The cherry blossoms area heading into full bloom now. They’re not quite at peak–my guess is the NPS will make that call around Friday–and there are still plenty yet to pop. But they’re starting to look fresh and lovely, especially up close. Most of them start white and will gradually shift to a light pink in coming days.
And if you have a story you’d like to share about visiting DC’s cherry blossoms, please see below.
Is the Tidal Basin Still Open?
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about whether it’s still possible to visit the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin. As a technical matter, the Tidal Basin area remains accessible. Whether it’s a good idea is another matter. It’s not my place to tell anyone what to do (except don’t climb on or damage the trees!), but I’d refer you to the NPS statement that I’ve added to the top of every page (in the yellow box).
It’s also worth remembering that there are plenty of other areas with cherry blossoms and with far fewer people. National Arboretum remains open and is a very large outdoor space. There are thousands of trees along East Potomac Park (where some of the photos today were taken) and hardly any people.
And there are some wonderful books on DC’s cherry blossoms to inspire you for your visit next year, when the trees will be looking wonderful. Here are a some of my favorites:
- McClellan, Ann (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- Hardcover Book
- Nakahara, Mari (Author)
And if you’re looking for some kids’ activities (I know we are!), there’s a cherry blossom book just for kids:
- Esbaum, Jill (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
Cherry Blossom Stories
In previous years, I’ve posted selections of reader photos of the cherry blossoms. With so many people not able to visit this year, that’s obviously not going to work this time.
Instead, it might be fun to try something new: cherry blossom stories. DC’s cherry blossoms have a special place in many peoples hearts and memories. Friends who have a decades-long standing date for sunrise breakfast under the trees every year. Ailing relatives fulfilling a lifelong wish. Engagements under the flowers. Or fond memories of a visit.
If you’d like to share a story about your own visits to DC’s cherry blossoms, please do. I’ll select some and share them as part of the updates on the site in coming days (although I won’t be able to include all of them). You can remain anonymous, and I might edit them lightly to take out anything that identifies specific people. There’s no prize beyond the satisfaction of knowing that you’re lightening up our day.
You can copy and paste your story in the contact box here:
How It Looks at the Tidal Basin & East Potomac Park This Morning
It started as a clear morning with a cool and consistent breeze. It’s expected to cloud over during the day leading into rain these evening.
I’m posting these photos here not to encourage people to visit but rather for the many readers who have sensibly chosen to follow along from afar this year. Health officials strongly recommend avoiding crowded areas and practicing social distancing in order to help contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). To that end, I’m dispensing with the usual logistical information related to visiting the Tidal Basin area. And I will only post updates only when it’s possible for me to do so while still sticking to those recommendations.
Some of these photos today were taken at the Tidal Basin and some nearby along East Potomac Park. I wanted to minimize my time at the Tidal Basin and keep a good distance from other people, so there are fewer than normal from the Tidal Basin itself.
So, for all those following along at home, here are some shots of how the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park are looking today. Later this morning I’ll post some 360-degree videos I took at East Potomac Park.
360-Degree Video of Cherry Blossoms at East Potomac Park This Morning
It’s not quite the same as being there, but it’s a start…
This is a tree I typically track through the blooming process, trying to focus in on the same specific small section to be able to see the day-by-day progress.
This is a different variety and is separate from the indicator tree (on the opposite side of the Tidal Basin), but it reliably marches ahead of the other trees by several days.
It’s also a good illustration of how even just a few days can make a big difference.
As you can see, it’s now well past its prime.
Images and product information from Amazon Product Advertising API were last updated on 2020-04-06 at 12:36.
At this time of year, there are beautiful flowers to be had all over the place. Maybe in your backyard. Maybe in the local park.
These are ere are some of my favorite books that I've reviewed on taking photos of flowers: