The cherry blossoms in Washington, DC draw crowds of thousands every spring during the Cherry Blossom Festival. The soft pink blooms, with Washington, DC monuments in the background, offer the perfect photography subject. Though I have lived in Baltimore for five years, this was my first time catching the cherry blossoms in peak bloom. I am happy to share my beautiful captures of the cherry blossom trees. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC.
History Behind the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC
The cherry blossom trees were a gift from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo in 1912 to the city of Washington, DC. The gift of 3,000 cherry trees commemorates the close ties between the United States and Japan.
Where to Find the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC
The Tidal Basin holds the vast majority of Washington, DC's cherry blossom trees and is the most popular photo spot. Visitors are able to walk along the banks of the Tidal Basin and capture up close pictures with the majestic cherry blossom trees. The rippling water of the Tidal Basin makes for an awesome backdrop for the colorful cherry blossoms. to see views of not only the cherry blossom trees but also the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. A lap around the Tidal Basin offers views from many different vantage points.A walk around the Tidal Basin reveals views of not only the cherry blossom trees but also the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.Capture a panoramic view of the Washington Monument surrounded by cherry blossoms by shooting some shots from the Jefferson Memorial.There are countless photo opportunities as you walk along the Tidal Basin.Parking can be a bit tricky. Most of the parking lots close to the Tidal Basin are closed during the Cherry Blossom Festival. There is a satellite parking lot for festival visitors but you have to ride a shuttle to and from to get to the Tidal Basin. There is very limited street parking but be careful to read signs. I, unfortunately, parked int he wrong place and got a parking ticket :(.The Tidal Basin certainly draws the largest crowds. If you want to capture some pictures of cherry blossom trees in a bit more solitude, you could also visit the US National Arboretum.
Cherry Blossoms in Peak Bloom
What does it mean when people say the cherry blossoms are in "peak bloom?" Peak bloom is the time when the cherry blossoms are fully bloomed and at their best. Though the Cherry Blossom Festival usually runs from mid-March to mid-April, there is only about a one week span when the cherry blossom blooms are optimal. This is by far the best time to see the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC.The National Park Service can predict the period of peak bloom based on weather forecasts and the current condition of the cherry blossom trees. The predicted peak bloom dates are always in flux leading up to the Cherry Blossom Festival because it is very dependent on unpredictable spring weather. Fans of the cherry blossoms can keep up with the Cherry Blossom Watch to stay current on the peak bloom predictions. This spring has been unusually cold which has pushed back the peak bloom dates.If you are planning to visit Washington, DC for peak bloom, I suggest keeping a close eye on the peak bloom predictions and having flexible travel plans.
Ready to See Some Cherry Blossoms?
So I gave the low down on where to find the best cherry blossoms photo spots, where to park, when is the best time to see the peak blooms, and the history behind the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC. I hope this inspires you to take a trip to the nation's capital to see these beautiful cherry blossom trees. Feel free to comment or email me any additional questions.