Every year, mother nature puts on a vibrant display of beauty in Washington, D.C. when the cherry blossom trees bloom and line the Tidal Basin with delicate pale pink and white flowers for a few weeks every spring. This event draws thousands of tourists from around the world but luckily for us this spectacular site is only a short drive away.
This year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 20th to April 15th. The peak bloom period will almost certainly be during the festival but will officially be predicted by the National Park Service on
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a tradition that showcases the beautiful gift of 3,000 cherry trees that the city of Tokyo gave to our nation’s capital in 1912. The annual festival is a three-week, city-wide event featuring more than 200 cultural performances and special events. From arts and exhibits to cuisine and sports, there is something for everyone to enjoy!
Getting around the city during this popular event can be challenging, especially on the weekends. Parking is limited in the city, so the best way to get to the Tidal Basin and the National Mall is by public transportation.
Once you’ve arrived, the simplest way to enjoy the day is to take a stroll along the Basin and enjoy the breathtaking views of the trees and the city’s most iconic landmarks. The beautiful trees make a great background for photos so be sure to bring your camera along. The best time to walk around and avoid
the crowds is early morning or early evening. You can expect more people on weekends and when the blooms are peaking. The east side of the Tidal Basin (between the National Mall and the Jefferson Memorial) tends to get the most congested.
Aside from walking, there are so many fun ways to enjoy the beautiful blossoms and celebrate the season.
Many guided tours are offered during the Festival and offer more information and details about the trees, Festival, monuments, and area. You can see the sights on a guided trolley tour, walking tour, by bicycle, by
Segway, by DC Duck, and more. You can take a free walking tour with a National Park Service Ranger and learn about the history of the cherry blossom trees and more. Tours such as Cherry Talks/Walks, Junior Ranger
Programs, and Lantern Tours are available. You can also enjoy the beautiful views from a boat cruise. Cruises range from a 45-minute sightseeing tour to a 2.5-hour dinner. Advance reservations are recommended for all of
While viewing the blossoms you can mix in a little bit of history and culture. You can visit the monuments in sight of the cherry blossoms like the Jefferson Memorial, the National Mall, the White House, the FDR Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. All of the memorials have National Park Service programs that provide insight and history about 5 the historic sites.
For a different view of the blossoms, you can go paddle boating on the Tidal Basin. You can rent a
paddle boat for two to four passengers and enjoy the spectacular views of the cherry trees and monuments from the water. It’s also a great way for the entire family to get some exercise together. Advance reservations are recommended during the festival.
You’ll undoubtedly work up an appetite touring and paddling, and “Cherry Picks” restaurants are ready to
welcome you and continue the cherry blossom fun with special dishes featuring cherries. Cherry Picks
highlights participating metro area restaurants with creative spring menus throughout the Festival. You can try cherry dishes like pork belly confit with cherry sauce, sherry cherry crispy goat cheese salad, brie and prosciutto crostini with cherry chutney, and many more! You can also enjoy special cherry themed cocktails like black cherry punch featuring cherry infused bourbon and cherry liqueur.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is not only a celebration of spring and the beautiful blooms, but also a cultural event that honors Japanese culture. Over 200 special events and performances are held throughout the duration of the festival and showcase traditional contemporary music, dance, song and martial arts demonstrations. The stage is located at the Festival Welcome Center near the paddle boats. Daily performances will run from noon to 6 p.m. The line-up will include a wide variety of cultural offerings including vocalists, bands, dancers, drum performances, exhibitions, and more.
If you decide to make your day trip an overnight trip, many area hotels offer special cherry blossom-themed
packages which may include discounts, a free bloominspired cocktail, chocolates, meals, or more.
For more information, call the festival hotline at (877) 44-BLOOM or visit the official website at
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