Is it just me, or is Spring flying by? I can’t believe that the Cherry Blossoms will be hitting peak bloom next week (they should peak on or around April 1st!)
As a local, I don’t necessarily love the massive influx of tourists and traffic that come along with Cherry Blossom season. To be candid, I only visit once every 2-3 years because it’s pretty intense! However, I do love how the whole city comes alive this time of year: we all tend to hibernate during the winter and come late March, we all come out of hiding because are so many new and exciting things to do in town.
If you’re planning a trip to D.C. to visit the Cherry Blossoms this year, or if you’re local and want to join in on the festivities, there are plenty of things to do in and around town outside of the Tidal Basin. Here are some of the best things to do in D.C. in the Spring!
Best Things to Do in D.C. in the Spring:
View the CityCenter Installation
Step up your ‘gram game and head over to CityCenter DC for their annual Cherry Blossom installation once you’ve wrapped up at the Tidal Basin. Last year, they had super fun pink kites strung along their alleyways, and this year I’m fairly certain there are pink lanterns lining the shops. After you’ve snapped your photos, go shopping, grab a drink at Fig & Olive, and get an express facial at Caudalie.
Interactive Exhibits at ARTECHOUSE
I know, I know: ARTECHOUSE is one of the very few art museums you have to pay for in D.C., but honestly? It’s such a fun, unique experience, and you won’t regret it! This year, they have their ‘In Peak Bloom‘ Exhibit, which features digital art installations by women artists and female-led art collectives. They offer all-ages sessions from 10 AM-6 PM, and after hours, 21+ sessions after 7 PM where you can sip on some adult beverages while viewing some pretty amazing art. This exhibit tends to sell out pretty quickly, so make sure to book your tickets in advance!
Drinks at the Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar
The Cherry Blossom Pub is open from February 28-April 21st and is one of my favorite places to visit in the District every spring. For starters, the decor is always over the top: they have three different rooms, and you’ll want to take photos in every nook and cranny of their space! This year, they’ve partnered with Chef Hiro Mitsui and they now offer ramen as well as craft cocktails on their menu. I’m going to be completely candid: this place is fairly small and gets packed pretty easily, but if you want to stop by on either a weeknight or right when they open at 5 pm, you’ll likely avoid huge crowds!
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Grab a Cherry Blossom Donuts from Astro
If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, make sure to stop by Astro Doughnuts and get their Cherry Cheesecake, AKA their Cherry Blossom Doughnut. Astro Doughnuts is one of the most popular donut shops in town, and they’ll have limited quantities of this picturesque sweet treat available for walk-ins on a daily basis!
Take Advantage of a Hotel Package
Surprisingly, you can find a pretty good hotel deal during the Cherry Blossom Festival, even though it is one of the peak tourist seasons of the year. Whether you’re a local searching for a staycation, or an out-of-towner looking for the best accommodations in town, here are some of my favorite packages this year:
- Kimpton: With their “Make a Cherry Blossom Getaway” package, travelers who book a stay will receive custom welcome gifts from local D.C. makers including a cherry blossom canvas tote, a postcard to mail home, welcome cookies and money to spend at Shop Made in DC on a take-home gift or bites from their rotating incubator kitchen. This deal is available at all 10 Kimpton hotel locations in town!
Additionally, at the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel, you can book their three-month pop-up Cherry Blossom Room that’s open from now until May 31st, which features cherry blossom-inspired decor, live plants, complimentary amenities such themed snacks and locally handmade Harmony Creek Farm cherry blossom soaps and more!
- Mandarin Oriental: If you want a luxury experience, the Mandarin Oriental is offering a National Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom package, which includes a guest room or suite with views of the Tidal Basin, $50 daily dining credit, Cherry tree seed kit, and complimentary valet parking. Location-wise, you can’t get better than the Mandarin — it is only steps away from the blossoms!
What do you think are the best things to do in D.C. in the Spring?
Photos by Tom McGovern