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An Insider’s Guide to Cherry Blossom Season in the Capital: A Visitor’s Must-Do List

When spring breathes life into Washington, DC, cherry blossoms paint the town in swathes of soft pastels. The National Cherry Blossom Festival—a celebration of friendship with Japan and the beauty of nature—traditionally unfolds at the end of March and continues until mid-April— is a not-to-be-missed pageant of pink. The festival honors the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Tokyo to DC. Symbolizing renewal and goodwill, the cherry blossoms form an integral part of Washington's cultural landscape and bring together communities to appreciate the fleeting beauty of these blooms.

As the cherry blossoms paint Washington, DC with strokes of pink and white, the city becomes a canvas for those seeking the simple joys of nature. Wandering along the Tidal Basin provides a tranquil experience, with the opportunity to cherish the seasonal splendor and engage in a host of activities that celebrate spring's arrival. 


Best Spots to See Cherry Blossoms

  • Tidal Basin remains the primary spectacle, offering postcard views alongside the Jefferson Memorial.

  • Dramatic backdrops await near the National Mall, while the tranquility of Hains Point provides a quieter alternative.

  • Don't miss the residential splendor of Kenwood—a local secret known for its streets lined with flourishing trees. 

Activities and Events

The city comes alive with vibrant events from outdoor picnics to boat tours on the Potomac River, complete with performances and photography workshops. Leisurely bike tours trace the blossom trail, ensuring you catch every viewpoint. This year, in 2024, the festival is set to take place from March 20 to April 14. Here are some of the key events you might want to attend:


  • Tidal Basin Welcome Area & Performance Stage: This space will offer information about the festival and feature a variety of performances.

  • Opening Ceremony: The festival kicks off with a grand opening ceremony on March 23rd.

  • Blossom Kite Festival: This is a popular event where attendees can fly kites near the Washington Monument on March 30th.

  • Petalpalooza: This event takes place on April 6th at The Wharf and features a full day of live music, food, and a fireworks show.

  • National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade: The festival's grand finale is the parade on April 13th, featuring marching bands, cheerleaders, and elaborate floats.

  • Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival on April 13th-14th. It often coincides with the peak of the blossoms, offering an immersive experience of Japanese culture. This event transforms city blocks into a vibrant tapestry of Japanese cuisine, art, and performance. Attendees can indulge in authentic Japanese food, witness traditional dance and music, and explore a marketplace filled with crafts and imported goods. The Sakura Matsuri Festival is considered the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the U.S. and is a must-visit for anyone looking to enrich their festival experience beyond the stunning cherry blossoms.

Where to Stay During the DC Cherry Blossom Trip

The crown jewel of your cherry blossom season visit could just be your stay at Swann House Bed & Breakfast. Nestled in Dupont Circle, Swann House boasts newly-renovated rooms within a historic 1883 mansion. Each morning, awaken to a continental breakfast before you step out to witness the grandeur of the cherry blossoms. Afterward, find solace in our private courtyard oasis, or relax in one of the many common areas of Swann House, thoughtfully dedicated for guests' entertainment, such as the Study, the Parlor, or the Solarium. Swann House is remarkably close to all DC attractions, including the sites around the cherry blossoms, and further offers proximity to exceptional dining and unique shopping experiences.

With utmost attention to every detail, Swann House is a comforting, luxurious retreat in the lively heart of DC.


To make a booking during the cherry blossom season CLICK HERE, or to get more tailored recommendations for your stay, reach out at 202-265-4414 or email stay@swannhouse.com.


Thank you for reading,

The Team at Swann House


Remember to follow Swann House on Instagram and Facebook, and tell us about your stay over at Trip Advisor or Google. We look forward to hosting your next DC trip!

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