The trees are still looking lovely. When you get a up close you can certainly see that they’re in transition. But from a distance they still look great and are holding up well.
While the rain and wind we had for a couple of days didn’t help, the cooler temperatures, and still conditions overnight, are helping now.
There were quite a lot of people out and about this morning. A number of photographers were set up opposite the Jefferson Memorial to catch the sunrise, a couple of photo tour groups were out to catch the golden hour light, and there were the usual runners and people heading to work, but it’s still relatively quiet. Parking is easy and traffic light.
Although it’s a crisp morning, the breezy weather of the past couple of days have let up and the sun is out. Conditions are about perfect for wandering under the cherry blossoms.
Prospects for the Weekend of April 2-3
I’ve had a lot of people asking about prospects for this weekend. It’s hard to say exactly which days there will still be cherry blossoms to see. It’s a gradual process–not every tree is on the same schedule–and it’s highly dependent on the weather.
Overall, they’re holding up well so far, but there are showers and/or rain in the forecast for Thursday evening through Friday, followed by windy conditions. The flowers are getting very fragile now, and they’re not going to like the rain and wind much at all.
So the best chances of seeing them are the earlier you can go. There’s probably not going to be much see by the end of the weekend (until the Kwanzans start), although it’s always possible there might be some late straggler trees that are marching to their own drum.
Prospects for the Weekend of April 9-10
In the previous three years, we saw late peak blooms of April 9 or 10. This year, warm weather helped them bloom early, and by the weekend of April 9-10 the main cherry blossoms will be long gone.
But the timing might be good for catching the Kwanzan cherry blossoms. They bloom a couple of weeks after the Yoshinos. There aren’t as many of them, but they’re very distinctive and pretty. I have information on how to find them here. And I’ll be posting updates on them from time to time until they bloom, so be sure to check back on this site.
If You Miss the Cherry Blossoms
If you’re visiting Washington DC in the spring but miss cherry blossoms, you might catch the tulips. They usually bloom a bit after the cherry blossoms. While tulips aren’t unique to this area, of course, there are an unusually large number of them in and near the National Mall, especially up around the grounds near the U.S. Capitol Building, near Memorial Bridge, along the George Washington Parkway, and at the Netherlands Carillon, and they are quite a highlight in their own right (here are some examples).
Photos From This Morning
This is the kind of thing you can expect to see if you head down today.
Cherry Blossom Visitor Guides
Planning on visiting DC to see the cherry blossoms? The uncertainty with predicting when the bloom will take place certainly makes things hard, but I've put together some information to help you make an educated guess to maximize your chances.
And if you're coming into town for the events of the cherry blossom festival or just for the flowers, I've also put together some ideas on where to stay and how to get to the cherry blossoms once you're here.
Washington DC Visitor Guides
If you're coming in from out of town, here are some useful travel guidebooks that can help you make the most of your visit. Because as stunning as the cherry blossoms are, there's an awful lot more to do and see in DC.
These are some of the most popular ones. Many of these are available as both traditional books and e-books that you can read on your phone or tablet.
- DK Travel
- Publisher: DK Eyewitness Travel
- Fodor s Washington D C with Mount Vernon Alexandria Annapolis Full color Travel Guide
- Fodor's Travel Guides
- Lonely Planet Washington DC
- Lonely Planet, Karla Zimmerman, Regis St Louis
- Elise Hartman Ford
- Publisher: FrommerMedia
- DK Travel
- Publisher: DK Eyewitness Travel
And here are some interesting options for less traditional guidesbooks if you'd like an emphasis on exploring DC on foot or diving into some of the region's very rich history.
- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
- Barbara Noe Kennedy
- A History Lover s Guide to Washington D C Designed for Democracy
- Alison Fortier
Books on DC's Cherry Blossoms
If you're looking for books specifically on DC's cherry blossoms for yourself or as a gift, these two are my favorites.
- Ann McClellan
- Publisher: National Geographic