Friday, April 8, 2022

Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC

This Spring, during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, I had the pleasure to spend a month between mid-March and mid-April in Annapolis, a "suburb" of Washington, DC.   To my delight, it was only a short drive to the Arboretum in the Capital's east.

Did I mention it?  The visit to the Arboretum is FREE, with no admissions to be paid. It is so large that most visitors drive through it, choose any of the many parking spots and walk from there on the extended lawns.  Take in the beauty of the park, and maybe have a picnic on the many benches and tables, placed everywhere.  What I missed were the Azaleas and Rhododendron in bloom, their flowers were already spent, so it is also worth to come late February or early March.

Don't miss the Gotelli Conifer Collection and the collection of legendary Japanese and Chinese bonsai trees. If you are wondering about the 22 Corinthian columns on a hill: they supported the east portico of the U.S. Capitol when it was built in 1828. Once the dome of the Capitol was completed in 1864, builders realized that the columns were not properly constructed to support the dome, creating an odd and unsettling visual. The strange aesthetic was not solved until 1958, and it took until the 1980s for the columns to find their resting place on the Ellipse Meadow in the Arboretum. 

My advice: visit during the week, early in the morning (the arboretum opens at 8 a.m.) and you will see only a dozen visitors on your way through the 446-acre property.  The easiest way to reach the National Arboretum is by car, as the grounds are located approximately 10 minutes from the U.S. Capitol Building.

If you choose to use Metro rail, exit at the 'Stadium Armory' station on the Blue and Orange lines. Then, use the B-2 Metrobus and exit on Bladensburg Road. From there, walk two blocks to R Street, where you will make a right. Two blocks further, you will find the Arboretum gates.  After 2 p.m. use the NY Ave entrance. Sounds a bit complicated, so you may take rather a taxi or Uber.

The annual bloom of Washington, D.C.’s cherry blossoms is a highly anticipated event.  It marks the arrival of spring and creates a beautiful backdrop to some of the capital’s most famous landmarks. 

Capitol of Maryland in Annapolis

There are tons of events during the Cherry Blossom Festival, from Japanese Art, Concerts, Block Parties, a Festival Parade, and even a Cherry Blossom Run. However, I like to admire the blooms and nature's awakening - and take photos of this beauty.

Capitol of Maryland in Annapolis, lots of Tulips

Other fantastic destinations to see lots of cherry trees and spring blooms in Washington are:

the Hillwood Estate, the surroundings of the Jefferson Memorial, or the Dumbarton Oaks 

Spring is early arriving in Washington DC and in Maryland, so mark your calendar and plan your spring vacation for next year! There is so much to explore for nature- and art lovers.




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