Thanks to a gift from the mayor of Tokyo in 1912, Washington DC has been home to thousands of cherry trees for more than 100 years. The blooming season comes at the perfect time, when Washington's air starts to warm for spring but the real heat and humidity haven't yet set in. Read on for the best ways to see the US capital in full bloom.
When to Go
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrated from mid-March to mid-April each year in West Potomac Park—with a parade, kite-flying competition, fireworks, and more. While the city's exact peak bloom dates vary each year, they usually fall during the festival.
Where to Go
The most famous places to see blossoms are West Potomac Park, East Potomac Park, and the grounds of the Washington Monument, but the blooms don't end there. For a slightly less crowded spot, visit the National Arboretum and look for the special Okami cherry tree, which blooms early in the season and has a dark, rich color. You can also find the fleeting cherry blossoms in Foxhall Village near Georgetown and in Anacostia Park.
How to Go
Since many of the cherry blossom trees are by the water at Tidal Basin, a Potomac River cruise is a great way to see lots of pink petals in a short amount of time. Or, if you're focused on getting the best photo ops, try a walking tour guided by a professional photographer. See below for even more options.