If you’re ready to “spring” into action and take advantage of temperatures that are—finally!—warming up, consider going to Washington, DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 20 – April 13. Just across the Potomac River from D.C. is Alexandria, Virginia, George Washington’s hometown, poised to welcome visitors and support their cherry-blossom pursuits.
And if you’d like to ensure that your trip is active, too, you can view the riverside blossoms with Bike and Roll’s Blossoms scenic bike tour, stroll the streets, cruise the Potomac River, or take a palate-pleasing walking tour.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. is an annual event timed to coincide with the blooming of the trees that were given to the U.S. from Japan, celebrating not only the natural beauty but also the relationship between the people of the United States and Japan.
To make the most of your time during the festival:
Stroll the walkable streets of Alexandria, taking in its 18th and 19th century architecture, top restaurants, high-end boutique shopping, and thriving art scene. Alexandria is also just a $7 ferry ride across from National Harbor, with a new outlet mall, Gaylord Hotel, and lots of other fun sites.
Pedal on a Blossoms by Bike River Ride, a three-hour tour that takes riders along the scenic Mount Vernon Trail from Old Town Alexandria to Washington, DC, for incredible views of the cherry blossoms from across the Potomac River. The tour continues into D.C. and around the tidal basin as bikers learn the history of the blossoms’ significance to the area before heading back to Alexandria. (Tours available April 4 – April 13, 2014, 1 – 4pm.
Tour the buds from the water on the Cherry Blossom Boat Tour. The Potomac Riverboat Company is letting visitors tour the blooming pink buds and the capital’s riverside monuments by boat along the Potomac River during this limited time cruise. (Saturdays and Sundays, March 29 – April 13, 2014, departing every two hours from 11:30am – 5:30pm.
Please your palate on the Old Town Cherry Blossom Food Tour. This guided walking tour of Alexandria explores the city's history and 18th- and 19th-century architecture while pausing in locally owned eateries to sample delectable cherry-centric dishes and learn about cherry blossom history in the nation’s capital. (March 22 – April 12, 2014, Wednesdays at 11:30am and Saturdays at 2pm)
When the sun sets, you’ll find lodging, dining and a vibrant nightlife ready to entertain you in Alexandria.