7 destinations with amazing springtime celebrations

With travelers taking to the skies again, destinations are gearing up to welcome visitors in droves this spring.

That means that there are some fantastic accommodation packages with special extras thrown in right now to go along with an impressive roster of fun, springtime festivities.

 From lively music festivals to bloom-focused celebrations and art exhibits, these U.S. cities are going all out this spring.

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Las Vegas

The Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. (Photo by Steven Lawton/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Las Vegas is an excellent option for a spring getaway if you’re a lover of sports or music (or both), as it’s hosting a couple of big events in the coming months.

Related: Vegas is back, baby: What it’s like to visit Las Vegas right now

From April 28-30, the city’s Caesars Forum convention center is being transformed into the ultimate destination for football fans while the NFL Draft takes place. When visitors are not watching their favorite teams draft this year’s top talent, they can check out the Draft Experience, an interactive football area offering games, food and drinks, clinics, virtual autograph sessions and more.

There’s also the Electric Daisy Carnival, a psychedelic electronic dance music festival the city hosts from May 20-22. It features everything you’d expect to find at an over-the-top music event, including lots of colorful art displays and energetic performances.

Where to stay: The Las Vegas Strip is home to an array of hotels, though few are as perfect for a spring stay as Bellagio Resort & Casino. Inside the property’s 14,000-square-foot conservatory, you can check out the larger-than-life floral displays put together by a talented team of horticulturalists and engineers. There’s also the new Resorts World Las Vegas, an impressive complex with three Hilton hotels, a theater, five pools and a nightclub, among other amenities.

Los Angeles

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, located in Exposition Park near the University of Southern California campus. (Photo by trekandshoot/Getty Images)

Spring is the time to enjoy wildflowers in Southern California. Luckily, you’ll find several locations with blooming flowers throughout the Los Angeles area.

Related: The best times to visit Los Angeles

Head to the city’s Natural History Museum to see its famous, seasonal Butterfly Pavilion, where live butterflies flutter around you and a variety of gorgeous native flowers and plants from late March to early September. You’ll also have access to the exhibit’s educators and animal keepers, should you want more insight about the butterflies and blooms.

Another must-visit spot is nearby San Marino’s Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens. While you’ll find more than a dozen gardens here, you’ll want to prioritize the new Chinese Garden and the accompanying “A Garden of Words: The Calligraphy of Liu Fang Yuan” exhibit, which features a collection of contemporary Chinese calligraphy. The brush strokes and artful scrolls are impressive, and the 15-acre garden is truly spectacular.

Related: 12 stops to make on your Southern California family road trip

Don’t forget to also save time for some exercise in the fresh spring air during a challenging hike on the 1.5-mile, out-and-back Burbank Peak Trail. Along the way, you’ll enjoy outrageous views of the Los Angeles Basin and Griffith Observatory before reaching the iconic Hollywood Sign.

Where to stay: The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills is always stunning thanks to its elaborate floral installations, but it’s even more appealing this spring now that its botanical-themed Pop-Up Cocktail Lounge is open. Serving a selection of creative, floral-inspired cocktails and light bites until May, the stunning indoor-outdoor space is the place to enjoy the season. You can also bed down at the 1 Hotel West Hollywood, an elegant hotel that brings the outdoors inside via design features like floor-to-ceiling windows, native greenery, earthy color palettes and reclaimed materials.

Related: From downtown to the Westside and beyond: Los Angeles hotels you can book on points

Carlsbad, California

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images)

Home to a variety of gorgeous flower species, including ranunculus, poinsettias and sweet peas, Carlsbad is a haven for flower lovers.

Every spring from early March to early May, The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch fill with a rainbow of colors, creating a breathtaking display fit for Instagram. When you’re not taking in the stunning scenery, pick blueberries in the on-site patch, explore the Illusion Garden and run around the Sweet Pea Maze.

For a bit of exercise after admiring the blooms at Carlsbad Ranch, rent a bicycle and bike one (or more) of the city’s “Pedal2Pedal” routes. Compiled by Visit Carlsbad, the bike routes take you past some of the area’s top locations, including Carlsbad Village and Legoland California Resort.

Related: California dreaming? 10 cool towns to visit in the Golden State

Where to stay: Book the Blooms & Bliss package at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa to receive a floral bouquet, spa credits and other fun amenities while staying in Carlsbad. Or check out the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa, which offers a number of floral-inspired cocktails and spring-focused dishes on its food and beverage menus, plus a Spring Into Sunshine package that includes a $100 resort credit and a complimentary fourth night for stays lasting three nights.

