A Free Tourist Guide to DC’s Cherry Blossom Season

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If you’ve lived in DC long enough to witness the onslaught of tourists during cherry blossom season, then you know why an article like this is needed. As residents of our great non-state, we should reap the rewards of this crowd-free, rose-filled season: we deserve to enjoy long, 70-degree days that include fluttering daffodils, bright flowers, and less side effects. marshes of the coming summer months.

First, a few facts: peak bloom at Tidal Basin, the mecca for cherry blossom viewing, has been slated for March 22 (tomorrow!). the National Cherry Blossom Festival runs until April 17. The Tidal Basin cherry trees were a gift from Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki to the district.

Okay, now the list of where to visit cherry blossom sites, where to drink cherry blossom themed drinks and eat cherry blossom themed food and also where to do some fun rose flavored stuff this season.

If you want to stick around and celebrate with a homemade cherry blossom-themed event (see suggestions below), you can do so while looking at the bloom camera.

TO SEE:

National Arboretum

You will have to drive here. It’s right in the neighborhood, but there’s not much nearby (apart from Costco). It’s a dog-friendly natural oasis with both dirt and paved trails – and 1,000 different cherry trees. Take a self-guided tour (and a leash for the dog), and when you enter, we recommend parking in one of the backlots where you’ll find more parking and even access to the Anacostia River. Non-electric bicycles and scooters allowed.

East Potomac Park and Hains Point

Although some call it a peninsula, East Potomac Park is an island located between the main stem of the Potomac River and the Washington Channel. In southwest DC, you can bike, scooter, run, walk, and more, and take in the views of Ohio Drive, lined with cherry blossoms. Hains Point, where you can play golf, mini-golf or tennis, is at the southern end of the park. The Jefferson Memorial is at the north end. Friendly dog.

Congress Cemetery

Described as “historic but active,” the Congressional Cemetery is a 35-acre cemetery on Capitol Hill lined with cherry blossom trees. It accepts dogs, but note that it can take two years to get off their dog membership waiting list.

Kenwood—Bethesda, Maryland

Off Little Falls Parkway, this neighborhood is lined with cherry blossoms. Just outside DC on the Chevy Chase line, Kenwood Avenue will be packed with voyeurs, but most of them will be locals. When you visit, remember that people actually live here.

Capitol grounds

While there was may being tourists here, they are likely to be there to see the capitol building and the nearby Supreme Court. Right on Capitol Hill, the Capitol Architect is responsible for all plant life on the grounds as well as introducing the People’s Tree each Christmas.

Stanton Park

A few blocks east of the Capitol Building, this public park (with a children’s playground as well) has cherry blossoms flanking the circle where the statue of General Nathanael Greene stands. Yes, it’s confusing: the park is named after Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War under Abraham Lincoln, but the statue is of a different guy. Located at the intersection of Maryland and Massachusetts Avenues on Capitol Hill.

Dumbarton Oaks

Atop the hill in Georgetown, in 2014 National Geographic named Dumbarton Oaks one of the ten best gardens in the world. Check out the secluded “Cherry Hill” garden, open 3-6 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday, to stock up on cherry blossoms. You may want to purchase a ticket in advance.

Oxon Run Park

With over 200 cherry blossom trees planted in the early 2000s, this park is across the river in the southeast. The Friends of Oxon Run Park are committed to improving the tree canopy in the neighborhood; consider making a donation.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

In Northeast DC’s Brookland neighborhood, there are more than 150 cherry blossom trees on the campus of the largest Roman Catholic church in North America. Open to the public free of charge.

Kenilworth Water Park and Gardens

Also great for bird watching, Kenilworth Park is one of DC’s best kept secrets. You don’t have to go too far into the park to see a lot of cherry trees; they surround the parking lot and the visitor center.

Anacostia Park

This park offers a view of the cherry blossoms lining the waterfront trail. As a bonus, bring binoculars because there might be a bald eagle.

