Cherry blossoms in the U.S. burst onto the scene with intense beauty, inspiring awestruck looks and long, slow strolls down picturesque pathways. But they’re gone almost as fast as they come. Though cherry blossom season can go for up to a month, each tree lasts just one short week from the time they bloom to the time they disappear.
Their rarity and fleeting nature make them all the more beautiful. If you find yourself in the right place at the right time, you’ll walk away with memories that will last you forever. Make sure and mark those memories on your Newverest travel map, so you never forget the magical experience.
We’ve compiled a list of the Best U.S. Cities to See Cherry Blossoms, with notes on the best time to catch them in full bloom. Don’t wait, or you might miss them.
Washington D.C.: National Cherry Blossom Festival
When to catch it: The festival runs March 20-April 15, with the culmination of events on April 4.
This National Cherry Blossom Festival is the biggest in the country. For one month, cherry blossoms take over Washington D.C., stopping residents, workers, and vacationers in their tracks. You’ll find them all along the Capitol Riverfront and can even catch bus tours that will take you down every tree-lined block so you don’t miss a single blossom.
Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
When to catch it: Blossoms come into bloom from late March through early May.
See full-size and bonsai cherry trees spanning 42 cultivars throughout the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Different varieties bloom at different times from late March through early May. The single-weekend Sakura Matsuri celebrates Japanese heritage and cherry blossoms and draws tens of thousands of visitors each year – the highest attended event in an American public garden.
St. Louis, Missouri: Botanical Garden
When to catch it: The trees start blooming in mid-March and last through early April.
The St. Louis Botanical Garden might not be your first thought when it comes to cherry blossoms, but it boasts one of the largest Japanese gardens in the U.S. You’ll find over 14 acres of cherry blossom trees to stroll past. Take pictures and enjoy a picnic in a relaxing atmosphere you won’t find in many places. There’s even a beautiful bridge crying out for a selfie.
Salem, Oregon: Cherry Blossom Day
When to catch it: The festival is March 21, but cherry blossoms are viewable from February through March.
Cherry Blossom Day is celebrated every year at Salem’s Capitol Mall, the pathways of which are lined with cherry blossoms that turn the park pink and fragrant for a full month before they vanish. Walk around the mall and enjoy the view as well as a day of fun-filled festivities. It’s a great family event and one that’s not to be missed.
Seattle, Washington: University of Washington
When to catch it: The blooms start in February and peak in March.
There’s not a specific festival or day in which the University of Washington celebrates its cherry blossoms, the excitement and anticipation of these pink blooms last the whole year through. The central quad walkways are lined with cherry blossom trees that reinvigorate tired students, professors, and visitors who come to see their beauty in person.
Macon, Georgia: Cherry Blossom Festival
When to catch it: The festival begins in late March and lasts through the first week of April.
The Macon International Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the largest and longest-running cherry blossom festivals in the U.S. Every year, people gather in Macon’s Central City Park to view the pink paths and inhale the cherry blossom scent. Macon boasts 300,000 cherry trees, so you’re guaranteed to see them if you come at the right time.
Dallas, Texas: The Arboretum
When to catch it: Blossoms come into bloom February 29 – April 12.
In the south, the Dallas Arboretum is one of the best places to view cherry blossoms once spring begins. The arboretum has 150 cherry trees and invites visitors to take tea amongst their blooms, or bring a picnic basket of your own and sit out under the soft, pink petals. The place is always packed, and the air always smells sweet. Enjoy your time here while the blooms last.
Athens, Ohio: Ohio University
When to catch it: These blossoms begin in early March and peak in late March.
Much like the University of Washington, Ohio University does not host a specific day or event for its cherry trees. Their blossoms cover the university grounds from one end to the other, with over 200 cherry trees making their debut in spring. Visitors flock to the campus to enjoy their beauty and spend the day strolling amongst their luxurious pink petals.
If you’re in the mood for cherry blossoms, start planning now. These pink beauties won’t last long, and if you miss your chance to see them, you’ll have to wait another year. A note to the wise: cherry blossom festivals are popular and can draw large numbers. If you’re planning a special trip to see one, make sure and book your hotel and car rental in advance.
And always take plenty of pictures. Hang them around your Newverest scratch map and start a collection of pictures from all the amazing places you visit. Make sure and mark your adventures on your Newverest USA scratch map as well. It’s a fun reminder of all the places you’ve been and can help you plan where to go next.
If you do get some great cherry tree pics, make sure and send them in. We love travel pics almost as much as we love adventure stories!