$hide=home

Popular Categories$show=/search/label/Labels

$show=post

5 Tips to Plan a Trip to the Washington DC Cherry Blossoms


By Buddy Smith, The Points Guy

Many travel wish lists include a trip “to see the cherry blossoms.” To many, the cherry blossoms represent a quintessential travel bucket list experience. However, any trips that are so intrinsically tied to the whims of nature have built-in planning challenges. If such a trip is on your radar, here are some tips to mitigate some of the planning challenges and maximize the enjoyment of the natural beauty that ushers in spring.



1

Wait to Pick Travel Dates

There are some certainties in life, like death and taxes. There are, however, many more uncertainties, and predicting the peak bloom dates for Washington, DC’s famous cherry trees certainly has to be included on that elusive list. They will (likely) bloom sometime between mid-March and mid-April. However, that one-month window can feel like a pretty wide wide chasm when planning a two or four-day trip. That window can mean the difference between seeing unopened buds, magnificent blooms or weathered flowers littering the sidewalks and floating in the Tidal Basin. Only one of those options sounds trip-worthy to me.

Unless you are already tied to specific days in the DC area, try to remain flexible with your plans.

This is a great time to familiarize yourself with Cherry Blossom Watch. The website offers the latest updates and current photos of the cherry trees. It provides pertinent weather info, chronicles bud stage development and will predict peak bloom dates as spring nears. There is also relevant travel information provided for the DC area. Through that site, you can register for a weekly email newsletter and even sign up for push notifications that will automatically show up in your Chrome, Safari or Firefox browser. In conjunction with the website, follow the Instagram posts at @cherryblossomwatch. The reports here will be less detailed but will offer fresh photos with more frequent posts than on the website.

You can also find good information on the National Park Service’s Cherry Blossom Festival webpage, and the official National Cherry Blossom Festival site.

Frankly, it’s still way too early to make any educated guesses about peak bloom dates for 2019. Even last-minute temperature fluctuations in February and March can impact when the flowers open up.



2

Keep Flights Flexible

Unless you live within driving distance of the capital, you will likely take to the air to visit these DC cherry blossoms. Three major airports service the area: Reagan National (DCA), Dulles (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington (BWI). Unless you are flying Southwest, which does not charge change fees, or are booking through a loyalty program that allows free or inexpensive changes on awards, this is one of those times we don’t recommend booking airfare far in advance.

When my family went on an odyssey to see the cherry blossoms, we initially booked our late-March flights in early February. We based our decision on historic dates, guesswork and available information. When the National Park Service and The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang first issued their 2018 predictions for the optimum blossom viewing, we were wrong on all counts.

The “official experts” expected the best dates to be about 10 to 14 days before our arrival. Since the entire purpose of our trip was to see the cherry blossoms, we changed our flights (which we had booked with points). We swallowed a $150 change fee that we considered a luxury tax to properly enjoy what we considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Seven to 10 days later, after watching the buds go into a state of suspended animation because of weather, the prognosticating powers moved their best guess to almost three weeks later.

So, we adjusted our flights again. But this time, our original carrier no longer had availability, and we had to book with another airline, use more points and pay $160 for close-in award usage.

The end result was that the blossoms were indeed spectacular and well worth the points and cash, but we certainly learned some lessons the hard way.

While we don’t normally fly Southwest, as Houston Hobby (HOU) is not convenient for us, we would strongly consider flying them on any similar future endeavor. Those with the Companion Pass would be ever better served by selecting Southwest. The other option would be to wait as late as possible to book flights. Even if the fares or mileage requirements might be higher, it would be cheaper than multiple changes and the subsequent points lost.



3

Make Several Speculative Hotel Bookings

Grand Hyatt Washington DC bookable for 15k Hyatt points
Hotel accommodations are in high demand during cherry blossom season, and we obviously had to alter these reservations, too. While it’s often easier to cancel and rebook rooms than flights, we suggest securing a few refundable hotel reservations and canceling the ones not utilized. We ultimately stayed at the Hyatt Place Washington, DC/ White House on points. This hotel is about a half-mile north of the White House and a little over a mile to the Tidal Basin and the cherry trees. Two metro stops are within a few blocks of the hotel.

Right now, rooms here are available from approximately $450 a night on weeknights in late March. However, the rooms are available for just 12,000 World of Hyatt points, which means you can even use a Category 1 through 4 award from the World of Hyatt Credit Card. The nearby Grand Hyatt Washington, DC is another great choice at just 15,000 World of Hyatt points per night (and it has a club lounge).



