Spring is the season when New England literally springs back to life. Days grow longer, temperatures warm, and April showers reliably bring May flowers. Spring is also a relatively affordable and uncrowded time to visit New England.
Need additional inspiration to plan a spring visit? New England welcomes spring with lively events that celebrate the emergence of colorful blooms. Here's your guide to 10 fabulous flower festivals in New England and neighboring New York.
Dates: April 1-27, 2014
During Daffodil Days at Rhode Island's Blithewold Mansion, you'll see more than 50,000 daffodils growing in gardens and along woodland paths. For an added treat, enjoy afternoon tea on select dates (reservations required) during the month-long event. For information, call 401-253-2707.
Dates: April 26-27, 2014
With more than 600,000 daffodils in bloom, the annual Meriden Daffodil Festival can certainly be called Connecticut's most colorful event. In addition to fragrant fields of yellow and white daffodils, you'll also find continuous music on two stages, carnival rides, arts and crafts, food, fireworks and entertainment for children at this free festival. For information, call 203-630-4259.
Dates: April 25-27, 2014
Fields of buttery daffodils--more than 3 million of them--are a spectacle to behold each spring on the Massachusetts island of Nantucket. Weekend events include an antique car parade, a tailgate picnic and more. For information, call 508-228-1700.
Location: Fairfield, CT (Compare Hotel Rates)
Dates: May 2-4, 2014
The Dogwood Festival has been a spring tradition at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church for 79 years. Thousands attend this event that celebrates the beauty of dogwood trees in bloom while also raising money and awareness for women and children in need. Traditionally held Mother's Day Weekend, the Dogwood Festival has been moved to the weekend prior for 2014. For information, call 203-259-5596.
Dates: May 9-18, 2014
Lilacs have bloomed in Highland Park since 1892, and Rochester's famous spring festival offers an opportunity to view more than 500 varieties of lilacs in bloom. This free annual festival, now produced by the Springut Group, features music including performances by national recording artists, children's activities, a parade, a juried art & craft show, international food vendors, a craft beer garden, plant sales and more. For information, call 585-279-8300/800-677-7282 or contact the Springut Group at 585-473-4482.
Dates: May 10-11, 2014
One of Albany's oldest events, the 66th annual Tulip Festival celebrates the city's Dutch heritage. Historic Washington Park blooms with more than 100,000 tulips in a multitude of colors and varieties. Head to New York's capital city for a Mother's Day weekend of food, music, crafts, kids' activities and more. For information about this free festival, call 518-434-2032.
Dates: May 17-25, 2014
For a week in May, the Heritage Museums & Gardens, an eclectic Cape Cod attraction, invites guests to experience one of its most spectacular living collections: more than 100 varieties of flowering rhododendrons planted across 100 acres. Many talks, walks and other activities are scheduled to coincide with the festival, which inspires gardeners and allows them to purchase rhododendron plants to cultivate at home. Regular admission fees apply. For details, call 508-888-3300.
Location: Franconia and surrounding towns, NH (Compare Hotel Rates)
Dates: June 1-30, 2014
Gorgeous purple and pink lupines in bloom are reason enough to visit New Hampshire's Franconia region each June. The 21st annual Fields of Lupine Festival, expanded in 2014 to run the entire month of June, provides added incentive for travelers including special tours, wagon rides, a parade of homes, a wildflower festival, a photo contest and more. For information, call 603-823-5661.
9. Rose Sunday
Location: Hartford, CT
Date: June 15, 2014
Rose Weekend has been held annually for more than a century in Hartford, Connecticut's Elizabeth Park, the nation's oldest municipal rose garden. Although scaled back to just Father's Day Sunday in 2014, expect to see these lavish rose gardens at their pinnacle and to enjoy a variety of garden-related activities. For more information, call 860-231-9443.
10. Lupine FestivalLocation: Deer Isle, ME (Compare Hotel Rates)
Dates: June 19-22, 2014
Lupines provide a backdrop of rich color for a weekend of activities in Downeast Maine that typically includes boat excursions, scenic plane rides, a lobster bake, craft fair, games and races, a dance, children's activities and more. For information, call 207-348-6124.