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Spring Is Coming! Here Are 7 Places In The US To Check Out In The Season Of Renewal And Rebirth
Ah, spring. Primavera. The season of renewal and rebirth. It may not feel like it, especially to those of us living in the northeast, but it’s on the way! Winter is that obnoxious comedian who hogs the mic on stage, even though he was never very funny in the first place. He doesn’t notice the audience rolling their eyes and groaning, wondering when his set will be finished. Worse yet, he probably does notice, but keeps telling jokes anyway. For some, cold weather drains energy, triggers seasonal depression, and inspires an unshakeable and persistent “blah” feeling. There’s no other way to describe it.
If winter and cold weather aren’t your jam, hang tight. Spring will soon take the stage. Here are seven places in the US to visit when it does.
If you’re a classic Hollywood fan, you’ll find plenty of nods to that in Los Angeles, from Grauman’s Chinese Theater, to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Cheesy and touristy? Yes, but that’s the point.
Griffith Park is a spot of “wilderness in the heart of Los Angeles,” and consists of over 4,000 beautiful acres of trails and more. As of now, due to COVID, the Bronson Canyon Caves and Griffith Parkline are closed.
Going to be in the Bay Area? Rent a bike to explore San Francisco, or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and beyond. If you’re too tired to ride back, you can catch the ferry.
Be sure to patronize the Black-owned businesses of San Francisco, some of which are listed here.
Oakland and Berkeley have some great sites, and are serviced by the BART.
San Diego is, of course, known for great surfing, so there’s always that. There’s also Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. The Sicilian Festival in the city’s Little Italy district is great for lovers of Italian food and family-friendly entertainment.
Piedmont Park is beautiful all year round and what could be more synonymous with spring than a botanical garden? Atlanta‘s Botanical Garden is adjacent to the park.
There’s also Centennial Olympic Park and the Georgia Aquarium.
If you thought indoor roller-skating rinks were a thing of the past, think again. Head to Cascade, a Black-owned, indoor skating rink, which has some fun events for families, teens and adults.
Hungry? Here’s just a fraction of ATL’s Black-owned restaurants, cafes, and more.
3. New York
New York takes on a whole new personality when the snow and ice have melted and flowers are in bloom.
If you need a break from the rush of the city, there are plenty of green spaces. Central Park would be the most famous, with a zoo, carousel, horse drawn carriages, and more.
Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan is a nice place to read and people watch. There’s plenty of outdoor seating, and you can purchase food and drinks from the vendors or places around the park. But be advised, it’s an expensive area.
Go for a walk along the esplanade that runs along the East River or to the west, the Hudson River. Both are pretty flat throughout, so you’ll quickly cover a lot more distance than you realize.
Like every other city, New York has its own set of “rules” and cultural norms. We laid out some of them here.
Spend a few hours perusing Blanton Museum of Art, which hosts Assembly: New Acquisitions by Contemporary Black Artists.
According to the website, the exhibit was “made possible by funds from an anonymous donor to purchase paintings, sculptures, prints, and more by twelve contemporary Black artists based in the United States.” It runs until May 2022.
Pack a picnic lunch with friends and head to Zilker Metropolitan Park, a lush oasis close to Lady Bird Lake. Cool off in Barton Springs Pool, with an “average temperature of 68-70 degrees.”
There are plenty of places to dine, as well, serving everything from Mexican to BBQ. From fine restaurants to holes in the wall – take your pick.
Miami is a spring break capital for sure, but its charms extend beyond clubbing and bar hopping till the wee hours.
The beach is a given, and there are plenty of them. South Beach is lined with Art Deco hotels and restaurants, with outdoor seating.
If you’re looking to hang out in nothing but what nature gave you, head to Haulover Beach, the only totally nude beach in the city.
Sunny Isles Beach is a good option for families with younger children. Virginia Key Beach Park, during segregation, was popular with Black people. Today, it’s open to all, and you can rent paddle boards and kayaks.
6. Grand Canyon Park, Arizona
The dry Arizona heat can be stifling in the summer, but it’s much more comfortable in the spring.
If nightlife and such aren’t really your idea of a good time, consider a visit to Grand Canyon National Park.
The bands of layered rocks provide a breathtaking backdrop for photographs. They are especially dramatic at sunrise and sunset.
According to the National Park Service, “canyon trails are open for day hiking.” For more details on other things to do, check the NPS website.
7. Washington, D.C.
Washington, DC has excellent food and is home to some important museums, notably The National Museum of African American History and Culture.
There are plenty of great areas for riding your bike, as well. The National Mall allows for it and so does Capital Crescent Trail, which runs into Maryland. Potomac Park is quite lovely when the cherry blossoms are visible.
For shops and restaurants with a waterfront view, check out The Wharf. There are also live concerts and other outdoor events here when the weather permits.
Looking to support some Black-owned restaurants while you’re there? Check out Ben’s Chili Bowl, which opened in 1958, Bukom Cafe, which serves West African food, and Calabash Tea & Tonic, just to name a few.
Related: From Montego Bay To Scottsdale: The Top Spring Break Destinations For 2022