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Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial surrounded by cherry blossoms - Free things to do in Washington, DC

Things to Know About the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC



Check out these things you need to know about DC's famous cherry blossom trees and the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The cherry blossom trees are without a doubt the stars of springtime in Washington, DC. Visit the District during this time and you’ll find the nation’s capital is accented in pink for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which takes place which virtual and in-person events from March 20 – April 11, 2021. Here are some must-knows as you plan to celebrate the blossoms at home or during a safe, in-person visit to DC.

Note that the National Park Service requires masks be worn when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Visit the Service's website for more information. You can also see what's open in DC and peruse the latest travel status updates.
 

01

When do the cherry blossoms bloom?

Cherry blossoms up close with the Jefferson Memorial during the National Cherry Blossom Festival this spring in Washington, DC

Cherry blossoms up close with the Jefferson Memorial during the National Cherry Blossom Festival this spring in Washington, DC

This popular question has a different answer year-to-year. The average peak bloom date, which is when 70% of the flowers of the cherry blossom trees are open, is around April 4. In the past, peak bloom has occurred as early as March 15 and as late as April 18. The entire blooming period can last up to 14 days, which includes the days leading up to peak bloom. The National Park Service (NPS) annually predicts the official peak bloom and shares details on its website, which also indicates that “it is nearly impossible to give an accurate forecast much more than 10 days before the peak bloom.” The best viewing of the cherry blossom trees typically lasts four to seven days after peak bloom begins, but the blossoms can last for up to two weeks under ideal conditions.

02

Where can you see the cherry blossom trees?

The most popular place to visit the cherry blossom trees is at the Tidal Basin, which provides great photo ops near the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. The majority of blossoms are located in this area and along the shoreline of East Potomac Park, which extends all the way to Hains Point. Meanwhile, small clusters of trees can be found along the National Mall, just northwest of the Lincoln Memorial and around the Washington Monument. Off-the-radar cherry blossom trees can be found at the National Arboretum, Anacostia Park, Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown, Stanton Park and Oxon Run Park. Here's how to find the best Metro lines, bus routes and bicycle pathways for reaching DC's cherry blossom spots. Be sure to read DC's latest travel status updates as well.

03

What time of day should you visit the cherry blossoms?

First off, there is no bad time to visit the cherry blossoms. Any time you get to see them is time well spent. During the spring season, the least busy time to visit the cherry blossoms is in the early morning or evening. You can expect more people on weekends and when the blooms are peaking.
 

Last but not least, do your part in helping to protect the National Mall and the cherry blossoms. We kindly remind you to look at the blossoms, but never pick them (it’s against the law).

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