The snow may be blowing while eyes peek through scarves and hoods, but the excitement of spring is already budding in Washington, D.C., with this year marking the 100th anniversary of Japan’s generous donation of cherry blossom trees to the United States. Since the simple planting ceremony in 1912, our nation’s capitol commemorates this symbolic event each year with the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival March 20 - April 27.
Pink washes over D.C. with cultural events, restaurant specials featuring cherry-infused dishes and drinks, a parade and fireworks show over a span of five weeks. Check out regular performances at Sylvan Theater by the Washington Monument, or rent a paddle boat on the Basin for a panoramic perspective of the blossoms.
Not sure when to go? The Peak Bloom date -- when 70% of the blossoms are open -- varies on weather each year, but the National Park Service horticulturists closely monitor the trees with regular updates. But whether just blushing in pale pink or fully blooming in white, the trees framing the Tidal Basin are a sight at any stage.
While the majority of the trees can be found at the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial in West Potomac Park, they are also found in East Potomac Park and on the Washington Monument grounds. Avoid heavy traffic and pricey parking by taking the Metro to the Smithsonian stop and walk over to the Basin.
Several hotels are already offering low rates during this peak season in D.C.