Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC

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Washington, District of Columbia

Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC Reviews

botew botew
4 reviews
National Cherry Blossom Festival Sep 11, 2014
The first thing that comes to mind when one mentions “Cherry Blossom” is probably the image of young and old Japanese people, sitting under pink colored Cherry trees somewhere in Japan, drinking sake and dancing to “Spring” music. I'm not here to take away that image from you, but what if I told you that you don't have to travel to Japan for this iconic flower viewing? Cue the drum roll please - the National Cherry Blossom Festival is held here in Washington D.C. every year. Save the cost of those plane tickets for a hotel room instead!

Ever been to Tidal Basin and wonder what those species of trees are that line the lake? (By the way, Tidal Basin is the lake/reservoir surrounded by the Jefferson Memorial et. al.) Surprise! They are all Sakuras - you would think they had grown more "patriotic" trees like Red Wood or Oak, but these Japanese Cherry were gifts from the Major of Tokyo city to thank the city of Washington (D.C.) almost 100 years ago for the friendship between the two. Cherry blossoms festival is that couple of days when these trees produce their iconic white and pink flowers. Since this is a natural phenomenon, it is rather unpredictable but falls somewhere between late March and early April. You can follow the blossom camera (a camera that points at Tidal basin) at and the official dates for the festivals (which includes a parade) and the cherry blossom on their official website. Plan your trips accordingly!

I did not participate in the parade so I can't provide any comments on that. As for the best view of the cherry blossoms, go as early as possible, preferably during the weekday. Even though I went there late Saturday morning when it was crowded with tourists, the overall experience was still great; the area was huge, and everybody had a spot of their own to sit down and enjoy the petals. I saw people picnic at the park, but remember that alcohol is most likely prohibited and you won't be able to enjoy your sake here.

When the trees are in bloom, the usual tidal basin is transformed into an unrecognizable pinkish white background. The statue of Martin Luther King Jr. surrounded by these colors makes him look even more peaceful and heroic. For veterans of the National Mall, this is going to be a unique twist to a well-known landscape. This is a free event; just head straight towards Jefferson Memorial or Martin Luther King Jr. memorial for this rare occurrence.
Sakura petals liter Tidal Basin du…
National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Jefferson Memorial during National…
Cherry Blossom!
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Jesskate Jesskate
3 reviews
Must see when in DC May 03, 2011
If you r lucky enough to be in washington DC in the cherry blossom season you should take the time go and check it out. I found the best time was mid afternoon then have a nice picnic dinner under the trees or on the steps of the monument. It's about a 5-10min walk from the mall and can be a little crazy with traffic but worth it.
Ashley_L_Mack Ashley_L…
8 reviews
Cruise around DC's Tidal Basin May 09, 2008
We took an English Tea Buffet cruise/tour around the tidal basin of DC during the cherry blossom season in April '08. Our Boat, Celebrity, had two levels and plenty of window seating. The upper seating level was surrounded by the clear, plastic rain guards when we went, so picture taking in that room would not be ideal. Since it did not rain, though it was cold, we went out onto the deck and were able to get some good views of some of the monuments, Reagan Airport, the DC Yards, FT. Mcnair, the new Nationals Baseball Park, and the Tidal Basin. The buffet service included various sandwich squares (cream cheese and tuna), sliced ham, scones, jam, miso soup, a tomato soup, various cookies, and, of course, tea, coffee, and a cash bar. The sandwiches were interesting (I've never had a cream cheese sandwich before), and I definitely would not recommend this cruise for the food. I think the people on the cruise were using the buffet as a dinner, and, unfortunately, the staff was very slow to replace the food, being cold by the time we got it. It was a very laid back environment for mingling and relaxing, very quiet on the upper level as it was away from the bar. Definitely not a romantic cruise, though it wasn't intended to be. The boat moved very steadily and easily, and I was able to get some beautiful pictures of DC. As far as cost for tourists are concerned, I'd probably just walk or bike or blade around DC for free next year, but for someone living in the area it might be worth taking the cruise once.
Cherry Blossom season ~ April.
Capital in the background.
Fort McNair is home to the Nationa…
Andy99 Andy99
623 reviews
Cherry Blossom Time in Washington Apr 17, 2007
No experience of Washington, DC, can be complete without seeing the annual Cherry Blossom display. Each spring since 1912, the Japanese cherry trees have bloomed along the Tidal Basin. The original 3,000 cherry trees were a gift from Japan. A few of the original trees survive today. The beautiful display of pink and white blossoms is best enjoyed by a walk around the Tidal Basin.

The best time to view the trees is as close as possible to their peak bloom, usually sometime in late March to mid-April. The National Park Service publishes the estimated time for their blossoming. (Se the web site posted above.) But, you have to be quick. A late cold snap or thunderstorm could bring a sudden end to the spectacle. Traffic is impossible during cherry blossom season and parking nonexistent. The best way to view them is to take Metro to the Smithsonian station and exit at Independence Avenue, next to the Department of Agriculture building. Then, walk up Independence Avenue, across 14th Street, and on up to Maine Avenue. On the corner, you'll see the Washington Monument off to the right with blossoms below it. Directly ahead is the Tidal Basin.

