Spring is almost here! While you may think of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan as your initial destinations to see the elusive cherry blossoms, you can enjoy a new kind of spring vacation by expanding your horizons. Since spring is celebrated around the world, let us take you to the best places to see cherry blossoms outside Asia:
When: Early to late April
Be mesmerized by 40,000 cherry blossom trees in Vancouver. This explosion of beauty is celebrated at Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, where the delicate pink petals take over parks. During the festival, you can enjoy musical performances, bike rides, arts events, food, viewing tours, and more. If you want more, you can visit the Queen Elizabeth Park or Stanley Park to see cherry blossom trees
Going to Sweden in April? Put the famous Kungsträdgården (The King’s Garden) in Stockholm at the top of your list. It was in 1998 when more than 60 trees were planted on the site. Today, their massive branches filled with blushing petals have created a tunnel-like pathway for tourists and locals. This magical view is highlighted at an annual Japanese festival that takes place in mid-April. You can wander through the park while exploring craft stands and food stalls.
When: Late April
You will find a lot of sakura-viewing spots in the US, one of which is New York. Head to Brooklyn Botanical Garden in New York City, a beautiful 52-acre piece of land that houses the largest and most diverse mix of cherry blossom trees outside Japan. They hold an annual cherry blossom festival called Sakura Matsuri, which features programs that celebrate Japanese culture. Officially opened in 1911, Brooklyn Botanical Garden is also known for its large collections of plants and flowers and conservatories.
Another earthly gem in New York can be found in Delaware Park on Mirror Lake, behind The Buffalo History Museum. The Japanese Garden of Buffalo is famous for its Cherry Blossom Festival that the whole family can enjoy. Your kids can watch puppet shows and participate in arts activities, like crafts and origami. You can also witness a pink parade, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, and folk dance. Pack some of your favorite foods because you can have a picnic in the area too. There will also be boat rides along Mirror Lake, jam sessions, and nature walks.
You can easily explore the best attractions in New York by booking the New York CityPASS.
When: Early April
Amsterdam Forrest, or Amsterdamse Bos, generates buzz every year because of its annual Cherry Blossom Festival. To celebrate the arrival of spring in Amsterdam, visitors enjoy family-friendly picnics, traditional Japanese dishes, and traditional Japanese dancing and other cultural customs. You can also revel in over 400 cherry blossom trees that bloom in Westerpark, a vast green space where families can stroll and just relax under the trees.
When: Late March to early April
Prepare for a storm of gorgeous cherry blossoms when you arrive in Jerte Valley, Region of Extremadura, Spain. You might even mistake over two million blossoming cherry trees for snow. This cherry blossom wonderland also celebrates the season with an annual festival. Aside from the picturesque view, you can explore expositions, street markets, concerts, handicrafts, live music and so much more about the Extremadura culture.
Take a trip to Curitiba Botanical Garden in Curitiba, Brazil. Its spectacular collection of cherry blossom trees was planted in the 1990s. Inside the garden is the Museum Botânico de Curitiba, which houses 15,000 specimens and features exhibitions, library, and auditorium.
When: Late March to early April
What could be a more romantic backdrop than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France being adorned by delicate, pink cherry blossoms? The best viewing spots are Champs de Mars and on the south facade of the Notre Dame and the Petit Palais courtyard. Explore top tourist attractions in Paris by booking a Paris Half-Day Tour.
When: September – October
Among the top destinations in Australia is Cowra Japanese Garden, considered as the largest Japanese garden in the Southern Hemisphere. Located in New South Wales, the garden is the venue of the cherry blossom festival, also known as Sakura Matsuri. Aside from sakura viewing, you can also enjoy watching cultural activities like dance and musical performances, tea ceremonies, bonsai demonstrations, and other traditional events.
*Featured image via Ekaterina Pokrovsky on Shutterstock