I believe spring is every southerner’s favorite season, and it surely is mine. Every spring, the South bursts forth in bloom and the Southern states put on spectacular parties to celebrate. Southern spring garden festivals are a celebration of centuries-old traditions and draw visitors from all over the world. The balmy weather, beautiful flowers, scrumptious food and friendly people make the South the place to be when spring is in the air.
Charleston’s Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens
Charleston, SC is steeped in history and tradition, and is my favorite city in my home state. Every April since 1947, it has put on a month-long celebration of homes and gardens. Activities include home and garden tours, musical concerts, antiques shows, local crafts including those beautiful sweetgrass baskets, and of course, more delicious seafood than you can imagine. If you love history, the two-hour morning history walks led by Charleston’s most experienced guides are something you don’t want to miss.
North Carolina Azalea Festival
Southeastern North Carolina has hosted this festival for over 60 years. Along with garden and home tours, enjoy art shows, wine tastings, and concerts. 5k and 10k runs and a 1 mile fun walk include runners, walkers, kids and dogs. Don’t miss the street fair for a fun day of arts and crafts, and delicious food. A side trip to North Carolina’s shore will reap you a day of lovely sites and seafood treats.
Historic Garden Week in Virginia
Called “America’s Largest Open House, each spring Virginia shows off 250 of its historic plantations homes and landmarks, along with its most beautiful public and private gardens. Tours include sites such as Mount Vernon, Fredricksburg and Williamsburg. The festival is an 8-day event that centers around the peak of the spring flowering season. This isn’t just held in one city or town, but spans the entire state. If you are a garden and history lover with time to spare in the spring, this is an event you will want to attend.
The Natchez Spring Pilgrimage
Mississippi kicks off spring with a month-long festival held by the Natchez Historical Society. Tours are available of 27 of Mississippi’s most beautiful antebellum mansions, many of them private, whose doors are opened each year just for the pilgrimage. Historical museums are also included in the pilgrimage. Riverboat tours are one of the most popular attractions. Of course, there is food, frivolity, art and more in the true tradition of Southern hospitality.
These are just a few of the many spring festivals held throughout the South. Gardens, history, art and great food await you all over the Southern states. Check with each state’s tourism council and join us as we celebrate spring.
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