The most difficult part about seeing the cherry blossoms is the timing. Timing is everything when it comes to these flowers because the peak bloom only lasts a few days and the flowers are gone before you know it. Here are some tips for when to visit and how to snap some great pics.
1. When to go:
Check the Cherry Blossom Watch on a consistent basis.
I had been checking this site for a few weeks before we visited, as well as checking news articles about the state of the flowers. This year had a bit of a delay because of some stormy/snowy weather that swept through the East Coast so the flowers peaked later than expected. This site gets updated daily to let readers know when peak bloom is forecasted, photos of the cherry blossoms, as well as lots of other great traveler information.
2. Photo tips:
The most important piece of advice I can give is: don’t go on the weekend! It is crazy busy on the weekend. Granted, we did visit on the weekend ourselves and managed to snap some pics without a huge crowd of tourists in our background, but it was difficult. When we visited on a Monday, it was a completely different story. We were there around 5ish and the Tidal Basin was so empty!! If you are there with the crowds, you just have to be patient about waiting for the right moment when no one is walking by.
We also searched around for less crowded areas by the Tidal Basin and got lucky and found some beautiful tree-lined streets–with no one around! Honestly, it was more gorgeous than most of the area by the water but since it was a little further away no one knew about it. So always stray away from the busiest areas because you never know when you will find a hidden gem of a location.
Searching through people’s photos (hashtags and location tags) also gives me lots of different perspectives and views of one location, and more of a real time update of what I’m searching. It’s not always the easiest way to search through photos (and find what I’m looking for) but it often gives me ideas of great spots in the city. You can also follow @cherryblossomwatch on Instagram.
3. Where to stay & how to get around:
We stayed at the State Plaza Hotel and the hotel was wonderful and was in a great location. It was probably the hotel closest to all the monuments and the Tidal Basin area but still only a couple miles away from everything else (everything in the city is pretty close to each other). It was also great because the hotel had a kitchenette and was right next to CVS (always great for when you need some late night snacks and candy lol).
Since everything is so close to each other, I wouldn’t recommend renting a car. You can get around just fine with Uber or Lyft and then you won’t have to fight the crowds for a parking spot.