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Cherry blossoms and beyond: Washington, DC shines this spring

Nation’s capital bursts with seasonal experiences, acclaimed restaurants and new exhibits

WASHINGTON, DC – Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, offers expert advice to visit the famous cherry blossoms, enticing deals, and a variety of new ways to experience the beauty of spring in a city that celebrates the season. Begin planning an unforgettable and budget-friendly trip at


“When the cherry blossoms are blooming, there isn’t a more special place to be than Washington, DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, DDC. “From the views at the Tidal Basin and beyond, to petal-themed experiences at hotels and acclaimed restaurants, it feels like the entire city blooms this time of year, too.”


Peak bloom is expected to occur March 23-26, the National Park Service just announced. The best viewing of the cherry blossom trees typically lasts a few days before and after peak bloom begins, although the blossoms can last for up to two weeks under ideal conditions. Notably this spring, the Tidal Basin’s Japanese Lantern, a symbol of friendship between Japan and the United States, celebrates its 70th anniversary in Washington, DC. Carved in present-day Tokyo in 1651, the eight-foot stone lantern is lit at the start of the festival each year.


Celebrity restauranters continue to fuel DC’s red hot culinary scene. Recent openings include Pastis from Stephen Starr and Keith McNally, Moon Rabbit from Kevin Tien, Pascual from the Popal Family and chefs Matt Conroy and Isabel Coss, and a new downtown location of local favorite 2Fifty Texas BBQ.


New hotels include the upscale Royal Sonesta Washington, DC – Capitol Hill and rebranded Westin Washington, DC Downtown, emphasizing wellness. The International Spy Museum’s “Bond in Motion” features 007’s iconic vehicles (through April 2025); the new portrait of Oprah is on view at the National Portrait Gallery (through Oct. 20, 2024); and the National Building Museum’s most ambitious exhibition ever, “Building Stories,” explores how children’s books impact our understanding of construction and design.


March is also a busy month in the Capital of Sports. The 2024 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off March 12 at Capital One Arena, while the CAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships will be played at the Entertainment & Sports Arena (March 8-12 and 13-17). The Wizards and Capitals are in the home stretch of their respective seasons, while Audi Field will host home openers for soccer’s DC United on March 16 and the Spirit on March 23. The Nationals’ home opener at Nationals Park is April 1.


Official National Cherry Blossom Festival Experiences:

Make it a Blossom-Inspired Trip:

Blossom-Inspired Hotel Packages:

  • Conrad Washington, DC: The extravagant Concierge experience includes a Sakura Club room with daily gourmet breakfast, dinner and Japanese whiskey tasting, a four course cherry blossom inspired dinner with wine pairing at Estuary, one-hour photography session at the cherry blossoms, David Yurman his and her rose gold jewelry, private shopping experience with a $1,000 gift card at CityCenterDC, personalized picnic basket, a lapel pin collection and official Festival fleece (March 14-April 30).
  • Hilton Washington, DC National Mall The Wharf: Celebrate with cherry blossom-themed décor in the lobby and deluxe guestrooms (March 20-April 14).
  • Hotel Zena: Half-off parking, plus the hotel will plant one tree for every reservation booked in partnership with the National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20-April 14).
  • InterContinental Washington, DC – The Wharf: With a two-night stay, receive daily breakfast, a Kodak camera, one-hour bike rental, cherry blossom map, welcome amenity and drink for two (March 17-April 14).
  • The Jefferson: With the “Blossoms by Boat” package, enjoy leisurely, unobstructed views via a private luxury boat tour with Embark DC (March 10-April 30).
  • Kimpton Hotel Monaco and Kimpton George: 90-minute DIY “Parfums & Blooms” floral fragrance class for two hosted on-site by B Parfums, two custom fragrance bottles, bottle of Rose bubbly, cherry blossom scented bath salts and travel candle (March 1-April 30).
  • Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection: Fly your custom Mayflower kite, plus receive a downloadable map of the best sites for kite flying (March 14-April 28).
  • Pendry Washington, DC – The Wharf: Enjoy e-bike rentals, a picnic for two, and a digitally guided experience to the perfect picnic destination. Also enjoy a Boozy Tea at Bar Pendry, treatments at Spa Pendry and a sightseeing tour aboard the hotel’s captain-chartered luxury dayboat (through June 9).
  • Sofitel Washington, DC Lafayette Square: Welcome amenity, daily breakfast and nightly cherry blossom cocktails at Opaline Bar & Brasserie, and a signed print of local artist Maggie O’Neill’s cherry blossoms painting (February 28-April 13).
  • Westin Washington, DC City Center: Two drink tickets to its Cherry Blossom Speakeasy, two continental breakfast vouchers, car service to and from the Tidal Basin and cherry blossom honey (March 20-April 14).
  • YOTEL Washington, DC: Roundtrip car service to the Tidal Basin, cherry blossom scones, breakfast and dinner at Art and Soul (March 20-April 14).
  • View more ideas here.

Blossom-Inspired Food and Drinks:

Travel Tips:

  • Common viewing sites: The Tidal Basin, near the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.
  • Small clusters of trees can be found along the National Mall, just northwest of the Lincoln Memorial and around the Washington Monument.
  • Alternative sites from the National Mall: The Gardens of Dumbarton Oaks, U.S. National Arboretum, East Potomac Park / Hains Point Loop Trail, The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Alternative ways to see the blossoms:

What’s Coming Up:

  • Salamander Washington, DC – Ongoing
    Phased enhancements to the Salamander Collection’s first DC property are nearing completion, including the outdoor courtyard, lobby, spa and highly anticipated restaurant from acclaimed chef Kwame Onwuachi, Dōgon.
  • Filmfest DC – April 18-28
    The largest and longest-running annual international film festival in DC.
  • Passport DC – May 1-31
    A month of programming, including the Around the World Embassy Tour and European Union Open House, highlights DC’s international culture.
  • Capital Pride – May 31-June 9
    Celebrate Pride Month with street festivals, concerts and a parade. Join the world in DC for World Pride in 2025.
  • Folger Shakespeare Library – June 21
    The Capitol Hill landmark, featuring the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, will reopen following a three-year, $82 million renovation.
  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival – June 26-July 1
    A summer tradition, the festival returns with a celebration of the National Museum of the American Indian’s 20th anniversary on the National Mall.

Link to cherry blossom images for use, courtesy of here.


Link to cherry blossom broll for use, courtesy of here.


Interview requests: Please email [email protected] to speak with DDC President and CEO Elliott Ferguson.

February 29, 2024

Media Contacts

Danielle Davis
Vice President of Communications
Susan O'Keefe
Senior Marketing & Communications Manager, Trade
Nicole Nussbaum
Global Media Manager
Goldy Fogel
Global Media Manager
Kyle Deckelbaum
Domestic Media Relations Manager
Claire Deegan
Communications Coordinator
(202) 789-7059