Tuesday, February 19

Travel Tuesday: Washington DC's Cherry Blossom Festival

Washington, DC welcomes the arrival of spring with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a tradition that showcases the beautiful gift of 3,000 cherry trees that the city of Tokyo gave to our nation’s capital. In 1912, DC received the trees from Japan as a symbol of friendship, sealing an amiable tie between our two countries. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual two-week, city-wide event that begins the last week of March and runs through mid-April, the prime blooming times in the city. The yearly festival features more than 200 international cultural performances and over 90 other special events. From arts and exhibits to cuisine and sports, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

The blossoming cherry trees symbolize new beginnings, Spring and the arrival of the busy tourist season in Washington, DC. The blooms around Tidal Basin circle the water, creating a beautiful pink cloud. This indeed is one of the best places for viewing these pretty trees in all their splendor. Here are a few suggestions on ways to spend your days in the DC area during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

  • Walk and Picnic: The best time to walk around and avoid the crowds is early morning. The view is just breathtaking and this is a great photo opportunity. You are free to bring your own picnic and enjoy the great weather.
  • Paddle Boating: View the Jefferson Memorial and Japanese Cherry Trees from the water. Rent a paddle boat for $10.00 per hour - 2 passenger boat; $18.00 per hour - 4 passenger boat. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Free Cherry Blossom Walking Tours: Take a free tour with a National Park Service Ranger and learn about the history of the cherry blossom trees and more. Tours available are Cherry Talks/Walks, Junior Ranger Programs, and Lantern Tours.
  • Cherry Blossom Cruises: Enjoy spectacular views of the cherry blossoms from a boat cruise.
  • Bike the Sites Tour: Take a two-hour ride specifically designed for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Ride past Potomac Park, the Jefferson Memorial, Hains Point, Japanese lantern, and more.
  • Visit the Jefferson Memorial - This is the most beautiful time of year to see the Jefferson Memorial and it's free.
  • Enjoy free cultural performances: Daily entertainment includes traditional and contemporary music, dance, song and martial arts demonstrations.
  • Guided City Tours: See Washington DC's top sights on a guided trolley tour, walking tour, by segway, by DC Duck and more. Lantern tours are perhaps the best of all cherry blossom tours. They showcase the lovely blooms by moonlight and the effervescent glow of Japanese lanterns. 
  • Enjoy a special meal at one of Washington's Cherry Picks: Restaurants around Washington, DC add cherries to many of their recipes during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
  • Attend the Special Events: A wide variety of events are associated with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The most popular events include the Opening Ceremony, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, the Sakura Matsuri- Japanese Street Festival and the Fireworks Display on the Southwest Waterfront. 


  1. Amazing Ronda, Someday we would love to see this for ourselves....thanks for sharing.
    love you Mom

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