With its increasing warmth, longer days, and renewing rain showers, the advent of spring in New England brings with it a glorious display of colorful flowers. Spring is an affordable and uncrowded time of year to make a visit to New England, and flower festivals make for a relaxing and reinvigorating vacation. As the blossoms burst into life, they are celebrated by numerous festivals showcasing millions of scented wonders. Here are a few of the best.
Daffodils are a favorite when it comes to flower festivals in New England. Towards the end of April in Bristol, RI, you can enjoy Daffodil Days at Blithewold Mansion. Over 50,000 daffodils dance in the breeze in gardens and along woodland paths, beckoning to be smelled and photographed. Inside, the mansion is decorated with floral arrangements filled with many varieties of local springtime flowers. Afternoon tea is served Wednesday through Friday during the festival.
During the last weekend in April, you can view nearly 4 million daffodils in all their glory at the Meriden Daffodil Festival in Meriden, CT, and the Nantucket Daffodil Festival in Nantucket, MA. The Meriden festival is Connecticut's most colorful event, because not only are the fragrant fields of yellow and white blooms heavenly, you'll also find great music, arts and crafts, food, and fireworks. Over 3 million daffodils beckon flower-lovers to Nantucket for their annual festival, which includes a classic car parade, a tailgate picnic, and entertainment.
One of the oldest public celebrations in Albany, NY, is the annual Albany Tulip Festival. For three days in May, New York's capital city celebrates its Dutch heritage with a weekend celebration of food, music, crafts, entertainment and activities for children, and more. Thousands of tulips bob their heads in the breeze at the historic Washington Park as people stroll among them.
For more than 70 years, the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield, CT, has been welcoming spring in a special way. The Dogwood Festival attracts thousands of people each spring to celebrate the beauty of dogwood trees in bloom while also raising money and awareness of ways to offer assistance to women and children in need. The festival is always held each year on the weekend of Mother's Day.
The Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY, offers visitors the rare opportunity to see more than 500 varieties of lilacs in full bloom. Lilacs have blossomed forth in Highland Park since 1892, and the annual free festival attracts thousands of people to enjoy the display. The festival features music, a parade, an arts and crafts show, international food vendors, plant sales, and children's activities. After visiting the Rochester Lilac Festival, pop down to Shelburne, VT, for the Lilac and Gardening Sunday. This one-day event at the Shelburne Museum gives you the opportunity to inhale the sweet aroma of more than 400 lilac bushes, and lets you take home a bit of inspiration for your own gardening pursuits.
Lovers of lupines have a treat in store for them at the annual Fields of Lupine Festival in Franconia, NH. The festival lasts for two weeks in June, in New Hampshire's Franconia region. Besides fields of gorgeous purple and pink lupines in bloom, the festival offers special tours, arts events, music, and family-friendly activities. Fragrant lupines provide a dramatic backdrop of color for one weekend in Downeast Maine every spring. The annual Lupine Festival in Deer Isle, ME, offers a craft fair, rummage sale, art and sculpture show, quilt show, and concerts. Visitors can enjoy scenic plane rides, adventurous boat excursions, garden tours, and a variety of children's activities.
Rose Weekend has been held annually for over 100 years in Hartford, CT. The annual festival at Elizabeth Park was expanded several years ago to become the Connecticut River Valley Rose and Garden Weekend, featuring garden events at 10 other central Connecticut locations surrounding Hartford. Held in June, visitors can explore the nation's oldest and most revered municipal rose garden, and enjoy tours and concerts at many lovely gardens all located within easy driving distance.
There is nothing as tranquil as a walk among flowers, and these places are the best for everyone to enjoy nature at her best.