Daily Escape

Tidal Basin

Photo by Getty Images

Tidal Basin

Washington, D.C.

April certainly becomes the Jefferson Memorial. It never looks better than when framed by the famous cherry blossoms that transform the banks of the Tidal Basin into a landscape of pink. In early April, these trees burst into springtime, drawing crowds of admirers. And it’s easy to see why: this view of a spring sunrise over the Pantheon-like memorial to Thomas Jefferson is enough to make you forever a firm believer in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


You Might Also Like

Missouri Botanical Garden - St. Louis
Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis

From its summer music fest to its holiday flower and train shows, the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis hosts many annual events. But the garden easily stands on its own, with 79 acres of beautiful displays that include a 14-acre Japanese garden, garden founder Henry Shaw's original 1850 estate home, and one of the world's largest collections of rare and endangered orchids. 960 1280

Missouri Botanical Garden  

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA

Southern charm abounds at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA. Its stunning classical domed conservatory houses an orchid collection, as well as an annual butterfly exhibit (Memorial Day weekend through mid-October). A giant accessible tree house is part of the garden’s interactive children’s area. And in the winter, the garden dazzles with an annual display of more than half a million lights. 960 1280

Don Williamson Photography  

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus, OH

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus, OH

Large greenhouses make visiting Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, OH, easy year-round. The conservatory houses more than 400 species of plants in environments that include desert and rain-forest habitats. Seasonal displays of blooms, from colorful bulbs to varieties of conifers and grasses, span the outdoor gardens. There is also a unique glassblowing pavilion for demos and classes. 960 1280

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens  

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix

You’ll quickly dispel any notion of a lifeless and colorless desert landscape when visiting the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. With a distinct mission of focusing solely on desert plants, the garden’s 145 acres showcase more than 50,000 plants, including a unique collection of cacti. The garden is great to explore year-round, but spring is especially popular for the annual butterfly exhibit and wildflower blooms. 960 1280

Desert Botanical Garden  

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, Albuquerque, NM

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, Albuquerque, NM

Located in Albuquerque, NM, on the banks of the Rio Grande, the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden has 36 acres of gardens to explore along more than 1 1/2 miles of paths. Two popular exhibits are the Japanese garden, which was designed by noted landscape architect Toru Tanaka, and the children’s garden, which is guarded by a 14-foot topiary dragon. The BioPark also includes a zoo and aquarium. 960 1280

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden  

United States Botanic Garden, Washington, DC

United States Botanic Garden, Washington, DC

One of the oldest botanical gardens in North America, the United States Botanic Garden was established by Congress in 1820. Located adjacent to the Capitol, this small garden packs a big punch. A conservatory and 2 outdoor areas display a collection of some 65,000 plants, including rare finds such as ferns that date nearly as far back as the garden’s founding. Like at the nearby Smithsonian museums, admission is free. 960 1280

United States Botanic Garden  

San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco

San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco

It’s all about the San Francisco Botanical Garden's magnolias from mid-January through March. During this time, nearly 100 rare magnolias erupt in vibrant pink and white flowers. If you miss the magnolias, you can still feast your eyes on a towering redwood grove and rare cloud forest plants. The garden is located in Golden Gate Park, which is also home to a Japanese garden and flower conservatory. 960 1280

FarOutFlora, flickr   

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta

Take a 600-foot-long canopy walk among the branches of oaks, hickories and poplars while looking down on native azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, perennials and bulbs. That’s just one of the fantastic ways to experience the Atlanta Botanical Garden. There is also an orchid center, which has the largest collection of orchid species on permanent display in the US; a garden pond filled with aquatic plants; and a children’s garden with fountains, sculptures and fun exhibits on botany and ecology. 960 1280

Deborah Dimond, flickr  

New York Botanical Garden, New York City

New York Botanical Garden, New York City

You’ll find this 250-acre oasis in the middle of the Big Apple. The New York Botanical Garden's historic, Victorian-style glass house provides a world tour of 11 distinct plant habitats, including a tropical rain forest and desert environments of the Americas and Africa. Two of the garden’s major events are its spring orchid exhibit and its winter train show. 960 1280

