Soon the air will feel fresher, days will be warmer, and shoots will eagerly push through the soil. Spring celebrations in Miami, Kiawah Island or Napa Valley offer perfect opportunities to catch the first rays of spring sunshine bringing with it new growth.
Miami welcomes spring in a grand way with spectacular outdoor events in addition to beaches, great food and nature preserves available year round. Carnival Miami presents Latin music, concerts, sports, culinary competitions, galas, an upscale Latin Jazz festival, city-wide festivities and Calle Ocho as the finale—the world's largest street party. One year 119,969 shaking hips formed the largest conga line ever recorded! In March and April, the biggest names in entertainment, music and sports also gather in Miami for the Sony Ericsson Open and world-class tennis. Not to mention the Miami Grand Prix and Doral Ryder Open Golf Tournament, and April's South Beach Film Festival featuring acclaimed directors and short films.
Spring also ushers in the annual United Way Miami Wine & Food Festival, inviting all beer, spirits, wine and food lovers for a four-day showcase of fine beverage and culinary delights. Top sommeliers, notable chefs, prestigious wineries and winemakers, breweries and impressive auction lots, are all part of the festivities. Miami in spring has the perfect climate for watching sunsets and relaxing with a great glass of wine surrounded by tropical foliage. Head to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens for celebration teas, outdoor concerts and the International Orchid Festival in March where 10,000 orchid plants are available for purchase. The Orchid Tea Room serves fabulous teas and treats, and the amazing gardens invite you to wander and explore. Springtime in Miami at Fairchild's, with its great stage performances and gourmet picnic baskets, makes for lasting family memories!
Also in the southern climes, from late February through the end of April, Charleston is filled with abundant blooms—with renowned azaleas and camellias, wisteria, flowering fruit trees, forsythias, pearl bushes, Jessamine, hyacinths, and magnolias to name only a few. A March vacation on Kiawah Island is filled with thousands of daffodils announcing spring's arrival to the low country. Spring festivities include the annual BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival, rated one of the top five food and wine festivals in the U.S. by Forbes Traveler. This four-day event infuses homegrown flavor with the most celebrated chefs, culinary professionals and winemakers in the world. Seminars, food tastings, a dine-around and culinary village are highlights that you won't want to miss.
On the opposite coast, foodies have numerous reasons to celebrate the Rites of Spring in Wine Country, where area restaurants and wineries showcase the agricultural bounty of the region. For example, in March at the Annual Taste of Yountville, mustard and olive oil producers join local culinary experts to celebrate Yountville's status as the West Coast's top epicurean center. The Sonoma International Film Festival in early April offers food and wine tastings before each event and attracts movie-goers and culinary connoisseurs alike. Mid-month marks the official arrival of spring with wine tasting in Carneros, and the Annual Vineyard to Vintner Festival includes seminars, wine tasting, talks and demonstrations. In mid-May one of the biggest charity events in California, the Annual Napa Valley Tour de Cure starts in Yountville and follows four different trails, through both the Alexander Valley and Napa. Around the same time, Calistoga Wineries Spring Celebration Calistoga Wineries Spring Celebration is filled with wine tastings, barrel samplings, hot food and music in the area.
Spring is brimming with opportunities for great times with family and friends. Where will you rejuvenate and celebrate the season?
~ Deborah, Guest Contributor