Saturday, May 10, 2014

National Cherry Blossom Festival

Although I have lived in Northern Virginia my entire life, I had never been to the National Cherry Blossom Festival. There were 100 trees originally given to the United States by Japan. Now, each year between late March and mid April, the Tidal Basin is surrounded by pink and white petals.

I took a Wednesday off work and headed to our nations capital with my sister & Nana. We drove to our local Metro station which is the easiest way to get around DC. The stop you want to get off is the Smithsonian. Once you are at street level, head left past the Washington Monument. You will pass some restrooms on the right side a little before the "pencil". I would take a moment to stop here because the bathrooms are few and far between. You will then turn left just past the monument and see the Tidal Basin, the Jefferson Memorial and the gorgeous blossoms.

The Cherry Blossom Festival provides tons of events throughout the month, more so on the weekends when it is more popular. There was a nice stage with different entertainment when we were there, with a local high schools band and other local talents. We stopped and ate a packed lunch at the picnic tables in front of the stage. There were also food trucks and little shops if you wanted a souvenir. We headed down towards the Jefferson Memorial along the basin. Even for a week day the area was pretty popular so I am sure there are tons of people who visit over the weekends. If you don't like large crowds or want to really be able to walk around with out much distraction, you might consider going during the week. We made our way completely around the basin, stopping at both the FDR & MLK memorial areas. On this side of the Basin, there are a lot of benches for you to enjoy the gorgeous view!

DC is less than an hour from Baltimore, and just a few hours from many Mid Atlantic cruise ports. If you are cruising around this time next year, look into the Festival as a side trip! There is plenty of museums, memorials and monuments to keep you busy.

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