Michigan may not be the first place most people think of when they imagine “places with incredible flower festivals”, but they’d be remiss to ignore some of the best flower festivals that happens anywhere around the globe. Michigan is surrounded by the beautiful Great Lakes, which means receive lots of beautiful sunshine, warm breezes, and plentiful rain, making it a fantastic growing region for all things that blossom and bud. Here are five of my favorite Michigan flower festivals that happen around the state, and why you can’t miss them.
The best part of all of these Michigan flower festivals? Every single one is completely free to enjoy!
Tulip Time Festival in Holland, MI
Dates: May 2nd, 2020 – May 10th, 2020
I absolutely adore this festival, because to me it heralds the arrival of spring and warmer weather, and an end to our long, bitter winters. The city of Holland and dozens of volunteers celebrate their Dutch heritage by planting more than 5 million tulip bulbs every fall (yes, MILLION!), and they bloom beautifully at the beginning of May every year. Purchase prints of my Tulip Time photos by clicking here.
I’ve written lots about the festival, which you can read below:
Pro-tip: Head to the Holland Farmers Market during the festival to purchase beautiful, freshly cut flowers like Snapdragons, Sweet Peas, Lilacs, and more. I always bring a market basket with me and do some grocery shopping as well, the first crops of the season are always so delicious!
**Be careful not to damage or pick any tulips, there’s a hefty fine if you do!
Dates: June 5th-14th 2020
2019 was my first year writing about Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island, and it was such a joy to experience it through my camera and share it with all of you. Not only were the lilacs blooming beautifully, but there were also dozens of other flowers in full bloom all at once, like tulips, daisies, begonias, cosmos, snapdragons, sweetpeas, geraniums, ornamental onions, crab apples, pink bleeding hearts, daffodils, zinnias, and even uncommon red trilliums. Other flowers like dahlias were also brought to the island and planted, meaning that there is a vast array of different flower varieties growing on the island during the festival.
Explore my guide to Lilac Festival here.
Cherry Blossoms in Traverse City
Dates: Variable, see below
As a rule of thumb, the best time to visit Traverse City to see the cherry blossoms is late may to mid-June, but this can very. It’s best to go by when the lilacs are blooming on Mackinac Island, because both seem to happen simultaneously, year after year. You can watch Traverse City’s Facebook Page for updates on the cherry blossoms in the springtime in order to more successfully plan a trip to see them. This year they were in full bloom the week of June 12th, 2019.
Dates: Memorial Day – Summer Solstice
While not technically an official festival, peony season in Ann Arbor is a splendid sight to behold. Enjoy a leisurely promenade through the Peony Garden of Nichols Arboretum at my Alma Mater, the University of Michigan. This massive field of peonies in every possible color is a beautiful spot for a picnic, reading a book or painting, or learning more about this beautiful bloom.
Dates: July 9th – 11th, 2020
If you love all things lavender, you can’t miss Michigan’s lavender festival. The entirety of Imlay City is bathed in purple as the town’s lavender bushes erupt in the magnificent color of royalty. Artisans from around the world share their lavender themed creations with festival goers, and there are even lavender themed foods and classes visitors can enjoy.
Read all about the lavender festival here.
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