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Springtime in Washington, DC: Visitors Looking for World Class Getaways Should Think Pink

Free family festivals, cool art exhibitions, new hotels and restaurants, high-octane sports inspire spring getaways in the nation's capital

(Washington, DC) – Washington, DC celebrates springtime’s arrival like no other city, and this season, there’s more to explore. The National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates 106 years of cherry blossoms with many free events from a family-friendly parade to a firework spectacular. Among other landmark experiences: an exhibition of participatory art; a NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, a network of water taxis and the reopening of a historic garden in Georgetown.

Destination DC (DDC), the official tourism organization for Washington, DC, helps visitors with trip planning: find inspiration and a comprehensive event calendar on DDC’s social channels deliver up-to-the-minute recommendations and photographs snapped by travelers and locals through #MyDCcool. 

“Springtime jumpstarts DC’s spectacular events calendar. Our mild weather and blooms are two more invitations to explore our neighborhoods,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of DDC. “The Wharf will be a major draw for cherry blossoms, as well as a destination for outdoor dining, concerts and nightlife. Trip around the world during Passport DC, bike the sights on car-free streets, share a meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant and see the riveting new portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery.”

Springtime highlights include:


  • Direct Current (March 6-16): A showcase of cutting-edge dance, drag, film, theater and activism converge at the Kennedy Center.
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20–April 15): The nation’s largest springtime celebration is punctuated by signature events: Blossom Kite Festival (March 31); Petalpalooza (April 7); the parade (April 15) and supported by blossom-themed Odyssey cruises, self-guided garden tours, CineMatsuri, a Japanese film fest, and more. Peak bloom is estimated to be March 17-20.
  • Passport DC (May): The celebration of DC’s international culture includes embassy open houses: Around the World Embassy Tour (May 5) and EU Embassy Open House (May 12). (FREE)
  • DC Jazz Festival (June 8-17): Performances by the likes of Leslie Odom Jr. and Maceo Parker at 40+ venues make this the fastest growing jazz festival in the nation.
  • Halcyon By the People (June 21-24): The debut of an arts festival championing the ideas that bind the U.S. includes performances, panel discussions and an augmented reality art hunt.


  • Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings, National Gallery of Art (March 4-May 28; FREE)
  • Woman House, National Museum of Women in the Arts (March 9 – May 28)
  • No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, Renwick Gallery (March 30 – Jan. 21, 2019; FREE)
  • Fabergé Rediscovered, Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens (June 9, 2018-Jan. 13, 2019)
  • Baseball Americana, Library of Congress (June 29-ongoing; FREE)

New Hotels

  • The Line: Anchored by a converted church in Adams Morgan, the 220-room, art-filled hotel by the Sydell Group boasts an in-lobby Internet radio station and dining options: Brothers & Sisters and Spoken English from Erik Bruner-Yang (Maketto); A Rake’s Progress and A Rake’s Bar by Spike Gjerde (Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen). 
  • The $2.5 billion, mile-long destination along the Potomac River, The Wharf added 690 rooms in October 2017: a 278-room Wharf InterContinental and a duel-branded 175-room Canopy by Hilton and 237-room Hyatt House on a 300,000-square-foot campus.
  • Coming soon: Eaton Washington DC brings 209 rooms and a socially conscious attitude to 12th and K streets NW. The property will contain a wellness center, internet radio studio, 50-seat movie theater, co-working space, a restaurant by Tim Ma and bar from Derek Brown.

Sports and Outdoors

  • 2018 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament Championships (March 7-11): Capital One Arena hosts 14 teams for post-season action.
  • Dumbarton Oaks reopens after improvements to its historic and manicured gardens.  
  • Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk (April 8): An all-are-welcome race with a world-class backdrop.
  • DC Bike Ride (May 19): Bike 20 miles on a closed-road scenic ride throughout DC.
  • Washington Nationals Home Opener (April 5): The season kicks off against the Mets. Nationals Park also plays host to the MLB® All-Star Game® this summer (July 17).

Spring Campaign
The District’s springtime offerings will be broadcast on a multi-platform marketing campaign targeting audiences in the New York City and Philadelphia metro areas in outlets such as The New Yorker, New York magazine, Philadelphia magazine and Southern Living. There will also be sponsored listings on Travelzoo, rich media mobile interactive units and custom emails, connecting to On March 8, DDC will remind commuters of DC’s proximity to NYC at a branded pop-up teasing spring in DC inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

“In the year ahead, DC’s calendar is filled with incredible exhibits and new festivals. We’re bringing travelers on an insider’s tour of the city’s arts and culture scene by debuting a five-video series this spring hosted by local creatives, touring the places where they find inspiration,” said Robin McClain, senior vice president of marketing and communications.

About Destination DC: Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities.

Danielle Davis, Director of Communications
danielle.davis [at]

Kate Gibbs, Senior Media Relations Manager, Domestic
kate.gibbs [at]

Vanessa Casas, Media Relations Manager, International
vanessa.casas [at]

Rebecca Doser, Media Relations Manager, Trade
rebecca.doser [at]


March 1, 2018
Media Contacts
Danielle Davis, Director of Communications
202-789-7046; 202-603-2093

Kate Gibbs, Senior Manager, Domestic Media Relations
202-789-7072; 202-297-2431

Vanessa Casas, Media Relations Manager, International
202-789-7053; 702-578-0255

Rebecca Doser, Media Relations Manager, Trade

Denise Osei, Communications Specialist
202-789-7097; 301-640-1576