4

Strike Early and Often

The cherry trees attract large crowds throughout the day, and weekends are obviously more crowded than weekdays. If you are available to go to DC on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, you will have a little more elbow room. There are aficionados that even arrive before dawn to capture the scene.

There are more than 3,000 trees that surround the Tidal Basin, so there are plenty to share. The hike around the Tidal Basin is just over two miles, but it is flat, paved and beautiful. You will pass the Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. memorials on the trail.

And the cherry trees are not restricted to the Tidal Basin. Small groves can be found throughout the area. Arlington National Cemetery can be just as beautiful as it is poignant.

Check out the blossoms at different times of the day as the color and angle of the light can result in significantly different photographs (and real-life views).

Also take time to admire the saucer magnolia trees that bloom in tandem with the cherry trees. Some fantastic samples can be found just past the Jefferson Memorial in George Mason Park and behind the Smithsonian Castle. You will not be disappointed.



5

Take the Metro — and Plenty of Breaks

If you are taking the Metro, the Smithsonian stop is less than a half-mile from the main collection of cherry trees. If you are like us, you will do a lot of walking while in DC. When you need to refuel, there are several food courts nearby that serve a variety of offerings. The Reagan International Trade Center, National Place and Union Station are all prepared to handle large, hungry crowds.

And travelers who brave the planning challenges and are lucky enough to catch the blooms on the peak dates will be well-rewarded for their efforts.
guide, trips idea

