Look out Coachella, DC’s Petalpalooza is coming for you. It’s just one event that will take place during the three colorful weeks of concerts, parades, art shows, and festivals that celebrate the long-awaited return of cherry blossoms to the nation’s capital. And it’s not just the trees that’ll proudly strut their pastel stuff during this time; the city itself will appear to be in bloom from March 20th through April 12th with its pink lighting, blossom images and cherry-blossom-inspired food and drink everywhere you look.
We suggest you arrive with comfortable walking shoes, a sense of wonder and, last but not least, a camera or phone with plenty of free space to hold IG-worthy pics that will have all your friends turning pink with envy.
We’ve rounded up some sweet ways to get in the blossom spirit and take that perfect #nofilter shot:
- Although the Tidal Basin crowds promise to be mighty at any time of day, head to the Jefferson Memorial to take that iconic shot of the gorgeous trees against a backdrop of sleek Washington monuments. To get there, borrow a free PUBLIC Bike from our hotels, or hop on guided tours with companies like Bike and Roll DC and Washington Photo Safari.
- Snap the trees from a Tidal Basin paddle boat that allows you to sail into the center of the action. Alternatively, board boats with killer views operated by DC Cruises or the Potomac Riverboat Company, or hop in a kayak for close-up water views.
- Fit the blooms and towering Washington Monument into your frame during the vibrant Blossom Kite Festival on April 2 (this year celebrating 50 years of kite flying on the National Mall).
- Pack a picnic to enjoy under the branches of less-frequented blossom spots like West Potomac Park, Hains Point and the National Arboretum, where you can photograph trees next to the Corinthian columns that once belonged to the Capitol building.
- Take part in the can’t-miss National Cherry Blossom Festival. The photo-worthy events range from the incredible Opening Ceremony (March 21st) and beloved National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade (April 4th), to the Blossom Kite Festival (March 28th), Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Fest (April 4th), and, of yes, the day-long, music-filled Petalpalooza (April 11th). To get the full Festival scoop and schedule, visit the official website.
Although the blossoms only remain in full bloom for about five days, they can be glimpsed before and after peak dates, too. Follow along on the National Park Service’s EarthCam for the latest views.
And we can’t think of a better place to unwind after a long day of cherry gazing than in one of our nearby Kimpton D.C. hotels where the amenities rock, the food impresses and the staff warmly welcomes.
Help us celebrate our city in all its pastel-hued glory; we can’t wait to see DC springtime through your lens!