Colorful Cackleberry shop with artwork on display in Wimberly, Texas.

These Towns In The Southern United States Come Alive In Spring

In a recent study by ValuePenguin, out of 1,600 surveyed Americans, the majority chose autumn as their favorite season. With summertime falling in second place, it is apparent that winter and spring remain the underdogs when it comes to favored times of year. But as the weather begins to warm and greenery begins to bud in the upcoming months, why wait for summer to enjoy the sunshine?

While much of the southern United States remains fairly warm year-round, it is still worth appreciating the rising temperatures, the longer days, and the flower-dotted hillsides that come with springtime. And what better way to savor the season’s farewell to winter than by visiting southern US towns that celebrate that very thing? You will find these eight communities truly come alive during the season, as if awakening from hibernation, with everything from flower festivals and wildflower routes to garden reopenings and waterfall hikes. Say goodbye to the winter blues and embrace the rejuvenation of this underrated season—you may just find yourself with a new favorite time of year.

Thomasville, Georgia

Thomas County Courthouse in Thomasville, Georgia.
Thomas County Courthouse in Thomasville, Georgia.

For Georgia residents, one of the best signs of spring is when calendars alert them to the annual Thomasville Rose Show and Festival. The thriving tradition has been a staple of the state since 1922, bringing Georgians together from near and far to celebrate the season’s blooms. For the 2024 festival, it will be held from April 26 to 27 in historic downtown Thomasville. Attendees can look forward to various attractions, including live music, artisan markets, and flower shows, along with the iconic Rose Parade on Friday the 26th at 7 PM on Broad Street.

While in town, there is no better time to tour the Thomasville Rose Garden. With over 1,500 rose bushes, the park is a great way to see the prize-winning blooms in their natural state. Spring is also a gorgeous time to visit the Birdsong Nature Center. With 565 acres of forests, ponds, swamps, and wildflower meadows, wildlife spotting is practically a guarantee when exploring the 12 miles of nature paths. April through November is also the best time to visit the center’s Butterfly Garden to observe the colorful winged critters in flight.

Dawsonville, Georgia

The Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville, Georgia
The Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville, Georgia.

Dawsonville, Georgia, is another excellent place to experience spring’s blossoming colors at places like Jungle Paradise. But contrasting Thomasville, you have probably never seen flowers quite like these. Home to rare hybrid daylilies you cannot find anywhere else, the flowers begin to bloom in March, making spring one of the best times to stroll the grounds. Tours start at USD 20.00, and if you fall in love with the unique florals, some are even available for purchase.

Springtime in Dawsonville also attracts adventurers to Dawsonville, especially those eager to tackle the Georgia Appalachian Trail from Amicalola Falls State Park. The park is a great starting point for the renowned 2,150-mile mountain trail, and March and April mark a peak camping and hiking season, sparing travelers from summer heat. But there is also no shortage of milder hikes to enjoy in the spring, with 829 acres of wilderness to go around. Whether you are soaring through the treetops on the Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventure Tour zipline or hiking to the park's namesake, Amicalola Falls, the adventure can be as exhilarating or relaxed as you desire. But if you had to choose one trail to trek, the Amicalola Falls Loop is highly recommended. Roughly translating to "Tumbling Water" in the Cherokee language, Amicalola Falls stands as Georgia's tallest and grandest waterfall, towering at 729 feet.

Frankfort, Kentucky

Aerial view of Frankfort, Kentucky.
Aerial view of Frankfort, Kentucky.

Over in Kentucky’s state capital, the town of Frankfort, is home to another nature area known for its beauty in spring. The 240-acre Cove Spring Park and Nature Preserve has over 6 miles of trails (including the more accessible paved and elevated “Sky Trail”) and various scenic overlooks, waterfalls, and distributaries of the Kentucky River. With increased rainfall in spring, the waterfalls are at their peak flow and wildflowers are in full bloom, making this Kentucky park one of the prettiest sights in the state. The 2-mile Holly and Osage Trail Loop is an excellent way to enjoy forest views, streams, and one of the park’s best cascades.

Colorful flora is another signature sign of spring throughout the rest of Frankfort, including attractions like The Butterfly Greenhouse at Wilson Nurseries. Reopening for the 2024 season in May, the gardens and butterfly greenhouse offer a romantic way to embrace the season's new beginnings. Outside Frankfort's State Capitol building, the path-lined garden beds are another gorgeous homage to the season, blooming from late March through April. Adorned with rows of red, yellow, and orange tulips, the scene is truly picture-perfect, with the grand Beaux-Arts and classical-style building enhancing the setting even further.

Magnolia Springs, Alabama

St Paul's Episcopal Church Magnolia Springs, Alabama
St Paul's Episcopal Church in Magnolia Springs, Alabama. Image credit: Jimmy Emerson DVM via

Making our way to southern Alabama, the river town of Magnolia Springs is arguably even more famous for its spring foliage and blooms. Settled around a bend in the Magnolia River, the town gained its name from 2 distinct features. The second of the two being the town’s abundant springs, which were once tested in the early 1900’s and declared to be some of the purest in the world. The first half, on the other hand, comes from the abundance of magnolia trees towering throughout the town. Spring is the best time to witness the magnolia blossoms, along with the town’s azaleas and wisterias.

If you head down Oak Street, you will also find Magnolia Springs’ iconic tunnel of trees. The fairytale lane is overgrown with a whimsical canopy of oaks shaped like a tunnel, creating an enchanting effect. While on the road, this is the perfect time to use Magnolia Springs as a gateway to some of the surroundings attractions. In addition to driving past the town’s scenic riverfront, a short trip will carry you to places like Gulf State Park. Here, you can enjoy sandy shores on the Gulf of Mexico at spots like Orange Beach or learn more about the region’s wildlife at the Gulf State Park Nature Center.

