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6 Best Places to See the Cherry Blossoms in DC

Few cities in the world undergo an annual transformation as dramatic as Washington DC every spring. From late March to early April, the city’s world-famous monuments and memorials are awash in salmon-colored buds. City streets smell fragrantly floral. Iconic views of the White House, Capitol, and Treasury are accented by the Japanese blossoming bouquets that draw more than 1.5 million visitors each year. While the Tidal Basin is the most famous spot in DC to see these, there is no shortage of picture perfect cherry blossom spots all over the city, each one easily accessible by bike. Here’s our guide to the five best places to see the DC cherry blossoms this spring:

National Mall and Tidal Basin

Visiting Washington DC without seeing the National Mall and Tidal Basin is like visiting Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. With a whopping 3,770 cherry blossom trees surrounding the National Monuments, this historic district is truly postcard-worthy during this season. While the area’s foot traffic can be overwhelming, the two mile bike loop around the Tidal Basin is a fun and convenient way to get up close and personal with the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and The Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

U.S. National Arboretum 

One of the most inspiring gardens in the country, the US National Arboretum is a USDA botanical research center and a plant-lover’s paradise. Within the 446 acres, you can explore the collection of domestic and foreign flowers, an herbarium with over 800,000 specimens, 19th century Corinthian columns, the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, a vast collection of Arctic and Subtropical conifers, and 70 different types of cherry trees. Visitors will appreciate its free admission and that it’s free of large crowds. 

Dumbarton Oaks 

Located in DC’s vibrant Georgetown neighborhood, Dumbarton Oaks is a historic estate which was turned into a research center, art museum, library, and landscaped grounds. Here you can find some of the finest cherry trees on the planet. While the sloping garden’s magnolias, forsythias, and tulips are highlights of this garden, the star attraction is the aptly named Cherry Hill, which contains a breathtaking array of Prunus Sargentii, Prunus Subhirtella, and Prunus x Yedoensis cherry trees. 

Hains Point Loop Trail

The four mile road known as Hains Point Loop Trail is definitely one of the most beautiful bike routes in DC. In addition to a generous portion of cherry blossom trees, coastal views of Virginia and DC are found at every turn. Visitors can park their bikes anywhere along this scenic path and take advantage of the numerous meadows which are perfect for picnics, kite-flying, and frisbee-throwing. Top notch fishing spots, tennis courts and golf courses can also be found here. Not only is the loop free to enter, it’s totally flat, which makes it perfect for bikers of all abilities. 

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception 

Located in Northeast DC’s Brookland neighborhood, The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the tallest habitable building in the entire city and the largest Catholic Church building in all of North America. At any time of year, the basilica is a captivating masterpiece with over 80 chapels and houses the largest collection of contemporary ecclesiastical art in the world. While it’s the national church of the United States, it’s somewhat of an insider’s secret each March and April. Its grounds contain 150 cherry blossom trees that are virtually free of the large-scale tourism characteristic of the National Mall. Anyone hoping to see both attractions on the same day will be thrilled to know that they’re only 20 minutes away from each other on bike. 

Cherry Blossoms by Bike Tour at Unlimited Biking

Feel like diving into the history of the cherry blossom festival and seeing the beauties of the nation’s capital? Stop by The Wharf for a bike rental or guided tour at Unlimited Biking. On the two hour Cherry Blossoms by Bike Tour, not only will you get to appreciate the cherry blossom trees, but you also get a chance to see famous landmarks such as the Jefferson Memorial, and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. If you are interested in renting a bike and exploring the capital yourself, Unlimited Biking provides everything you need for a stress-free experience. Learn more here!

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