2023 Peak Bloom
The NPS judged that the Yoshino cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin reached peak bloom on March 23, 2023. They're now done for the year..
The cherry blossoms are heading into full bloom now, and they’ll hit peak bloom any day now. The very warm temperatures of the past several days have rushed things along.
The NPS judged that 70% of them had reached the Puffy White stage as of yesterday.
As usual, not all of them are on exactly the same schedule. Many that get the morning sun (near MLK Memorial/FDR Memorial) are in full bloom. Many on the other side (Kutz Bridge past paddle boats to Jefferson Memorial) are lagging a little behind and need another warm day or two to come out fully.
Logistics for Visiting
Ohio Drive has been switched to a special one-way traffic pattern. That will remain in place during the main bloom. So you’ll need to enter up by the Jefferson Memorial; you won’t be able to enter from the Lincoln Memorial End.
Welcome Area. The NPS is switching things up this year and has moved the Welcome Area from the old Maine Ave parking area to next to the MLK Memorial (West Basin Dr SW). So West Basin Dr SW is closed to traffic from Ohio Drive. That has displaced some disabled parking spots; they’ve been moved to a temporarily signed area about 100 yards or so away at the intersection of Ohio Drive and West Basin Dr SW).
Metro will be running extra services during the bloom. The closest stops are Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza. I have more information on getting to the cherry blossoms separately.
How it Looks at the Tidal Basin This Morning
It wasn’t nearly as crowded as I expected early this morning, but it’s shaping up to be a lovely day and a bit cooler than we’ve had the past couple of days.
A light breeze added a slight chill this morning and stirred up the water (so photographers hoping for a glassy reflection this morning were disappointed). And for some reason, all the lights of the Jefferson Memorial were out, inside and out.