A pathway leads all around the Tidal Basin. To the left, the path leads over Outlet Bridge and then to the West Basin and the Jefferson Memorial. This is an opportunity to visit the Jefferson Memorial if you have not seen it before. (Or, maybe not, as the crowds are large there.) Paddle boats can be rented to venture out on the Tidal Basin and view the blossoms while afloat.

To the right, the path leads over Kutz Bridge, along Independence Avenue again, to West Potomac Park. West Potomac Park is a favorite lunchtime destination at this time of year. Office workers, visitors, and families are all here to take in the sight and enjoy lunch amid the cherry trees. At this point you are on the opposite side of the Tidal Basin from the Jefferson Memorial. The path leads on past more trees to Inlet Bridge, completing the circle to the Jefferson Memorial. A Japanese stone lantern and a stone pagoda along the way compliment the scene.

A free printed trail guide provided by the National Park Service can be picked up at several points along the chery blossom path. Park rangers also give frequent interpretive tours of the blossom area.

The flowering cherry trees are found not only along the Tidal Basin, but also around the Washington Monument and on Capitol Hill.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the arrival of the blossoms with theme parades, food, music, and performances. Chery Blossom Festival web site:
Reflecting Pool
One of the original 1912 trees in …
Blossoms around the Washington Mon…
Cherry Blossom Close-up
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Cho says:
I was in Washington DC several times in the 1990's but never during the Cherry blossom season. Would have loved to see them!
Posted on: Mar 15, 2013
sUrAbUyA says:
Each photo was prettier than the last one so just had to smile at all of them!
Posted on: Mar 29, 2011
jethanad says:
Hi Andy - very good writeup indeed. I put something similar on VT , this year I hope to be there on April 1, 2010
Posted on: Mar 24, 2010
adventuremann adventur…
26 reviews
Apr 04, 2007
Every year in the Spring, the nation's capital experiences the beauty of the tender blossoms of its Japanese Cherry trees. The delicate beauty of these flowers creates a lovely white and pink frame to the white marble monuments that make Washington, DC so distinctive. This year the Japanese Cherry trees are blooming March 28-April 15, 2007. The peak bloom is on April 3-5.

The trees in bloom are mostly found around the Tidal Basin, but also around the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument. They look almost as if an impressionist painter decided to touch up a post-card of the Monuments and added soft, delicate flowers to the base of the monuments. As the official website boasts: "The 2007 festival marks the 95th celebration of the original gift of the 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington, DC in 1912."

In addition to the blossoms themselves, Washington, DC puts on a whole festival. A fireworks show is put on on April 7, and a parade happens on April 14. The crowds visiting this area can be quite large, and traffic can snarl up for a long time. The best way to visit the festival is to take the Metro to the Smithsonian station and walk from there.

There are many large, grassy areas for families to have picnics, open spaces to play frisbee, and walkways among the trees to enjoy the blooms. You can even rent a paddle boat and float along the Tidal Basin surrounded by the trees and monuments.
Cherry Blossoms around the Tidal B…
The crowds enjoy the blooming Cher…
Cherry Trees in bloom in Washingto…
Gabriel posing in front of the Che…
jethanad says:
another good way is to walk from Arlington Cemetry, bit longer but more picturesque
Posted on: Mar 24, 2010
jennjeff1 jennjeff1
143 reviews
Apr 04, 2003
Each Spring the City of Washington, DC comes alive with a sea of white and pink blossoms opening from over over 3,000 cherry trees of 12 varieties around the Jefferson Memorial Tidal Basin. Ever since the famous exchange of Japanese Cherry Trees for American Dogwoods in 1912, millions have made the pilgrimage to DC to see if they can experience the "peak" of the budding blossoms. Exactly when the buds will open is not an easy question to answer, but the National Park Service Regional Horticulturalist is in charge of forecasting the event based upon the weather forecast, and close inspection to determine the stage of bud development in February. Most years the peak happens between late/mid-March and early/mid-April. The colors are spectacular and it can become crowded if the weather is nice and the blooms are out. Recommend taking the Metro to the Smithsonian stop and definitely bring a camera!
4 April 2003 Washington, DC, Japan…
4 April 2003 Washington, DC, Japan…
4 April 2003 Washington, DC, Japan…
4 April 2003 Washington, DC, Japan…
scubagirl76 says:
I got to see this during an 8th grade field trip, a long looong time ago!
Posted on: Feb 18, 2008
mellemel8 says:
this is what am talking :)
Posted on: Feb 17, 2008
jennjeff1 jennjeff1
143 reviews
Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC on 22 March 2000 Mar 22, 2000
This was our first time to go downtown to see the Japanese cherry blossoms in full bloom in Washington, DC. There were also many people flying kites and one boy who thought he was Indiana Jones in a Raider's of the Lost Arc movie. The area around the Tidal Basin has litterally hundreds of Japanese cherry trees of different types, shades and colors. This is by far the best time of the year to visit Washington, DC if you can time it right. The best and most experienced predicitons for peak blooming comes from the expert at the US Park Service. See the website by the National Park Service for the official history of the cherry trees in Washington, DC and predictions for peak blossoms.
Washington, DC Japanese Cherry Blo…
Washington, DC Japanese Cherry Blo…
Washington, DC Japanese Cherry Blo…
Washington, DC Japanese Cherry Blo…
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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