Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world flock to Washington, D.C. each year to see the cherry trees in blossom.
The National Park Service announced on March 4 that the peak bloom dates for the cherry trees this year will be between March 26-30.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival will be held in Washington from March 20 through April 14. The festival features ceremonies, fireworks, a parade and many creative and diverse activities.
Whether or not you live near Washington, the festival might be on your to do list. Here are 10 reasons to visit Washington during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is the nation's greatest celebration of spring. Washington is beautiful in the spring around the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. You will also find cherry blossom trees in East Potomac Park and on the grounds of the Washington Monument.
The peak bloom dates will fall during the festival dates. Peak bloom is defined as the date or dates when 70 percent of the blossoms are opened.
Washington is the best place to find over 3,700 cherry trees in one place. The first cherry blossom trees planted in the Tidal Basin were gifts from the people of Japan in 1912.
There are many tour groups you can join or you can pick up National Park Service brochures and tour the Tidal Basin by yourself.
Many of the activities and events are free, including Family Days on March 23-24. This two-day festival offers hands-on activities for kids of all ages.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade will be held on April 13 from 10 a.m. to noon. The parade route runs along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets NW.
Japanese Culture Day will be held on March 23 at the Library of Congress. This event will offer origami, book readings and other activities to introduce visitors to Japanese culture.
The International Spy Museum offers a free downloadable scavenger hunt challenge app during the festival. Work as a team to complete the challenge on your smartphone.
Tour the Tidal Basin the fun way in a paddle boat. Paddle boat rentals will be available each day during the festival at the Tidal Basin Boathouse, located at 1501 Maine Avenue, SW.
The Blossom Kite Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on March 30. This free event showcases kites of all varieties on the grounds of the Washington Monument. You can watch or participate by flying your own kite.
You can learn more about the National Cherry Blossom Festival at the event website. While you're in Washington, there are many more activities to enjoy including museums, monuments and memorials and the rich history of our nation.