8 Things to Do This Spring Across North CarolinaAirlie Gardens in Wilmington is a sight to behold in spring, including the events held here during the North Carolina Azalea FestivalIf winter felt unusually harsh, spring’s arrival seems long overdue. Experience the season in North Carolina and you’ll find it was worth the wait. Here are eight ways to enjoy the sunnier days and warmer nights.Walk the Wildflower Trails North Carolina’s mountain wildflowers are nearly as famous as the fall foliage. Color unfolds from March to June with a sequence of trout lilies and violets, trillium and lady slippers, and azaleas, mountain laurel and rhododendron. Pick up well-known trails at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain and Chimney Rock. And east of the mountains, discover a surprising wealth of wildflowers at Raven Rock State Park in Lillington and the amazing Flower Hill Nature Preserve near Clayton.Get Lost in Gardens Every garden has a story, and North Carolina’s are epic. At Biltmore, which welcomes spring with Biltmore Blooms (March 19 - May 26, 2016), George Vanderbilt, Frederick Law Olmsted and horticulturalist Chauncey Beadle created a dazzling array of formal and informal gardens. At Sarah P. Duke Gardens, for more than 75 years, dramatic plantings in world-class designs reach the height of beauty in spring. The gardens of Tryon Palace cover two-and-a-half centuries of history with marigolds and celosia representing the Colonial era. And for more intimate vignettes, tour private gardens during the North Carolina Azalea Festival (April 6-10, 2016), Wilmington’s showcase of Southern pageantry at its finest.Root for the Home Team There’s nothing like baseball fresh from the farm, and North Carolina teams have helped cultivate an heirloom crop of players, including Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones and Miguel Cabrera. The Charlotte Knights have led the minor leagues in home game attendance each of last two seasons, since moving to BB&T Ballpark in the heart of the city. More than 700,000 fans turned out to the Uptown stadium last year, intrigued by the beautiful skyline, good food and good beer, from April to September. The Durham Bulls are also well-known for their venerable ballpark, where special promotions include $1 Concessions, Kids Run the Bases and Friday Night Fireworks. And in Asheville, Hickory, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Kannapolis and Zebulon, ballparks score with one-of-a-kind experiences. Bring a baseball for autographs.See Stars Under the Stars Throughout spring, music lovers will have no trouble finding jams and performances under the sun and stars. Fans travel to Merlefest (April 28 - May 1, 2016) from far and near to celebrate the late Doc Watson’s generous definition of traditional music. The four-day festival in Wilkesboro is one of the country’s largest and best-loved, and this year’s lineup includes John Prine, Jason Isbell, Dave Rawlings Machine, Brandi Carlisle, The Wood Brothers and dozens more. Music and craft beer come together in Huntersville for the North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival on May 6 and 7. Music also pairs well with barbecue, the main course at Lexington’s BBQ Capital Cook-Off (April 22-23, 2016), Goldsboro’s Pig in the Park (April 9, 2016), Eden’s Oink & Ale (May 14, 2016) and Edenton’s Hogfest (June) — all stellar experiences.Toast Craft Beer Throughout April, celebrate North Carolina Beer Month, which connects the dots on the brewery map and destinations where beer culture thrives. Travelers can cross from the mountains to the coast to find signature festivals (World Beer Festival Raleigh, April 2, 2016; Hickory Hops, April 16, 2016), commemorative events (Weeping Radish's 30th Anniversary Celebration, April 8-9, 2016; Pisgah Brewing Company's Anniversary Party, April 17, 2016), collaboration beers and new releases, beer dinners, travel packages and one-of-a-kind experiences. With more than 150 breweries and brewpubs, North Carolina is the state of Southern beer.Celebrate Bud Break The first sign of the wine to come is the swelling of the buds on the vine. The sight itself inspires celebration, and vineyards across North Carolina’s expansive wine-growing region welcome visitors to see the vines awaken. The Budbreak Wine Festival, April 30, 2016 in Mount Airy features vineyards from within and beyond the Yadkin Valley wine region, and seasonal events return to Raffaldini, Childress, Zimmerman and other wineries. Meanwhile, newer to the scene, JOLO Winery at Pilot Mountain and Jones vonDrehle Vineyards in Thurmond are approaching their second anniversaries.Make a Big Splash By the end of April, coastal waters feel welcoming even to people without wetsuits, and stand-up paddleboards dot the surf and sounds along the 320-mile shoreline. SUP attracts more first-time participants than any other outdoor sporting activity, and North Carolina makes an ideal destination for both novices and champions. The Carolina Cup, April 19-24, 2016, at Wrightsville Beach has grown from local happening to international event. And with plentiful lakes and rivers, the state has developed inland strongholds including Lake Norman, Charlotte (at the U.S. National Whitewater Center) and Asheville.Set Your Pace and Pedal If your two-wheeler has missed you all winter, make up for lost time this spring. Just choose your terrain — from a rugged mountain climb to an easy coastal route — and expect a scenic journey. Organized rides lay out possibilities, whether you participate or take the route on your own. Try the Burnsville Metric on April 30 or the Tour de Lure on April 2, which offers a gentler 23-mile ride if you’re not up for the hilly 71-miler. Explore Charlotte’s trails, paths and commuter routes at the Tour de Charlotte on March 19, which has options for competitors. Or hit the coast for the third annual Outer Banks Duathlon on April 30, featuring a 20-mile ride through the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge, which includes the historic Bodie Island Lighthouse and Oregon Inlet.More FROM VISITNC.COMThere’s much to see and do in North Carolina, so read on.10 Beautiful Places to Visit Across North CarolinaThere are countless natural wonders throughout North Carolina, and you have to look no further than the beauty of our state and national parks this summer.Romantic, Food and Adventure Tours of North CarolinaExplore the cities and towns in our state on these fun tours, showcasing everything from beer and food, yoga and waterfalls, to wild horses and ghosts.Play, Eat, Stay, Repeat at These Fun-Filled AttractionsFrom theme parks and casinos to amenity-filled resorts and an overnight winery, you can stay where you play at these North Carolina destinations.8 Fun Activities to Get Your Kids OutdoorsBreak your kids away from the TV and visit one of North Carolina’s state and national parks, where they’ll be surprised to find thrills of a lifetime.