From Internet reports
Each spring, when frozen fields evolve into painterly kaleidoscopes of color, certain destinations shine. While Holland is arguably the most famous spot for flower aficionados, with Provence, France being a close second, there are plenty of domestic destinations that can compete with the big bloomers. Here are a few of our favorite places to see roses and rhododendrons in the U.S., with bonus travel deals to match.
Philadelphia International Flower Show
The Philadelphia International Flower Show, the world’s largest indoor display of flowers, is a world-renowned affair (the show is even highlighted in that famous book, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die”). The event takes place each spring at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, which transforms into a wild array of eye-popping floral exhibits, featuring everything from fantastical arrangements to full-on gardens brimming with colorful blooms. This year, the theme is “Springtime in Paris,” and the show will take place from March 6 through March 13.
The Deal: The Windsor Suites Philadelphia is currently offering a special flower show package, which includes accommodations, two tickets to the show and breakfast for two, starting at $169 per night.
Yellowstone National Park
Carpets of wild irises, shooting stars, yellow violets, ladies’ tresses and countless other wildflower species take over Yellowstone National Park from May through August (head to the park in June and July to catch the peak). Expect rolling meadows full of flowers and shocks of electric-pink blooms growing from forest floors during late-spring and summer months. Take a ranger-guided hike to learn about Yellowstone’s variety of flowers from a park expert.
The Deal: Parade Rest Guest Ranch, which is located near the Yellowstone park entrance, is currently offering special spring rates for stays from May 20 through June 12.
Portland Rose Festival
Portland, the “City of Roses,” an urban center where pretty gardens seem to sprout on every corner, welcomes spring with its annual Rose Festival. This year’s celebrations take place from the end of May through mid-June. The high point of the whole shebang is the Grand Floral Parade, a must-see frenzy of floats, flowers and music. Other fun events include a rose lighting ceremony with fireworks and a heart-pounding dragon boat race on the Willamette River.
The Deal: The Red Lion Hotel Portland, which is located right on the Grand Floral Parade route, is offering special Rose Festival rates starting at $99 per night.
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Vibrant orange, yellow and red blankets of poppies appear in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, located about a two-hour drive north of Los Angeles, in early spring. Look for blooms to arrive as soon as March. The peak period for viewing eternal fields of flowers generally happens in mid-April. The reserve has eight miles of quiet trails that are perfect for hiking, photography, wildlife spotting and picnicking.
The arrival of spring inspires us to break out from winter’s hibernation and embrace the fresh outdoors. A road trip naturally satisfies that spontaneous travel urge, and we’ve mapped America’s best spring drives—routes that bring you up-close to nature’s finest floral displays, from a California poppy tour to Texas Hill Country’s bluebonnets.
Of course, flowers in bloom aren’t the only draw for these American road trips, many of which meander by woodlands, lakes, small quaint towns, even historic mansions and museums. Consider Colorado’s 232-mile San Juan Skyway, which takes visitors up melting snowcapped mountains, past natural hot springs, and through restored ghost towns. It’s an officially designated American Byway, one of nine we’ve featured, among them, Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway in South Carolina.
Road trips are an American pastime, and you don’t need to travel far to enjoy some of spring’s loveliest drives—these routes start at 25 miles—and free smartphone apps like GasBuddy can point you to the cheapest nearby fuel options. Some of T+L’s other favorite gas-saving tips include: pack light (less weight in your vehicle means better gas mileage); charge it (many credit cards give cash back on gas purchases); and drive steady (conserve fuel by going easy on the pedals).
No matter what route you travel and no matter how many detours you take, spring into action this season by road-tripping through America’s most awe-inspiring floral landscapes.
Besides being beautiful to look at, wildflowers are valuable to scientists studying climate because of the wide range of environmental triggers that spark their bloom—everything from snow melt to precipitation, depending on species and location. According to David Inouye, an ecologist at the University of Maryland, “you have these different species responding to different environmental cues, so you can be looking at the effects of snow pack and temperature and precipitation and gain insight into the whole community.”
Studying native plants also gives scientists a clue to how the climate has changed over the years: Scientists in Massachusetts, for example, were able to draw conclusions about climate change by using a baseline of bloom dates from the 1800s meticulously recorded by none other than Henry David Thoreau. After comparing Thoreau’s observations, written between 1852 to 1861, with current bloom dates, the scientists noticed that the flowers were blooming earlier than when Thoreau was writing.
Inouye, who has been studying wildflowers in the Rocky Mountains for four decades, says that spring has been coming earlier each year, triggering an earlier growing season. But in the Southwest and California, where wildflower blooms are largely dictated by precipitation, the trend is different. Lack of precipitation means that desert wildflower seeds, which are mostly annuals, won’t germinate—instead of a desert full of colorful flowers, we might end up with a desert of dormant seeds.
While research suggests some species will be able to migrate to avoid the effects of climate change, Inouye told the Union of Concerned Scientists there is “little doubt” that global warming will eventually cause the extinction of some wildflowers. Bruce Hamilton, Deputy Executive Director of the Sierra Club, agrees. “There’s going to be some winners and some losers in any climate change scenario,” he says. “Some heat-intolerant species are going to suffer and others could potentially expand their range.”