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Pleasant activities in and around Stuttgart in Spring
Europe's largest Spring beer festival occurs in late April to early May at the Cannstatter Wasen fairgrounds. The large 5000 person beer tents have live entertainment, Swabian food, and liters of local beer. There are lots of rides and games for children, and traditional food like sugar-coated almonds and large lebkuchen hearts. A nice day for the whole family.
Wilhelma is Europe's largest combination zoo-botanical garden set amidst the wonderful Moorish architecture of this former palace. The blooming magnolia trees in Europe's largest magnolia grove are a delight to the eyes as is the other landscaping. The Amazon house is particularly nice containng lovely landscaping and plants and animals from this region. Besides the normal zoo animals, there are fish, insects and farm animals. A pleasant way to spend a day!
A boat trip down the Neckar River on the Neckar-Kaept'n from the boat dock by Wilhelma is a wonderful way to spend a sunny afternoon while watching the terraced vineyards go by. Get off in Marbach and explore the poet Schiller's birthplace and take the S-bahn back to Stuttgart.
Go to a restaurant with a multi-page special asparagus menu and enjoy this
seasonal speciality in either the white or green variety. Some restaurants may have over 20 pages of asparagus dishes
Take a drive along the Rems Valley east of Stuttgart for some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, the white blooming cherry trees on the greening hillsides with their extensive vineyards. Stop at Lorch to visit the monastery and Schwaebisch Gmuend for its old town center.
These two beer gardens in the forest outside Stuttgart just to the west are enjoyable relaxing places to visit: Katzenbacherhof and Baerenschloessle at Baerensee (lake). For excellent views of Stuttgart consider the beer garden at Karlshoehe or the Teehaus in Weissenburgpark, but be prepared to do some climbing.
For 10 km starting with the Schlossplatz in front of the new palace, continuing through the palace gardens, than through Rosenstein Park with its science
museum, and on up to Hoehenpark Killesberg you can walk through continuous parks along the valley floor, up along the hillsides, finally ending on a ridge top. No streets are crossed at street level but by pedestrian bridges. Climb the double spiral stairways of the interestingly designed Killesberg tower for what I believe are the best views over Stuttgart. This park also has a flamingo pool and some animals like llamas, ponies and sheep that would appeal to young children, as well as the several kilometer long train ride. Wilhelma zoo-botanical gardens and Europe's second largest mineral baths are also along the way. Consider resting a while for refreshments at the beer garden in the middle palace garden or up above at Killesberg. A nice way to spend an entire day.
Staeffele are stairways on the steep hillsides of Stuttgart that were originally used to access the vineyards. Now, hundreds still connect the streets on the hillsides. They vary considerably in length, and some go on for blocks going a considerable height up the hillside. Many have excellent views and may have enjoyable small parks associated with them giving an island of tranquility in the middle of the city. Suenderstaffel is one such staeffele on the near east side of Stuttgart, but there are many more.
Pinguin is a Stuttgart tradition in the warmer months of the year. Climb the staeffele leading up the hillside to Eugensplatz or take the U-15 there. Their sign with the penguin is quite cute, and the ice cream good. After your purchase, walk across the street and sit under the chestnut trees by the nice Galatea fountain, one of Stuttgart's finest, and enjoy the nice views of Stuttgart. Afterwards, take the small side street up the hill turning to the right on Diemershaldenstrasse and walk along this pleasant narrow one way almost traffic-less street with its excellent views to the top of the previously described Suenderstaffel. Then, proceed down to Alexanderstrasse, turn left and then right at the next corner, where the U-bahn can again be caught. A pleasant way to end a Spring day in Stuttgart!