Once the first sprigs of green begin to creep up the mountainsides, folks clamber to return to the outdoors. The trails call, the gardens bloom, and the farmers markets beckon. Rejuvenation is in the fresh mountain air.

“Spring is even more impressive to fall, because my eyes are so starved for seeing green,” says Emily Copus, owner of bloom farm and shop Carolina Flowers in Marshall. “The mountains start to go green and they turn a thousand different shades of green, and it’s like watching some kind of magical unfolding of the season that feels very rich to me.”

Carolina Flowers offers bounties of tulips followed by ranunculuses each spring at Marquee, a décor and design center in the River Arts District, and Asheville City Market, one of the area’s popular farmers markets. In addition to locally grown flowers, fruits, and veggies, the market booths are laden with fresh breads, pastries, cookies, honey, meat, and goat cheese. At each one, you can harvest all the ingredients you need for a tasty picnic. Visit asapconnections.org for market locations and dates. If you don’t have time to pack a basket, Parkway Picnics arranges lavish custom outdoor experiences in scenic locales such as local parks and the Blue Ridge Parkway, a winding scenic route through the mountain dotted with overlooks, trails, and picnic areas.

This time of year, gardening inspiration is all around. The North Carolina Arboretum offers the colorful quilt garden with featured flowers in block patterns that represent the craft as well as miles of trails to admire the plentiful native wildflowers. During Biltmore Blooms starting in April, the estate is awash in the colors of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and roses, and gardening experts are on-hand to give advice and workshops. This year, the estate will share the vibrant creations of glass artist Dale Chihuly in the gallery at Amherst at Deerpark to complement nature’s outdoor show. Each May in Hendersonville, Main Street transforms into lush landscape during the Garden Jubilee, May 25 & 26, with plants, tools, birdhouses, and lawn furniture.

In keeping with the green theme, three inventive coffee shops combine the love of java with the love of plants. Grab a cortado and a cactus at Farewell Coffee, also home to Rosarina Plants; claim the corn er table surrounded by greenery at Forage coffee shop inside Flora Botanical Living; or build a bodacious bouquet at Pollen Coffee & Flower Shop.

Beyond the flowers and farms are bats and bands. The Asheville Tourists baseball team’s season kicks off in April with home games played at McCormick Field, within walking distance of downtown’s popular South Slope area with numerous restaurants and breweries. The same month, the outdoor music venue Rabbit Rabbit in downtown welcomes bands back to the stage after a winter hibernation. Concertgoers can expect great performances, food trucks serving tacos, pizza, and barbecue, craft beers, and cocktails.

You can or exercise your mind and body with a tour. A stroll (or driving tour) with Hood Huggers spotlights the places that hold stories of African Americans’ impact on this mountain town and creates conversation about the future of equity. The Asheville Architecture Trail is a self-guided exploration of signature structures, including the art deco Asheville City building, domed First Baptist Church, and the iconic Flatiron Building, that give the town its distinctive skyline and sense of history.

For a nature reset, there are a growing number of trails to trek and pedal. After an extensive two-year rehabilitation, Catawba Falls Trail in Old Fort will reopen on May 31. The 4-mile roundtrip path traces the Catawba River upstream through the forest to the main attraction, a majestic 100-foot waterfall. The Old Fort area is growing as a trail hub thanks to the G5 Trail Collective, a nonprofit fueling and funding trail transformations. West of Asheville, adventurers can walk 8 miles of beginner and intermediate trails or roll through 9 miles of biking routes, including a Berm Park at the burgeoning Chestnut Mountain Nature Park. The winding paths at the WNC Nature Center lead to wolves, bears, deer, owls, goats, and more animals in a variety of habitats. Don’t miss the playful otters and adorable, but endangered, red pandas, which have an ancient connection to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

There is even more to explore. During the Weaverville Art Safari, April 27-28, guests are invited to pop in at more than 30 studios where area artists create fine art, jewelry, pottery, glass, woodworking, and more.

After your adventures, book some time for physical and mental rejuvenation. Make your feet happy at Wake Foot Sanctuary in the Grove Arcade with a 45-minute warm soak and add on a hand and arm, lower leg and foot, or neck and shoulder massage. Go for a full reset at the Sauna House by following three simple steps, sweat in the sauna, enter the cold plunge, then relax in the lounge before repeating steps one and two. Press pause on stress at Still Point Wellness in the saltwater float tank, where your senses will get a break from the outside world.

When planning your dining experiences, add The Lobster Trap to the top of your must- try list. This restaurant was created by a Maine native and sources sustainable lobster for dishes including lobster bisque, parmesan-crusted lobster tail, and award-winning lobster macaroni and cheese. Vegans and vegetarians will find dishes to savor at most eateries, including Nine Mile (Caribbean cuisine), as well as spots that offer a full menu to fit the bill. Plant is an inspired vegan restaurant with dishes including applewood smoked mushroom and tempeh chile con queso. The iconic Laughing Seed Café has been highlighting vegetarian cuisine for more than 30 years.

Visit our Play page for more Spring activity ideas to make the most of your visit.