Ahh, spring: a time to remember how it feels to wear open-toed shoes, and to see colors outside that have more variety than “pre-blizzard gray” or “muddy off-white slush.” Wherever your business travel takes you this spring, there are plenty of ways to get out and celebrate the warm weather. Here’s how to celebrate spring around the world.
Washington, DC: Cherry Blossoms
Each spring, DC’s 3,000 cherry blossoms transform the District into a pink paradise. The most popular spot to check out the blossoms is at the city’s Tidal Basin, but you can catch the blooms in a far less crowded setting at the National Arboretum. Getting there requires a drive across the city, but it’s well worth it. The Arboretum has more than 1,000 cherry trees, and no overcrowding to speak of. You can even take a self-guided cherry blossom tour if that’s your jam.
United States National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
Shanghai: Tulips At Shanghai Flower Port
This immaculate garden is about as close as you can get to Dutch tulip fields without booking a flight to the Netherlands. Strategized by a Dutch designer, Shanghai Flower Port’s annual tulip festival offers up more than 3 million flowers in every color of the rainbow. It’s a bit far from the city, so getting there might require some logistical research, but it really is worth it.
Shanghai Flower Port, Donghai Farm, Nanhui District, Shanghai 201303, China
Toronto: Rooftop Cocktails
Toronto’s trendy, artsy Drake Hotel is more than a place to rest your head. It’s a cultural hotspot, and in the spring, that revolves around Sky Yard, the hotel’s rooftop haven. Head up to Sky Yard for a drink or brunch, and soak up the sunshine that you’ve missed over the past few months.
Sky Yard, The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1J4, Canada
Geneva: Botanical Gardens
Geneva’s regal Botanical Gardens are a breath of fresh air. Don’t miss the greenhouses that once belonged to Baron Rothschild or the historic Winter Garden, a treasure trove of tropical plants and fruit.
Conservatory And Botanical Garden Of The City Of Geneva, Chemin de L'Imperatrice 1, 1292 Pregny-Chambésy, Switzerland
Brussels: Floralia Flower Show
Each year, Brussels welcomes spring with Floralia, a month-long flower exhibition on the grounds of historic Grand Bigard Castle. You can stroll past hundreds of flower varieties - including one million(!) bulbs of tulips - over a span of 14 acres.
Grand Bigard Castle, Isidoor van Beverenstraat 5, 1702 Groot-Bijgaarden, Belgium
London: A Bloom Cafe
If you’d rather experience spring within the confines of the great indoors, head to Elan, a London cafe famous for its epic Instagrammability. Elan’s flagship location in Fitzrovia features gorgeous flower walls, so you can dine or sip coffee flanked by photogenic pink blooms. It doesn’t hurt that Elan’s colorful specialty lattes are just as pretty as the scenery.
Elan Cafe Flagship Store, 9 Market Place, Oxford Circus, W1W 8AQ, London
Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Venetian-style courtyard at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is beautiful year-round, but it especially comes alive in April, when its nasturtium vines bloom a vibrant orange.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 02115
New York City: Flower Markets & Nautical Dining
Spend a sunny day wandering through the city’s flower district, which is just one city block: 28th Street between 6th Ave and 7th Ave. Each morning, 28th Street becomes a jungle, with flora and greenery lining the sidewalk like a maze. When you’re done exploring, walk west and a few blocks south to Frying Pan, a restaurant and bar housed on a docked former Coast Guard ship on the Hudson River. It’s only open from May to October, so it truly is a seasonal affair. When you watch the sunset over the city skyline with a crisp drink in hand, you can’t help but feel spring fever. If you're yearning for a hint of spring before the Frying Pan opens, head to Serra by Birreria, Eataly's seasonal rooftop restaurant.
Frying Pan, Pier 66 on Hudson River Park, 207 12th Ave, New York, NY 10001
Serra by Birreria, 200 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010