San Diego

Old Town in San Diego. (Photo by Mitch Diamond/Getty Images)

With sublime weather and a packed events schedule, San Diego draws spring visitors like bees to honey.

The annual tradition of “Art Alive” at The San Diego Museum of Art, which occurs between April 28 and May 1, brings together the museum’s collection of classic and contemporary art with colorful, coordinating flowers. The brilliant floral displays provide a beautiful backdrop for a weekend of art and art-inspired activities.

At the world-famous San Diego Zoo, the new Wildlife Explorers Basecamp exhibit invites kids to check out areas inspired by deserts, marshes, rainforests and more. Throughout the zoo, you’ll also find an impressive collection of 700,000-plus individual plants, meaning something will undoubtedly be in bloom during your visit.

Related: The 15 best things to do in San Diego

Where to stay: Guests can find both comfort and excitement at artsy resorts like Andaz San Diego and Pendry San Diego, both of which are in or next to the city’s happening Gaslamp Quarter. There’s also the waterfront Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, which boasts gorgeous views and spectacular sunsets as well as proximity to walkways and bike paths by San Diego Bay.

Santa Barbara, California

A spring vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara. (Photo by Ron and Patty Thomas/Getty Images)

The American Riviera is great to visit year-round, but its plentiful blooms and full activities calendar makes it especially appealing in spring.

At the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, art aficionados can check out the “Through Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources” exhibit, which is on display until May 22. Many of the city’s performing arts venues and other cultural institutions are also offering special Van Gogh-themed events to coincide with the exhibit. Visitors will even find a gigantic sunflower installation on State Street in honor of the occasion. 

Visitors to the area also can explore Ganna Walska Lotusland, a botanical garden wonderland that must be seen to be believed. The property hosts various springtime concerts and picnic events amid its boughs and blooms.

Where to stay: Visitors will enjoy the hot pink bougainvillea vines, flower beds and gardens at the sprawling Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort when they’re not biking around downtown and the adjacent beach boardwalk. Another noteworthy place to hang your hat is The Leta Hotel, a former Kimpton outpost with tropical gardens and a California surf vibe.

Related: TPG’s 16 favorite hotels in California for every type of traveler

New Orleans

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage/Getty Images)

A city known for its festivals, New Orleans is incredible to visit during its peak spring season, as it offers something for every type of traveler.

Related: A classic getaway: Traveling to New Orleans to find the real Big Easy

For music lovers, there’s the popular New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which is happening from April 29-May 8. It will feature performances by all kinds of A-list acts, including Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson and Ziggy Marley.

Architecture and history buffs can sign up for a home tour of the French Quarter during Spring Fiesta, an annual celebration that gives participants the chance to peek inside some of the neighborhood’s beautiful properties, courtyards and gardens. Tours are available until early April.

Where to stay: The recently redesigned New Orleans Marriott Warehouse Arts District is a must-see for any New Orleans visitor, especially this spring since 10% of proceeds from every reservation made by May 8 are being donated to the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic. The updated 19th-century warehouse features all of the modern conveniences guests could want, including a Starbucks, an outdoor pool and a 24-hour fitness center. Those seeking historical digs may also want to consider The Roosevelt New Orleans, a stately Waldorf Astoria outpost that has welcomed well-heeled guests for more than 125 years.

Related: 10 TPG-approved hotels for your next New Orleans stay

Atlanta

The Atlanta Beltline. (Photo by Marilyn Nieves/Getty Images)

Atlanta comes to life in spring, which residents say is the ideal time to visit this Southern destination. After all, spring is when the city’s iconic peach trees start to bloom.

To get a dose of nature during your visit, head to the Atlanta BeltLine. A former railway corridor, this 11-mile multi-use trail winds through the heart of Atlanta, offering green spaces and plenty to see and do. Take in the gorgeous and meaningful graffiti art on display along the trail — and don’t forget to snap photos of the gorgeous wildflowers.

If you love music, time your visit for May when an assortment of music festivals takes place. Popular options include Shaky Beats Music Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival and the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival.

Where to stay: One of the city’s best hotels for jaw-dropping views is the 73-story Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, where guests can see for miles. The hotel is located right in the middle of all the action, putting guests close to can’t-miss sights like Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola. If heights are not your thing, consider the AC Hotel Atlanta Midtown, which sits in the arts district close to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Featured photo by Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images.


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