The Southeast is a vibrant region in the U.S., with each state showing off its own unique personality and culture. As a visitor, you can explore the food and fashion of Charleston, South Carolina; the history of Alexandria, Virginia; the southern hospitality and arts in Savannah, Georgia; and plenty of other great cities and communities across the region.
In the springtime, locals and tourists flock to the south to take in the food, culture, music, and arts festivals, and these annual March gatherings are not to be missed. From Saint Patrick's Day gatherings across the region to the Virginia Festival of Books, there are plenty of great events to check out in the Southeastern U.S. in the spring.
Have a Spring Flowerfest at Callaway Gardens
Spring in the Southeast is a great time to take in nature, especially in garden cities like Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. But to experience an off-the-radar town with flowers in bloom, head to the Spring Flowerfest at the Callaway Resort in Pine Mountain, Georgia, which lasts from March to the end of May in 2021.
Visitors can enjoy activities such as seeing more than 20,000 colorful azalea blooms and the Annual Plant Fair and Sale. People of all ages can also enjoy hands-on activities, educational experiences, guided hikes, and much more during spring at the gardens.
Smell the Roses at the Festival of Flowers in Mobile
One of the largest outdoor flower shows in the Southeast, the Festival of Flowers takes place at the Providence Hospital Campus in Mobile, Alabama, each year. The event features life-size landscaped garden displays, an art competition, a full market of seasonal flowers, and kids' activities including immersive educational classes about gardening.
The 28th annual Festival of Flowers is on March 12–13, 2021, and the theme for the festival is "All Creatures Great and Small." See the creations of designers who build living structures made of plants and then vote on the best. Entrance to the festival is free with a suggested donation.
Enjoy the International Cherry Blossom Festival
Celebrate the season in Macon, Georgia, at the International Cherry Blossom Festival. More than 350,000 Yoshino cherry trees burst into bloom with bright pink flowers, turning the city into a fairytale-like setting. During this annual festival, you'll find parades, home tours, fireworks displays, concerts, arts and crafts events, amusement rides, and a dazzling hot air balloon gathering that includes live music.
Some events for the 2021 International Cherry Blossom Festival have been scaled back, and everything is taking place outside. The dates for the festival are March 19–28, 2021, which usually coincides with the peak bloom of the trees.
Have a Blast at the Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival
Held at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia, the Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival features local and international music and dance, hundreds of arts and crafts vendor booths, food, games, and entertainment for all ages, including a children's area. The Conyers festival is also geared toward educating visitors about Japanese culture through global collaboration.
The event takes place on the weekend of March 27–28, 2021, and is free to attend for all visitors.
Delve Into Literature at Virginia Festival of the Book
The largest gathering of authors, writers, and readers in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the annual Virginia Festival of the Book usually takes place in bookstores, libraries, schools, and other venues all over Charlottesville, Virginia. However, the 2021 event is taking place virtually from March 13–26, so even if you aren't physically in Charleston, you can still join in right from home to author readings, panels, discussions, and workshops for budding writers.
All of the events are open to the public and free to attend, but be sure to look at the schedule in advance and register for anything that catches your attention.
Party on Saint Patrick's Day in Savannah
The St. Patrick's Day Parade in Savannah was canceled in 2021.
The Southeastern U.S. offers many St. Patrick's Day parties on and around March 17 including local parades, festivals, and bar crawls. However, the one standout city in the southeast is Savannah, Georgia, which hosts one of the world's largest St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
The Savannah festivities for the Irish holiday come complete with parades, live music, and feasts, and some people have even likened the festivities to Mardi Gras in New Orleans due to the size and scale of the month-long celebration. Popular highlights of the Savannah event include the Greening of the Fountain—in which The Parade Grand Marshal dyes the water green in the Forsyth Park fountain—and the annual parade on March 17. The parade typically features pipe bands, Irish dancers, and more than 500,000 attendees.
Celebrate Canada and America in Myrtle Beach
Can-Am Days at Myrtle Beach was canceled in 2021.
Myrtle Beach in South Carolina welcomes Canadians and other visitors on spring break during their annual Canadian-American Days Festival—better known as Can-Am Days.
The festival includes sporting events, concerts, historical tours, and more at various venues along the Grand Strand coastline. Other fun happenings around Myrtle Beach that coincide with Can-Am Days include the Myrtle Beach Marathon, the annual St. Patrick's Day parade and festival, and the Run to the Sun Car Show.
Step Back in Time at the Charleston Antiques Show
The Charleston Antiques Show was canceled in 2021, but it returns to Charleston from March 4–11, 2022.
The Charleston Antiques Show is a beloved destination for antique collectors and admirers alike. This renowned annual show held at the Charleston Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina, brings together collections of English, European, and American period furnishings, arts, garden accents, vintage jewelry, and beyond—mostly from the 17th to 20th centuries.
Get Sporty at the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic
The Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic was canceled in 2021 and returns March 25–27, 2022.
The Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic is an exhibition of all things outdoors, taking place at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in the state capital of Columbia each year. Featuring numerous exhibitors, this hunting, fishing, and outdoor show on March 27-29, 2020, includes family-oriented displays and activities that people of all ages can enjoy.
Other attractions at this annual event include Nature Nick's Animal Adventures, a fast-paced wildlife show that includes a 10-foot python and a Eurasian Eagle owl; Jim Vitaro's Hawg Trough, a 5,000-gallon mobile fish tank; and the State Duck Calling Contest, Junior Contest, and Champion of Champions Contest.
Take the Tour of Homes and Gardens in Savannah
The Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens was canceled in 2021.
One of the many Southern home tours across the region, the annual Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens offers visitors the chance to tour a diversity of private homes and gardens in different Savannah neighborhoods.
Each day, you'll see a new area of Savannah’s Downtown Historic District and visitors may enjoy self-guided tours in any order at a comfortable individual pace. It's a good idea to book tickets early online as tour groups fill up fast, especially during spring break.