Flowers are peeking through the dirt, trees are preparing to bud and the sun is shining just a bit more. The first day of spring must be close!

I’ve always loved the new beginnings that spring brings, which is also why it’s one of my favorite times of year to get away and reconnect with my loved ones: after the chillier months have passed and before the school year rushes to a close. Here is a list of some of the best places to welcome this new season:

State Parks

Spring is nearly synonymous with flowers, but of course all of nature comes to life this time of year, as birds of all colors and sizes again take flight, hundreds of species welcome new babies and those of the hibernating kind awake from their slumber. Your local state park could be a great destination to see these animals. Huntington Beach State Park, for example, is widely considered the best place in the South Carolina for birding (check out this birding checklist to see what you’ll find by season), while the Myrtle Beach State Park is an excellent spot to observe rare species like the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.

The Farm

Speaking of new life, farms across the country will begin to welcome new babies in the spring as well. Do some research to see if there’s a farm in your community that welcomes visitors to be a part of this special time of year. Where I live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we love the L.W. Paul Living History Farm, which is part of the Horry County Museum family and is free to the public. Plowing with mules, making lye soap, grinding grits, blacksmithing, curing meat, preserving vegetables, milking cows, and harvesting crops are only a few of the demonstrations to see at the Farm. For more information visit

Gardens & Green Spaces

Pack a picnic and enjoy a peaceful afternoon at a public garden or green space, taking in nature’s newest colors. In Myrtle Beach my favorite spot is the always beautiful Brookgreen Gardens for its expertly maintained flower and sculpture gardens, charming children’s area and 100-year-old oak alee.

By Bicycle

How about taking in spring while working on that beach body? Hop on a bike to cruise the great outdoors. The Myrtle Beach area boasts a 26-mile trail from Murrells Inlet to Litchfield Beach, a mountain biking trail nicknamed “The Hulk,” and a 114-acre area of woodlands and salt marshes with several bike paths meandering throughout, among many others. It’s a biking enthusiast’s dream.

On Sandy Shores

Where better to take in the beauty of nature than from the sunny, sandy shores of a beach? Of course the beach is gorgeous year round, but I do love being there for that first touch of warmth as the sun gets stronger. And there’s always something going on nearby too, like the arcade, restaurant and live entertainment at the Garden City Pier near the gorgeous Garden City and Surfside beaches.