Best time to travel to Washington, D.C.

Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C.

This grandiose celebration comes to the US capital with the arrival of spring

Best time: mid-March–mid-April

Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms

The Japanese tradition of celebrating cherry blossoms has found a new home in Washington. Back in 1912 Tokyo presented the US capital with 3,000 cherry trees, and they keep delighting the crowds in the District of Columbia up to this day.

The blossom period that starts from mid-March and lasts to mid-April provides great photo opportunities at Tidal Basin, Georgetown, and the National Arboretum. More cherry trees can be found at Arlington National Cemetery.

The most spectacular display can be viewed along the Tidal Basin, near the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument. The majority of trees there belong to the Yoshino variety. Their peak blossom occurs in early April. Other species, such as Kwanzan, Akebono, and Weeping Cherry reach peak bloom about 10 days later. During the three-week Cherry Blossom Festival, you can also attend several hundred cultural events and parades at various locations.

Practical info

When does the annual celebration of spring, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, take place in Washington, D.C.?

Mid-March to mid-April are the dates when the National Cherry Blossom Festival is held in Washington, D.C. During the three-week event, the city celebrates the gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees from Tokyo in 1912, which marks the start of spring. The festival is packed with various parades and cultural activities that guests can enjoy across different locations in D.C. It's a great festival to attend for anyone who appreciates music, food, and art, as there are events for everyone to enjoy. Show more

What are some alternative locations in Washington, D.C. besides the Tidal Basin where cherry blossom trees can be found?

Visitors who want to see other cherry blossom trees can head to locations other than the Tidal Basin, such as the National Arboretum, Georgetown, and the Arlington National Cemetery. One of the highlights of the National Arboretum is its collection of cherry tree species, which is more diverse than any other location in the country. Meanwhile, Arlington National Cemetery serves as a peaceful spot where visitors can take a stroll or have a picnic under the shade of over 1,000 cherry blossom trees. Show more

Which types of cherry blossom trees can be seen around the US Capitol during the National Cherry Blossom Festival?

The US Capitol has various types of cherry blossom trees that visitors can enjoy during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Among them are Yoshino, Kwanzan, Akebono, and Weeping Cherry, each of which has its unique beauty and charm. Yoshino is the most common species, with trees around the Tidal Basin reaching peak blossom in early April. On the other hand, Kwanzan, Akebono, and Weeping Cherry bloom about ten days later. When wandering the US Capitol grounds, visitors will have plenty of photo opportunities to capture the diverse beauty of each species. Show more

What are your recommended tips for navigating crowds during peak blossom season in Washington, D.C.?

Navigating peak blossom crowds in D.C. requires some preparation and planning. To avoid the hustle and bustle, visiting the cherry blossom sites early in the morning or during weekday evenings can be ideal. Public transportation or walking instead of driving around the city can also help. Arlington National Cemetery and the National Arboretum are great alternative locations to avoid crowds. Visitors can also check the festival schedules to attend the National Cherry Blossom Festival events and avoid the busiest dates for a more relaxed experience. Show more

Apart from the Tidal Basin area, what other locations provide cultural events and parades during the National Cherry Blossom Festival?

Guests can explore and experience various cultural events and parades apart from the Tidal Basin area during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Some of the highlights include the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade along Constitution Avenue and the Blossom Kite Festival at the Washington Monument's grounds. Music and food events, art exhibits, and special tours are also part of the festival, with schedules posted on their website. The festival is an exceptional opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in US capital's vibrant culture and history while enjoying the city's beautiful spring cherry blossom scenery. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin