The stunning National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC should be in full bloom this week. The capital is famous worldwide for its flowering Japanese Yoshino cherry trees which pave the wide avenues with delicate pink blossoms in spring. The event, which runs from March 20th to April 17th is predicting the peak bloom to start March 23-24th with an average peak bloom date of April 4th.
The city received 3000 cherry trees as a gift in 1912 from the Mayor of Tokyo and each year the friendship between the USA and Japan is celebrated. From world renowned performers at the glitzy opening ceremony to the blossom parade at the end of the festival, the 4 week celebration promises a host of incredible events. Choose from family events, kite festivals, firework displays and more to see the city at its spring best.
The most famous place to see the gorgeous pink and white blooms is at the Tidal Basin. This iconic water feature is home to well-known landmarks, from the Jefferson Memorial to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. The reservoir is surrounded by thousands of flowering cherry trees and the soft reflections on the surface of the water are a photographer’s dream.
Although by far the best known cherry blossom festival in the US, Washington DC isn’t the only place to see these enduringly popular blooms. So if the capital city is a little too crowded for you, or if you’ll be holidaying elsewhere in the States this spring, check out these alternative cherry blossom celebrations:
1. Macon, Georgia
Despite DC being better known, the cherry blossom capital of America is actually Macon in Georgia. The city is home to more than 300,000 of the beautiful flowering trees and celebrates the International Cherry Blossom Festival every year. Visit at the end of March to find Japanese events in full swing.
2. San Francisco
San Francisco has celebrated the spring flowering of its cherry blossoms for 50 years. The main events take place in Japantown which hosts dance performances, karate demonstrations and more. This festival takes place in mid to late April.
3. New York City
The Big Apple is known for more fruit than one: Brooklyn’s Botanic Garden is home to dozens of cherry trees which form a resplendent walkway of colour along its Cherry Esplanade. Check out the Sakura Matsuri Festival if you are visiting in late April.
Boston’s serene Charles River is the perfect place to relax along green banks under a canopy of soft pink. Flowering cherry trees line the esplanade, creating a stunning spot for a picnic. Visit in April for the best blooms.
If you’re visiting Philadelphia in early April, you’ll be in time for the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia. With events throughout the city, the main hub of the celebrations is Fairmount Park where hundreds of cherry trees display their blossoms.