Best Flower Festival (2016)


Nothing says 'spring' quite like flowers in bloom. These 10 flower festivals, nominated by a panel of flower and garden experts and voted to the top by 10Best readers, represent the best in the nation.

  • Tulip Time

    Tulip Time
    Holland, Mich.

    The spring Tulip Time festival in Holland, Mich. makes it obvious how the town got its name. Each year, some 4.5 million colorful tulips bloom in the area, with over 200,000 of them in the downtown area alone. Aside from the floral spectacle, Tulip Time celebrates Dutch heritage with dancing, a traditional marketplace, parades and food.
    Photo courtesy of Tulip Time

  • Mackinac Island Lilac Festival

    Mackinac Island Lilac Festival
    Mackinac Island, Mich.

    Mackinac Island ushers in the summer season with the 10-day Lilac Festival each June. The festival began as a way to entice visitors to the island with horse-drawn rides amid the island’s fragrant flowers. Today, events include coronation of the Lilac Queen, Taste of Mackinac culinary festival, a 10k run/walk and the popular Grand Parade.
    Photo courtesy of Eric Lanning / Flickr

  • Rose Parade

    Rose Parade
    Pasadena, Calif.

    What you see on television fails in comparison to viewing the Rose Parade floats up close. Adorned with only natural materials, from flowers to rice, the massive floats are majestically eye-popping. Equestrian units and marching bands join the procession through the streets of Pasadena during this iconic New Year celebration.
    Photo courtesy of AFP/Getty Images

  • Dallas Blooms

    Dallas Blooms

    Featuring more than 600,000 spring-blooming flowers, such as daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, Dutch irises, violas, poppies, pansies and many more bulbs, perennials and annuals, Dallas Blooms is the ideal way to celebrate spring in Dallas! Other prominent features include the garden's 6,000 blooming azaleas and more than 100 cherry blossom trees. It takes place every year between March and April at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
    Photo courtesy of Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

  • North Carolina Azalea Festival

    North Carolina Azalea Festival
    Wilmington, N.C.

    Each April Southern charm is in full bloom at the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival. The community of Wilmington hosts this celebration of spring, which includes concerts, a street fair, art shows, a circus and a parade. Festival-goers are sure to see plenty of azaleas in bloom during home and garden tours throughout the community.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Historic Garden Week in Virginia

    Historic Garden Week in Virginia

    Historic Garden Week in Virginia, the self-proclaimed "America's Largest Open House," welcomes visitors into over 250 of the state's most stunning gardens during a period of peak springtime color. The 8-day statewide event began in 1927 as a small flower show put on by the Garden Club of Virginia in an effort to save trees planted by Thomas Jefferson at his Monticello estate. Today, this festival helps fund more than 50 restoration projects throughout Virginia.
    Photo courtesy of Historic Garden Week in Virginia

  • Portland Rose Festival

    Portland Rose Festival
    Portland, Ore.

    The Portland Rose Festival has been a part of Portland’s cultural landscape for more than a century. Founded as part of a campaign to brand the city the “summer capital of the world,” the festival has grown into a world-famous event. Highlights of the festival include three flower-filled parades, an urban fair and the Annual Spring Rose Show – the largest and longest-running rose show in the U.S.
    Photo courtesy of Portland Rose Festival

  • Daffodil Festival

    Daffodil Festival
    Tacoma, Wash.

    The Puyallup and Sumner areas of Washington have long been known for their floral agriculture, and the Daffodil Festival was founded in 1934 as a celebration of one famous yellow flower. The three-day event takes over four Pierce County cities, highlighted by the Grand Floral Parade. This annual procession travels through Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting and features daffodil-covered floats, marching bands and mounted units.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

    Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
    Orlando, Fla.

    The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is unlike any other garden festival in the United States. On display are dozen upon dozens of different gardens, all showcasing their area of expertise from Italian flowers to Japanese bonsai. The biggest draw are the Disney-themed hedge sculptures showcasing everyone's favorite characters, from Lightning McQueen to Donald Duck. Events also include how-to instructional classes and plenty of live music to keep the whole family entertained.
    Photo courtesy of Matt Stroshane / Walt Disney World

  • International Cherry Blossom Festival

    International Cherry Blossom Festival
    Macon, Ga.

    The International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Ga. celebrates all things pink, including the town's impressive collection of hundreds of Yoshino cherry trees. Festival highlights include a Master Gardener plant sale, youth photography contest, golf tournament, Food Truck Frenzy, live concerts and the guest favorite Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.
    Photo courtesy of Matt Smith / International Cherry Blossom Festival


The top 10 winners in the category Best Flower Festival are as follows:

  1. Tulip Time - Holland, Mich.
  2. Mackinac Island Lilac Festival - Mackinac Island, Mich.
  3. Rose Parade - Pasadena, Calif.
  4. Dallas Blooms - Dallas
  5. North Carolina Azalea Festival - Wilmington, N.C.
  6. Historic Garden Week in Virginia - Virginia
  7. Portland Rose Festival - Portland, Ore.
  8. Daffodil Festival - Tacoma, Wash.
  9. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Orlando
  10. International Cherry Blossom Festival - Macon, Ga.

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Cindy Brockway (The Trustees), Abby Hird (Botanic Gardens Conservation International) and Katy Moss Warner (American Horticultural Society) were chosen based on their extensive knowledge of flowers and gardens.

Additional nominees for this category included the Boston Flower & Garden Show, Chrysanthemum Festival, Magnificent Magnolias, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Philadelphia Flower Show, Sakura Matsuri, San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, Sequim Lavender Festival, Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and the South Carolina Festival of Flowers.

Congratulations to all our winning festivals!

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AlertThe Experts

Cindy Brockway

Cindy Brockway

Cindy Brockway

Abby Meyer

Abby Meyer

Abby Meyer

Katy Moss Warner

Katy Moss Warner

Katy Moss Warner