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10 Pro Tips for Your Cherry Blossom Pilgrimage

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We reckon there’s no weekend trip more highly anticipated than the annual cherry blossom pilgrimage (c’mon, look at this). However, because it lasts only two weeks, the blooms’ season is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fast, meaning your weekend trip requires some special planning. To help with that, we’ve rounded up 10 of our best tried-and-true tips. 

  1. Follow the bloom calendar. The National Park Service keeps tabs on the cherry blossoms’ blooming patterns, so you can try to catch the blossoms during peak bloom (they even have a live stream cam). This year’s peak bloom is predicted for March 31 through April 3, but keep an eye out for the latest blossom forecast.
  2. Plan your stay. Weekends are often busier when viewing the flowers. Consider this beforehand when you’re penciling in your visit.
  3. Get a room. Take advantage of discounts and packages offered at select hotels. Rates start as low as $89.95 and can be found all over the city. Customizable packages include luxe add-ons like easy transportation to all the cherry blossom hot spots and chocolate-covered cherries.
  4. Navigate transportation. Consult this handy transportation guide to figure out where to view the blooms and how to get there via Metro, bus, bike or taxi.
  5. Visit during the early morning or evening. These are the least busy times.
  6. Snap the perfect photo. Though Tidal Basin is considered one of the most popular spots to take photos, washington.org says cherry blossom trees can also be found at lesser-known spots like the “U.S. National Arboretum, National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden, Anacostia Park, Stanton Park and Oxon Run Park.”
  7. Attend a seasonal event. You’re not the only one psyched for the flowers. While you’re in town for the blossoms, enjoy the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s bloom-tastic events such as the opening ceremony, the annual kite festival or the festival parade.
  8. …Or attend several. Try one of these 13 events.
  9. Eat. Washingtonians take their cherry blossoms seriously. Many restaurants tout ‘cherry picks’, which are creative spring-inspired menus offered throughout the festival.
  10. And imbibe. Psst: many of the aforementioned restaurants also offer cherry-centric drink specials, too.

For information about visiting Washington, DC during cherry blossom season, click here.