Nothing puts the cherry on top of a beautiful landscape like a sprinkling of flowers. On this first day of spring, we've compiled the top 10 Backroads trips for flower lovers.
When: Mid-April to mid-May
Let's get the big flowery elephant in the room out of the way. From mid-April to mid-May, Holland's fields are transformed into flowing rainbows of tulips. With its cool evenings and well-drained soil, Holland is the ideal tulip nursery in the spring.
When: June, July & August
Imagine cycling down a serene country road with the soothing smell of lavender in the air, flanked by vast, undulating seas of smoky purple. That's the scene in the summer on our Provence trips.
When: Mid-April & May
Spring rains and abundant sunshine lead the typically brownish Tuscan hills to be briefly covered with bright red carpets of poppies.
When: April to mid-June
What: Eastern Redbuds & Dogwood Trees
With pompoms of Eastern Redbuds and white Dogwoods blurring past, and a playful thoroughbred foal running alongside, you’ll get the sense mother nature is cheering you on as you cycle down the country roads of Kentucky in the spring.
5) Death Valley
When: Mid-February to mid-May
What: Wildflowers (Desert Gold, Golden Evening Primrose, Gravel Ghost, Monkeyflower, Desert Five-spot, etc.)
Don't judge a book by its cover, and don't judge Death Valley by its name. Spring in the desert puts you in a position to see an explosion of life made even more dramatic thanks to the otherwise dry surrounds. Though the famed "super blooms" happen only once or twice a decade, you can count on there being a riot of color every spring.
When: May & June
What: Lupine, Fireweed, and more.
Thanks to abundant rainfall, and 20+ hours of summer sunlight, the Kenai Peninsula (technically a temperate rainforest) is home to freakishly beautiful—and freakishly large—wildflowers.
When: April & May
The inspiration for Tolkien's "The Shire,” the Cotswolds charm all comers with a subtle country beauty. Springtime strollers on the famed "Cotswolds Way" get to feast their eyes on the deep blue hues of many a "bluebell wood.”
When: Late June to early August
What: Glacier Lilies, Fireweed, Lupine, Beargrass
Thanks to the absence of industry or agriculture, Glacier National Park’s alpine flora is in a pristine natural state. Craggy mountain peaks and deep green pines are a perfect backdrop for the burst of color in the mountain valleys.
When: March to May
What: California Poppies
Tissue paper petals of neon orange dot the grassy hillsides of California in the spring. There's no better place to see them than the hills of Santa Barbara County. Just don't pick them, as it's against the law to pick the state flower here!
When: May to August
What: Alpine Wildflowers (larkspur, indian paintbrush, fireweed, columbine, monkshood, alpine forget-me-not, sky pilot, etc.)
Thanks to the protections afforded them by their national park status, the valleys and grasslands of Grand Teton National Park are free to explode as nature intended in the Spring and Summer. Blue skies, green mosses and a confetti of wildflower colors accompany you on a walk amongst the mountains here in Wyoming.