In April, we eagerly shed our winter gear, welcome the warm weather and breathe in the balmy spring air. Dogwood festivals across the country are a way to get together with family and friends and celebrate the arrival of spring. From large events to small town gatherings, you’ll find a Dogwood festival to suit your adventurous spirit.
1. Atlanta Dogwood Festival
Head to Piedmont Park for the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. One of the largest in the country, it is known for its art exhibitions and juried art exhibition. More than 200 artists participate in the Fine Artist Market showcasing traditional paintings and photographs as well as wood and leather goods, as well as pottery, jewelry, glass, and more. Another highlight of the event is the two performance stages which offer non-stop live music. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is scheduled for early April.
Where to stay: Gracious Southern hospitality, fine furnishings and a short walk to Piedmont Park make Stonehurst Place the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate after a day at the Dogwood Festival.
Where to eat: Get the real flavor of Atlanta with a food tour. Enjoy a full meal including Low Country shrimp and grits with drink pairings on this Atlanta food and cocktail tour.
Pro tip: Use public transport. MARTA is the most convenient way to get to and from the festival. Parking near Piedmont Park will be very difficult.
2. Dogwood Arts Festival
Join the flower festival at the Knoxville Dogwood Arts Festival which takes place in mid-April. Located in the heart of downtown Knoxville, the festival is a celebration of fine art, live music and fun for young and old.
Just in time for the spring bloom, Knoxville’s Dogwood Trails invite you to enjoy over 85 miles of scenic walking and biking trails.
Where to stay: The Tennessean Hotel offers luxurious Southern hospitality with the convenience of a downtown address near great restaurants, pubs and shopping. It is the ideal place to rest after a day of festivities.
Where to eat: The central service station rotates more than three dozen food trucks, ensuring the selection changes daily and offers a variety of unique culinary creations for foodie fanatics. Their online calendar lists ‘trucks of the day’, so you won’t miss your favorite fix of food.
Pro tip: World’s Fair Park, home of the 1982 World’s Fair, in downtown Knoxville is anchored by the Sunsphere. The newly renovated Sunsphere has 26 floors, and the fourth-floor observation deck shows off the city and surrounding Smoky Mountains with 360-degree views.
3. Fayetteville Dogwood Festival
Fayetteville, North Carolina
The Fayetteville Dogwood Festival is scheduled for the end of April. It kicks off Friday night with a series of concerts that runs all weekend with local bands. Saturday and Sunday there is a midway with carnival rides, arts and crafts, a car show and lots of food. If you’re looking for an old-fashioned festival, this is it.
Where to stay: If you love nature but need a step above camping, try glamping. Find great camping and glamping options with HipCamp. No need to pack your gear. Find one where you can bring your toothbrush and everything else is already waiting for you.
Where to eat: For traditional Southern dining, try the Texas Roadhouse in Fayetteville. You will leave with a satisfied stomach and wallet.
Pro Tip: The US Army Airborne and Special Operations Museum brings the story of these dedicated men and women to life. The main exhibit hall begins with the 1940 US Army Parachute Test Platoon and continues with a series of events significant to current operations. It is a testimony of these highly trained soldiers.
4. Vinton Dogwood Festival
Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains is the Vinton Dogwood Festival. The festival is over 65 years old and features typical hometown events including the crowning of Vinton Dogwood Festival Queen, the Dogwood Festival Parade, a Midway Carnival, and a car show. The town of Vinton meets at the end of April for this spring festival.
Where to stay: Vinton is located just outside of Roanoke, where you can find many top-brand hotels that offer great stays for exceptional value. The Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Roanoke is centrally located for easy access to all of your Blue Ridge Mountain entertainment.
Where to eat: With an emphasis on premium Virginia-sourced produce, Alexander’s offers fine dining in an elegant, casual restaurant.
Pro Tip: Read Mountain is 253 acres of preserved natural forest which includes several hiking trails. The two-mile trail to the summit, Buzzards Rock, offers spectacular views of the Roanoke Valley.
5. Farmville Dogwood Festival
Farmville, North Carolina
The Farmville Dogwood Festival is held at the end of April in the town’s commons where you can admire the magnificent dogwood trees and azaleas in bloom. The festival features eastern North Carolina artisans, music at the town gazebo, and a carnival.
Where to stay: Find a charming log home – a dream cabin in the North Carolina woods just a few miles from town. Enjoy a relaxed and comfortable stay while visiting the Farmville area.
Where to eat: The best place to eat in Farmville is the Plank Road Steakhouse. It’s a meat-lover’s paradise, offering a 14-ounce grilled rib eye.
Pro Tip: To sample a variety of local barbecues and craft beers, take the Pitt County Brew and ‘Cue Trail. Pick up your “passport” at one of the establishments along the trail and begin your Southern pork and craft beer adventure.
6. Dogwood Festival
The Dogwood Festival in Camdenton has been around for over 70 years. Come to this Lake of the Ozarks town for the show and parade and stay for the fry! Scheduled for mid-April, you’ll love Camdenton’s hometown pride.
Where to stay: A unique Vrbo stay overlooking the Big Niangua Inlet on the Lake of the Ozarks while enjoying the views from your two bedroom home in the Sugarloaf Vineyards is the perfect Camdenton stay.
Where to eat: The Old Kinderhook’s trophy room is the perfect place to enjoy an evening meal with friends. With everything from wings and burgers to perfectly cooked steaks and seafood, you’ll be delighted by the delicious options.
Pro Tip: Step out to Ha Ha Tonka State Park, where you can hike and explore castle ruins, caves, and sinkholes. It’s always a good day to get out and breathe some fresh air.
7. Grant’s Dogwood Festival
In Pollock, Louisiana, the Grant Dogwood Festival is ready with a warm welcome and lots of southern fun. Hosting a parade, vendors, a classic car show and a fun 5K race, there’s tons of small town fun to experience.
Where to stay: Less than 20 miles down the road from Pollock is The Hotel Bentley, a grand hotel from the early 1900s in Alexandria, Louisiana.
Pro Tip: There are plenty of state parks in the area to dunk a bobber in the water and try to snag a big one.
Whether you’re looking for a big city-sponsored festival or a small local gathering, one thing’s for sure: flowering dogwood trees mean it’s time to celebrate spring and all the promise it brings.
You can also find fantastic dogwood trees (and azaleas) in East Texas; our own Janie Pace has more.
Want to see cherry blossoms too? Learn about the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC