Visiting New England in the Spring

After long, harsh winters, a New England spring can seem like heaven.  Locals are finally able to put away the winter coats and enjoy a bit of the outdoors without risking frostbite.  For visitors, spring is the perfect time to enjoy holiday breaks in New England and all that makes this part of the country great… without the hoards of tourists that the summer season brings.

 

photo credit: raganmd via photopin cc

photo credit: raganmd via photopin cc

 

Flower Festivals

One of the sure signs of spring in New England are the flowers.  April showers do in fact bring May flowers – from wildflowers in just about every meadow to flower blossoms on every tree.  After the long winter, New Englanders practically worship these flowers and you will find flower festivals and celebrations all over New England in honor of spring.  Some of the best celebrations are Connecticut’s Meriden Daffodil Festival in late April, complete with music stages and carnival riders, and the Hartford Elizabeth Rose Garden Weekend in mid-June, which has been celebrated every year for more than a century.

 

Maple Sugar Season

Earlier in the spring you might still come across snow, especially in the northern areas of New England but that is no reason to stay away.  This early part of spring is actually one of the most prized seasons of all for many in the Northern states as it means maple sugaring season!  From as early as mid-February until the last of the snow starts to melt, maple tree farmers harvest the prized maple tree sap which is then boiled down for hours into rich maple syrup.  There are a number of weekend events throughout Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire were sugarhouses open their doors to the public and let visitors see the entire process for making maple syrup.  If you do find yourself in the middle of maple sugaring season, don’t miss the season’s best treat – Sugar on Snow – a treat of hot, rich maple syrup drizzled on fresh snow to create traditional maple taffy.

 

A Walk Through History

Last but not least, every visit to New England, no matter the season, should include a bit of history.  New England is home to the very beginning of the United States and it is hard not to find yourself walking in the footsteps of history.  Boston is the most popular destination for many history buffs and in spring the city definitely comes to life.  The parks fill up with locals enjoying the warmer days but the usual crowds of summer have still not shown up.  The peacefulness of spring is a great time to enjoy the history of New England, where you can almost picture yourself in the time of the Revolutionary War.  One thing to keep in mind though, especially when visiting popular historic sites, is that spring also overlaps graduation season in New England, where many of the country’s top schools are located.  If you are visiting in late May, make sure you book your hotel room ahead of time if you are in a major city or college town.

 

A visit to New England in the spring is about enjoying and celebrating the end of a harsh winter.  It is a great time to really understand and appreciate New England and all her traditions, without the crowds of summer.  While a New England spring can be amazing, it can also be unpredictable with winter storms pushing their way into late April and summer heat blasting its way into mid May.  In New England, spring can be as long as a few weeks or a short as a few days.  As the locals say, “Spring?  Yeah, I think it was on a Tuesday this year.”  Time your visit right though and you’ll be one of the lucky few to catch the elusive and marvelous New England spring.

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