New England has its fall foliage, Washington DC is known for its cherry blossoms, but in my opinion, nothing compares to the strikingly beautiful Texas Bluebonnet.
Standing just over 12 inches, the Bluebonnet is a mighty big flower in the hearts of Texans. We don't need a calendar to tell us when winter is over -- it's the bluebonnets, poking their heads through the earth, blanketing roadsides and fields with their rich blue plumes, that let us know spring is really here.
All over the state, especially along highways, wildflower seeds are spread for beautification by the Texas Department of Transportation, but you'll often see civic organizations and volunteers pitching in to sow the bluebonnet love wherever a seed will take root. Peak season for blooms is usually during the first two weeks of April in Austin and the Texas Hill Country, earlier in warmer areas, and later in areas with cooler weather.
And, where there's a bluebonnet, there's a festival or special event to celebrate the blue beauties. For example:
Burnet, TX Bluebonnet Festival - Burnet is considered one of the best places in Texas for viewing wildflowers. The town officially gained recognition to the well-known fact in 1981, when the Texas State Legislature officially designated Burnet the “Bluebonnet Capital of Texas.”
Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival - The Ennis festival takes place in April, but at the time of this writing, the blooms are trending early and are already putting on a great show. Check out their website for great up-to-the-minute information on driving trails for great bluebonnet spotting. (For free brochures and more information on what to do in Ennis, visit Tour Texas.)
- Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail - Experience the "Red, White and Bluebonnets" events along the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail, offering visitors spectacular views and award-winning wines in Southeast Texas (Located between I-45 and U.S. Highway 290).