Like a Local: DC Cherry Blossom Festival

All the details

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is not just about beautiful flowers—it’s a celebration of the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan, and is meant to honor the relationship between the two countries. In 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gifted 3,000 Cherry trees to Washington, D.C.  Today, the festival spans four weekends and is visited by over 1.5 million from around the world—all you have to do is look at the beautiful photos to see why.

**Dates: **This year, the festival will be held from March 15th through April 16th. The two largest events include the Opening Ceremony, which will take place on March 25th, and the parade on April 8th. You can expect these to be busy though, so we’ll give you a few secret spots that are perfect for seeing the sights, while staying out of the crowds. Keep in mind that this year’s peak bloom has been forecasted from March 19th-22nd, meaning right now is the perfect time to plan your D.C. trip or staycation.

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Where to go

**Kenwood Area: **This secret spot is consistently raved about by D.C. natives. Given its quiet streets, and must-see archway of blooms, the Kenwood area is perfect for a serene stroll.

**Foxhall Village: **Another local favorite, Foxhall Village features two different types of trees, one of which blooms a bit later than the classic Yoshino cherry trees. That being said, if you can’t make it during the peak bloom period, Foxhall Village is the best place to visit in April.

**Tidal Basin: **This is the most well-known, and surely the most packed place during this time of the year. For that reason, it’s not the best stop for locals, but these sights are definitely worth a one-time trip.

Image via @eolachic on Instagram

What to eat & drink

**Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar: **Okay, it’s so cool that we had to include it. But fair warning before you go: this place will be packed. This pop-up bar, designed by Derek Brown, is half floral escape and half super Mario world. For details on their drink and snack offerings, click here.

**Ardeo & Bardeo: **This cherry blossom cocktail is made with lavender syrup, Cocchi Americano, Lemon Juice, and Sake. And, we hear it is downright delicious.

**Astro Doughnuts: **This blooming season, Astro Doughnuts special flavor features homemade cherry jam filling, cream cheese glaze, with a dark chocolate cherry design on top. Pro Tip: If you order ahead, you can ask for mini doughnuts—perfect for being the office hero.

Even if you’ve been living in the D.C. area your whole life, the beauty of cherry blossom season is undeniable, and well worth dealing with the crowds swarming to the city. Make sure to grab a few cherry blossom snacks, and then head to any of these spots to take in the sights, smells, and tastes! Have any favorite spots or secret tips for the blooming season? Leave us a note in the comments below, and we’ll make sure to add it to our guide.