Lorraine Boogich/ iStock/ Getty Images  

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

Spanning 26 gardens and 4 natural areas, the Chicago Botanic Garden draws about a million people annually. At nearly 400 acres, it is one of the largest botanical gardens in the US. And its collection of 185 bonsai is one of the best public displays of the miniature masterpieces, with works by bonsai master Susumu Nakamura. Considered a living museum, the garden also does groundbreaking plant conservation research. 960 1280

Dawn Demaske/ iStock/ Getty Images  

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, FL

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, FL

Southern Florida’s climate makes for year-round growing at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden near Miami. Among its gems are rare exotic fruit species, including mangosteens, cacao and vanilla orchids. The 83-acre garden also has a butterfly conservatory that showcases almost 3,000 exotic butterflies. Visitors can watch them hatch and be released into the conservatory. 960 1280

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden  

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas

Dallas is known as the city that does it big, and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden doesn’t hold back. Its spring flower fest is the largest in the Southwest, featuring more than 500,000 blooms, and in the fall, the garden becomes a pumpkin village, with over 50,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. The 8-acre children’s area includes more than 150 interactive games and a 20-foot-high waterfall. 960 1280

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden  

Peyto Lake, Banff National Park, Canadian Rockies
Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake

View from the Icefields Parkway's highest Lookout Point over Peyto Lake in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. The glacier-fed lake has a bright, turquoise color. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/Missing35mm  

Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks

Anderson Hollow Cove at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri is a haven for both spring breakers and summer revelers alike. More popularly known as “Party Cove,” it’s considered the oldest established permanent floating bacchanal in the country. 960 1280

Chris Oberholtz/Kansas City Star/MCT/Getty Images  

Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes

A footbridge hangs over the blue-green waters of Plitvice Lakes in Croatia hidden by thick vegetation and connected by hundreds of waterfalls. The largest national park in Croatia, it attracts over a million visitors each year. 960 1280

Kelly Cheng Travel Photography/Moment/Getty Images  

Lake Annecy

Lake Annecy

Lake Annecy in the French Alps is a popular destination for tourists. Enjoy water sports before refueling at lakeside restaurants and bars. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/DMP1  

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan is situated in the Guatemalan highlands at the foot of 3 volcanoes including the San Pedro volcano pictured above. 960 1280

  

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Wizard Island sits in Oregon's Crater Lake, which was formed by the collapse of a volcano. Not only is this the deepest lake in the United States at 1,943 feet, but it's also famous for its deep blue color and crystal-clear waters. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/James Cross  

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Hikers take in the sunset over Loch Lomond, Scotland, which is dotted with islands and medieval castles.
960 1280

iStockphoto.com/Josefkubes  

Lake Matheson

Lake Matheson

Lake Matheson in South Island, New Zealand, is also known as mirror lake for its reflected vies of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman.
960 1280

Rob Suisted  

Lake Garda

Lake Garda

Windsurfers ride Lake Garda, one of Italy's most popular vacation spots, featuring resort towns, hot springs and terra-cotta-roofed hotels.
960 1280

iStockphoto.com/Thomas Quack  

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu, on the border between Arizona and California, brings in 3.5 million visitors a year, and, thanks to its floating party scene, it's a major spring break destination for coeds.
960 1280

iStockphoto.com/MCCAIG  

Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru

Don't go diving into the picturesque waters of Lake Nakuru in Kenya -- the mass of pink flamingos are one of the few species that can stand the hostile conditions. Visitors can spot up to a million birds wading side by side as well as baboons and black-and-white rhinos. 
960 1280

Elosoenpersona Photo/Moment/Getty Images  

Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake

View of the clear waters and sandy beaches of Crystal Lake from the town of Beulah, MI. 960 1280

Panoramic Images/Getty Images  

The Hot List

Explore America’s most stunning scenery.
Join the conversation on Social Media!
Stay updated on the latest travel tips and trends.
Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.