COMMENTS



|Featured Content_$type=three$c=6$l=0$m=0$s=hide$rm=0


Made with in NYC
Name

4th of July,7,Abu Dhabi,2,Accessories,234,Acne,13,Adventure,32,Adventure Travel,638,Advice,295,Africa,26,African Food,2,AIDS,1,Air Travel,150,Alabama,5,Alaska,20,Alberta,1,Alcohol,4,All About Beer,1,All About Wine,2,Alternative Treatments,4,America,77,American Food,5,Amsterdam,2,Android,11,Anguilla,3,Animal,367,Animal Health,1,Animals,103,Anniversary,1,Anniversary Cake,11,Antarctica,7,Anti-aging,49,Antigua,3,Appetizers & Snacks,2,Apple,11,Apps,16,Argentina,15,Arizona,19,Arkansas,2,Armenia,1,Asia Travel,47,Asian Food,7,Asthma,4,Athens,3,Austin,8,Australia,92,Australian Food,1,Austria,13,Autism,1,Auto Insurance,1,Auto Show,52,Autos,46,Azerbaijan,1,Baby Shower Cake,29,Back Pain,25,Bags,10,Bahamas,13,Balance Work & Life,50,Banana Cakes,2,Bangladesh,8,Barn Finds,1,Bathroom,43,Be a Better Manager,33,Beach Travel,58,Beaded Dress,2,Beards and Shaving,29,Beauty,1888,Beauty & Style,35,Beef Recipes,7,Belarus,1,Belgium,9,Belize,15,Bermuda,5,Best Products,17,Better Partner,40,Beverages,3,Bhutan,9,Bills to Pay,35,Birds,4,Birth Control,1,Birthday Cake,109,Blue Lagoon,2,Blueberry Cake,11,Bolivia,3,Botswana,3,Brazil,38,Bread,11,Breads,1,Break Room,12,Breakfast & Brunch,6,Breakup,19,Breakups,3,breast,1,Breasts,69,Broken Hearts,5,Brownie,8,Brunei,1,Budget Travel,97,Bundt Cake,30,Business Skills,102,Butter Cake,52,Buying,1,By Region,3,Cake Decorating,113,Cakes,54,California,109,Cambodia,4,Camera,6,Canada,80,Cancer,73,Car Shows,1,Car Tech,2,Caramel Cake,5,Career,222,Career Advice,298,Career Choice,125,Career Growth,180,Career Paths,24,Career Problem,8,Caribbean,45,Caribbean & Mexico,5,Carrot Cake,22,Cats,49,Celebrity,17,Celebrity Dress,2,Celebs,1,Ceremonial Cake,9,Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles,1,Cheese Recipes,4,Cheesecakes,251,Chicago,7,Chicago Auto Show,2,Chicken Recipes,14,Chiffon Cake,5,Children's Health,21,Chile,7,China,21,Chocolate Cake,395,Christmas,35,Christmas Cake,23,Christmas Travel,14,Classic Cars,39,Cleaning Tips,144,Clinical Practice,1,Clothes,1,Cocktail Recipes,2,Coconut Cake,21,Coffee,1,Coffee Cake,15,Coliseum,1,Colombia,18,Colorado,32,Columbia,3,Communication,2,Companies,2,Compassion,2,Computing,16,Connecticut,4,Consumer Electronics Show,5,Cookies,10,Cooking,8,Corporate Travel,2,Costa Rica,13,Country Travel,249,Creative,309,Creative Idea,22,Creative Ideas,37,Croatia,15,Cruiser Travel,16,Cuba,18,Cultural Travel,66,Cupcake,322,Customs & Classics,2,Czech Republic,6,D.C.,2,Dandruff,1,Dating,18,Dating Advice,73,Dating Advice for Women,22,Dating Tips,13,Decor,23,Decorating Ideas,181,Delaware,1,Demotivational,636,Denmark,12,Dental Health,26,Dentistry,1,Depression,24,Desert Travel,1,Desserts,3,Detroit Auto Show,4,Diabetes,25,Diet,131,Dining Out,3,Dinner,14,Disease,116,Diverse,1,Divorce,16,DIY,112,DIY Fashion,34,Dogs,156,Doughnuts,5,Dress,29,Drink,27,Drinks,1,Drinks & Cocktails,4,Driving,3,Drugs,3,Dubai,15,Ears,2,East Africa,4,Easter,1,Easter Island,1,Easter Travel,1,Eco Travel,18,Ecuador,7,Education,88,Eggs,3,Egypt,4,Electronics,4,Electronics and Gadgets,2,Emirates,1,England,13,Entertainment,148,Enthusiasts,131,Entrepreneurship,40,Estonia,2,Eswatini,1,Ethiopia,2,Europe,110,European Food,8,Exercises,51,Eye,300,Eye Health,28,Eyebrow,56,Eyelash,20,Face,54,Facts,284,Fall Travel,43,Family,16,Family Travel,128,Faroe Island,1,Fashion,395,Fashion for Kids,2,Fashion for Man,12,Fashion for Woman,31,Fat Loss,91,Father's Day Cake,4,Father's Day Travel,1,Featured,218,Features,1913,Fertility,2,Festival Travel,25,Fiji,6,Finance,6,Finland,16,Fish & Seafood,13,Fitness,1177,Fitness & Exercise,219,Florida,69,Food,141,Food