Trends Where to Celebrate the Arrival of Spring by Nicole Quasté © Dejavu Designs | Dreamstime.comSpring is right around the corner, bringing with it much-needed warmer weather and sunshine, at least along the East Coast, following the recent winter storms. From cultural festivals and blooming flora to outdoor activities and spring-focused exhibits, these are a few of the best U.S. destinations to celebrate the new season. © Paul Flynn | Dreamstime.comIf colorful flowers strike your fancy, nothing beats Washington, D.C.’s, cherry blossom season. The 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled March 20–April 14. Events include the Blossom Kite Festival and PetalPalooza, and the best viewing spots are the Tidal Basin, West Potomac Park and around the Washington Monument. © Viraj Desai | Dreamstime.comThe annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival kicks off March 30 in Washington State, marking the 34th year for one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest spring festivals. Celebrating millions of colorful tulips bursting into bloom, the festival features a wide variety of events including street fairs, garden shows, barbecues, bike tours, concerts and art shows. © Thomaskelley | Dreamstime.comWhile the Kentucky Derby itself is one of the most popular springtime events, there are several festivities worth checking out. The Kentucky Derby Festival is a multiweek celebration, including steamboat and hot air balloon races. The International Bar-B-Q and World Chicken festivals are a foodie’s paradise, and the Festival of the Bluegrass is the oldest music event of its kind in Kentucky. Weir Farm, Wilton, Conn. © Nancy Kennedy | Dreamstime.comWhile the U.S. Northeast is best known for its fall foliage, its equally lovely in the spring. Head to Connecticut for the Spring Antiques Show, March 24–25; Wilmington, Del., for the Spring Castleberry Fair Arts & Craft Festival; the daffodil festivals in Bristol, R.I., and Nantucket, Mass.; or the 120th Annual Lilac Festival in Rochester, N.Y. © Melissa Masinter | Dreamstime.comIt may be warm year-round, but spring is still one of the best times to visit California. With mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine, April and May are perfect for exploring the northern California wine region, or for beach lounging before the summer crowds flock to the coast. Events of note include the Earth Day Celebration in Los Angeles, Coachella beginning April 13 and the Uncorked San Diego Wine Festival. © Cvandyke | Dreamstime.comNorth Carolina’s southern charm is only amplified by the spring’s colorful wildflowers and local history events. The North Carolina Azalea Festival, April 11–15, features garden tours, big-name entertainment, a waterfront street fair and a parade; and the 135th-annual USCT Living History Weekend features Civil War history events, pop-up museums, guest speakers and period music and food. © Thomas Vieth | Dreamstime.comWith perfect weather, seldom over 80 degrees in April and May, Arizona is a great springtime destination. The season is ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities in Sedona and the Grand Canyon, and attending the Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts, March 23–25; Phoenix Film Festival, April 5–15; or Scottsdale Culinary Festival, April 14–15.