Seven Best Places to Stop and Smell the Flowers

Summer has officially arrived and no doubt you are excitedly planning a well-deserved vacation. Studies show that taking time to stop and smell the roses can benefit your mind, body, and soul. Taking time to appreciate all those blooming beauties helps us feel connected and charges up those gratitude vibes–exactly what a girl needs after a crazy year of school and work commitments. Why not change it up from your usual week spent in Cabo and head to one of the following flower travel destinations?

We will take you on a journey to the breathtaking tulips in Amsterdam, the jaw-dropping cherry blossoms in Japan, and every glorious garden in between. So brush up on your botanical knowledge, pack your travel bag, and don’t forget to pack some comfy shoes. Even better, go get some new ones – because any reason is reason enough to buy new shoes! Ready? Grab your passport and let’s get going!


The Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly harbor a spectacular haven; the famous Tresco Abbey Garden. Boasting an impressive seventeen acres of gardens, this nineteenth-century garden blooms all year round, though summer is the season to catch more of their sub-tropical varieties. The Isles rarely ever see snow or frost so you will find all kinds of exotic flowers. Some of the rarest flowers are found here, like the delicate dwarf pansy.

If you look around carefully, you just might be lucky enough to be enchanted by the brilliant blue Echium x Scilloniensis. As you continue to wander under the island sunshine, you’ll definitely see the soft and sophisticated aster from South Africa, the Senecio Glastifolius, and the abundant pastel blossoms of the Protea Longifolia. You may want to note the thriving succulents and agaves in full splendor, so make sure you stop and take in the gorgeous cacti in full bloom or ripe Hawthoria on your way out.

Amsterdam, NL

Nestled among the elaborate canal systems of the Netherlands, Amsterdam has long been known for its party scene. Why not take a break from the nightlife and catch some rays? If you couldn’t make it to see the tulips in Amsterdam last Spring, fear not! Amsterdam in the summer has a lot to offer by way of flora and fauna. The place to be to take it all in is the Vondelpark. This beautiful city park is the largest park in Amsterdam. Here among the urban bustle, take in the captivating scent of wild jasmine. You will also catch an exclusive summer view of the Hollyhock. Known as stockrozen to the Dutch, these lively beauties spring up everywhere in hues of pink, magenta, yellow, white, red, and purple!

If you turn to glance all around you, you’ll see roses sprawling off of every archway. These aren’t just your traditional rose, either. This bloom is a pride of Amsterdam. These heavy, bowl-shaped blooms are a sight to behold. If you’re looking to shift your focus outside of the world of flowers, we suggest you check out the opulent grape vines that grow throughout Amsterdam. They grow in dense ‘wallpaper’ like groups and produce a heavy and dark, juicy purple grape. If you can manage to beat the local blackbirds to their favorite snack, the locals won’t mind if you sample a few. In fact, there is a particularly abundant vine on the corner of Nieuwe prinsengracht and Onbekendegracht, just behind the Carré Theater.


Experiencing the alluring presentation of the cherry blossoms of Japan is on the bucket list every flower aficionado! Gracing the the roadsides and gardens of Kyoto and all the way up to breathtaking vistas of Mount Yoshinoyama, cherry blossoms in full bloom are quite the display. Close your eyes and try this daydream with us:  it’s a trademark Japanese sun-filled afternoon in Yoyogi Park, you are hanging out under the scented shade of delicate pale florets of the cherry blossom tree on a comfy blanket, indulging in a delicious picnic of local cuisine. We can’t even imagine a more perfect summer memory than that!

Although this fragrant flower makes its grand debut in the Spring, it does hang out for an encore until early summer. For centuries, cherry blossoms have been immortalized into historical art masterpieces, murals painted all around the city, silk-screened onto fabrics, printed onto the traditional kimono, and infused into sweet, sultry fragrances and creams. There is good reason why you see the inspiring cherry blossom all over Japanese lifestyle and culture. The Japanese believe that this flower stands for life, death and renewal, partly because they bloom only for a short time but do so with utmost vibrance!

It is highly recommended by botany enthusiasts that see these opulent florets in person. To check this off of your bucket list, get in the know! Take note of the weather forecast during the autumn season beforehand. Once you see they’re about to appear, book a flight to northern Hokkaido as soon as you can, because these timid blooms peak very quickly then they vanish for another year. We found a very informative tour exclusive for the late season tours of the area.

Swiss Alps

The breathtaking peaks of the Swiss Alps aren’t just for ski trips. The mountains create the perfect backdrop for wildflower exploration. Book an eight-day tour with botanist David Tattersfield. Beginning at the Bernese Oberland, you’ll trek through the Swiss Alps to get a VIP look at what grows around those majestic peaks and valleys.

Keep your eyes peeled for the vibrant Alpine Columbine. The bold purple hued perennial stands out in full regalia against the cold rocks and grass of the mountainside. Your tour would be incomplete without a few shots of the Martagon Lily! Standing at a max height of 44 inches with bountiful pink petals, this lovely lily makes quite the appearance! #nofilter! Can’t get enough of the flora of the Alps? Visit the Smithsonian Mag for an in-depth tour guide of all the hot spots for the best views the Alps have to offer.


If you seek something a little closer to home, with plenty of that signature Arizona heat (don’t forget to stock up on some quality SPF!), head to Arizona between July and early September for wildflower season. America As You Like It offers a custom package priced at $1,740 that includes a rental car! It is self-guided, so you can go as you please and take as many photos as you can during a seven-day tour to Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson. If that wasn’t already awesome enough, it includes a Hot Air Balloon ride over the rambling desert valleys. You will get to see the gorgeous blossoms such as the Arizona Blanket Flower and the Blue Cornflower from a bird’s eye view!


Over on the other side of the continent, in Uttarakhand, something wonderful is spbeginning to bloom. Bordering on the scenic valleys of Tibet and Nepal, this gorgeous landscape offers over 100 different species of flowers for you to check out. Contact Indus Experiences for an incredible 15 day ‘Valley of Flowers’ tour of the entire valley. We did a quick Google search for a sneak peek, and we just can’t get enough of this Himalayan splendor! You’ll get to see the iconic Geranium in its natural habitat, not to mention the glorious acres of Bellflower! The tour is lead by geologists and expert botanists, so you are sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Northern Ireland

How do you feel about going on a cruise for your summer getaway? What if we upped the ante with a cruise that involves a spectacular view of all the blooms of Ireland? Now that we have your attention, imagine this: climbing aboard the illustrious Hebridean Princess for the Call of the Emerald Isle cruise.

You’ll visit Mount Stewart with its delightful hillside displays of  Rhododendrons and Rowallane with its wildflower meadows of elegant orchids. In case you wanted to add a bit of some old-fashioned romance lore, your tour will take you to the ruins of Downhill Demesne. Explore the remains of  Earl Bishop’s palace. There are many different package options if you plan to extend your stay, so you can make your trip as quick or long as you’d like it to be.



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