April, one of the most delightful months to visit the Southeast, abounds with flower festivals, garden tours, food and wine events and many other fun ways to enjoy spring. From Atlanta's favorite springtime tradition, The Dogwood Festival, to Virginia's popular Historic Garden Week and the Natchez Spring Pilgrimage, here are several featured events to enhance your spring visit to our beautiful region of the United States.
April Highlights - Festivals and Events
- Spring Food Festivals
Enjoy local specialties from fresh seafood to, smoked barbecue and local produce and more at one of these featured spring food-themed festivals.
- Atlanta Dogwood Festival
A favorite springtime tradition in the Southeast, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is a celebration of arts and entertainment. Events and activities include non-stop live entertainment, a professionally juried arts Festival featuring more than 200 top artists and craftsmen, one of the largest Frisbee Dog events in the nation, an interactive zone for kids and so much more.
- Biltmore Estate Festival of Flowers
Asheville, North Carolina
Welcome spring with a visit to Biltmore Estate during the Festival of Flowers, featuring brilliant displays of thousands of colorful tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Enjoy live music daily in the Winter Garden in Biltmore House and the Conservatory, daily seminars at A Gardener’s Place, special menu items, drinks and desserts at Biltmore restaurants, wine programs and a commemorative Festival of Flowers wine at the Winery and family friendly activities for children on Saturdays and Sundays, plus special events for Easter.
- Columbia International Festival
Columbia, South Carolina
This unique festival showcases the music, culture, food, and performing arts of the various cultures, nationalities, races, and language groups represented in South Carolina.
- Come-See-Me Festival
Rock Hill, South Carolina
This 10-day spring festival includes activities and events such as live entertainment, an annual parade, the Mayor’s Frog Jump, a Fireworks Extravaganza and more.
- Cooper River Bridge Run
Charleston, South Carolina
The annual Cooper River Bridge Run combined 10K run and walk promotes continuous physical activity and a healthy lifestyle in a unique setting, attracting a diverse crowd from across the state and beyond.
- Fayetteville Dogwood Festival
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Set amid Fayetteville's flowering dogwood trees with about 30 events, from sporting events a street festival and a classic car show, the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival offers something for everyone.
- Festival of Houses and Gardens
Charleston, South Carolina
Each Festival tour of this month long festival (beginning in March) allows visitors to explore seven to ten properties dating from the American colonial period, through the antebellum and Victorian years of architecture, to the early 20th century in 11 colonial and antebellum neighborhoods during Charleston's peak blooming season.
- Georgia Renaissance Festival
Located just minutes south of Atlanta, Georgia near Exit 61 of I-85
The eagerly awaited Georgia Renaissance Festival features weekend spring fun (mid April - early June) including colorfully costumed performers and nonstop entertainment, a 32-acre Artisan Market, thrilling rides and games, parades, great food, jousting contests, period activities and more.
- Historic Garden Week in Virginia
Various Venues throughout Virginia
Dozens of tours highlight four centuries of Virginia architecture, horticulture, interior design and history throughout the Commonwealth.
- Inman Park Spring Festival and Tour of Homes
This Atlanta neighborhood festival and home tour, held during the last full weekend in April each year, features Atlanta's biggest street market, an arts and crafts show, a popular parade lead by the Inman Park Butterfly, live entertainment, food and beverage vendors, activities for kids and more.
- The Kentucky Derby Festival and Thunder Over Louisville
Kentucky's largest annual event features close to 70 events in the few weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby, including the official Festival opening event, Thunder Over Louisville featuring a dazzling daytime air show and a mega fireworks show in the evening.
- Masters Tournament
One of golf's four majors, the Masters is played every year during first full week in April at Augusta National Golf Club.
- Mount Vernon Spring Festivals and Events
Mount Vernon, Virginia
Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate in Alexandria, Virginia presents several fun festivals and special events each year during the spring and summer.
- Natchez Spring Pilgrimage
Thirty antebellum mansions, most of them private residences, open their doors to visitors during this five-week Pilgrimage every spring from mid-March to mid-April. Costumed family friends and descendants of the original owners are knowledgeable guides and each house is unique with 18th and 19th century furnishings, porcelain, silver, clothing, tools, documents and diaries.
