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Cherry Blossoms Spots in the USA 2019: When to Go, Events, Tips

Cherry Blossoms Spots in the USA 2019: When to Go, Events, Tips

Cherry blossoms in the USA — not something most tourists would fly to the States for, but if you’re looking for more options, look no further! (But, if you really need more options, check out our other cherry blossoms guides: Korea|EU) Fun fact: Japan gifted the cherry trees to the USA in 1912, so really, you’re enjoying the “original” cherry blossom, regardless of whether you’re in Japan or the USA. We’ve put together the table below to give you a quick overview:

LocationCherry TreesBest Time to VisitWhat's Great About This Location/Events
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens,
Virginia
> 100 cherry trees
> 20 varieties

April Quiet and scenic spot
Kenwood,
Maryland
>1,200 cherry treesApril Peak bloom 3 to 4 days later than Washington D.C.
The United States National Arboretum,
Washington D.C.
1,000 cherry trees
76 varieties
March to MayCherry trees bloom over a much longer period
Stanton Park,
Washington D.C.
Perimeter of park lined with cherry treesMid March to Mid April Statue of Revolutionary War hero, General Nathanael Greene
Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens,
Washington D.C.
Along the Anacostia RiverMid March to Mid April Quiet and scenic spot
Tidal Basin,
Washington D.C.
3,750 cherry trees
70% Yoshino Cherry
April 3 - 6Pink Tie Party 22 Mar
The Opening Ceremony 23 Mar
Petalpalooza 6 Apr
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade 13 Apr
Washington Monument Grounds,
Washington D.C.
Washington ChannelMid March to Mid April Blossom Kite Festival 20 Mar
"Runner's Rite of Spring" 7 Apr
East Potomac Park,
Washington D.C.
Mid March to Mid April Tidal Basin,
Thomas Jefferson Memorial,
the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial,
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

USA, Virginia
1.Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna
USA, Maryland
2. Kenwood, Betheseda
USA, Washington D.C.
3. The United States National Arboretum
4. Stanton Park
5. Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens
Potomac Park
6. West Potomac Park: Tidal Basin
7. West Potomac Park: Washington Monument Grounds
8. East Potomac Park

Virginia

1. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (Vienna, Virginia)

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a 95-acre garden with lakes, forests, and meandering walking trails. The Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark features over 20 varieties of cherry blossoms and has over 100 trees, making it a scenic and quiet spot to view the blooms in spring. Meadowlark’s cherry trees generally bloom 3 to 4 days later than the Tidal Basin. Regular Garden admission will set you back by USD$3.00-$6.00.

Top spots:

  1. Near the entrance to the gardens and around the parking lot
  2. Along the lake
  3. On the perimeter trail outside the park

Best time to visit: April

Where: 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct, Vienna, VA 22182, USA

Other top spots in Virginia:

  1. Van Gogh Bridge at Lake Anne (Reston, Virginia)
  2. Alexander Bell Drive (Reston, Virginia)
  3. Arlington National Cemetery (Arlington, Virginia)
  4. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (Richmond, Virginia)

Maryland

2. Kenwood (Bethesda, Maryland)

Located just outside of Washington DC in Kenwood, Maryland,  is another amazing spot to catch the cherry blossoms. There are over 1,200 cherry trees lining the streets in this neighbourhood and peak bloom tends to be 3 to 4 days later than those in Washington DC.

Top spots:

  1. Kennedy Drive
  2. Dorset Avenue
  3. Kenwood Avenue

Best time to visit: April

How to get there:

  1. By Metro, take the red line Bethesda Station, and enter through Capital Crescent Trail on Bethesda Avenue. The walk from the Metro to the neighborhood entrance is about 2.5km.
  2. By walking or cycling, the distance from the starting point of the Capital Crescent Trail (right under the Whitehurst Freeway in Georgetown) to Kenwood is about 10km.
  3. If driving, do take note that street parking is limited and you would probably have to view the cherry blossoms from the car.

Other top spots in Maryland:

  1. Brookside Gardens (Wheaton, Maryland)
  2. Centennial Park (Ellicott City, Maryland)
  3. Rockville Civic Center Park and Glenview Mansion (Rockville, Maryland)
  4. USA, Washington D.C.

USA, Washington D.C.

3. The United States National Arboretum

The National Arboretum has more than 1,000 cherry trees spread across over 400 acres and is a popular site during the warmer seasons. There are 76 varieties of cherry trees at the National Arboretum, meaning that they bloom over a much longer period, allowing visitors a higher chance to catch the peak bloom. The trees start to bloom 2 weeks earlier than those at the Tidal Basin and last till May. Do a (free!) self-guided tour, or visit the exhibit wing to learn all about cherry trees.

Best time to visit: March to May

Where: 3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA

Opening hours: 8am to 5pm daily, FOC

How to get there:

  1. The closest Metrorail is Stadium Armory Station on the Blue and Orange lines. Transfer to Metrobus B-2 and disembark at Bladensburg Road then walk 2 blocks to R Street. Make a right on R Street and continue 2 blocks to the Arboretum gates.

4. Stanton Park

Along with the statue of Revolutionary War hero, General Nathanael Greene, Stanton Park is surrounded by cherry trees, walkways, gardens, and a playground, making it a great place for the family to spend time together while taking in the sights of cherry blossoms in spring.

