Spring has always been one of my favorite seasons in DC. Flowers peaking out all over, trees take new shape with fresh buds on their branches, and the weather keeps everything feeling fresh and welcoming. And, of course, everything is enhanced by the beautiful cherry blossoms. But with the cherry blossoms come the swarms of tourists. It’s an annoying price to pay, but worth it if you can brave the crowds or find a spot to enjoy the pepto-colored flowers away from the tourists.
I haven’t made it out yet this year, but you can see my pictures from last year here. I am thinking that this year I will try to enjoy the cherry blossoms from a few of the less traveled spots, like the National Arboretum. If you have suggestions of good places to go, please let me know in the comments. I’ll post my finds, along with pictures, later this week.
If you are coming to DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, or if you are a local who just wants to enjoy the beautiful season, here are a few useful websites to help you plan your visit:
- Official Website for the National Cherry Blossom Festival – your best guide to the official festival.
- The Washington Post’s 2009 Festival Guide – pretty much geared for tourists, but has lots of good links.
- We Love DC has a guide to cherry blossom-themed foods in the area, mostly drinks and sushi focused. If you manage to try all of their recommendations, let me know!
- Metromix pulled together an extensive list of area events to check out.
- Washingtonian‘s guide has links for tourists and locals, including suggestions of where to see the cherry blossoms without the crowds.
- New addition on 3/31: Bring your iPod and listen to Washingtonian’s list of cherry-themed songs!
My best tip, if you are going to the tidal basin, is to go early in the morning on a week day (provided you can get out of work or go in a little late). I have always found that the light is great when the sun is just coming up, and you get much lighter crowds.