As Spring finishes its early arrival, those familiar with the DC area know that one of the most emblematic events is the National Cherry Blossom Festival which centers around the blooming of 3,000 cherry trees that line the Tidal Basin. This year, with the early warm weather, the National Capital Weather Gang has bumped up their peak-bloom forecast to March18th-March 23rd.
The festival, which runs from March 18th until April 17th, has a wide variety of activities for everyone. However, as much we all wish we could attend and participate in every one of these events, we know it's more practical to stick with one or two. With this in mind, we selected 7 of the best cherry blossom activities for you to choose from.
1. See the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin
Well, this is an obvious one but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be done in order to get the full "wow" factor. With thousands of people, locals and visitors alike, heading towards the Tidal Basin, there is an air of excitement and appreciation for the beauty that Washington DC has to offer.
An alternative option to see the cherry blossoms, and one that actually seems much more exciting, is to take an alternative mode of transportation. This could be terrestrial - a Segway, a bicycle - or it could be aquatic - a paddle boat, a kayak or a Potomac River cruise!
2. Visit the memorials
Take advantage of the fact that you already made it to the Tidal Basin and you have so many National memorials within walking distance. Among the most notable ones are the Martin Luther King Jr., the Jefferson Memorial and the World War II Memorial.
3. Sakura Matsuri Street Festival
Stemming from the direct influence that Japan has had on the creation of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, the Sakura Matsuri Street Festival celebrates all aspects of Japanese culture. This gives visitors a chance to enjoy food, art, culture and live martial arts and sumo wrestling performances.
4. Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival
Be sure to head to the Southwest Waterfront in the area around 600 Water Street on April 9th in order to enjoy a day of live music, water-related activities, cherry-themed food and finally, to watch the impressive fireworks on display by representatives from Nagaoka, Japan which is known for its fireworks.
5. Avoid the crowds - visit the National Arboretum
The Tidal Basin is not the only place that you will find blooming cherry trees! Take a visit to the US National Arboretum and get a chance to also check out the Asian Gardens and the National Bonsai collection.
6. Visit museums and art galleries
The National Art Gallery and some Smithsonian museums take a cue from cultural events that are happening in the city and the National Cherry Blossom Festival is no exception. Be on the lookout for thematic shows!
7. Go outside and people watch!
Spring in the city attracts people from all over the world who are in town to sight-see and enjoy the weather. So go ahead, grab an ice cream, take a seat and enjoy them!