Blossoms 101: All the Answers to Your Questions about DC’s Cherry Blossom Season!!
Step into a fairy tale as you discover the mesmerizing world of cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C.! If this is your first time exploring DC’s famous blossoms, get ready to dive into a guide filled with lesser-known tips for an extraordinary experience in the capital’s pink wonderland. We know people have a lot of questions about planning their visit to DC during Cherry Blossom season, so we are giving our insight. These are some of the top questions people have about experiencing cherry blossom season in DC! As DC locals, we love Cherry Blossom season and want to share with everyone how to get the most out of your visit this spring!
- When will the cherry blossoms bloom in 2024?
The cherry blossom peak bloom forecast is predicted by the National Park Service a bit closer to the start of spring, but in the past four years, peak bloom has happened between March 20 and March 28. Escape the crowds by targeting the “secret bloom” period just before the official festival kicks off on March 20th. Locals often claim that this pre-festival time offers a more intimate experience with the blossoms, so take their word and arrive a day or two before March 20th.
- How long do the cherry blossoms bloom?
Peak bloom lasts about 5 – 6 days. “Peak” is described as when 70% of the blossoms are out. All told the cherry blossoms bloom for about 10 to 12 days. The official festival dates are March 20th to April 14th…but we recommend planning your visit to DC to see the cherry blossoms from mid to late March.
- When is the best time to see the cherry blossoms?
Of course, the Tidal Basin and Hains Point are the most notable locations to see the cherry blossoms. The pink and white trees are stunning around the water and along the road that circles Hains Point. You can circumvent the Tidal Basin beneath the petals and admire the gorgeous views across the water. But Timing is Everything. Arriving to the Tidal Basin early in the morning and beat the crowds. But to be clear – early is 7am, by 8am the basin will be bustling with blossom lovers! Not to worry – keep reading because we have a couple other secrets to share!
- What is the best way to get to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms?
Navigate with Ease! Embrace the city’s bike-sharing program, Capital Bikeshare, or rent a bike for your whole visit to explore the blossoms on two wheels. It’s an eco-friendly and leisurely way to navigate the Tidal Basin and discover hidden pockets of cherry blossom bliss. An added bonus is you don’t have to worry about parking, which is very tricky with the crowds! Just make sure that you understand how Bikeshare pricing works! Another option to avoid parking is taking a taxi or rideshare, but either way, you’ll be glad you did!
- Are there other places to see cherry blossoms besides the Tidal Basin and Hains Point?
YES! Aside from cherry blossoms, DC is filled with all sorts of pretty flowering trees in the spring. But many don’t know that there are many places you can see cherry blossoms aside from around the Tidal Basin and on Hains Point.
- Head to Stanton Park in Capitol Hill – a lesser-known gem boasting cherry blossom trees. It provides a tranquil escape without the hustle and bustle, allowing you to appreciate the blossoms in a serene setting.
- Check out the National Arboretum – the cherry trees here tend to bloom a bit earlier than the ones around the Tidal Basin. So if you take our advice to arrive a few days before the National Cherry Blossom Festival starts, go and see the blossoms here. It’s also a great place for an Insta worthy shot as it is so much less crowded!
- Visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception – there are over 150 cherry blossom trees here to admire. And if you have any appreciation for gorgeous architecture, this off the beaten path gem is not to be missed.
- Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown – Oak Hill even has a free arbor tour, which you can find and download on their site. The Cemetery is located next to Dumbarton Oaks, another fabulous place to view the flowering trees, but it is free. Visit Oak Hill or Dumbarton Oaks in the morning, and then join our Georgetown Fork Tour instead of fighting the lunch crowds along M St. We take care of making all the arrangements ahead of time so you can learn about the area and sample a variety of local restaurants – plenty for lunch!
- Book a private boat tour with Embark DC – Make certain you really have exclusive views when you have your own chartered boat. Your captain will even tell you a bit about the history of the trees. Book these experiences early to ensure your desired time.
- What else can we do in DC during cherry blossoms?
Dive into the offbeat events of the festival, like the Petalpalooza at The Capitol Riverfront. This unconventional celebration features live music, a beer garden, and a spectacular fireworks display over the Potomac River. A local favorite is also Blossom Kite Festival on the Washington Monument Grounds, featuring traditional Edo-style kites from Japan among other kite competitions and activities. Definitely check out the National Cherry Blossom Festival site for a full schedule of events.
- What is the weather like during cherry blossom season?
Spring can vary from delightfully warm to lingering winter cold even within the same day. DC is known for its shifting weather, so bring layers as well! Don’t forget a cozy picnic blanket. Pack a cherry blossom-themed picnic and enjoy it under the blossoms in Meridian Hill Park – a lesser-known spot with a European flair.
- Where should we eat during cherry blossom season?
Discover the eccentric flavors at places like Little Pearl in Capitol Hill, where they experiment with cherry blossom-infused cocktails or and unconventional cherry-inspired dishes that go beyond the usual fare, or try a Cherry Blossom inspired afternoon tea at the Willard for an unforgettable experience. And if you’re looking to learn more about the city through food and history, look into taking one of our DC Fork Tours. Blue Fern Travel’s tours focus on history, local cuisine, loc and we donate a portion of every ticket to a local nonprofit to help feed those in need. One more hot tip! Book our Southern Comfort Old Town Alexandria Tour and take the water taxi from the DC Wharf to Old Town and see stunning views of cherry blossoms from the river!
To wrap it up!
Your visit to DC during cherry blossom season is not just a trip; it’s a journey into hidden gems and off the beaten path adventures…Follow our local advice and ideas to navigate the city’s unconventional side and capture the essence of this magical cherry blossom season. Your extraordinary adventure awaits – let the enchantment begin! See you in DC!