Cherry Blossom Bloom in DC and Beyond

Since moving to the nation’s capital in the summer of 2020, the only constant has been the inconsistency. Adding to the long list of things that were not supposed to happen was the cherry bloom.

Spring came unseasonably early for the infamous cherry blossoms of Washington D.C.

We had a few days of warm weather that accelerated the bloom cycle of the nearly 4,000 cherry trees that line the National Mall. The annual spectacle typically draws tons of visitors. I was told by several locals that on any other spring day, the Tidal Basin would have been filled with people standing shoulder to shoulder. Not in 2021, though. To discourage crowds, the park service limited access to the area and set up a live stream to view the blossoms remotely.

Alternative Bloom

The National Mall isn’t the only cherry blossom game in town, though. There’s a little neighborhood in Bethesda, Maryland called Kenwood that has 1,200 trees. How they got there? I’m not sure. But by the looks of the houses, I imagine their homeowners association fees more than covered the cost. The residents are gracious enough to let locals trample their medians and treat their streets like a one of those drive-thru Christmas light parks…as long as you don’t park in front of their castles homes.

If you go

National Mall: Arrive early or late in the day for the lightest crowds. It’s a 2-mile walk around the basin so wear comfortable shoes. Masks are mandatory.

Bethesda, Maryland:  The tree-lined streets of the Kenwood neighborhood is a Covid-safe alternative because you can stay in your car and drive through it. If you want to get up close, you’ll need to park on Landy Lane and walk or bike north on the Capital Crescent Trail until you see the neighborhood on your left.

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