The National Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off on Saturday, March 18, and the National Park Service recently announced March 22 through March 25 as the estimated peak bloom dates. As always, the pink-and-white blooms will frame the nation’s monuments and line the Tidal Basin, gathering groups of picnickers, photographers, and more.
But there are other less-crowded locations across Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland where you can see cherry blossoms. Here’s where you can find cherry blossoms with more peace and quiet.
Green Spring Gardens
Green Spring Gardens welcomes visitors from across the region and show off its nine-and-a-half-acre garden, with cherry blossom trees found throughout the park, along with other budding spring flowers. Find your peace while walking over the bubbling streams and valleys, take a peek at the 18th-century plantation house and greenhouse, and be sure to let the kids explore the children’s garden. Family-friendly activities are already planned for cherry blossom season too, meaning you can plan a whole day of fun around spending time outside, packing a picnic, and letting the kids create something new related to the season. Green Spring Gardens: 4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria
Cherry blossoms already change much of the natural scenery across the region for the better, but if you’re in search of a true change outside of NoVA and the nation’s capital, head to Montgomery County, Maryland. The Kenwood neighborhood is home to an estimated 1,200 cherry blossom trees. They were planted in the 1930s and 1940s to attract homebuyers to the area. The area is conveniently located near downtown Bethesda and Chevy Chase. Be sure to check out the bloom watch for updates, since these groves tend to bloom a few days after Washington’s. Kenwood Golf and Country Club: 5601 River Rd., Bethesda
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
This 95-acre park is filled with walking trails and about 100 cherry blossom trees. When you arrive, next to the visitor center there’s a paved circular trail that is lined with cherry blossoms. Take a stroll or have a seat at the entry garden and enjoy a collection of additional spring flowers. If you do take the long way around, you’ll pass Lake Caroline, where you’ll find an estimated 60 cherry blossom trees, and catch a glimpse of the Korean Bell Garden, one of the iconic pavilions in the park. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens: 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct., Vienna
If you drive across the Potomac River, you’ll find 200 Okame cherry trees at National Harbor. The trees are different from the blooms you might be used to (Yoshino trees). Catch the slightly darker pink blooms, and be sure to check out the calendar. Cherry-blossom- and pink-inspired events are planned, including cherry-blossomed themed painting classes, an origami class, and Sakura Sunday, where visitors can enjoy cultural performances and explore a vendor market. National Harbor: 150 National Plz., National Harbor; Sakura Sunday: April 2, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Making the most out of cherry blossom season doesn’t have to mean only seeing the pale pink blooms. Head to the American Horticultural Society’s headquarters at River Farm, where you will find cherry blossom trees near the entryway, followed by several acres of gardens and blooming flowers. The property is 25 acres and was once a part of George Washington’s original farmland, is home to the Manor House, the Andre Bluemel Meadow (filled with native grasses and wildflowers), and a children’s garden. Need a new family picture? Skip the Tidal Basin and head for this backdrop and serene experience instead. Open every day, except Sunday. River Farm: 7931 E. Boulevard Dr., Alexandria
This post from March 21, 2022 has been updated.
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