Cherry blossom season is more than just another festival in Washington, DC. The bloom of the cherry blossoms marks the end of braving the cold winter inside. It marks the beginning of rooftop happy hours, patio brunches, and the first sightings of tourists. To celebrate, there is the annual trip to the Tidal Basin to capture that perfect Instagram photo of the Jefferson Memorial perfectly framed by pink branches. But there has to be another way to enjoy this season, right? Of course there is!
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Beyond the Tidal Basin at the National Arboretum: There are tons of flowering cherry trees at the National Arboretum. Pick up a self guided tour pamphlet at the visitor center and wander the arboretum to your heart’s content. Also, be sure to check out the Sakura Orihon: Diary of a Cherry Blossom Journey exhibit March 10 to April 8. The Arboretum is enormous so consider driving or biking. You can also bring a picnic to eat in the Grove of State Trees.
Petal Paddle: Enjoy the flowers from the water with a 3 hour Petal Paddle kayak tour. Head to the Wharf Boathouse April 1-15 to rent single kayaks for $35 or doubles for $70. Guided tours are also available for $45 and depart from the Key Bridge Boathouse. Bring a change of clothes in case you get wet!
Potomac River Cherry Blossom and Monument Boat Tour: If you don’t want to paddle your own boat, we get it. This 50-minute, narrated boat tours leaves from Georgetown or the National Mall and will take you past many major sites. Tickets start at $25.
Cherry Blossom Bike Tour: Enjoy the blossoms on the Tidal Basin on a 2 hour guided bike tour. You’ll see all the famous monuments near by so this is perfect for first timers or a different way to experience the Tidal Basin. $35 for adults and $25 for children 3-12. Price includes bike rental.
Artechouse: Cherry Blossom Dream: Artechouse near L’Enfant Plaza is an art venue known for its visual masterpieces that bring together art, science, technology. Through May 5, you can check out a larger than life, immerse digital representations of the cherry blossoms. Open daily to all ages. 21+ after 5:30 pm – you can buy cocktails inspired by the art for an extra fee! $15 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under.
Cherry Blossom Pop Up Bar: Catch up with friends over cherry blossom inspired drinks at the Cherry Blossom Pop Up Bar on 7th Street through the end of April. This bar can get crowded so arrive as close to 5 PM as you can!
Petalpalooza: Head to the Warf April 7 from 1:00 to 9:30 pm to celebrate spring with music, art, and fireworks! You’ll find beer gardens at the Transit Pier and District Pier but this event also has plenty of family friendly fun. Free entry – just pay for any food and drink during the afternoon.
Cherry Blossom Beer, Wine, and Music Festival: Looking for a 21+ cherry blossom festival? Head to Akridge Lot at Buzzard Point (DC United’s new home) for the Cherry Blossom Beer, Wine, and Music Festival. General administration ($50 + $4 service fee or check Groupon for a discount) includes unlimited full pours and tastings of beer, cider, and wine. There will also be food trucks around so you can buy snacks for an additional fee.