Those planning a summer vacation in the U.S., have plenty of special, enriching events to enjoy in various parts of the country.
Here are more than a dozen events –just some of what's on tap for the summer--arranged chronologically. These festivals have made the American Bus Association's Top 100 Events In North America list this year or in years past. Festivals can be cancelled or changed to other dates. Always check with organizers before making travel plans. Some events are free; others have fees. For details, visit the festival's website.
May 13-22: Prefer lilacs? Head for Rochester, N.Y. for the annual Lilac Festival, where they showcase more than 1,200 bushes with 500 varieties of this beautiful flower at Highland Park. Other events include an art show, parade, 5K and 10K races. Visit www.lilacfestival.com.
May 27-June 12: It is literally time to stop and smell the flowers at the Rose Festival in Portland, Oregon. Festival centerpiece is a Grand Floral Parade with all-floral floats, equestrian units, and bands. Visit www.rosefestival.org.
May 27-29: Little Rock, Arkansas sets the scene for the annual Riverfest, a celebration of visual and performing arts. The festival features six stages for performances, visual artists, children's activities, food vendors and fireworks. Visit www.riverfestarkansas.com.
May 30 (Memorial Day) to Oct. 1: The Quilt Gardens Tour of Amish Country in Elkhart, Indiana combines the artistry of quilting and gardening in 18 official gardens with unique "sewn" patterns. Visit www.QuiltGardensTour.com.
June 9-12: The Country Music Association's CMA Music Fest in Nashville, Tenn. features more than 100 hours of live music and autograph signings by artists. Visit www.cmaworld.com.
June 30-July 2: The Mountain State Art & Craft Fair in Ripley, W.V. is a juried heritage arts and crafts event showcasing the work of more than 150 artisans. Demonstrations and live music are also planned. Visit www.msacf.com.
June 30-July 4: Hannibal, Mo. Celebrates The National Tom Sawyer Days to honor its most famous native son, Mark Twain. Family-friendly activities, like the National Fence Painting Competition with kids whitewashing a fence, are right out of the pages of Twain's books. Visit http://www.hannibaljaycees.org.
June 30-July 4 and July 7-11: The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and features programs on the Peace Corps, Colombia and Rhythm & Blues. Admission is free. Visit www.festival.si.edu. While in the nation's capital, visitors may wish to check out the Independence Day Celebrations including a parade, fireworks and free concert on July 4. For information on Washington, D.C. visit www.destinationdc.com.
June 30-July 4: Boston, Mass. marks Independence Day during Harborfest. The festival offers more than 200 events including re-enactments, walking tours, and Chowderfest for sampling of delectable concoctions. Visit www.bostonusa.com.
July 8-10: The Montana Folk Festival is one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious celebration of the arts. Honoring the roots, richness and variety of American culture, the festival presents music, dance, storytelling, crafts, parades, demonstrations, regional and ethnic foods, and children's activities. Visit www.montanafolkfestival.com.
July 21-24: The Civil War 150th Commemoration Anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas, kicks off this Sesquicentennial celebration in Manassas, Virginia. The event showcases re-enactments, parades, as well as live Civil War period music with dance instructors, exhibits and interpreters. Log on to www.visitmanassas.org.
July 29-Aug. 7: Dodge City Days brings the heritage of Dodge City, Kansas to life with more than 50 events including a country music concert, craft show, barbecue contest and much more. Visit www.dodgecitydays.com.
For additional information on these and other American Bus Association Top 100 Events, visit www.buses.org.