring is also a great time of year to catch epic sunsets from one of the city’s many rooftop bars or stroll Canyon Road, a half-mile stretch with more than 100 art galleries.
Whale Watching in Santa Barbara, CA
Spring is whale watching season in Santa Barbara and visitors who take a tour have the chance to catch a glimpse of any of the 27 different species of whales and dolphins that visit The Santa Barbara Channel from February through May, making it home to one of the most diverse arrays of marine mammals in the world. After spending a day near the water, visitors can also enjoy the walkability of downtown Santa Barbara – whether it’s browsing local boutiques or exploring the Urban Wine Trail in the Funk Zone.
Visit Red River Gorge in Slade, KY
Nestled in the lush Daniel Boone National Forest, Red River Gorge offers dramatic cliffs, soaring arches and world-class rock climbing for an ideal Spring getaway. About an hour southeast of Lexington, the gorge is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels and offers affordable accommodations for those looking to channel their inner Daniel Boone. “The Red” is considered one of the top 10 climbing destinations in the world with its incredible 2,000 climbing routes that are easily accessible via well-maintained trails. Nearby, Red River Gorge Zipline in Compton offers a canopy tour with five zip lines ranging from 330-1,900 feet long. The tour lasts between two and three hours, and the last two lines are dual-racing zips that allow guests to rush at speeds of up to 50 mph while soaring 300 feet over the gorge! For those who prefer to keep their feet flat on the ground, Spring is an especially marvelous time to explore the gorge’s wildflower blooms. Wild Geraniums, Red Trilliums and Pink Lady Slippers can be found dotting the lush forest floor on hikes up to mountain vista views.
Visit Mammoth Cave in Bowling Green, KY
In honor of 2021 being the Year of Caves, Mammoth Cave National Park invites guests to explore the longest mapped cave system in the world and take an awe-inspiring tour into the depths of the Earth. With more than half a dozen cave tours that offer ziplining, rappelling, kayaking and boating, plus the world’s longest cave and America’s second oldest tourist attraction, Mammoth Cave National Park, exploration is limitless. Incredible domes and dripstone formations, including the famous Frozen Niagara section of the cave, attract all ages. Out-of-town visitors looking to make their visit a weekend getaway can stay at The Lodge at Mammoth Cave. This historic and rustic property offers an array of accommodations, from private cottages nestled in the woodlands to terrace rooms that border the Heritage Trail forest.
Visit Presque Isle Park in Marquette, MI
The renowned Presque Isle Park is a 323-acre forested peninsula extending into the waters of Lake Superior offering unmatched views of Marquette and the surrounding areas. From biking and hiking to taking in breathtaking sunsets to even cliff jumping off Blackrock – Presque Isle Park offers ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors this spring. Miles of hiking trails stretch through Presque Isle’s central forest, boasting over 100 species of native plants amongst various other wildlife. The narrow Peter White Drive wraps itself around the park’s perimeter, offering a scenic roadway accessible by foot, bike or car. For those looking to cool off after a hike or bike ride, the Park’s Blackrocks are the perfect spot to soak in a cool lake breeze or dive from 10 to 15-foot cliffs into the crystal-clear water below.
Shell Island in Panama City Beach, FL
Panama City Beach, located in Bay County is home to Florida’s best-kept secret – Shell Island, an undeveloped beach that is located just across the pass from St. Andrews State Park. This secluded and sandy gem offers all the fun and relaxation of Panama City Beach’s public beaches without the crowds, so visitors can enjoy a social distance-friendly pastime. Accessible only by boat, this pristine seven-mile island of white sand, emerald water and beautiful pine forest is suited for a picnic, walk on the beach or snorkeling adventure. Sightseeing trips, private charters, boat rentals, and hourly shuttle service make the barrier island accessible to visitors or locals who want to get away from it all. Shell Island has natural beauty as far as the eye can see and is the perfect spot to reconnect with Mother Nature. From docile deer and nesting shorebirds to loggerhead turtles and elusive ghost crabs, a host of coastal creatures call Shell Island home, and the water surrounding the beach is also home to the world’s highest concentration of bottlenose dolphins.
Caddell Sculpture Garden and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, AL
Montgomery, the birthplace of the civil rights movement, has outdoor cultural experiences for every age and interest from the Caddell Sculpture Garden at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts to the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Ideal for social-distancing, the garden expands over three acres and provides an ever-changing and contemplative haven to view works of art and to enjoy Montgomery’s natural beauty. Located outdoors on a six-acre park, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice is a sacred space that is the nation’s first and only memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved African Americans who died by lynching. Since opening to the public in April 2018, the thought-provoking cultural experience has been visited by more than 800,000 visitors.
Stroll Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, SC
This spring, Brookgreen Gardens will come alive with dozens of blooming flower varietals like azaleas, daffodils and tulips. Most notably, stunning azaleas are planted throughout the gardens from the entrance corridor to the back wall of the gardens and draw in visitors from across the region. The fragrant flowers range from white to pink to rose, typically blooming from late March to late April. New this year, Brookgreen’s horticulture staff has planted fields of wildflowers in the Arboretum. The blooms cover several acres and visitors can stroll along paths and wander through Brookgreen to experience this 250-acre botanical garden. It is Brookgreen’s mission to collect, exhibit and preserve the plants of the Southeast and the garden conserves over 2,000 species of native plants.
Golf in Hattiesburg, MS
A premier city in the Gulf South, Hattiesburg blends culture, art, food and history, making it a modern Southern destination. This spring, visitors to Hattiesburg, MS can enjoy a round of golf at Timberton Golf Club designed by famed course architect and PGA Tour professional, Mark McCumber which is located only 10 minutes from downtown. This beautiful 18-hole course plays well for all skill levels and is a leader in championship golf in southern Mississippi. Or visitors can get outside and stroll through Hattiesburg’s All-American Rose Garden. Opened in 1974, the garden is the only accredited American Association of Rose Society test garden in the state and features approximately 800 separate bushes of roses with over 36 distinct varieties in bloom.
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