The Cherry Blossom Festival Washington DC and other events are some of the most anticipated of any special events and holidays in the DC area. Festival events surrounding Washington DC cherry blossoms begin in the last week of March and run through mid-April—the prime blooming times in the city. A tribute to the kick-off of spring and a long-standing tradition that features exciting DC cherry blossom tours, this festival is one that is famously celebrated in both Japan and China as well.
Three thousand Washington DC cherry blossoms were donated to the nation’s capital by Tokyo as a gift of honor. Spanning back in history to 1912, DC received the trees from Tokyo as a symbol of friendship, sealing an amiable tie between the two countries. The Tokyo Cherry Blossom Festival is an age-old tradition practiced over many generations. It is a huge event in Tokyo and has now become an exalted festival in Washington DC.
Culture and history are showcased throughout the festival with more than 100 special presentations and events including plenty of cultural shows. Food, arts, exhibitions, sports and more are all presented to the public during the almost month-long period. A symbol of new beginnings that appeals to all, Cherry Blossom Festival Washington DC tourists include the event as one of the top things to do in DC. It is a time when bed and breakfasts, motels, and District of Columbia hotels book up quickly as the festival brings in thousands upon thousands of visitors.
DC cherry blossom tours center around the city’s National Mall, home to the biggest and most important of all city attractions. The National Mall and the Tidal Basin, just south of the massive green space, are the focus of DC cherry blossom tours that run all day, showcasing the lovely white and pink flowers. Many are concentrated around the Jefferson Memorial, which is a major focus of tours. The Washington DC cherry blossoms around Tidal Basin flank the water, creating an ethereal, pink cloud of blossoms all around the basin. The Tidal Basin hosts a large majority of the gifted trees. During the festival, flocks of people gather on the basin shores to see these pretty trees in their glory as this indeed is one of the best places for viewing.
Cherry Blossom Festival Washington DC visitors enjoy a host of entertainment, from live music to cultural dances. There are judo demonstrations, Japanese Kabuki theater, the Sakura Matsuri Festival, giant cherry blossom balloons, celebration parades, and much more. Complimentary DC cherry blossom tours are easily arranged as long as they’re planned well in advance. The National Park Service offers them for free so don’t get coaxed into paying for a tour. Park rangers lead tours through the National Mall, where the top DC museums and monuments are, and around the extremely crowded Tidal Basin. Lantern tours are perhaps the best of all cherry blossom tours. They afford a look at the lovely blooms by moonlight and the effervescent glow of Japanese lanterns.There are a few other, less-crowded points that are great for blossom viewing. They Include the National Arboretum, Anacostia Park, Foxhall Village near Georgetown, and Stanton Park at Capitol Hill.
Free ranger tours run from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. each day the Chery Blossom Festival is on. Ranger Talks are held throughout the day at specific times a couple of hours apart while Lantern Tours have a shorter window of two hours, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. All tours leave from the main Welcome Area within the Tidal Basin, which is close to the where the paddle boats are kept.
Making reservations for vacation rentals, hotels, or other DC lodging is best done well before arriving in the city or there is little hope of snagging a room as hundred of thousands of people flood into DC during peak cherry blossom season. Transportation is much harder to contend with and getting a rental car is another amenity to be booked ahead. Segway tours and trolley-tours are another way to get good bang for your buck. Enjoy DC tours of all the best attractions while surrounded by cherry blossoms and really get your moneys worth.