Spring is in the air! The Spring Equinox occurs March 20, and that means it’s time to bid farewell to the blizzards and get ready for a change of season. And since the Philadelphia area is in close proximity to the mountains, the beach and just about everything in between, there’s no shortage of destinations worth visiting for the season change. Read on for five places to go to celebrate the beginning of the spring season, all within a three-hour drive of the City of Brotherly Love.

Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens gives visitors a taste of spring year round, but it will be especially appreciated after a long, cold winter. This Kennett Square horticultural display spans 1,077 acres, with beautiful woodlands, meadows and 40 indoor and outdoor gardens covered in 11,000 types of plants. An orchid extravaganza is on display through the month of March, and concerts, fountains, and a nighttime light and sound show play year round. For information: www.longwoodgardens.org

Hershey Park

Amusement park lovers can put the winter chill behind them as they head to Hershey Park to get a jump start on roller coaster season. This famous Hershey, PA amusement park is open for business on limited dates in April for “Springtime in the Park” before it opens every weekend in May. Early birds can preview dozens of rides and coasters, as well as live shows and more. In addition, the adjoining Zoo America is also open, and it’s the perfect way to celebrate spring. For information:  www.hersheypark.com

New York City

There’s nothing like New York City in the springtime, and luckily the Big Apple is only a couple of hours drive from Philadelphia. In addition to its famous parks, museums, historical sites, shops and cafes, New York City showcases a long list of arts fairs and festivals throughout the spring season. There are also plenty of outdoor attractions to see, including the brand new $16 million SeaGlass carousel, which opened in Battery Park in November, 2015.  For information: www.iloveny.com

Cape May, NJ

Once the July 4th holiday hits, the crowds overtake the Jersey shore. But since it’s never too early to put your toes in the sand, a spring trip to the beach is a great way to kick off the new season. While there’s a wide variety of shore towns to choose from, Cape May offers many perks throughout the spring season, including boat rentals, bird observatories, and the always-free Cape May County Zoo. In addition, whale and dolphin watching trips open for the season starting in March. For information: www.capemay.com

Related: Top Places to See Spring Flowers

Bushkill Falls

Located in the Pocono Mountains, Bushkill Falls is one of Pennsylvania’s most popular attractions, and it’s not hard to see why. Dubbed “The Niagara of Pennsylvania,” this scenic site is home to eight amazing waterfalls which can be seen from the wooded trails that run though the Poconos. Hiking trails vary in length, ranging from the short Green Trail to the two-mile Red Trail. In addition to exploring the beauty of Bushkill Falls, visitors can stop at the Pennsylvania Wildlife Museum, which sits at the entrance to the park. There’s also several souvenir shops and places to eat in the area. For 2016, Bushkill Falls opens for the season on April 4. For information: www.visitbushkillfalls.com

Related: Top Budget Attractions In Philadelphia

Victoria Miller is a freelance entertainment writer who also covers recreation and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.