The first sakura trees arrived at the port of Seattle from Japan in the early 20th century. Now they can be seen in many locations throughout the city showing off their fabulous bloom from late March through early April. The first pink buds appear on the trees in early March. By March 15 the earliest varieties start blooming along the city streets. The peak bloom lasts for about two weeks from late March to early April. Then flowers fade, and green leaves begin to unfold.
Probably the most spectacular flower display takes place on the campus of the University of Washington. Hundreds of blooming trees line pathways and complement strict gothic buildings that makes campus especially beautiful. Stop by the Liberal Arts Quadrangle, it has one of the most beautiful cherry blossom displays in the country.
Seattle is a very green city with several lakefront parks where cherry blossom is simply gorgeous. If you want to see the cherry blossom in all its glory, check out Green Lake Park, one of Seattle residents' favorite spots for a spring stroll. The 2.8-mile trail around the lake is very scenic and is excellent for running, biking, and skating. Washington Park Arboretum, Mount Baker Park and Seward Park also have alleys lined with blooming sakura trees and stunning views. Jefferson Park received several dozens of cherry trees from the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Committee.
Every year, there is also The Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival taking place in the Seattle Center, at 305 Harrison St. The festival was initiated in 1976 with a gift of 1,000 cherry trees given to Seattle by Takeo Miki, the former Prime Minister of Japan. Thousands of people attend the festival to sit on the grass, eating a picnic and enjoying traditional Japanese music and dance performances.