EAT DRINK:

Buffalo and Bergen

The Scidmore Sazerac includes Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye, absinthe, brandied cherry and Peychaud’s Bitters. A taste of history, the cocktail is named after Mrs. Eliza Scidmore, who formed the proposal to bring the famous cherry trees to DC. They also offer an Ozaki Sour: Japanese Whiskey Toki, Sakura crushed, blood orange, lemon and egg white. Named after the mayor of Tokyo who gifted the cherry trees to DC.

Suburb

The vintage Airstream trailer is launching a #BlossomBar outside the Union Market for cherry blossom season. The celebrations will include an outdoor photo booth and cocktails like I Just Cherry Crush A Lot (with a frozen cherry hibiscus crush) and A Cherry Tree (a frozen cherry Gin Rickey, DC’s official cocktail).

Bayou Bakery

Yes, you’ll have to go to Virginia, but chef David Guas will have you covered. It celebrates the season with warm rolls sprinkled with cherries and frosting.

Immigrant Food+: at the Planet Word Museum

Cocktails and mocktails on offer include the Sakura Sour, a pink drink with Japanese FUK Single Grain Whiskey, house-made raspberry bush, Japanese yuzu bitters, and egg whites; Mint Blossoming Gin and Tonic (with butterfly pea flower infused with Jin Jiji India Dry Gin and elderflower); and the Tonic Tidal Basin Mocktail. Cherry-themed desserts include the pink dragon panna cotta: almond cookie crumble, raspberry, white chocolate ganache, cherry jelly, strawberry meringue and bergamot.

Cherry blossom foie gras

DolceVita

DolceVita

Here you can order a Blushing Blossom (Tito’s, St Germaine and fresh lime juice on a large pink ice cube made with cranberry and topped with edible flowers), followed by seared foie gras with cherry blossom, with honey yogurt and lime, white strawberry, dragon fruit, brioche, cherry poached in red wine, strawberry caviar and raspberry coulis.

gatsby

Get your flower syrup in a Full Bloom cocktail, with Haku vodka, Mancino Sakura vermouth, flower syrup, lemon and bubbles.

EVENTS:

NoMa in bloom

This northeast DC neighborhood is lighting things up for cherry blossom season. NoMa’s iconic water tower will be illuminated in bright pink until mid-April. On March 24, acclaimed DC multimedia artist Robin Bell will debut a new commissioned work, Vicissitude, on the 125-foot high facade of The Burton apartment building (200 Florida Avenue NE). It will be DC’s newest and highest artistic canvas. The visual will be in a constant state of transition, just like real flowers. The project will light up every night until April 3 from 7:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Excellent vantage point: the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

garden of wonders

Celebrating Cherry Fest until April 17, there will be photo ops with the giant Cherry Blossom sculpture created and designed by renowned artist Patrick Guyton. There’s also Paint & Sip on March 29 and Cherry Nights on March 31.

The city of Alexandria

The powers that be in Alexandria have created a springtime Instagram trail. With a list of 10 Instagram-worthy locations, you won’t have to search for the best flowers across the Potomac, from the waterfront to Tide Lock Park; they even sneaked into a great spot to photograph blooming wisteria.

STAY AT HOME:

For those who want to enjoy the sights and activities but prefer a party at home, we offer homemade ice cream and cocktails.

ice cream jubilee

Choose cherry blossom themed flavors and make a sundae at home. Your options: Smoked Vanilla Sakura Cherry with Lapsang Souchong Smoked Black Tea; Raspberry Rose (pink raspberry ice cream with a touch of rose water); and Cherries Jubilee (brandy plus dark cherry ice cream).

Pratt Standard

Make your own cherry blossom cocktail at home with Pratt Standard’s recipe for a Cherry Blossom Fizz:

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz vodka or gin
  • 0.5 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz Pratt Standard Cherry Blossom Syrup
  • 2oz club soda

Mix vodka, lemon juice and cherry blossom syrup in a shaker, add plenty of ice, shake and strain into a coupe glass. Add club soda if desired. For a non-alcoholic version, omit the alcohol and add club soda.

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