and Drink,14,Food Recipes,7,France,37,Frankfurt Motor Show,2,Free Travel,3,French,6,French Polynesia,5,Friendship,40,Fruit & Veggie Recipes,8,Fruitcake,70,Fruits,4,Fuel Economy,1,Fun,42,Funny,546,Gadgets,31,Galapagos,3,Games,12,Garden,24,Gardening,276,Gearheads,1,General,7,Geneva Motor Show,3,Georgia,14,Germany,18,Get Healthy,63,Ghana,2,Girlfriend Grooming,10,Google,15,Graduation Cake,2,Gratitude,11,Greece,37,Green Living,5,Greenland,1,Grooming,89,Guatemala,2,Hair,1264,Hair Care,317,Hair Color,299,Hairstyle,65,Hairstyles,855,Halloween,41,Halloween Cake,12,Halloween Travel,9,Happiness,19,Hawaii,53,Hayden Panettiere,1,Headache,22,Health,1722,Health & Fitness,300,Health Care,491,Health Insurance,1,Healthcare Tech,6,Healthy,12,Healthy Drinks,31,Healthy Eating,186,Healthy Habits,159,Healthy Living,345,Hearing,1,Hiking Travel,63,HIV/AIDS,4,Holiday Travel,28,Holland,1,home,31,Home & Garden,205,Home and Decor,483,Honeymoon Travel,128,Hong Kong,13,Horoscope,31,Hot Rod Power Tour,1,Hotels,71,Housekeeper,8,Hungary,3,Ice cream Cake,21,Iceland,41,Idaho,4,Ideas,11,Illinois,13,Imports,1,Impress a Girl,20,Impress Women,4,Independence Day Travel,1,India,36,Indiana,5,Indonesia,13,Indoor Gardening,69,Industry,5,Inspiration,58,Insurance,5,Internet,19,Internship,8,Interview Skills,37,Investing,12,iPad,2,iPhone,6,Iraq,1,Ireland,36,Island,60,islands,2,Israel,9,Italy,56,Jamaica,8,Japan,44,Jealousy,2,Jewelry,13,Job Search,47,Jordan,6,Just For Fun,2,Kansas,6,Kentucky,2,Kenya,2,Kids & Pets,10,Kitchen,67,Koala,1,Korea,2,Kyrgyzstan,1,Labels,1,Lamb,2,Laptops,4,Latin America,3,Latin American Food,1,Latvia,1,Laundry,6,Layer Cake,95,Leadership,44,Legs,1,Lemon Cake,18,Life,1,Life Hacks,273,Lifestyle,1563,Lips,134,Lithuania,2,London,24,Long Distance Relationship,24,Los Angeles Auto Show,14,Louisiana,9,Love,165,Lowa,4,Lunch,5,Luxembourg,1,Luxury Travel,35,Maine,6,Maintenance,3,Makeup,608,Makeup & Beauty,11,Makeup Tips,77,Malaysia,1,Maldives,15,Malta,2,Mango Cake,3,Manicure,10,Marketing,10,Markets,11,Marriage,97,Marshmallow,3,Maryland,6,Massachusetts,9,Massage,5,Mauritius,6,Meditation,35,Men & Women,18,Men's,4,Men's Health,14,Menstruation,21,Mental Health,302,Mexico,74,Miami,13,Michigan,5,Microsoft,6,Middle Eastern Food,2,Mind,3,Mississippi,2,Missouri,7,Mobile,22,Moldova,1,Monaco,1,Money & Career,21,Monkey,1,Montana,12,Morocco,20,Mother's Day Travel,1,Motherhood,16,Motivation,2,Motorcycles,106,Motorsports,2,Mousse,2,Muffins,9,Mug Cake,14,Multiple Sclerosis,1,Muscle Cars,4,Muscle Cars & Hot Rods,3,Muscle Gain,2,Myanmar,9,Nail Art,195,Nails,252,Namibia,4,Nature,4,Nature Travel,102,Nepal,6,Netherlands,11,Nevada,23,Nevis,1,New Bikes,2,New Car Deals,1,New England,5,New Jersey,2,New Mexico,6,New Year Fashion,6,New Year's Day Travel,6,New York,55,New York Auto Show,3,New York City,20,New Zealand,47,Newfoundland,1,Newlyweds,4,News,334,Nicaragua,2,North America,11,North Carolina,6,North Dakota,1,North Ireland,1,Northern Ireland,1,Norway,20,Nutrition,447,Occasional Travel,9,Oceania,1,Offbeat,564,Ohio,6,Oman,5,Online Date Tips,2,Operating Systems,2,Oral,4,Oregon,10,outdoor,3,Outfits,166,Ownership,61,Pain,24,Painting,16,Pakistan,2,Panama,5,Pancake,19,Panda,1,Panna Cotta,3,Paraguay,1,Parenting,370,Paris,23,Paris Motor Show,4,Pasta,2,Pastry,7,Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance,2,Pedicure,4,Penguin,4,Pennsylvania,10,People & Places,88,Perfumes,14,Personal Finance,164,Peru,21,Pets,208,Phoenix,1,Photo Feature,1,Pie,27,Pimple,3,Plum Cake,1,Poke Cake,10,Poland,3,Popular Ingredients,26,Pork Recipes,7,Portable Media,14,Portugal,21,Pound Cake,55,Prague,1,Pregnancy,112,Premium,1,Printer,2,Protein