Not everyone appreciates the cherry blossom season here in Washington, D.C. (I’m looking at you Josh). But it’s undoubtedly one of the prettiest times of the year in this area bested perhaps only by our fall foliage. Sure, peak bloom brings tourists - lots of them - as well as locals who usually don’t venture out of the suburbs. But the beauty of the cherry blossoms sure makes up for those minor inconveniences.

Due to the abnormally warm winter the D.C. area had, the cherry trees began blooming unusually early. By mid-February the buds and florets were visible. And by the end of February, some of the varieties of cherry trees had reached peak bloom! By early March the National Park Service had even announced that peak bloom would be one of the earliest ever.

But after our abnormally warm winter, a sustained period of cold weather settled in during early March. A late winter snowstorm even passed through covering the blossoms in ice and snow. Forecasters expected that even a 30-minute drop below 28°F would damage over 10% of the cherry blossoms. Ultimately, the temperature dropped below 25°F over the course of the week. Many expected greater than 90% damage to the blossoms.

Thankfully though we made it through our cold snap and spring finally arrived. While several trees did end up losing their blossoms, the over 3,700 cherry trees lined around the Tidal Basin, and Hains Point allowed for another magnificent peak bloom! From the vivid pink flowers of the Okame Cherry trees to the abundance of Yoshino Cherry trees, you can’t miss them.

Definitely add coming to Washington, D.C. in the spring to see the cherry blossoms to your list. Come run a 10k or enjoy the parade or just take a stroll around the Tidal Basin. No matter what, I’ll guarantee you won’t be disappointed. 12/10 would see again!

Pink cherry blossoms and blue skies on an early spring day in Arlington, VA
The sun rises and shines on the cherry blossoms along the Potomac River in Arlington, VA
Morning light shines on fully bloomed cherry blossoms in Arlington, VA
Early cherry blossom blooms
Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. droop after being damaged from several below freezing days
Ice covers early cherry blossoms after a winter storm passed through the Washington, D.C. area
Early cherry blossoms are covered in ice and snow after a winter storm passes through the Washington, D.C. area
Cherry blossoms line the Tidal Basin with a cherry red sunrise
A pink and red sky at sunrise over the Tidal Basin and cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C.
Green leaves and cherry blossoms
A branch lined with cherry blossoms hangs over the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.
Peak bloom of the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.
Spectactular sunrise over the United States Capitol Building while cherry blossoms bloom at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Bike Police gather under cherry blossoms before tourists arrive for the day
Early morning sun shines on the cherry blossoms lining Hains Point in Washington, D.C.
Early morning sun shines on the cherry blossoms lining Hains Point in Washington, D.C.