Nothing symbolizes the arrival of the spring season in D.C. quite like the orchestrated blooming of 3,000+ cherry blossom trees throughout our nation’s capital. In fact, more than 1.5 million visitors annually descend upon Washington, D.C. each year to admire (and heavily Instagram) the sea of pink and rosy hues that flood the city.
With spring headed our way and tourists readying their D.C. trip itineraries, below you will find some of the top ways readers can maximize their upcoming cherry blossom pilgrimages.
DO: Go all-in on the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which goes from March 20 — April 15. The rolling three-week celebration offers an array of festivities for blossom enthusiasts including daily live music, fireworks shows, Japanese street performances, a lavish parade and even a kite flying festival.
Gather your friends and amble along the Tidal Basin reservoir, which can be argued as the heart of the cherry blossom action during peak season (and one of the city’s most scenic spots year-round). For some aquatic fun, grab a swan or pedal boat to glide from end to end taking in nature’s bounty.
Honor the city’s floral gifts from the Far East by attending Japanese Culture Day at the Library of Congress on April 7. Kids and parents alike will have the opportunity to better understand Japanese culture through reading, writing, and craft making (including tiaras!) with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals.
EAT: Enjoy lunch al fresco at Sequoia, nestled in the Washington Harbor. This swanky American restaurant offers its guests sweeping terrace-side views of the Potomac River and all its cherry blossom glory, including Arne Quinze’s large-scale site-specific sculpture in the garden, the Kennedy Center, Roosevelt Bridge, Roosevelt Island, Key Bridge, and the Virginia skyline.
Grab some food truck fare and create your own cherry blossom picnic at L’Enfant Plaza’s outdoor square, just steps away from the National Mall. Choose from an eclectic mix of tacos, curries and kabobs while surrounding yourself with 120,000 square feet of communal shopping and dining.
STAY: Rest up at the new Pod DC, located in the lively Penn Quarter and Chinatown neighborhood. Opened in May 2017, the property models the successful Pod Hotels in Manhattan and Brooklyn to offer 245 well-appointed and affordable guest rooms plus vibrant shared spaces where travelers are encouraged to socialize and connect.
Partnering with Washington’s most prolific restaurant and bar operating teams, the property offers three food and beverage venues: Crimson Diner, Crimson Whiskey Bar, and Crimson View. Situated right across the street from the Gallery Place-Chinatown metro station and the Smithsonian museums, the hotel is a short hop to the Verizon Center, top-rated theaters, restaurants, parks, and all of the city’s best cherry blossom vistas. Rates start at $159/night.