Where to see blooming flowers this spring and summer

Spring has sprung, which means cherry blossoms, bluebonnets and ranunculus are starting to make their grand entrances in gardens, parks and fields across the world. Tiptoe through the tulips or stop and smell the roses at these excellent spots to view your favorite flowers in full bloom.

Where to see tulips

Keukenhof is also called the Garden of Europe

(Image credit: Romy Arroyo Fernandez / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Every spring, millions of tulips pop up across Holland, and the country celebrates with parades and garden tours. Just a short drive outside Amsterdam is Keukenhof, a massive park in the Netherlands’ Lisse covered with 7 million vibrant flowers. An extra fun way to take it all in? Board an electric boat that sails past the fields or book a helicopter tour and get a bird’s eye view. March 21-May 12

Red and white tulips at the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan

It’s tulip time in Holland, Michigan

(Image credit: Idrees Abbas / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

Tulips are also taking center stage stateside in aptly-named Holland, Michigan, where the annual Tulip Time Festival honors the city’s Dutch heritage. Among the many highlights is their Tulip Immersion Garden, where Dutch horticulturist Ibo Gulsen tells the story of how the flower made its way from Turkey to the Netherlands to Michigan using more than 65,000 tulips. May 4-12

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Rows of brightly colored tulips at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in India

The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is the largest garden of its kind in Asia

(Image credit: Idrees Abbas / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

There are tulips as far as the eye can see at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar, India. At approximately 74 acres, this is Asia’s largest tulip garden, with seven flower-filled terraces. Since opening in 2007, the garden has introduced additional blooms to the mix, like hyacinths and daffodils — and all are on full display during the annual Kashmir Tulip Festival. March 19-April 20

Where to see cherry blossoms

A cherry blossom tree with the Capitol behind it

The cherry blossom trees have become an icon of D.C.

(Image credit: Al Drago / Getty Images)

Every March, Washington, D.C. goes on cherry blossom watch, with all eyes on the Yoshino cherry trees at the Tidal Basin. These perfectly pink blooms signal the unofficial start of spring. The trees were a gift from Tokyo in 1912, and the present’s symbolism of friendship is celebrated every year at the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Events are held all around the D.C. area, including an opening ceremony with dancers from the U.S. and Japan, a kite festival, a parade, and Petalpalooza, a festival of music, art, and activities. March 20-April 14 

Cherry blossoms against a blue sky

Cherry blossom trees are a beautiful token of friendship

(Image credit: ooyoo / Getty Images)

The cherry blossom trees at Ohio University in Athens were also a gift, given by Japan’s Chubu University in 1979 in honor of OU’s 175th anniversary. Anyone can stop by campus and visit the trees, planted between the Convocation Center and Hocking River.

Cherry blossom trees illuminated at night in Macon, Georgia

Tens of thousands of cherry blossom trees line the streets of Macon, Georgia

(Image credit: Sean Pavone / Getty Images)

Further south in Macon, Georgia, more than 350,000 Yoshino cherry trees line city streets. Take a walk along the Cherry Blossom Trail, which winds its way through downtown Macon and parts of the city’s 12 historic districts. And be sure to stop and attend events at the International Cherry Blossom Festival, which promises to celebrate “love, beauty and international friendship” in a “pink, cotton-spun paradise.” March 15-24

Where to see ranunculus

The flower fields at Carlsbad Ranch in California

Wear your walking shoes when visiting the vast flower fields in Carlsbad

(Image credit: Marcie Gonzalez / The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch)

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch are a technicolor dream. The climate in Carlsbad, California provides the ideal conditions for growing giant tecolote ranunculus, and the ranch has nearly 50 acres of the double-petaled blooms to show for it. Visitors can take a tractor ride through the fields, then wander among attractions like the sweet pea maze, butterfly garden, American flag of flowers, cymbidium orchid greenhouse, Santa’s Playground and pothead garden with flower-filled concrete busts. Through May 12 

Where to see bluebonnets

Bluebonnets in a field in Texas with the sun setting in the background

Bluebonnets are a familiar sight in Texas during the spring

(Image credit: Ronnie Wiggin / Getty Images)

Bluebonnets, the state flower of Texas, are especially bountiful in Hill Country, where they sprout up along highways. Every spring’s bloom is different and dependent upon the timing of rain in the fall and winter — so each bluebonnet season is a bit of a surprise. In Ennis, drivers can follow the 40-mile Bluebonnet Trails map to see flowers from the comfort of their cars. The city also hosts the Bluebonnet Trails Festival featuring wildflower walks, live music, food, arts and crafts and a petting zoo. The Bluebonnet Festival in Burnet offers similar family fun, with a carnival, pet races, parade and native wildflower show. Bluebonnet Trails Festival: April 19-21. Burnet Bluebonnet Festival: April 11-14.

Where to see roses

A pink rose on a bush in Portland, Oregon

Portland is called the City of Roses for a reason

(Image credit: Alan Cohen / 500px / Getty Images)

Name a rose, any rose, and you most likely will find it at the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon. This garden is home to more than 10,000 rose bushes, and between 10 to 20 new varieties are tested on the grounds each year. You can take your time getting here, too — roses usually bloom from late May to October, giving you six whole months to stop and smell them! 

The Columbus Park of Roses in Ohio is even bigger, with more than 12,000 rose bushes planted across 13 acres. In the formal rose garden, visitors will find traditional rose beds, while the heritage rose garden features varieties cultivated before 1867. 

Women in traditional clothes pick roses in Kazanlak, Bulgaria

Roses are a way of life in Bulgaria

(Image credit: Salih Baran/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

In Bulgaria, roses are more than just a pretty sight — they are an economic driver. Families in the Rose Valley region have been cultivating Damask roses for centuries, and the country is a major producer of rose oil. Every year, the town of Kazanlak and its surrounding villages hold a festival where visitors can watch growers picking their roses early in the morning, pulling off the petals before the dew disappears. Later, a parade heads through the main square and a Rose Queen is crowned. May 31-June 2

Where to see wildflowers

Orange wildflowers in Namaqualand, South Africa

The Namaqualand blooms are fleeting, lasting just about a month

(Image credit: volschenkh / Getty Images)

The wildflower fields in South Africa’s Namaqualand region last for only a short time, but they are downright dreamy. From mid-August to late September, bright orange Namaqualand daisies, vygies, lilies and geraniums blanket the earth, covering what is dry land for most of the year. Diversity is part of the reason why this region is so breathtaking — more than 3,000 kinds of flowers grow here. Drive along the Namaqualand Flower Route that links cities and national parks, and plan stops at sites like the Skilpad Wildflower Reserve and Goegap Nature Reserve.