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Listen up, party people! It’s time to ditch those winter blues and get ready to turn up the heat.
Lucky for us, this spring is packed with epic events that are 100% worth a trip. Maybe you’ve heard of a little festival called Coachella, but we’re also unearthing some hidden gems and celebrations that may be even closer to home.
Once you’ve found the springtime spectacle of your dreams, plan your travel in a with Wanderu. We compare all the best bus and train options so you can find the cheapest and most convenient way to get to your destination.
So pull out your G-cal and join us as we highlight some of the best spring festivals in 2023.
National Cherry Blossom Festival D.C.
March 20 – April 16, 2023
Every spring, fragrant pink flowers take over the nation’s capital for a few weeks. The National Cherry Blossom Festival draws thousands to Washington, D.C., all hoping to see the blooms blanketing the city in pink snow.
An event unlike other spring festivals, the Cherry Blossom Festival D.C. really showcases the city’s renowned natural beauty. It also offers a glimpse into history, as Japan gifted the cherry trees to the US over 100 years ago.
While the cherry blossoms take center stage this time of year, there’s plenty to see and do in D.C. The festival can be part of a longer tour that includes museums and historical attractions (many of them free!), or even a day trip to nearby cities like Philadelphia.
Chilliwack Tulip Festival
April – May, specific dates weather-dependent
Chilliwack, British Columbia
One of B.C.’s most highly-anticipated spring events, this festival features 6.5 million tulips and daffodils in full bloom. The colorful flowers are truly stunning, covering the 20 acres at Tulips of the Valley.
There are a handful of other flowers mixed in and because they all bloom at slightly different times, the fields often look totally different day to day!
The farm has several staged photo ops, and there are food trucks onsite and a flower shop for those who want to bring some of the magic home.
Pro tip: Devoted shutterbugs may want to grab a photography all-access pass, which gets you early access to see sunrise over the farm and capture the tulips in that coveted golden hour glory.
L.A. Spring Fair
April 7-23, 2023
South El Monte, CA
Add the L.A. Spring Fair, the largest one in the county, to your spring bucket list! The three-week extravaganza features old-fashioned fun like carnival rides, games, live music, fair food, and photo ops with the Easter Bunny, making it one of the best things to do in April for families.
Nearly 30 rides beckon thrillseekers to catch a glimpse of L.A. from atop amusement park staples like the giant ferris wheel and frog hopper. More low-key rides include the merry-go-round and fun slide.
There are a variety of wristbands and admission options, including unlimited rides—just load up on the fried food after you’ve enjoyed the roller coasters.
April 8, 2023
Steamboat Springs, CO
Rhys A. / Flickr
Get your glue sticks and duct tape ready for one of the quirkiest spring festivals out there, the 41st annual Cardboard Classic!
Participate by constructing a ride-able cardboard contraption using only approved household items, then launch your ride down the mountain. The cardboard creations are judged in multiple categories, including Most Creative, Best Costumes, and Crowd Favorite.
The main event starts at 9:00 a.m. and lasts two hours with judging afterwards, so there’s time to grab lunch and laugh with friends as you bid farewell to winter. Steamboat Springs is one of our favorite Colorado destinations, and it’s well worth staying for a full weekend!
April 14-16 & 21-23, 2023
Coachella is THE spring event for music lovers and festival enthusiasts. Every April, the Coachella Valley near Indio, California, is flooded with some of the hottest talent and a few hundred thousand of their biggest fans.
The festival takes place over two consecutive 3-day weekends, making it one of the most flexible April events to plan around. Each weekend’s lineup is the same, and Coachella 2023 is set to welcome guests such as Calvin Harris, Bad Bunny, and Blondie.
You can enjoy the full Coachella experience by camping out under the stars or staying in a nearby hotel. So go on, make all your Insta followers jealous.
Fiesta San Antonio
April 20-30, 2023
San Antonio, TX
Joint Base San Antonio / Flickr
Vámonos to Fiesta San Antonio! What started as a parade back in 1891 to celebrate the heroes of the Alamo has transformed into a multi-day, multi-million dollar event that benefits the citizens of San Antonio.
All are welcome to participate in the festivities at this April event designed to honor San Antonio’s rich cultural history. The Fiesta includes multiple parades, chief among them the Battle of the Flowers Parade. As one of the longest-running parades in U.S. history, it’s one of the best spring festivals in 2023 in its own right!
After the parade, the party continues with other events like Taste of the Republic, a culinary experience highlighting some of the best dishes in Texas.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 28 – May 7, 2023
New Orleans, LA
sailn1 / Flickr
New Orleans may be synonymous with Mardi Gras, but the Jazz & Heritage Festival is another one of its massive spring events. 2023’s lineup features heavy hitters from nearly all genres, from Lizzo and Santana to Melissa Ethridge and NE-YO.
The festival is an excellent way for visitors to experience The Big Easy’s authentic sights, sounds, and flavors. Plus, it’s one of the best things to do in May before New Orleans gets oppressively hot!
After the festival, you’ll find no shortage of NOLA memorabilia to take home, thanks to the dozens of artisan vendors selling all types of goodies, from jewelry to artwork to clothing and more. Thankfully, it’s cheap to take the bus or train to New Orleans so you’ll have plenty of budget left for souvenirs.
May 20, 2023
Not everyone can say they own a pair of real elk antlers, but you can snag your very own set at Elkfest — if the price is right, that is. One of the best things to do in May for outdoor enthusiasts and animal lovers, Elkfest is an auction where participants bid on antlers by weight.
It’s not just any auction; it’s the largest elk antler auction in the world! The antlers are naturally shed on the National Elk Refuge each season, so each set is 100% one-of-a-kind. All proceeds go to supporting local Scout programs.
Note: If you’re interested in actually hunting for shed antlers, that’s another of Jackson’s most popular spring events. The season opens May 1 every year.
And while you’re in the area, head about 60 miles north of Jackson to discover the natural beauty in Yellowstone National Park.
BottleRock Napa Valley
May 26-28, 2023
Napa Valley, CA
There’s much, much more to Napa Valley than wine and fabulous food. For three days each May, Napa transforms into the ultimate summer welcome party, with endless live music, food, and fun.
Rock out with stars like Lizzo, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Post Malone during the weekend, all while sampling food sourced from some of the best local vendors. Jam Cellars even supplies limitless Butter Wine, the official drink of the festival.
BottleRock also brings celebrity chefs to the culinary stage, so this spring festival is just as much fun for foodies as it is for music lovers. This is one of those events with something for everyone!
Key West Pride
June 7-11, 2023
Key West, FL
There’s no better place to celebrate Pride, quickly becoming one of the most celebrated spring holidays, than Key West. It’s already a highly sought-after destination, but throw in three days of nonstop celebration of love and acceptance, and the island becomes even hotter.
The week is packed with activities ranging from drag brunches to educational happy hours. The main parade features an iconic 1.25-mile-long rainbow flag, a symbol of the LGBTQIA+ community’s beauty and diversity. This sight alone makes Key West Pride one of the best things to do in June!
There’s so much to do in Key West, plan for a long weekend to fully experience this iconic spring event.
Everything comes back to life in the spring, and so should your travel plans! Kick off the season with a well-deserved trip to one of these celebrations.
If you’re looking for more travel ideas and tips, check out some of the top destinations for a girls’ trip, the best destinations to visit in May, and some of the most affordable places to go on spring break. And if you want to save some cash on your spring travel, read our insider intel on the cheapest days to travel for spring break 2023. You’re welcome 😉