- Norfolk NATO Festival
This annual festival, formerly known as the Norfolk International Azalea Festival, celebrates NATO with an array of popular events including parades, NATOFest (a free festival) and much more. In past years, one NATO member nation has been selected to serve as the Most Honored Nation. In 2011, the Festival begins a new tradition of honoring all NATO nations as whole.
- North Carolina Azalea Festival
Wilmington, North Carolina
Showcasing Wilmington's wonderful gardens, artwork, history and culture and all things Southern, this five-day annual festival includes a parade, street fair, circus, music, homes tour and much more.
- North of Gwinnett Street (NOGS) Tour
The Garden Club of Savannah selects different private gardens each year for excellence of design, historical interest and beauty for this spring walking tour (In 2010, the tour name NOGS changed from North of Gaston to North of Gwinnett to incorporate the southernmost streets of the National Historic District.)
- Rose Show and Festival
This annual festival, held each year beginning on the fourth Friday in April, includes parades, live music, food, sporting events, arts and crafts, an elegant plantation ball, a family-oriented street dance and, of course, beautiful roses.
- Savannah Music Festival
One of the largest music festivals in the Southeast, this annual musical marathon beginning in March and continuing into April showcases indigenous music from the Deep South, originally conceived chamber music and internationally renowned musicians performing a diverse range of musical styles including symphonic music, blues, jazz, gospel, chamber music, bluegrass, rock, international music and dance styles.
- Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
Each year the citizens of Winchester, located in the picturesque and historic Shenandoah Valley, welcome spring with one of the oldest civic celebrations in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The city is draped in pink, white and green bunting for the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, which features more than thirty events (April into May) including dances, band competitions, one of the largest Firefighters' Parades in the world and much more.
- Spring Celebration at Callaway Gardens
Pine Mountain, Georgia
Each of the Spring Celebration weeks features activities for enjoying the natural beauty and breathtaking spring blossoms at Callaway Gardens. Hands-on activities, educational experiences, guided hikes and much more offer spring fun at its best for all ages.
- Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival
Cary, North Carolina
Situated in a park with winding trails, a lake and more, this annual festival showcases arts and crafts plus entertainment and special family friendly fun.
- Spring FUN Break - Stone Mountain Park
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Head for Crossroads at Stone Mountain Park for two weeks of spring fun for kids of all ages including popular characters, a 4D movie experience, the Fun Zone for face painting, balloon artists, crafts and more.
- Summerville Family YMCA Flowertown Festival
Summerville, South Carolina
This three-day festival features over 200 national artists and crafters, live entertainment, a Children's Jubilee, Taste of Summerville and more. It is one of the largest free outdoor festivals in the Southeast.
- Twilight Criterium and Festival
The Twilight Criterium attracts a crowd of over 30,000 spectators as well as some of cycling's top racing stars to the streets of Athens, Georgia each year. It is a favorite spot on the national cycling tour circuit, both for its unique evening format and a full range of festival activities.
- Virginia Arts Festival
Various Venues from Williamsburg to Virginia Beach
This annual Virginia festival features artists from around the world in classical music, dance, theater, world music, jazz, chamber music and more. A popular signature event of the festival is the Virginia International Tattoo (see below).
- Virginia International Tattoo
Renowned for its patriotic pageantry and spirit, this annual spectacle features hundreds of artists in marching bands, massed pipes and drums, military drill teams Celtic dance performances and much more in the largest Tattoo in the United States.
More Southeast U.S. April Events from About.com's City and Travel Guides
- Atlanta, Georgia - Calendar of Events
- Charlotte, North Carolina - Calendar of Events
- Florida Travel - April Events
- Huntsville, Alabama - April Events
- Little Rock, Arkansas - April Events
- Louisville, Kentucky - Calendar of Events
- Miami Travel - April Events
- Memphis, Tennessee - April Events
- Nashville, Tennessee - April Events
- New Orleans Travel - April Events
- Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina - Calendar of Events