Three Ways to See the Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossoms and Avoid the Crowds

Creative Commons License photo credit: zawtowers

It’s that time of year again. The days are longer, the birds are chirping and the Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival is almost upon us. This is a favorite season for almost all Washingtonians, but it’s also the beginning of a busy tourist season. The cherry blossoms are great, but the moment is diluted when sharing it with 10,000 of your closest friends. Here are three ways to get the cherry blossom experience without going crazy in the tourist frenzy.

Jump in the River

Ok, well not literally as that may result in the production of multiple limbs, but my favorite way of seeing D.C. is from the water, especially during the cherry blossom bloom. DC Cruises offers a 60 minute cruise that leaves from Washington Marina, a quick walk from the Tidal Basin as well as the Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza Metro stops. The cruise takes the guest on a route around Hains Point, providing gorgeous views of the cherry blossoms from every vantage point. So sit back, relax and enjoy the evening adventure.

Don’t Go

It’s true that the tidal basin is the more impressive display of cherry blossoms in Washington, but it’s not the only place to find these gorgeous trees. One the best displays isn’t actually in the District, it’s found in the Kenwood neighborhood of nearby Bethesda, Maryland. This posh neighborhood is home to two, five kilometer routes that provide stunning views of not only the blossoms, but many other flowering trees and plants as well. If you want to stay in the city, then head over to Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown. Keep in mind though that there is an $8 entrance fee and parking is never easy in Georgetown. Finally, Stanton Park is one of the many green spaces found in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The park, named for President Lincoln’s Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, has four acres rimmed by cherry trees, the perfect alternative to the madness at the Tidal Basin.

Ok, ok, the Tidal Basin, but…

Alright, you got me, I admit that the best place is see the Tidal Basin cherry blossoms is actually at the Tidal Basin. BUT, do not go in the middle of the day. Or mid-morning. Or the gloaming. No, instead consider yourself well-informed and go there before dawn. I don’t think there is a more beautiful or magical moment in Washington than seeing the sun rise over the cherry blossoms. Pack a bagel, a thermos of coffee and sit there enjoying your own, private festival.

So there you have it, three ways to witness nature’s brilliance without having anyone step on your feet, shove you or accidentally spill their soda all over your shoes. While you’re enjoying the cherry blossoms, don’t forget about the many other monuments and memorials in the immediate area. My favorite is the FDR Memorial, a quick walk from the Tidal Basin.

For complete information on the Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Festival, as well as projected bloom times, please visit the official site.

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

7 thoughts on “Three Ways to See the Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossoms and Avoid the Crowds”

  1. Thanks for the tips! I’m actually planning my first trip to DC for this June. I’ll take all the tips I can get about getting away from the tourists!

    1. well they’re hard to escape during the summer, but it’s not too bad really. The main tourist draws are great to see, but also many off the beaten track activities as well. Be sure to visit the zoo – it’s free and well done.

  2. SWOON! DC is one of my favourite cities but I still haven’t seen the cherry blossoms yet! I’ll be living vicariously though each and every Washingtonian this spring :)

  3. Have the trees blossomed? Planning to go there on the first day of the festival but wondering whether Kenwood or the Tidal trees would have their blooms !

  4. Matt – I love it! I’m not by any means a morning person, but I think I might try the sunrise visit to the blossoms this year. I’ll bet that would be gorgeous. And MAYBE I could find a place to park. :)

Comments are closed.

I help you experience the best the world has to offer!

Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.