Best Places to See the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC
Cherry Blossom season is one of my favorite times of year in Washington, DC. Crowds come from far and wide to see the blooms on the Tidal Basin but the energy of warmer weather, longer days, and spending more time outside pulses throughout the city. I love experiencing the crowds on the National Mall but there are plenty of other places to see the blossoms and events to enjoy the parades of pink all spring long.
Best Off Beat Places to See the Cherry Blossoms
The National Arboretum: The National Arboretum is one of my go-to off-beat spots to see the Cherry Blossoms. There are dozens of flowering cherry tree varieties and with acres of land to explore, it rarely feels crowded. This means the trees will peak at different times and you can enjoy them throughout 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. (Not yet updated for the 2023 season.) Plus, check out other guided tours like the sunset tour or daytime monument tour. Bring a change of clothes in case you get wet!
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.
The Tidal Basin: If you must go to the Tidal Basin, the best time to go in the early morning on a weekday. Get an early start to your day (before 8:00 am) and enjoy a walk around the Tidal Basin with minimal crowds. If you’re new around here, the Tidal Basin is the body of water near The Jefferson Memorial. The Tidal Basin Loop will take you around the entire body of water. Along the way, you’ll also see the Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial, the George Mason Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
Special Events to Enjoy the Season
Artechouse: Pixelbloom 2022: To be announced for 2023. Artechouse near L’Enfant Plaza is an art venue known for its visual masterpieces that bring together art, science, and 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 Wharf on April 1 for Blomarro including a day of Cherry Blossom-themed art, music, and special events. and fireworks in the evening. This event can get very crowded, so make restaurant reservations in advance.
Cherry Blossom Beer and Wine Festival at Hook Hall: Join Hook Hall for a special festival on March 16 or April 2. Enjoy music, cherry blossom decor, and unlimited tastings of 50 wines and 30 beers. Tickets start at $60.