Updated: March 10, 2023
Friday Fives - #17 | Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom Tips
With an unusually warm winner, we are possibly getting an earlier than normal bloom of the cherry blossoms in Washington D.C.. The National Park Service and The Cherry Blossom Festival released the peak bloom date for the blossoms in Washington D.C. March 22 - March 25, 2023 are the projected peak bloom dates for this year. I can see spring in our near future, can you? During this week’s Friday Fives, I want to share with you the top five tips and most important things to do and visit during the festivals.
Plan as much of your visit as possible. Although the blossoms are projected to peak March 22 - March 25, 2023, the weather makes it difficult to plan the exact date until 10 days out. The National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 18 – April 16) is schedule from mid-March through mid-April every year with a full calendar of activities. If you’re wanting to see the Cherry Blossoms with less crowds, I highly recommend visiting during the weekday. The weekends are filled with locals as well as out of towners who have traveled to the area for a day trip. The Tidal Basin has a lot more wiggle room during the weekday because many people are at work and children are at school.
If you decide to visit the Tidal Basin during the weekend, it’s better to plan visit early in the morning or later in the day. No matter what day of the week you visit the earlier in the morning the better. Wandering around the Tidal Basin at 7am can be delightful, even on the weekends. However, as the day progresses, the crowds significantly increase; especially after 9 a.m. If you’re wanting to take pictures of the monuments with the blossoms the light for pictures shortly after sunrise is stunning.
2. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Be prepared for lots of walking. Although Washington D.C. is 68.34 square miles and all the major monuments and museums seem close together; this is a misconception. I highly recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes. The distance between the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol Building is nearly 2 miles. Riding a bicycle is another way to explore the cherry blossoms. Capital Bikeshare is a great way to explore the option of riding a bike. There are several locations within the capital to pick up or drop off.
3. Getting There (Public Transportation is Best)
The National Mall and Tidal Basin are the most popular locations seeing the Cherry Blossoms. However, getting to the area can be tricky and overwhelming. I recommended taking the metro, this way there’s no need to circle around to find a parking space (which is difficult to find). To get to the Tidal Basin by Metro take the Silver, Blue, or Orange lines to the Smithsonian Metro stop. From there it is about another 15-minute walk to the Tidal Basin. There are several parking restrictions in Washington D.C., please ensure you pay careful attention to the signs as many have time restrictions, and temporary overrides during this busy time of year.
If you decide to drive here are a few ideas on where to park:
4. Other Places to Visit
If you’re visiting Washington D.C. from out of town, here are some other places to visit while in town.
The National Arboretum – located 10 minutes Northeast of the Capitol
Dumbarton Oaks – in Georgetown. Once the home of Robert Woods Bliss and his wife. It’s a secluded estate to get a view of the pink blooms.
Washington National Cathedral – A tranquil gently framed by the blush colored blossoms
Old Town Alexandria, Virginia – Across the Potomac River is another great location to view cherry blossoms. Visit the Old Town Farmer’s Market, visit the Torpedo Factory, enjoy a scoop of ice cream at Pop’s, enjoy lunch at President and Mrs. Obama’s favorite – Vermillion.
5. Pack Your Patience
Because there are so many people in the area for the Cherry Blossoms, pack your patience. It may difficult to find a place to park and avoid the crowds of people. That's why I recommend going early in the morning.
As time gets closer, the National Park Service activates a EarthCam. For more tips about visiting the Cherry Blossoms in Washington D.C. visit this article. Stay tuned for Monday’s blog post to learn more details about The Cherry Blossom Festival and scheduling a portrait session with these beautiful flowers.
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