Each spring, D.C.’s cherry blossoms explode in a gorgeous display of pastel colored fireworks. With the weather being uncharacteristically warm this winter, our unique and distinctive blossoms will be making an earlier than anticipated appearance this year! Set to start blooming by March 22, there isn’t much time to plan where to see the stunning trees. And with peak bloom period lasting only a few days, now is the time to decide when and where to see them.
The Tidal Basin
Near the Jefferson Memorial, this is the most famous place to see the cherry blossoms and where you’ll see them most prominently. Be prepared to share space with the hordes of people that will be walking alongside you and snapping selfies with the thousands of trees gifted to us by Japan over 100 years ago.
Photo: ben Goodnight via Flickr
The Potomac River
Yes, the Potomac River! Skip the crazy crowds and get creative by viewing the cherry blossoms from a boat on the Potomac River. The kids will love it and you’ll actually get to enjoy the experience instead of being stressed out about navigating strollers and tiny tots. Both , and offer Cherry Blossom tours. If the weather is nice, you can also steer the boat yourselves and go for a jaunt on a .
Photo: Guiomar Ochoa
Kenwood is a beautiful neighborhood in Bethesda, MD between Little Falls Parkway and River Road and its streets are lined with over 1,000 Yoshino cherry trees. There are a few areas where you’ll see people prepping for picnics and even a playground for kids to play in. Kenwood gets crowded as well but it’s definitely not as crazy as the Tidal Basin and you can support independent ice cream trucks or elementary school lemonade stands and bake sales while you’re strolling along.
Online: DC Gardens
Another, quieter alternative to the Tidal Basin is Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown. If you’ve never been to DO, you definitely won’t be disappointed. Dumbarton Oaks is a fifty-three-acre property at the highest point of Georgetown. It was purchased by the Bliss family in 1920. For thirty years, Mildred Bliss and renowned landscape gardener, Beatrix Farrand designed every detail of the illustrious gardens. A handful of large cherry trees reside in Dumbarton Oaks and usually bloom a little bit later than the ones on the Mall. While you’re there, make sure to also see the stunning Japanese Plum trees and Tulip Magnolias. The gardens will be undergoing major renovations from July 2017-March 2018 and will be closed to the public, so go soon!
Photo: Via Tsuji via Flickr
The National Arboretum is a quiet, ideal place to not only see cherry trees but also learn about other flowers and plants. It’s free to visit and there’s ample free parking. ‘Okame‘ and ‘First Lady’ cherry trees are already in bloom but you can find several varieties of Cherry Blossom trees throughout the arboretum. If you really want to make this an educational experience for yourself and the kids, use the arboretum’s !