Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates spring in Washington, DC, the gift of the cherry blossom trees, and the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. The Festival produces and coordinates daily events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit. Events are primarily free and open to the public. For more information about the Festival, visit www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org. We’ve compiled some insider info about the best ways to see the star of the Festival….the trees!
1.) Cherry blossoms are peaking early this year!
Last week the National Park Service announced peak bloom dates of March 31-April 3…but because of the abnormally warm early March weather in DC, peak bloom has gone from early to earlier! Peak bloom dates are now projected to be March 18-23. Not going to have the chance to see them then? No worries! Peak bloom just means that roughly 70% of the cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin are blooming in unison—petals can stay on the trees for up to two weeks after peak bloom.
2.) Know where (and when) to go!
…especially if you want to take a perfect photograph! Check out this helpful map
provided by the National Park Service that shows where all the cherry blossoms are. Hint: if you’re looking for that like-worthy Instagram photo, sunrise along the Tidal Basin is usually around 7 AM and sunset is usually around 7:30 PM.
3.) Find the best view!
(that’s a trick, because there really are no bad views from the Tidal Basin.) A few of our favorites—which we’ll stop at on our Blossoms by Bike tour—are the views from: the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the steps of the Jefferson Memorial, the Japanese Lantern (a hidden gem! Located at Independence Ave and 17th Street) and the FDR Memorial.
4.) Experience the Cherry Blossoms by Bike!
For the thirteenth consecutive year, Bike and Roll DC is offering the one of a kind Blossoms by Bike guided ride. Blossoms by Bike was created in partnership with the National Cherry Blossom Festival and is the Festival’s only official guided bike tour. The two hour tour showcases Washington’s famous cherry trees throughout a 5.5 mile ride amongst the amazing sea of pink and white blossoms. Bike and Roll’s professionally trained guides will lead the ride around the Potomac Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park, providing guests with an interesting narrative and plenty of opportunities to take photos and see the blossoms up close.
Blossoms by Bike will run from March 21st through April 17th, departing from Bike and Roll DC’s National Mall location, located at 955 L’Enfant Plaza, conveniently located above the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station (Blue/Orange/Green/Yellow/Silver line accessible). Tours begin at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and at 9:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The ride is considered easy and all ages are welcomed; children’s bikes are available. The cost is $35 for adults and $30 for children 12 and under. Click here to reserve your spot today!