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Spring vacation ideas abound with bounty of floral beauty

Wildflowers flourish among the desert plants at McDowell

Wildflowers flourish among the desert plants at McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona. Photo Credit: Alamy / Ron Niebrugge

As winter recedes, look to the colors of spring for family fun. Here are some colorful spots to see wild blossoms.

1. ARIZONA DESERTS

The spring landscape comes alive with a wash of wildflowers — brilliant orange, yellow, white and blue provided by lupine, desert chicory, poppies and penstemon. Choose from 180 miles of hiking trails in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve or venture south of the Valley of the Sun to Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, where the study of desert and drought-tolerant plants will deepen your understanding.

INFO scottsdaleaz.gov/preserve, azstateparks.com, visitarizona.com

2. WASHINGTON, D.C.

If cherry blossoms are your jam, the Four Seasons hotel offers specialized viewing recommendations and access to the showy pink and white petals. Upon return to the hotel, indulge in the Sakura Ritual body treatment, an 80-minute personalized full-body massage using fragrant blossom oil and a Japanese antioxidant green tea. The whole family will enjoy menu options and chocolates crafted to honor the bursting blossoms.

INFO fourseasons.com

3. GEORGIA STATE PARKS

Join park rangers for low- or no-cost guided wildflower walks. Get to know the attributes of the Canada violet, trout lily, wild azalea, spring beauty, foamflower, trillium, Indian pink and the buckeye. Choose from short walks or longer treks through more challenging terrain. Ask about the Mother’s Day outings.

INFO georgiastateparks.org/events

4. SUISUN CITY, CALIFORNIA

All aboard for an 11-mile round-trip adventure aboard the historic Scenic Limited, aka the “Wildflower Train,” which gets underway from the Western Railway Museum. In April you’ll enjoy the rolling Montezuma Hills and views of Mount Diablo as you rumble down the old Sacramento Northern Railway tracks. After a rain-rich winter, the museum docents will have plenty to say about the colorful glory that will likely be on display.

INFO wrm.org

5. CHANNEL ISLAND NATIONAL PARK, VENTURA, CALIFORNIA

Blossoms abound on these five islands off the California coast, each offering a floristically unique landscape. More than 800 plant species make their home in this diverse environment, of which 145 are reportedly found nowhere else on the planet. Vibrant red paintbrush, island morning glory and pale buckwheat are among the plants that add color to the island’s palette.

INFO nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/wildflower-viewing.htm

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