Tips for Experiencing Cherry Blossom Season in Washington DC

In 1906, Dr. David Fairchild, a US Department of Agriculture official, planted cherry trees experimentally near DC on his Chevy Chase, Maryland property. These trees sparked plans for further planting around the capital. Today, Washington DC celebrates the blossoming of these beautiful trees in various ways.


Read on to find out how you can experience and make the most of cherry blossom season when you book a bus ticket to Washington DC this spring.


The National Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival in DC started in 1935 and is now a 4-week celebration with events like parades, kite festivals, and art exhibits. In 2024, the festival spans from March 20 to April 14.


Cherry Blossom Blooming Season in Washington DC

The National Cherry Blossom Festival in DC spans almost four weeks, yet the blossoms themselves typically last only 1-2 weeks. Peak bloom timing varies depending on winter and spring weather conditions. Peak bloom usually falls within the festival's duration, running from mid-March to late April. The National Park Service monitors cherry blossom progress, providing increasingly accurate predictions closer to peak bloom. While their forecasts are generally reliable a couple of weeks in advance, nature's unpredictability means nothing is certain.


Where to Experience Cherry Blossom Season in Washington DC

1. The Washington Monument

Cherry trees are also planted near the Washington Monument, particularly on the southern and eastern sides. If you're at the Tidal Basin, it's a convenient stroll to admire these trees as well.


2. East Potomac Park


One of the top spots for cherry blossom viewing in Washington DC is East Potomac Park, just across I-395 from the Tidal Basin. The park has a 3-mile drive surrounded by thousands of cherry trees. While the Yoshino cherry trees here bloom simultaneously with those at the Tidal Basin, this area tends to be less crowded. You can park at Hains Point or anywhere along the one-way road to enjoy the blossoms. Additionally, East Potomac Park features Kwanzan cherry trees with darker pink blossoms, blooming about two weeks after the Yoshinos peak. 


3. Other Places to See Cherry Blossoms


While many opt for the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park for their abundance of cherry trees and free admission, other alternatives exist:


  • With various cherry and magnolia trees, the National Arboretum offers early Yoshino blooms and spacious, uncrowded grounds, with free entry and parking.
  • The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is a stunning church that has over 150 cherry trees surrounding it.
  • A museum in Georgetown Dumbarton Oaks features Cherry Hill, a charming garden with cherry trees and other blossoming varieties. The garden is open Tuesday–Sunday from 2-6:00 p.m., and starting March 15, they charge an admission fee, which helps manage cherry blossom crowds.


Experience Cherry Blossom Season in Washington DC with BestBus

If you’re looking for the ultimate experience this spring, book a bus ticket to Washington DC with BestBus. We offer several trips to and from Washington DC in our luxury buses. 


Book your ticket today and sign up for a membership!