Destination DC connects visitors and locals to in-person events and celebrations, new hotels, attractions and exhibitions
(Washington, DC) – Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, offers ways to experience the beauty of spring in Washington, DC, including renowned cherry blossoms, new experiences, hotels, attractions, dining and the long-awaited return of in-person festivals and events.
“From International Women’s Month to the bicentennial celebration of Harriet Tubman to the beloved tradition of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, we are optimistic about opportunities for spring travel to Washington, DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of DDC. “We’re hopeful that the juxtaposition of major spring events, citywide conventions and sports will boost the local economy as visitors spend money at our hotels, restaurants and local businesses.”
For the first time since 2019, the National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20 – April 17) will hold all signature events in person. Marking the 110th anniversary of the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees to Washington, DC from Japan, this year's festival features an array of events. Celebrate springtime by checking out nearly 100 National Cherry Blossom Festival hotel packages, deals, discounts and more, found at some of the city's best places to stay.
Cherry Blossom Experiences
- National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20 – April 17)
- The National Park Service estimates that peak bloom is March 22-25, 2022 (defined as 70 percent of the Tidal Basin trees in bloom).
- View cherry blossoms via the live BloomCam Opening Ceremony: March 20; Blossom Kite Fly: March 26; Parade April 9; Street Festival: April 9-10; Petal Palooza: April 16
- Find a guide with everything you need to know about DC’s cherry blossom trees and the National Cherry Blossom Festival on washington.org.
- Food, Drink and Experience Deals:
- ARTECHOUSE offers PIXELBLOOM, inviting visitors to jump into the metaverse and glide through a virtual world of cherry blossoms brought to life. Special pricing for families Monday through Friday. Tickets available for purchase online.
- Savor the taste of spring through the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Cherry Picks Program, run in conjunction with the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.
- Elevate your cherry blossom experience at the Churchill Hotel. Enjoy a two-hour private photography session and a special picnic for two among the blossoms.
- Encounter the beauty of cherry blossom season with Hyatt Place Georgetown with an upgrade to a city-view room, $25 credit and kite making kit
New Hotels in DC
- AC Hotel Washington DC Capitol Hill Navy Yard – Opened Feb. 17, 2022
- A 225-key AC Marriott hotel opened in a mixed-use development near Nationals Park in the Navy Yard neighborhood. The property features Smoke & Mirrors Rooftop Restaurant & Bar, a 24/7 10,000 sq. ft. fitness center, flexible meeting and event space and a library.
- citizenM Washington DC NoMa – Opening April 2022
- Situated in the heart of NoMa near the metro and Union Market, the 292-key property is the city’s second citizenM hotel. Staples of the beloved European brand include king-sized beds, MoodPads, HD-TVs with streaming, free Wi-Fi and rain showers. The hotel will have a ground floor restaurant and bar, meeting space and fitness center.
- Holiday Inn Express Washington DC Downtown – Opening April 2022
- Located less than one mile from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Capital One Arena, the hotel features 247 guest rooms, free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour fitness center and hot breakfast. Meeting space on the top floor offers views of the U.S. Capitol Building and each room is equipped with a microwave, mini-refrigerator, 43" TV and in-room safe.
- Arts and Industries Building – FUTURES
- Celebrate Women’s Futures Month at #IfThenSheCan – The Exhibit from March 5-27. The outdoor exhibit, located on the National Mall in Smithsonian gardens and in and around select Smithsonian museums, is the largest collection of statues of women ever assembled. The life-size 3D-printed statues are of a diverse coalition of contemporary women STEM innovators and role models leading a variety of fields.
- Kogod Courtyard – Orchids: Hidden Stories of Groundbreaking Women
- The exhibition unearths stories of women who have enriched the understanding and appreciation of orchids. The joint U.S. Botanic Garden-Smithsonian Gardens orchid show is on display in the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery through April 24, 2022.
- National Museum of Women in the Arts
- NMWA will host a day-long virtual festival to celebrate International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8. Virtual experiences run from 10am – 7pm, including discussions with artists, an interactive Art Chat with museum educators and a family-friendly workshop.
- Celebrate women entrepreneurs from around the world on March 8 from 6-8pm at ShopHER, DC’s small business retail Incubator for women-owned small businesses located at Union Market.
- National Museum of African American History and Culture - Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience
- The recently opened exhibition by artist Bisa Butler features a vivid, colorful fabric tapestry of Tubman that’s more than seven feet tall.
- Jointly acquired by the Library of Congress, a previously unknown photo of young Harriet Tubman (the inspiration for the above tapestry) is on display: Carte-de-visite portrait of Harriet Tubman by Benjamin Powleson.
