A Guide for Viewing Cherry Blossoms in Alexandria, Virginia

cherry blossoms against blue sky in washington dc

Photo from Canva

Almost as iconic to the capital city as the Washington Monument, more than 3,000 cherry trees envelop the Tidal Basin each year and are about to bloom into their full glory. They'll peak this year around March 22-25, according to the National Park Service.  

Although everyone should certainly witness at least once the fluffy pink and white cloud that drops into Washington, DC, every March and April, the experience certainly doesn’t come easy. Crowds from across the globe descend each year to photograph and pose in front of every inch of blooms, shuffling shoulder to shoulder, from tree to tree, trying to find the perfect picture. 

Read on to find the best locations for viewing cherry blossoms near Alexandria, VA.

park bench and trail in Washington DC with cherry blossoms

Photo from Canva

District of Columbia

The best viewing locations in the DC area include:

  • Tidal Basin: The most iconic and popular spot to view cherry blossoms. It's home to the majority of cherry trees and offers picturesque views near the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial.
  • East Potomac Park: This park, extending south from the Tidal Basin, offers a quieter viewing experience with equally stunning trees.
  • National Mall: Some trees are scattered around the National Mall, near the Washington Monument and other memorials.
  • Other Locations: Consider Dumbarton Oaks, the U.S. National Arboretum, or Anacostia Park for fewer crowds.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is from March 20 - April 14. This is an annual event celebrating the gift of the cherry blossom trees from the people of Japan. 


Old Town Alexandria


Cherry blossoms are located just a few miles away in Alexandria, Virginia. There you'll find all of the beauty minus the headache, plus a few specialty attractions that only happen once a year when the blossoms line the neighborhood streets. 


True, there aren’t dense clusters of cherry blossoms, but the city is dotted with the cherry trees and other flowering cousins. Wander throughout the charming neighborhoods and parks, and there will be plenty of photo-worthy choices.


Plus, the city usually hosts a variety of celebratory events including Cherry Blossom Pop-Up History Tours and a Cherry Blossom Food Crawl. Cherry blossom hospitality also seeps into hotel packages throughout the city. Look for speciality getaways with blossom themes.  

Mount Vernon Trail

A paved path follows along the Potomac River for eighteen miles. With end points at either Mount Vernon or Theodore Roosevelt Island, walkers, bikers, and hikers have the perfect vantage point to see cherry blossoms up close and personal. Although the trail isn’t dedicated to cherry trees, they are readily found up and down the path. 


Regional trails, including Potomac Heritage, Custis, Rock Creek, Four Mile Run, and Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail, connect with the Mount Vernon Trail and offer their own cherry blossom sightings. 


Mount_Vernon in Virginia


Photo from Canva

George Washington's Mount Vernon

Although the myth of a six-year-old George Washington, declaring, “I cannot tell a lie,” when accused by his father of chopping down a cherry tree has been proven false, it is true that his estate, Mount Vernon, is home to flowering cherry trees. Washington cultivated many fruit trees, including cherry varieties, which will be in bloom during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

River Farm


The front gates of River Farm feature a quaint, quiet place to view a grove of cherry trees. Once a part of Washington’s plantation property, River Farm is now home to the American Horticultural Society. The farm entertains families throughout the year with events, children’s garden, and picnicking areas. 



Photo from Canva

Green Spring Gardens

The Fairfax County Park Authority offers access to dozens of greens spaces for families to enjoy. Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria captures the beauty of flowering cherry trees tucked against an 18th century plantation home and wooded stream valley with ponds. The gardens are also registered as a historic site and offer year round learning opportunities.

For the up-to-date bloom peak forecast, connect with the National Park Service and their Bloom Watch.

Cherry Blossoms By Boat

A variety of water taxis, Potomac cruises, and paddle boats arrive and depart from Alexandria, and many add in tours of the DC monuments in addition to a riverside view of the cherry blossoms. Lengths and times vary as do amenities, from catered meals to snack shops.


Check out the Potomac Riverboat Company and Embark DC Boat Tours for options. 


More Cherry Blossom Sightings Near Alexandria


The region bursts into spring with cherry blossoms, but they aren’t restricted to the Tidal Basin or Alexandria. The following locations have less visitors and more opportunities to explore and spend time admiring the landscape. 

In addition, these are popular places for local families to create the ideal backdrops for professional photo shoots, candid shots, and attempt to capture the illusive perfect Christmas card photo. 

  • Fort McNair
  • Fort Belvoir
  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • The U.S. National Arboretum
  • Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Viewing the cherry blossoms is a beautiful experience that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Plan the day, expect crowds, and don't forget your camera! 


By Dawn M. Smith




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