6 U.S. Destinations to Visit This Spring
Is there anything better than feeling the balmy spring breeze melt away winter's chill? Once you've come out of hibernation, it's natural to want to get out and explore. And not just in your own backyard. Spring offers many reasons to plan a long weekend in the U.S.
To help you decide on an unforgettable spring getaway, here are six U.S. destinations worth the trip:
1. New Orleans, Louisiana
One of the most popular destinations in the U.S., New Orleans is especially vibrant in spring - not only because the flowers are in bloom, but because of several festivals of note.
Held in late April and early May, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is one of the largest such events in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people head to the Festival to immerse themselves in NOLA's music, culture and food (gumbo, po-boys and beignets, oh my!).
Popular with locals, the French Quarter Festival is a smaller, free event that takes place in early- to mid-April.
Additionally, spring is when the reptiles come out of hibernation, so it's the perfect time to book a local swamp tour, if that’s your thing.
2. Jackson County, North Carolina
Nature lovers visiting Jackson County in spring can head to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway, to explore seasonal highlights — especially impressive wildflower fields, waterfalls, trekking and fishing.
Also, Whiteside Mountain is known for its views and sheer vertical cliffs, as well as spring flora. Picture Catesby's trillium, wild sarsaparilla and colorful flowering shrubs alongside Catawba rhododendron, flame azalea and rare pink shell azalea blooms, with the chance to see peregrine falcons soaring above.
Held annually in late April, Greening Up The Mountains is an annual celebration of spring in the mountains that attracts some 10,000 participants. Expect local music, heritage dance performances, traditional crafts and children's activities.
3. Choteau, Montana
During the third week in March each year, the picturesque city of Choteau, Montana, celebrates the annual snow goose migration. Last year, the spectacle saw about 30,000 to 40,000 geese flying over the Freezout Wildlife Management Area as the birds made their way from California to northern Canada.
Part of the festivities is the yearly Wild Game Feed, sponsored by the Old Trail Museum. Attendees enjoy a potluck dinner, bar and both silent and live auctions. Proceeds benefit the museum, which is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the nature and heritage of Montana's Rocky Mountain Front region.
If you miss the migration, you can explore related experiences at the International Wildlife Film Festival, held in mid-April at the historic Roxy Theater in Missoula. Here, you'll watch flicks focused on ethical wildlife and environmental filmmaking.
4. Vero Beach, Florida
Maybe you've heard of traveling for spring flowers and bird-watching, but did you know this season is also great for treasure hunting?
In Vero Beach, part of Florida's Treasure Coast, you'll find many famous shipwrecks with real valuables still submerged. To date, treasure hunters have uncovered millions of dollars in gold coins and precious artifacts by diving and snorkeling the wrecks, as well as walking the shore with metal detectors. In spring, the warm, calm waters are ideal for such activities.
Sea Grape Trail Beach is a great place to start your hunt, as there's a wreck so near the coast that storms often wash up bits of pottery and small coins. On land, continue your treasure exploration at the McLarty Treasure Museum and Mel Fisher's Treasure Museum.
5. Plymouth County, Massachusetts
Between Boston and Cape Cod sits the New England destination of Plymouth County, known for Plymouth Rock and its Pilgrim history.
Why visit in spring? In April, you can go whale watching, take classes and enjoy seasonal dining at Just Right Farm, and attend the Herring Run Festival, during which herring make their way up Town Brook to reproduce. Festival attendees can go on guided nature walks, see Native American fishing demonstrations and take part in other outdoor experiences.
Also of note is the late-May Wareham Oyster Festival, where you can eat your fill of shellfish, sample seasonal local beers and listen to live music.
6. Kearney, Nebraska
Every March, over 80 percent of the world's sandhill cranes — 600,000-plus birds — come together in and around Kearney, Nebraska. You can set up private tours or attend Audubon's Nebraska Crane Festival, which features crane viewing, birding trips and conservation talks.
Also consider kayaking or canoeing down the city's 2.3-mile water trail, which typically opens in April. It runs along the Kearney Tailrace and Turkey Creek, and offers incredible opportunities for bird-watching.
Community Question: Where do you plan to visit in the U.S. this spring and why?
All content provided in this blog is supplied by Jessica Festa and is for informational purposes only. Barclays takes no position as to the views, and makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
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