- Find Tubman artifacts such as a silk lace and linen shawl given to her by Queen Victoria, items from Tubman’s household (brick, silverware, handkerchief) and her personal hymnal.
- International Spy Museum
- The International Spy Museum tells unexpected story of Tubman as a Civil War spy in the Who Would Have Guessed? exhibit.
- DC Murals featuring Harriet Tubman
- Harriet Tubman is pictured among the African American icons on the side of the historic Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street by Aniekan Udofia.
- In the NoMa neighborhood, find a mural of Tubman on the $20 bill painted by local DC artist Naturel.
Events, Sports, Attractions, Performing Arts, Museums and Exhibitions
- Phillips Collection – Picasso: Painting the Blue Period
- A groundbreaking exhibition provides new insight into the creative process of Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) at the outset of his career. It is the first exhibition in DC in 25 years to focus on the early works of the 20th century icon, just as he was beginning to define himself on the international stage. Feb. 26 – June 12, 2022
- Planet Word – Lexicon Lane: A Word-Sleuthing Adventure
- Starting March 26 visitors are inspired to solve a variety of word-themed puzzles. Explore a quaint town with 26 unique puzzle cases and clues throughout.
- National Building Museum – Architecture & Design Film Festival
- The festival features 12 feature-length and short international films that explore creativity, innovation, sustainability, historic preservation, development, adaptive reuse and indigenous architects. The event is the first complete in-person presentation of the film series in the U.S.
- Hirshhorn Museum – Abigail DeVille: Light of Freedom
- The Hirshhorn’s Sculpture Garden hosts a 13-foot-tall, mixed-media installation. Sculptor Abigail DeVille is widely recognized for works that mine the overlooked, often traumatic histories of Black America to spotlight cultural contradictions and inequities.
- The Friends Experience – The One in Washington, DC
- The FRIENDS Experience opens in DC on March 17. Fans can purchase tickets and revisit iconic moments. Enjoy 12 nostalgia-packed interactive rooms and activations including Monica’s kitchen and the iconic FRIENDS fountain.
- The National Museum of the American Indian – Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight
- This new exhibit from Preston Singletary runs through January 2023 and tells the story of Raven, the creator of the world and giver of the stars, moon and sun. The exhibit promises a multisensory experience with storytelling, music, soundscapes and projected images.
- National Law Enforcement Museum
- Starting March 5, the museum offers free admission for all law enforcement, active and retired, every Saturday in 2022.
- Nationals Park – Washington Nationals
- 2019 World Series Champions welcome the Philadelphia Phillies to DC for the season home opener April 4.
- Audi Field – DC United
- DC’s MLS team opens the season in late February with games through October 2022. Coming off an impressive 2021, 2022 looks to be promising for the black and red with home games all spring.
- The Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery – This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
- Marking the 50th anniversary of the Renwick Gallery, the craft show highlights often overlooked histories and contributions of women, people of color and other marginalized communities. The Renwick Gallery reopens May 13, and on May 23, the exhibition opens with nearly 150 artworks from the museum's permanent collection.
Looking Ahead, In-Person Events Return
- Filmfest DC
- Citywide | April 22 – May 1, 2022
- The largest and longest-running annual international film festival in DC, Filmfest DC returns with a hybrid combination of in-person and virtual screenings.
- Lincoln Memorial Centennial
- Lincoln Memorial | May 2022
- The National Park Service is undertaking a $25 million renovation of the memorial, adding new services and design to enhance the visitor experience. Completion is expected prior to the memorial’s centennial in May and a large in-person community event will take place on May 30.
- Passport DC
- Citywide | May 1-31, 2022
- Returning in person, a month of programming across the city highlights DC’s international culture. The Around the World Embassy Tour and European Union Open House are favorites.
- Capital Pride
- Citywide | June 10-12, 2022
- DC’s LGBTQ+ community celebrates Pride Month with street festivals, concerts and a parade.
- Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle
- Pennsylvania Avenue NW | June 25-26, 2022
- Everyone’s favorite barbecue-flavored event celebrates 30 years in the District.
- Smithsonian Folklife Festival
- National Mall | Late June
- A summer tradition, the festival plans to return to the Mall with a focus on the United Arab Emirates and earth optimism.
Per Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, as of March 1, 2022, proof of vaccination is not required at indoor locations. Masks are generally not required indoors (individual businesses may implement their own protocols and masks are required on public transit.) Activities mentioned are current as of March 2, 2022. Check washington.org for the latest updates.
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. washington.org.
March 3, 2022