Last week Washington DC’s famous cherry blossoms were in bloom. I couldn’t resist the allure of Springtime in the nation’s capital.
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is fleeting. Blink and you’ll miss it, as the flowers only last about one week. ‘Peak bloom’ is usually between March to April. The Japanese trees were a present to the USA from Tokyo in 1912, and is a gift that keeps on giving. The trees turn the city into a pink and white wonderland, particularly the Tidal Basin. On the weekend there is a parade which draws heaving crowds. I preferred to skip the grand festival and visit on the quieter Monday (which was still very busy!).
I had been meaning to visit DC as it’s only a short four hour bus or train ride to Washington from New York City (where I’m currently based). I couldn’t resist the opportunity to see the blossoms, nor miss out of DC at the best time of the year. So, I spontaneously booked a train ticket (around $140 US and travel time of under 4 hours) for the NEXT day. Having secured my seat on the Amtrac Acela Express train, I was set to see the cherry blossom in full bloom. On top of that, nothing is more exciting than a last minute trip!
THE BEST VIEWS
I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the capital than with this unique spring-time celebration on a sunny, blue sky day. I headed straight to the Tidal Basin which is the shoreline along the Potomac park. Walking around the West Potomac Park allowed for optimal viewing of the picturesque Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the trees encircling the East Potomac Park. Pack walking shoes as you’ll be covering some distance.
The blossoms along the basin looked like an endless line of pillowy, pastel colour. The delicate petals showered down in the wind, falling like snow flakes and leaving a carpet of confetti. Truly magical.
Here are some photos from my whirlwind day chasing cherry blossoms. Trust me, if you decide to visit DC, plan your trip for Spring!