Best time to visit: Mid March to Mid April

Where: Washington, DC 20002, USA

How to get there:

  1. Take the Green Line to Anacostia Metro Station, transfer to Bus 90 marked McLean to 8th and D Streets NE, then walk 1 block West on D Street, bear left on Maryland Avenue NE. Walk 1 block on Maryland Ave, NE.
  2. Take the Orange and Blue Lines to Stadium Armory Metro Station, transfer to Bus D6 marked Sibley Hospital to 8th and C Streets. Walk approximately 1 block North on 8th Street.

5. Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

During peak bloom season, Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is lined with beautiful cherry blossom trees across the grounds of the park. Visit the park if you wish to have some peace and quiet while admiring the cherry blossoms.

Top spots:

  1. Parking area
  2. Visitor Center at Kenilworth Park

Best time to visit: Mid March to Mid April

Where: 1550 Anacostia Ave NE, Washington, DC 20019, USA

Potomac Park (Tidal Basin, Washington Monument Grounds)

6. West Potomac Park: Tidal Basin

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is held annually at the Tidal Basin to commemorate the gift of 3,020 cherry blossom trees from Japan to the United States back in 1912. The festival also represents the friendship between Japan and the United States, and is filled with events that are held over 3 weeks. This year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival will run from March 20 – April 14 2019, with most of the festival events being free and open to the public.

Top spots:

  1. Take a photo of the Washington Monument framed by cherry blossoms from the western side of the basin (near the FDR Memorial).
  2. Take a photo of the Jefferson Memorial framed by cherry blossoms from the northern side of the basin.
  3. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

Tips:

  1. To avoid crowds, arrive early in the morning or in the evenings.
  2. The thickest blooms are on the northern and eastern side of the basin.
  3. Parking is limited. It’s best to get dropped off or walk in from a DC metro stop.
  4. Predicted peak bloom period for 2019: April 3 – 6.
  5. Best viewing of the cherry blossom trees: 4 – 7 days after peak bloom begins, but the blossoms can last for up to two weeks under ideal conditions.
  6. The majority of the cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin are of the Yoshino variety. But another species, the Kwanzan, usually blooms two weeks after the Yoshino trees, giving visitors a second chance to catch the blossoms.
  7. Choose to do a bike tour instead (visit all the national landmarks in the West Potomac Park in addition to the Tidal Basin, and burn some calories in the meantime)!

Festival highlights:

  1. Pink Tie Party (March 22, 2019) — a fundraiser featuring cocktails (with accompanying attire), cuisine, live music and dancing.
  2. The Opening Ceremony (March 23, 2019), a free event held at the Warner Theatre, includes traditional and contemporary performances from American and Japanese artists.
  3. Petalpalooza (April 6, 2019)
  4. National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade presented by Events DC (April 13, 2019).

Best time to visit: Mid March to Mid April

Where: 1501 Maine Avenue SW

How to get there:

  1. Take the Metro to Smithsonian stop, on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines. From there, it’s a 10-15 minute walk to the Tidal Basin Welcome Area.
  2. DC Circulator’s National Mall route makes stops directly on the Tidal Basin at the Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial.
  3. By Metrobus, take routes 32, 34 or 36, and stop at the National Mall, near the Washington Monument. A 10-minute walk south will bring you to the welcome area.
  4. Alternatively, the Hop On Hop Off Tours provide a convenient way to explore other attractions around Washington DC.

7. West Potomac Park: Washington Monument Grounds

Other than being one of the most famous monuments built to honour the first president of the United States, Geroge Washington, the grounds of the Washington monument is also a perfect spot to view cherry blossoms throughout spring.

Best time to visit: Mid March to Mid April

Where: 2 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

Festival Highlights:

1. Blossom Kite Festival (March 30, 2019)
2. “Runner’s Rite of Spring” (April 7, 2019)

How to get there:

  1. Take the Metro to Federal Triangle and Smithsonian, both on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.
  2. By bus, take DC Circulator’s National Mall route or ride Metrobus routes 32, 34 or 36.
  3. By car, visitor parking is available on Ohio Drive, between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. Note: street parking is often limited near the National Mall

8. East Potomac Park

Located south of the Tidal Basin, East Potomac Park has cherry trees lining both sides of the peninsula and offers a quiet and peaceful spot to view the cherry blossoms away from the crowds. You might want to cover both the Tidal Basin and the East Potomac through a bike tour.

Best time to visit: Mid March to Mid April

Where: Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

How to get there:

  1. Take the Metro to Smithsonian station, on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.
  2. If driving, from I- 395 North, take Exit 2 Potomac Park/Park Police. Follow the signs towards Hains Point. Turn Left onto Buckeye Dr.  then take a right onto Ohio Dr. Continue straight through the park. Parking: Access from Ohio Drive and Buckeye Drive.

320 FREE parking spaces within the park, however this gets filled up quickly on weekends.

  1. By foot, follow the trails from the Jefferson Memorial.

Cherry Blossom Hunting in Year 2020

Missed this year’s cherry blossoms and already planning to make that dream trip come true next year? Even if the predictions for the bloom timings come out a month or so before the actual event, you can always start planning the trip early – acquaint yourself with some handy hacks to make sure you pay the cheapest prices available to get the best experiences. Check out our comprehensive travel hacks guide, familiarise yourself with the different flight booking sites (and what works for you), or other money-saving hacks – check RateX out! – that will go a long way in helping you save up that money for more experiences!


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