Walking along the Tidal Basin when the cherry trees are in bloom is a magical experience.
One year I remember seeing tourists with tiny pink blossoms in their hair and on their clothes. There was a slight breeze and pink swirly blossoms were flying everywhere. Like I said, magical. But it's also crowded and it's easy to walk right into someone as you gaze up at the beautiful blossoms.
If you are planning to visit Washington DC to see the cherry blossoms in full peak bloom, the weekend of April 13th & 14th should be your target time to visit. There are more than 3800 cherry trees along the Potomac River near the Jefferson Memorial with the National Cherry Blossom Festival happening now until April 20th.
My family will be headed to the Blossom Kite Festival on March 30th (this Saturday) on the grounds of the Washington monument. This is a really fun free event and features kites of all sizes, some of them huge filling the sky around the monument.
But if you simply can't stand being in crowds, there are a few out of the way places to see beautiful cherry trees in bloom.
- River Farm - located across the Potomac River in Alexandria Virginia, this is the home of the American Horticulture Society. The property was once owned by George Washington and features an Osage orange tree that is 200 years old and recognized as one of the largest in the country.
- Brookside Gardens - located in the Wheaton neighborhood of Silver Spring Maryland, Brookside Gardens has walking trails, lovely gardens, and several ponds. It's a beautiful and often quiet location with venues for weddings and other events.
- Meadowlark Botanical Gardens - located in Vienna Virginia, this 95-acre beautiful spot has about 200 varieties of cherry trees including the Yoshino cherry tree which is the variety planted at the Tidal Basin.
- National Arboretum - If you have never been to the National Arboretum, you're in for a surprise! You enter the 446 acres from New York Avenue in Northeast Washington DC one of the busier streets in the city. The grounds are stunning with walking trails, blooming trees of many varieties, a bonsai garden and columns from the U.S. Capitol. (the same columns that were standing when Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated. A wonderful place to visit and to learn about plants of all types.
Come visit the Washington D.C. area!
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