As someone who actually lives in DC, walkable to the iconic Tidal Basin cherry blossoms, rarely do I make it to this spring spectacle during peak bloom, which brings in tourists from across the country and world (seriously, the number of languages you’ll hear while doing the Tidal Basin loop is incredible!).
But, with my sister-in-law in town for a last-minute work trip, I decided to take the day off and show her the sights. It always takes a visitor to have an excuse to do the touristy things, right?
Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin
While there are cherry blossoms all over DC (Stanton Park is a personal favorite), the Tidal Basin is the image that comes to mind for most people. What started following a gift of 2,000 cherry blossoms from Japan (spoiler: those had to be killed due to an invasive insect) has now become a symbol of spring, instantly recognizable to most Americans.
The views of the monuments through the cherry blossoms are stunning and, despite the crowds, I love the energy of seeing so many people buzzing about, excited about the peak bloom of these fluffy pink trees. Knowing that people have made the trek from near and far is so inspiring, it’s something that truly brings everyone together.
When is Peak Bloom in DC 2023?
If you’re reading this, you better scurry on down to the Tidal Basin. Peak bloom in DC is typically in March, and, this year, it arrived on March 22. I was fortunate enough to walk down there on March 21, when, for all i could tell, it seemed like peak bloom to me.
Some might tell you the faraway photos aren’t pink enough to be peak bloom, and that’s how you can tell, but these magical little blossoms are still fluffy and delightful up close. As long as you make the trip before the blooms start to fall, you’re good. A few days early, no big deal. However, the minute rain starts to fall (read: today), it’s all over.
But, hey, even if you miss it, the National Cherry Blossom Festival runs straight into April.
One last note: do yourself a favor and take public transportation if at all possible! The congestion from traffic can ruin the experience and you’re not going to enjoy watching the cherry blossoms from the inside of your car.