Spring for Food
Most Korean food festivals take place in fall and winter, but the Nonsan Strawberry Festival (in late March/early April) near Daejeon is one of a few outliers. Visitors can make jam and pick their own strawberries to eat or put away in their bags for later. On the East Coast, there's the Yeongdeok Snow Crab Festival, with samples of everyone’s favorite crustacean on display. Korea’s second city, Busan, hosts the Gwangalli Eobang Festival (at the end of April) by the beach, where visitors can catch fish barehanded or join a cooking contest.
Breathe in the Bamboo
You’ll occasionally find bamboo forests in cities throughout Korea, but Damyang has the biggest plot of land dedicated to the tall, woody perennials. The South Jeolla Province city near Gwangju holds an annual Bamboo Festival in May that will lead you through its two-kilometer (1.2-mile) forest. The forest’s oxygen levels are posted outside for those who are curious, as bamboo is known to produce considerably more oxygen than the carbon dioxide that it absorbs. Cycle around town and seek out some delicious tteok galbi (minced beef) before walking through Damyang’s metasequoia forest.
Miracles by the Sea
Near the end of April, an interesting phenomenon takes hold in the country’s southwest corner. Extreme low tide creates a temporary walkway from mainland Jindo Island to a nearby island, and visitors cram the new land to partake in the erupting festivities. Known as the Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival, this hugely popular festival hosts events surrounding the sea, including events that let participants eat and cook the island’s famed abalone (sea snails). Once you see one of Jindo’s cute, husky-like dogs, you’ll face a new challenge—trying not to take one home.