Bars,1,Psychology,1,Pudding,9,Puerto Rico,7,Pumpkin Cake,45,Qatar,6,Quick & Easy Recipes,11,Real Estate,72,Recalls,4,Recipe,1098,Recipes,52,Recipes & Meal Ideas,3,Recipes By Course,5,Relationship,167,Relationship Advice,180,Relationship Advice for Men,23,Relationship Advice for Women,27,Relationship Problems,58,Relationship Secrets,14,Relationships,185,Research,94,Resort,11,Restaurants & News,13,Resume,11,Retirement,10,Reviews,1,Rhode Island,2,River Travel,2,Road Trips,49,Romania,4,Romantic Getaways,15,Rome,5,Russia,16,Safety,5,Saint Lucia,1,Saint Patrick's Day Travel,1,Salad,6,San Miguel de Allende,1,Science & Tech,66,Scotland,10,Seasonal,56,Seasonal Travel,59,Security,9,Self Help,14,Self-Care,3,SEMA Show,5,Senior Relationship,2,Sex,7,Sexual Health,19,Shanghai Auto Show,7,Shaving,1,Sheet Cake,20,Shirt,4,Shoes,29,Shopping,10,Shots & Shooters,1,Side Dishes,4,Sightseeing Tours,2,Singapore,18,Ski Resorts,10,Skin,429,Skin Caare,1,Skin Care,609,Sleep,62,Slovenia,6,Small Business,163,Smartphone,28,Smile,1,Smoothies & Juices,3,Snacks,1,Social Media,44,Solo Travel,24,Solomon Islands,1,Somoa,1,Soth Africa,1,South Africa,14,South America,3,South Carolina,4,South Dakota,5,South Korea,3,South Pacific,2,Space Travel,14,Spain,33,Special,46,Special Cake,579,Special Feature,113,Special Features,490,Sponge Cake,15,Sports,22,Sports and Exotics,4,Sports Cars,8,Spring Travel,23,Squirrel,1,Sri Lanka,6,Strawberry Cake,22,Street Fashion,8,Stress Relief,35,Stroke,2,Student Travel,1,Style Guide,25,Summer Travel,53,Summer Vacation,8,Supercars,10,Sweden,19,Swiss Alps,1,Switzerland,20,Tahiti,1,Taiwan,3,Tanzania,1,Tarts,12,Tattoos,81,Taxes,7,Teas,2,Tech,89,Tech Advice,12,Tech Education,7,Tech Hacks,19,Tech Updates,2,Technology,18,Teen Advice,4,Teeth,5,Tennessee,6,Texas,57,Thailand,31,Thanksgiving Cake,4,Thanksgiving Travel,5,Therapy,3,Things to Do,165,Tibet,2,Tips,264,Tips & Tricks,6,Tokyo Motor Show,2,Tools & Skills,16,Top Stocks,1,Top Stories,1,Traditional Cake,4,Train Travel,23,Training,1,Transportation,22,Travel,1040,Travel Advice,64,Travel Apps,1,Travel Guide,40,Travel Tips,149,Trends,7,Trucks,1,True Health,5,Tunisia,2,Turkey,10,Turkish,1,Tuscany,1,TV,2,UAE,10,UK,40,Ukrine,1,Understanding Women,28,Urban Travel,47,Uruguary,1,USA,629,Utah,12,Uzbekistan,1,Vacation Travel,245,Valentine's Day Cake,7,Valentine's Day Travel,1,Vanilla Cake,17,Vegetables,3,Vehicle Travel,2,Venezuela,1,Vermont,4,Victoria Falls,1,Video,5,Vietnam,5,Virginia,5,Waffles,3,Washington,15,Washington DC,20,Waxing,19,Web & Social,17,Wedding,87,Wedding Cake,549,Wedding Dress,30,Weddings,60,Weddings Travel,4,wei,1,Weight Gain,29,Weight Loss,755,Weird,172,Wellness,193,West Indies,2,Wi-Fi,2,Wildlife Travel,13,Winter Travel,56,Wisconsin,5,Women Lifestyle,23,Women's,689,Women's Health,173,Work Environment,77,Workout,8,Workouts,81,Worldwide,155,Wyoming,2,xxx,1,Yemen,1,Yoga,85,YouTube,3,Zadar,2,Zambia,3,Zimbabwe,4,
ltr
item
dearJulius.com: 5 Tips to Plan a Trip to the Washington DC Cherry Blossoms
5 Tips to Plan a Trip to the Washington DC Cherry Blossoms
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SU2kbnLYg8I/XFyaxMhgtoI/AAAAAAAAdOg/RqROe25NEpoCiCnPmQJQ4whj4BRQ3FLIQCLcBGAs/s1600/travel.dearjulius.com.jpg
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SU2kbnLYg8I/XFyaxMhgtoI/AAAAAAAAdOg/RqROe25NEpoCiCnPmQJQ4whj4BRQ3FLIQCLcBGAs/s72-c/travel.dearjulius.com.jpg
dearJulius.com
https://www.dearjulius.com/2019/02/5-tips-to-plan-trip-to-washington-dc.html
https://www.dearjulius.com/
https://www.dearjulius.com/
https://www.dearjulius.com/2019/02/5-tips-to-plan-trip-to-washington-dc.html
true
673833072858841524
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy