I was going to wait to press publish on this blog post… but I just couldn’t! DC in spring is my absolute favorite, and these blooms needed to be shared like NOW. Each year, I’m consistently blown away by how this city comes ALIVE at the end of March. Flowers bloom, people are out and about, and all of the restaurant front porches begin to open on nice days. It is such a dramatic difference from the winter, and it feels SO good. With spring also comes DC’s amazing cherry blossoms… which is what brings us to today’s blog post! I played tourist HARD this weekend, y’all, and I have no regrets about it!
For the last three springs, I’ve simultaneously looked forward to the blooms and also dread them a little. It really is fun to see the excited crowds, and the blooms really are absolutely stunning. However, the already wild DC traffic becomes a little crazier, the exact bloom date can be a little tricky to navigate, and sometimes the crowds are a little overwhelming. I can’t complain though, because all of these slight inconveniences are dramatically outweighed by the BEAUTY of these blooms. I think I forget just how impressive the blossoms are each year, and am reminded as soon as I see the first tree begin to bloom!
I wasn’t sure if I was going to visit the blossoms for fun this year, but I am so glad that I did! Even after three years, these blossoms never get old. I toured the blossoms with a few friends, and y’all, it was COLD! Saturday had us in shorts and tank tops, and Sunday brought cold temperatures! Coats were definitely necessary. Still, it was so beautiful and so much fun to tour the cherry blossoms right at sunset.
Today is technically the predicted peak bloom date, meaning that 70% of the Yoshino Cherry blossoms are open. I’m sharing today’s post to celebrate! The fluffy blooms in pretty tones of pinks and white are absolutely gorgeous and make my heart so happy. Spring is HERE, y’all! If you have been thinking about visiting the blossoms in DC, I’m just going to go ahead and say don’t wait… do it!!
If you are going to visit the blooms yourself, here are a few of my tips to help make the most of your experience:
- Bring snacks & water! There are food trucks and Cherry Blossom Festival snack booths, but sometimes prices can be high and the walks can be long. Bring your own and save some cash and some steps!
- Head to the blossoms early! Arrive at sunrise for the best chance of thin crowds. Crowds are typically at their peak through early afternoon, though exact crowd levels vary depending on the day of the week and outside temperature.
- Be prepared to walk. A LOT. Parking is a bit tricky, and the closest metro stop is pretty far away! Yes, there are buses that take you to this area, but the walk around the Tidal Basin is a lot longer than many people realize. Wear comfy shoes!
- If you have seasonal allergies, make sure you begin taking your allergy meds well before visiting the blossoms.
- Taking individual and group photos can be a little tricky. Have patience!
- Peak bloom changes year to year and also changes after the first predicted peak bloom date! This is the NPS source that I use to determine when peak bloom will actually be. They typically issue their report at the beginning of March. Be prepared for it to change a few times!
- Bring a coat or jacket! Even on warmer temperature days, the tidal basin can be a little cooler and breezier than the rest of the city!
- Pack light— avoid backpacks and open top purses! There are tons of people packed into a small space, which always makes me a bit more aware of keeping an eye on my belongings. Avoid larger bags and backpacks to easily navigate crowds and do opt for a purse or bag that has a zipper.
Now… let’s dive into the pretty!
If you ever wondered WHY I require all cherry blossom sessions to be in the morning, this is the reason: Look at those crazy afternoon crowds! No one would want those kinds of crowds in their images. I did my best to strategically photograph above people for this post!
I spy my favorite DC memorial! I can’t tell which blooms I like more… the pink or the white! Both are absolutely stunning, but I *think* I might be leaning towards loving the pink blooms most! I think I took about 100 images of JUST this tree… I could photograph these blooms allllll day long! Thankful for friends that will step in front of my camera and that will also be seen with me in public when I’m stopping every 5 feet for another photo! One last photo! I think this may be my favorite blossom view!
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