While the northern United States is slowly shedding its snow blanket, the south awakens to the tender greens and delicate pinks that mark the advent of spring. The colors of spring refresh, particularly for travelers escaping winter gloom. The mood of winter slips further and further behind as the fresh breath of spring fills the air. One city noteworthy for its spring colors is Atlanta, Georgia.
Atlanta Dogwood Festival
Atlanta is famous for its dogwoods and when the dogwoods bloom, the celebration begins. To draw attention to a city awash in delicate dogwood blossoms, the Dogwood Festival took root 75 years ago. Still running strong, it not only showcases a city in glorious bloom but brings out an eclectic mix of artisans and musicians and special activities for kids. The Festival is spread throughout Piedmont Park. In 2011, Atlanta Dogwood Festival is scheduled for April 15 through 17.
Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival
Less than 25 mile outside the city proper, neighboring Conyers hosts an annual Cherry Blossom Festival.
This year’s festival took place in late March, but the blanket of cherry petals usually decorates the town for some time after peak bloom has passed. This 30 year tradition highlights understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
More than 200,000 tulips grace the grounds of the Atlanta botanical garden. Besides the vibrant display of this friendship flower, visitors can experience the apple blossoms, orchids, lotus and a variety of other colorful blooms.
Flowers are abundant in Atlanta, and it doesn’t take a festival to showcase them. On a drive through residential neighborhoods, a visitor is likely to encounter azaleas, hydrangeas, redbuds and pear trees, among others.
Where to Stay
The Shellmont is an award-winning bed and breakfast that caters to the florally-inclined with gardens that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The specials and packages include the option of an in-room seasonal flower bouquet. The Shellmont is close to Piedmont Park, home to Atlanta’s Dogwood Festival.
Where to Eat
Top Flr describes itself as “small, romantic and with-it.” Its location is convenient to both the Shellmont and Piedmont Park . Top Flr’s entrees include roasted meats, seared fish, and hand-cut pastas. It boasts a full bar, including an expansive wine list.
For a more exotic meal, try Dante’s Down the Hatch, a pirate theme restaurant set in an 18th century sailing ship. Dante’s is known for its fondues and offers its menu in an impressive 55 languages including Braille.
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