It is only fitting that I’m restarting my blog with a post about cherry blossoms. Many of you know how much I love spring and locating spots where I can photograph cherry blossoms and other seasonal blooms has been a sport of mine for many years now. Thankfully, Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas boast fantastic scenery and there are way too many places where you can savor the beauty of spring. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to cover it all in one blooming cycle.
Just a few days ago, the National Park Service announced that cherry blossom access will be limited at the Tidal Basin this year. As frustrating as this news has been for many of us, it has pushed me to do comprehensive research to find other places where we can see cherry blossoms in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. I think this list will be useful not only this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, but also in the future if you prefer to avoid the traditionally jam-packed Tidal Basin and find alternative, more secluded spots to photograph cherry blossoms or simply marvel at their beauty. This is a long list, so I’ll stick to bullet points not to bore you with extra words. Please use it as a general guide and do your own research before going to ensure these spots are currently open to the public. Also, some of these spots are very well-known for DMV residents, but I’m sure the post will be very helpful for people who have just moved here or are traveling to Washington D.C. specifically for cherry blossom season.
Without further ado, here is my list of the best cherry blossoms spots in Washington DC and around:
- The Washington Monument Grounds. It is the best place to start exploring not only cherry blossoms but the city’s major sights as well.
- U.S. Capitol Grounds has beautiful cherry blossom trees in the front and back. Fingers crossed we have full access shortly.
- National Gallery of Art features a few cherry blossom trees upfront which contrast beautifully with the façade of NGA.
- If you want to see Washington D.C. beyond “cliché” sights, then stroll through neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, and Alexandria’s Historic Old Town which are dotted with cherry blossom trees on random streets. Discovering them is like playing a scavenger hunt. Stroll and get lost in the maze of historic houses while also taking breaks at local cafes and shops.
- Lower Senate Park and Stanton Park in Capitol Hill have a nice collection of cherry trees.
- Cherry Hill at the Gardens of Dumbarton Oaks. The grounds are currently closed but keep checking their website as this may change shortly. This garden also features one of the most spectacular wisterias I have seen in the area.
- Scott Circle located at the junction of Massachusetts Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue, and 16th Street NW.
- Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington. Please check the website to see if public access is allowed.
- Congressional Cemetery at Hill East by the Anacostia River.
- The walking trail from Gravely Point leading up to the Navy Merchant Marine Memorial and beyond has not only a few beautiful cherry blossom trees but also boasts splendid views of Washington D.C.
- U.S. National Arboretum. Cherry blossom trees here might bloom a tad earlier than Tidal Basin, so I recommend downloading their app to see exactly what is blooming and where so you are not driving around aimlessly.
- Bishop’s Garden at Washington National Cathedral features star magnolias and weeping cherries and you can get an amazing shot of the Cathedral framed by blossoms from the bottom of the garden.
- Cleveland Park features plenty of cherry trees in spots like Idaho Avenue, near the Hearst Recreation Center, and the roads running east/west from Porter to Macomb streets.
- The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception has 150 cherry trees bloom each spring.
- Michigan Park, Northeast and Puerto Rico Avenue on the west side of the park and north of University Heights, have dozens of Yoshino trees.
- Hains Point Loop Trail. A 4.4-mile loop is full of views of the blossoms with waterfront backdrops of the Potomac River, Anacostia River, and Washington Channel and around 10 cherry blossom varieties, including my favorite kwanzan cherry blossoms.
- Rockville Civic Center Park and Glenview Mansion. This is also a great spot to enjoy a nature center, playground, and wooded nature walk.
- Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna has a beautiful mix of cherry and magnolia trees, a small pond and a gazebo.
- Other Fairfax County Virginia parks such as Green Spring Gardens, Workhouse Arts Center and Mosaic District.
- Van Gogh Bridge at Lake Anne in Reston has a few picturesque trees.
- Snow Meadow Lane is a small, dead-end street in McLean lined with late-blooming cherry trees.
- Kenwood Village off River Road near Little Falls Pkwy, Ad Hoc Road in Great Falls and Foxhall Village south of Glover Park, are both charming neighborhoods lined with cherry trees.
- American University Park has a few beautiful Korean cherry trees on its grounds, planted as early as 1943! For more blossoms in the area, walk between Massachusetts and Western avenues along 49th Street and side streets like Asbury Place.
- Anacostia Park at 1900 Anacostia Drive SE offers cherry blossom trees along a lovely riverside path.
- Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens at 1550 Anacostia Ave NE.
As long as this list is, it doesn’t even cover all the spots in D.C. Metro Area and beyond. However, I hope that this will provide plenty of cherry blossom viewing options for residents, photographers, and tourists alike who are looking forward to the spring blooms.
If you find this post helpful, consider sharing it among your friends who might also be interested. And if you do check one of these locations out, tag me in your posts on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, I’d love to see since I won’t be able to visit all of them myself either!
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