Tuscumbia, Alabama

Cold Water Falls in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
Cold Water Falls in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Image credit: Brent Moore via

In quirky downtown Tuscumbia, northern Alabama, Spring Park is an enchanting landmark that comes alive with locals looking to savor the oncoming warmth of spring. Ideal for families with children of all ages, the park features a playground, a carousel, and other family-friendly attractions, but the best way to keep the kiddos active and entertained is with a lakeside stroll on the half-mile loop trail. While taking in the lake's scenery, visitors can delight in the park's 51-jet fountain, featuring a choreographed water show that shoots water over 100 feet into the air.

The loop trail will also guide you to the park’s true centerpiece, Cold Water Falls, which is famous for being the largest man-made natural stone waterfall in the world. With around 4,320,000 gallons of water plummeting from the waterfall daily, this one-of-a-kind cascade is truly bucket list worthy. Outside the park, other one-of-a-kind Tuscumbia attractions include the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the Helen Keller Birthplace Museum.

Highlands, North Carolina

Trail behind Dry Falls, in Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina.
Trail behind the Dry Falls in the Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina.

If you prefer the glory of natural waterfalls, North Carolina is overflowing with more than 3oo of them. High in the Nantahala National Forest in the southern Appalachian Mountains, the town of Highlands grants access to some of the greatest cascades in the state. Bear in mind that some news outlets have reported the potential for above-average precipitation from March through May of 2024 in North Carolina. Thus, spring would be an excellent time to see these Highlands waterfalls at their best.

Dry Falls is one of the closest waterfalls to town, a few miles south of Highlands. The 75-foot waterfall cascades over a cliff, aptly named for its unique feature that allows visitors to walk behind the falls and stay dry. A bit further from town, Glen Falls is another gorgeous landmark, its trailhead starting around 3 miles from downtown Highlands. The hike itself is roughly 2 miles (round trip), but the tiered waterfall makes the trek beyond worthwhile. However, if accessibility is an issue, Highlands’ Bridal Veil Falls is your best bet for enjoying one of North Carolina’s acclaimed waterfalls. Although it was once famous for being the only waterfall you can drive under in North Carolina, its road is currently blocked for vehicle safety. Despite this minor drawback, you can still drive right up to the falls for easy access, so you can walk behind the cliffside cascade or enjoy views right from the comfort of your car.

Wimberley, Texas

Cute stores in Wimberley, Texas.
Boutique stores in Wimberley, Texas.

Like many of the towns on this list, springtime in Wimberley, Texas, is highly anticipated for its wildflower blooms and sunshine. And with less than 3000 residents, you might assume the spring attractions would end there. But despite its quaint size, Wimberley has some big spring events and attractions to welcome the season. For instance, on April 20, 2024, the Emily Ann Theater and Gardens will host its annual Butterfly Festival. Celebrating “the enchanting blooms of spring” along with butterfly conservation efforts, thousands of butterflies will be released in a truly gorgeous display. Additionally, Market Days can be enjoyed in downtown Wimberley on the first Saturday of every month to sample local flavors and browse for local treasures.

But Blue Hole Regional Park definitely stands out as the town's premier hub for festivities. April is a particularly busy month at the park, featuring a stargazing party on April 13, free live concerts every Friday, and the First Annual Wimberley Film Festival on April 20. Beyond these events, Blue Hole Regional Park is a marvel in itself. Its 4.5 miles of hiking trails are open year-round, and swimming in the crystal-clear Blue Hole is the park's most iconic draw, attracting visitors from across the state. The swim season starts May 1 (reservations required), making this one of the best spring activities in the southern US.

Marble Falls, Texas

Visitor Centre in Marble Falls, Texas
Visitor Centre in Marble Falls, Texas.

A little over an hour north of Wimberley, Marble Falls is another adorable Texas town whose hillsides are dotted with flowers in the spring. It was the former US First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, who advocated for the spreading of wildflower seeds across the country in 1965, and Marble Falls remains one of the best places to see her legacy in person. Known for its location right in the heart of wildflower country, there are countless scenic routes from Marble Falls to breathe in spring colors, like the Bluebonnet Trail right from downtown. Download the free Marble Falls Scenic Route Map from to follow the prettiest wildflower paths this spring.

Scenic hikes are also in high supply at the nearby Inks Lake State Park, around a half-hour drive from Marble Falls. Along with 9 miles of marked trails, the park is known for its hikes to the Devil’s Waterhole. Despite its name, the natural swimming hole is by all means heavenly, located on an eastern branch of the park’s beautiful namesake lake sheltered and shaded by towering limestone cliffs. Paddle boards and kayaks can be rented right from the park for those who would prefer to explore the waters, and the lake is also popular with scuba divers and anglers.

While many Americans prefer the allure of crisp autumn days or hot summer nights, in many ways, springtime offers the best of both worlds. Scenic trails and parks welcome sunshine but lack the sweltering rays of summer, while evenings still retain that comforting cool temperature perfect for a stroll or cozy night in. Hiking paths are enchanted with wildflowers, brightening towns like Thomasville, Wimberley, and Marble Falls, while others flaunt waterfalls overflowing with spring showers. Whether you decide to explore a freshly bloomed garden or a swimming hole’s reopened season, springtime in these southern US towns may just surprise you with all they have to offer.

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. These Towns In The Southern United States Come Alive In Spring

More in Places