The Perfect Guide to Seeing the DC Cherry Blossoms

Advisor - Sarah Roof
Curated By

Sarah Roof

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  • Washington DC

  • Arts & Culture

  • Boutique Travel

  • City Travel

  • Spring

  • Sightseeing

  • Outdoors

Cherry Blossoms bloom around the Thomas Jefferson Tidal Basin.
Curator’s statement

During cherry blossom season, Washington, D.C.'s iconic landmarks become surrounded by delicate pink blooms. The beautiful Tidal Basin transforms into a picture-perfect scene, with the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument serving as stunning backdrops. Exploring the National Mall amid the cherry blossoms offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical grandeur. From leisurely strolls along the waterfront to picnics under the blossoms, experiencing D.C. during this time promises an unforgettable springtime experience.

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Where to stay in Washington DC

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Pendry Washington DC - The Wharf

Immerse yourself in contemporary luxury at Pendry Washington DC - The Wharf, where sleek design, waterfront views and a vibrant atmosphere come together to create an unforgettable stay in the nation's capital, located at the iconic Wharf district.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Rosewood Washington DC

A Georgetown belle overlooking the canal, with a Wolfgang Puck restaurant and rare rooftop pool and terrace.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade whenever possible.

The Dupont Circle Hotel

Discover urban elegance and sophisticated charm at The Dupont Circle Hotel, where timeless luxury meets vibrant city living.

Fora Perks
  • $100 (or units of local currency) credit (per day for suites and per stay for rooms and junior suites)

  • Welcome amenity from General Manager

  • Breakfast daily

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Things to do in Washington DC

A view of a man made lake with various people paddle-boating, cherry blossom trees hanging in the forefront, and a large white building with a dome and trees in the surrounding areas in the distance.

Tidal Basin Picnic: Take a leisurely walk around the Tidal Basin to admire the cherry blossoms framing the iconic monuments. This is sure to offer many picture-perfect moments! Pack a picnic to enjoy on the National Mall, surrounded by the beautiful sights of the city in bloom.

Cherry Blossom Festival: From March 20-April 14, attend events and performances during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, including the opening ceremony and parade. Here you can find Art in Bloom installations, "petal porches" where residents decorate their homes with cherry blossoms and musical performances that celebrate Japanese culture.

Experience Bloomaroo: On March 23, check out Bloomaroo at The Wharf. A free spring festival full of cherry blossom-themed art, live music, fireworks and family-friendly fun along the waterfront.

Cherry Blossom Sightseeing Cruise: Enjoy a boat tour on the Potomac River for a unique perspective of the cherry blossoms from the water with Capitol River Cruises or Potomac Paddle Club.

Visit the iconic DC Monuments and Memorials: Explore the Jefferson Memorial surrounded by cherry blossoms, offering a serene and photogenic setting. In addition, some must-see monuments and memorials include: the Lincoln Memorial and reflecting pool, the Washington Monument, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the World War I and II Memorials and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Nothing is better than embracing the springtime weather of the city while immersing yourself in the culture and history of the nation's capital!

Explore the Smithsonian Museums, the National Gallery of Art, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Spend time exploring the various iconic museums along the National Mall, taking breaks to enjoy the blossoms outside.

Bike Ride Along the Capital Crescent Trail: Rent a bike and ride along the Capital Crescent Trail, which offers beautiful views of the cherry blossoms along the Potomac River.

Visit the National Arboretum: Explore the National Arboretum's vast collection of cherry blossom trees, including different varieties beyond the Tidal Basin.

Immerse yourself in art: Explore the most innovative and immersive art experiences in the city at the iconic ARTTECHOUSE. Known for its annual spring exhibition celebrating the blossoms. This year, you can check out the exhibition: SEKAI: Blooming Parallel Worlds, inspired by the Isekai genre of Anime.

Cherry Blossom-themed Afternoon Tea: Indulge in a cherry blossom-themed afternoon tea at one of D.C.'s elegant hotels, embracing the season's spirit in a luxurious setting. You can find festive and special cherry blossom themed tea experiences at the St. Regis, the Willard InterContinental, and the Waldorf Astoria. (Reservations are a must!)

Places to eat & drink in Washington DC

A beautiful bar with a decorative bar and floral arrangements hanging from above.

Sushi Nakazawa: What better way to celebrate the best of Japanese cuisine than with this Michelin-starred omakase restaurant featuring a 20-course menu? Only steps away from the National Mall, this spot is sure to offer the absolute best of cherry blossom season.

Toki Underground: Or, if you're looking for a more low-key, award-winning izakaya, look no further than Toki Underground - best known for their craft cocktails and ramen.

Ambar Shaw: With gorgeous cherry blossom decor, you can experience the height of Balkan cuisine and hospitality at this restaurant. Featuring a bottomless weekend brunch for less than $50 per person. You can even check out their unlimited dinner menu, which offers a taste of everything and bottomless drinks for less than $80 per person!

Ciel Social Club: This rooftop bar offering craft cocktails and Mediterranean tapas with a weekly happy hour Monday-Friday from 5-7pm. It is the perfect spot to catch 360-degree views of the city in bloom.

Hook Hall: This cult-classic dining-and-drinks spot is always decked out for the season. Featuring 32+ brews on tap, seasonal specialty cocktails and private or semi-private spaces open for reservation daily, this is the perfect place to grab a group of friends to enjoy peak bloom. Did I mention it's also dog-friendly?

Pineapple and Pearls: If you're looking for an occasion to dress to impress, look no further than this sultry two-Michelin-starred spot. The perfect spot for any occasion, but especially those looking for a party, Pineapple and Pearls is a fun experience with a 4 (+ some surprises!) -course menu that's sure to delight.

Call Your Mother Deli: On your way out of town, don't forget to stop by this adored neighborhood bagel shop (with several locations, all in bright pink!) Get the Bacon Sun City with garlic herb cream cheese and thank me later.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Spend a Winter Weekend in Portland, Maine. This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Washington DC.

Advisor - Sarah Roof

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Sarah Roof

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