Destination Directory

5 Wildflower Wonderlands

Spring may have sprung into summer, but it's not too late to for your groups to spot wildflowers on their tours! The colorful buds saturate desert valleys, grassland prairies and alpine meadows. Whether the itinerary promises hikes, festivals or breathtaking views en route, consider one of these five wildflower picks.


Bluebonnets abound in Brenham, one of the best areas to spot the Lone Star State flower. If your groups are traveling through The Hill Country, consider pulling over along the farm-to-market roads for groups to admire the view. Pictures are fine, but the field is private property—so no trespassing.

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Spring arrives late at Cedar Breaks National Monument, which sits at an elevation of 10,000 feet. The rim of the canyon comes alive, however, in June—with lupine, pink spring beauty, pale-purple phlox and aspen bluebells. A two-week-long Wildflower Festival begins in early July, working up to the mid-July peak season, which welcomes scarlet paintbrushes, Colorado Columbines, little sunflowers and blue fax.

Crested Butte

The "Wildflower Capital of Colorado" is a cornucopia of blue columbines, red Indian paintbrushes, golden sunflowers, purple delphiniums and dark-blue lupines. Almost any hiking trail in the National Forest will lead to colorful views, but for more direction, stop at the Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce. The town also hosts a weeklong wildflower festival in early July.

Fort Pierre National Grassland
South Dakota

The Great Plains prairies flourish with blue daisy fleabane, purple prairie clover, purple coneflower, bluebell and Eastern red columbine. The Fort Pierre National Grassland offers 116,000 acres of blooms. Your groups could enjoy the views en route, or stop and take advantage of the bountiful recreational opportunities.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Tennessee, North Carolina

Lady slipper orchids, crested dwarf irises, bleeding hearts ... The "Wildflower National Park" is home to more than 1,500 varieties of flowering plants. Summer ushers in cardinal flowers, black-eyed Susans, bee-balms, Turk's cap lilies and many more. You can find information on trails and blooms on the Great Smoky Mountains Association's website.

Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.

Photo coutesy of Brenham/Washington County Chamber-CVB.


Add comment

Security code

Recent Blogs

Generation X: Travel Trends

Once upon a time, Generation X was considered a cohort of apathetic, grungy loners blasting angry music, Today, they're working professionals and mature adults raising families. Sandwiched between the baby boomers and millennials, Gen X is sometimes considered the "Lost Generation," but they're about 68 million strong and account for 25 percent of the population—and 31 percent of total income, according to OpenForum. Gen X is at a point where they have money to spend on travel. Here are a few trends shaping their plans.

Giving Back to the Comeback City

"The only thing we ask is you love our city as much as we do," said Aaron Foley, appointed Neighborhood Storyteller for the city of Detroit and author of the book How to Live in Detroit without Being a Jackass.

Baby Boomer Travel Trends

For baby boomers, travel is, well, booming. According to the AARP 2017 Travel Trends Report, 99 percent of boomers plan to take at least one leisure trip this year, with an average of five or more trips. But why do they want to travel, and where do they want to go? The report uncovered several trends.