Where to Visit the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC

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. This year, the Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 20 to April 11, 2021. Plus, both locals and tourists will flock to the Tidal Basin to capture that perfect Instagram photo. That view of the Jefferson Memorial perfectly framed by pink branches can’t be beaten. However, the festival and visit to the tidal basin aren’t the only way to visit the cherry blossoms.

This blog has been updated for 2022.

Off Beat Places to Visit the Cherry Blossoms

The National Arboretum: There are dozens of flowering cherry tree varieties at the National Arboretum. This means the trees will peak at differents times and you can enjoy them through the month. Pick up a self-guided tour pamphlet at the visitor center and wander the arboretum to your heart’s content. It’s a great opportunity to get pictures with the pink flowers without fighting Tidal Basin crowds. The National Arboretum welcomes dogs on a leash and allows picnics in the Grove of State Trees. 

Petal Paddle: Enjoy the flowers from the water with a 1-hour Petal Paddle kayak tour. Head to the Wharf Boathouse to rent single kayaks for $35 or doubles for $70. Or take a guided tour for $45/person. Plus, check out other guided tours like the sunset tour or daytime monument tour. Bring a change of clothes in case you get wet!

Cherry Blossom and Monument Boat Tour by City Cruises: If you don’t want to paddle your own boat, take a Potomac River Cruise leaving from The Wharf, Georgetown, and Alexandria during peak bloom. Prices vary but start at $17. 

Hains Point: Hains Point Loop Trail is a 4.1 loop with beautiful views of the cherry blossoms plus both the Potomac and Anacostia River. It’s a perfect spot for walks, picnics, and biking. Be mindful that this location is walkable from the Tidal Basin.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens: In Vienna, Virginia, you can visit the cherry blossoms at Meadowlark’s Botanical Gardens throughout the month of April. Like the National Arboretum, Meadowlark is home to a few different varieties of trees that will peak throughout the season.  Dogs and outside food are not allowed in the gardens.

Cherry Blossoms at the National Arboretum

Special Events to See the Cherry Blossoms

Artechouse: Pixelbloom 2022: Artechouse near L’Enfant Plaza is an art venue known for its visual masterpieces that bring together art, science, technology. From March 11 to May 30, you can check out a larger than life, check out Pixelboom highlighting the beauty of the trees through an audiovisual art exhibit. $25/adults over 16 and $16/children. 

Bloomarro: Head to the Warf March 25 – April 3 to celebrate the blossoms with special events throughout the season. Plus, don’t miss Blomarro on April 2 including fireworks in the evening. 

Cherry Blossom Beer and Wine Festival at Hook Hall: On select dates from April 1 – 9, join Hook Hall for a special festival. Enjoy music, cherry blossom decor, and unlimited tastings of 50 wines and 30 beers. Tickets start at $70. 

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