Spring is the perfect season for a road trip. Who wouldn't want to embrace the outdoors as vibrant colored flowers begin to bloom and temperatures start to rise? From the mountains to the desert, we've picked four destinations that are sure to spark a spring awakening.
Asheville, North Carolina
Hidden between the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains lies the fabulously unique town of Asheville, North Carolina. The perfect mix of mountain town and southern charm, Asheville is home to more than 30 art galleries, a thriving culinary scene, and mom-and-pop shops and boutiques. The eclectic area of downtown Asheville is surrounded by the beauty of the awe-inspiring Appalachian Mountains, which makes it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and culture seekers alike.
Where to Stay: The most lavish spot in Asheville is definitely the Inn on Biltmore Estate, set on the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate. If you'd rather not stay at the biggest tourist attraction in Asheville, try The Grove Park Inn, a four-diamond property overlooking Asheville's skyline and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Matching the Biltmore's level of luxury, the Grove Park Inn features a $50 million spa, award-winning dining, golf, tennis, swimming, whitewater rafting, and even zip line tours.
Palm Springs, California
In Palm Springs, where summer temperatures can soar well into the triple digits, the spring season is an excellent time to visit. Spring temps rest comfortably in the mid to high 80s, drawing tons of Los Angeles residents seeking the respite of a desert oasis surrounded by the snow-capped San Jacinto Mountains. World-class golf, tennis, hiking, desert cool restaurants, and plush hotel spas are just a few of the reasons why the Hollywood elite have flocked to Palm Springs since the 1920s.
Where to Stay: No hotel captures the old Hollywood glamour of Palm Springs better than The Rivera Palm Springs Resort & Spa. A favorite hangout of stars like Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and Desi Arnaz, the legendary Riviera completed a $70 million renovation and restoration in the fall of 2008, cementing its icon status for future generations. Check out our other picks for the desert's coolest boutique hotels for more.
Hill Country, Texas
Texas Hill Country is the heart and soul of the state. Starting just north of Austin, the region continues south to San Antonio, stretches west for about 200 miles and features a landscape of lush rolling hills, lakes, and spring-fed rivers. Not only does a journey through Hill Country at springtime pass gardens of blooming bluebonnets, but also the area's 30 plus wineries. From April 5-14, Texas Hill Country Wineries will participate in the Wine & Wildflower Trail; 10 days of self-guided trails that include 1-3 complimentary tastings at each winery, a 15% discount on three bottle purchases, and one wildflower seed packet per ticket so guests can take home the beauty of Texas at springtime.
Where to Stay:If you go to Texas and don't stay at a ranch, did you really go to Texas? We didn't think so. Unlike the traditional dude ranches of Texas, you won't find any hayrides or family-style BBQ at Riven Rock Ranch, but you will find a beautiful 200-plus acre working farm with a 45-head heard of cattle, luxurious accommodations, and gourmet dining. Located in the town of Comfort, Riven Rock Ranch lives up to the town's namesake with a variety of lodging options including rooms and cottages with oversized windows, Oriental rugs, exquisite chandeliers and gourmet kitchens.
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Chicagoans and Milwaukeeans embark on the less than two hour drive to picturesque Lake Geneva, Wisconsin when they need to escape. Lake Geneva gets snow well into March, transporting travelers from a wind-whipped, late winter snowstorm to snuggling under a warm blanket on a sleigh ride through gently falling flakes. When April comes around and the frost melts, the area is known for it's variety of hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, outstanding golf, and freshwater fishing.
Where to Stay: Lake Geneva is known as a summer home community for the wealthy; just think of the famous mansions Green Gables, Wadsworth Hall, and Villa Hotensia. Indulge in the grandeur at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva's only AAA Four-Diamond resort. Grand Geneva is home to 355 classically elegant guest rooms, a WELL Spa + Salon, indoor tennis courts and swimming pools, 36 holes of championship golf, and an even an indoor/outdoor Moose Mountain Falls waterpark for the kids.
Photo credits: Grove Park Inn courtesy of Grove Park Inn; Rivera Palm Springs Resort & Spa courtesy of Rivera Palm Springs Resort & Spa; Riven Rock Ranch courtesy of Riven Rock Ranch; Grand Geneva Resort & Spa courtesy of Grand Geneva Resort & Spa