It’s Cherry Blossom season in Washington DC!
After a winter that seemed endless this year (we had snowfall only two weeks ago, ya’ll), DC has finally entered Spring!
This is truly a special time of year.
The sky turns blue, the air gets warm, and bare tree branches suddenly burst into fluffy clouds of pink and white.
When I was living in Japan a few years ago, I visited Kyoto during sakura season. I have to admit I was a little worried that DC cherry blossoms wouldn’t quite measure up.
I shouldn’t have worried! This city takes on the most wonderful atmosphere, and the trees really are something to appreciate.
So, visitors to DC, what’s the best way to enjoy cherry blossoms?
First, time your visit right. Cherry blossoms generally bloom in late March or early April, depending on how cold the winter is. This year, the prediction had to be revised several times, and the peak time was April 6-10. I recommend visiting towards the end of the peak, when the blossoms are heavy and drooping. There is a cherry blossom cam you can consult to plan your visit accordingly.
Where are the best places to view cherry blossoms?
I recommend heading toward these areas downtown:
1. Tidal Basin– This man made reservoir is between the Potomac River and the Washington Channel. It’s completely lined with cherry blossom trees with graceful branches that skim the water. Walk around the basin and see views of the National Monument, Smithsonian, and Jefferson Memorial adorned with cherry blossoms from different angles.
2. Lafayette Park – while the White House does have a few blossoming trees in front of it, the real show is at Lafayette Park, directly across from the President’s home. This park has several gigantic trees with the most beautiful white and pink blossoms and the air carries a sweet aroma.
What to do after viewing the blossoms?
Since you’re downtown and the weather is gorgeous, I recommend sitting at one of the outdoor cafes or restaurants near the National Mall at the Hotel Washington and Willard Hotel.
On my recent visit, I went to the Occidental Cafe, and had a lovely cocktail and food as the sun went down.
Are you a fan of cherry blossoms? What seasonal nature things happen where you are in the world?