WASHINGTON - Here are five things you can do to make your Cherry Blossom experience great!
Headed down to the Tidal Basin to check out the beautiful cherry blossoms? Need tips on how to make your cherry blossom experience the best one yet? Then you've come to the right place! We've got five things to help you make your cherry blossom visit unforgettable!
1. Where can you see the cherry blossoms?
During the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the most popular place to visit the cherry blossom trees is at the Tidal Basin, which provides great photo ops near the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.
The majority of blossoms are located near the Tidal Basin and along the shoreline of East Potomac Park, extending all the way to Hains Point. Meanwhile, small clusters of trees can be found along the National Mall, just northwest of the Lincoln Memorial and around the Washington Monument. Click the National Park Service's easy-to-follow National Cherry Blossom Festival map for a visual guide to viewing the blossoms. Speaking of photo ops, our number two tip seems fitting.
2. But how do you get the best pictures?
Take advantage of the natural beauty of the Tidal Basin and scout your location. There are so many beautiful spots and vantage points to choose from - don't settle for the first one just because. It might be hard to take a bad shot when you're surrounded by so much beauty - but with a little patience - you might take a GREAT shot!
3. Don't drive there (trust us).
Amid the crowds, the train is definitely the best way to get to all of the National Cherry Blossom Festival events. There's no Metro stop that's super close to the Tidal Basin, but your best bets are the Smithsonian (Orange and Blue lines) or L'Enfant Plaza (Orange, Blue, Yellow and Green lines) stations.
4. The big events of the weekend.
This is the peak bloom week, so there is PLENTY to do and see. Beware of the times of the big events, both because of crowds and so you don't miss them! Here are a few of the biggest happenings of the cherry blossoms:
2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade (Saturday, April 16; 10 am to 12 pm)
One of DC's largest spectator events, the energy-filled Parade runs for 10 blocks along iconic Constitution Avenue. Giant colorful helium balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands from across the country, celebrity entertainers, and performers burst down the Parade route in a grand spectacle of music and showmanship seen only once a year during the Festival.
2016 Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival (Saturday, April 16; 10:30 am to 6 pm)
The Sakura Matsuri -Japanese Street Festival is the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the U.S. with over 50 cultural groups, vendors and food booths, and over 30 hours of performances on 4 stages. Penn. Ave, NW (between 9th and 14th Streets)
2016 Official Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony (Sunday, April 10; 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm)
Jointly sponsored since 1954 by National Conference of State Societies (NCSS) and the National Park Service, this opens the NCSS Cherry Blossom Princess festivities. The ceremony features traditional Japanese music, the presentation of the United States and Japan Cherry Blossom Queens, along with the Cherry Blossom Princesses, and remarks by a number of dignitaries. (Tidal Basin Area) Click here for more info.
5. The MOST important tip of them all.
Don't forget to HAVE fun!