2024 Peak Bloom
It's still too early to know precisely when the famous cherry blossoms will bloom around the Tidal Basin in Spring 2024. By early March, we'll start getting a better sense of timing, after we see how temperatures are trending during the latter part of the winter. Warmer temperatures bring an earlier bloom; cooler temperatures push the bloom later.
And we thought winter was done! The past few days have seen cold temperatures, raw winds, and even various kinds of sleet, snow, and even a kind of frozen precipitation called graupel, which was new to me (snow pellets, somewhere between hail and snow).
The good news, though, is that the cold temperatures have basically hit pause on the cherry blossoms, and they’re holding up remarkably well. A few more days of cold temperatures will help prolong the bloom.
If you look at the trees up close, you can clearly see that they’re past their prime. But take a step back, and they’re still looking very pretty. Some trees are further ahead than others and are even starting to get some green leaves coming through, but many of the trees are still bursting with blossoms and looking beautiful.
If you’d like to submit photos for this year’s reader photos posts, the submission form is currently open. If you have a photo or two of this year’s cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin that you’d like to share, you can find the information at the bottom of this page. Thank you to the many people who have already submitted; the form will only be available for another day or two.
How it Looks at the Tidal Basin This Morning
It was cold and a little breezy early this morning. All of these were taken this morning.
Logistics for Visiting
Please don’t pick the blossoms, climb on the trees, or shake or bend the branches. Many of the trees are old and fragile (some over a century old), and the Tidal Basin area is a National Park.
Ohio Drive has been switched to the special one-way traffic pattern (until 4/4). So you’ll need to enter up by the Jefferson Memorial; you won’t be able to enter from the Lincoln Memorial End. There is parking along one side of Ohio Drive, but it’s first-come-first-served and frequently fills up.
NPS 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 is 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.
Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms
The Kwanzan cherry is a different variety that blooms a little later than the more famous Yoshino. There are fewer of near the Tidal Basin, but they’re especially pretty. I have more information on then, including where to find them, in a separate post.
As of this morning, the Kwanzans aren’t yet close to blooming. These photos were taken this morning.
Submit Your Best Shots to the Reader Photos 2023!
Thanks for your interest, but 2023 submissions are now closed. You can see the posted photos here.