Washington, DC Celebrates Spring With The National Cherry Blossom Festival

Mar 04, 2010, 12:56 ET from Destination DC

National Park Service Predicts Bloom Dates of March 31April 11 with Flowers Hitting Peak Bloom April 3-8

WASHINGTON, March 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Cherry Blossom Festival, DC's and the nation's greatest springtime celebration, is quickly approaching, running over three weekends from March 27 through April 11. The National Park Service today announced that the famed cherry trees lining the Tidal Basin are forecasted to hit their peak bloom April 3-8 and Destination DC, the city's official convention and tourism corporation, is inviting travelers to experience spring beauty in the nation's capital by booking cherry blossom and spring break-themed getaways. Hotel packages are available at Washington.org/cherryblossom or by calling 800-422-8644.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100304/DC65210)


DC's hotels always join in the springtime excitement, offering fantastic packages with a cherry flair starting as low as $128/night during the Festival.* Consider The Liaison Capitol Hill's package, which includes overnight accommodations, two all-day Metro passes, a live cherry blossom branch to take home, a bag of goodies from in-house restaurant Art and Soul and artisan handmade chocolates starting at $181/night. Or, the luxe Fairmont Washington, D.C.'s package, which includes overnight accommodations, a box of cherry blossom note cards and complimentary valet parking starting at $176/night. Families will enjoy the spacious Georgetown Suites' package, which includes complimentary parking, free WIFI and complimentary continental breakfast starting at $128/night. And at the new and chic Dupont Hotel, visitors can book packages including complimentary full breakfast for each adult at Cafe Dupont starting at $122.71/night.  For more information on these and other themed packages, visit Washington.org/cherryblossom.  

*Rates starting at $99 for suburban hotels and on select non-festival dates.


More than 70 DC restaurants participate in the National Cherry Blossom Festival by serving up "Cherry Picks" – themed menu-items delightfully flavored with cherries and inspired by the blossoms. Festive cocktails, succulent entrées and delectable cherry desserts show off the talents of the city's top chefs. For the 2010 promotion, offerings include Roasted Lamb with Celery Root Puree and Cherry Lamb Jus at Urbana Restaurant & Wine Bar, or CommonWealth Gastropub's Tempranillo Cherry Ice Cream Sandwich. A complete list of participating restaurants, along with their specialty menu items, can also be found at Washington.org/cherryblossom.


This year's National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 27-April 11) takes place over three weekends, and here are Destination DC's picks for can't-miss events:

  • Family Day & Opening Ceremony: Mar. 27, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., National Building Museum — Hands-on activities and free entertainment will be offered at Family Day, taking place before the Festival's official Opening Ceremony, which begins at 4 p.m. (Free)
  • Fireworks Show: Apr. 3, 8:30 p.m., Southwest Waterfront — Watch fireworks light up the sky in celebration of the blossoms. The best viewing areas are at 6th and Water Streets, SW (across from Arena Stage) or East Potomac Park.  A musical prelude and other family activities will be held on the Southwest Waterfront beforehand, beginning at 5 p.m. (Free)
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade®: Apr. 10, starts at 10 a.m., Constitution Ave. between 7th & 17th Sts. — Floats, marching bands, giant helium balloons and international performing groups will wind their way down one of America's most popular avenues. (Free)
  • Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival: Apr. 10, 11 a.m. -6 p.m., 12th St. NW & Pennsylvania Ave. — A showcase of culture, crafts and cuisine, this Festival features martial arts demonstrations, restaurant offerings, a Japanese beer garden, vendors selling traditional crafts, pop culture must-haves and more. (Free)

And consider rounding-out your DC vacation with any of these tours, happening through the duration of the Festival:

  • Blossoms by Bike: March 27-April 11 – weekdays at 3 p.m.; weekends at 9:30 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. — Bike and Roll celebrates the arrival of spring with a two-hour bike ride specifically designed to showcase DC's natural spring beauty. ($32/adults; $22/children)
  • National Park Service Ranger-Guided Lantern Walks: March 27-April 11 – daily at 8 p.m. — On this evening walk, a knowledgeable National Park Service Ranger will guide visitors through the five-mile perimeter of the Tidal Basin against the backdrop of lantern-lighting. (Free)
  • Cherry Blossom Photo Safaris: March 27-April 11 – daily at 6:15 a.m. and 3 p.m. — Washington Photo Safari's professional photographers will use the blossom-adorned Tidal Basin as the canvas for teaching travel photography techniques to amateurs. Topics covered include tips on proper lighting, composition, exposure and camera usage. ($64-$99/person for 6:15 a.m. tour; $59/person for 3 p.m. tour)

For more information and a complete list of National Cherry Blossom Festival events, visit Nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.

For the latest news on Washington, DC, visit Washington.org/pressroom.

About Destination DC:  Destination DC, the lead destination marketing organization for the nation's capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of more than 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. destinationdc.com.

About the National Cherry Blossom Festival: The National Cherry Blossom Festival is Washington, DC's and the nation's greatest springtime celebration.  The 2010 Festival, March 27April 11, includes three spectacular weekends and daily events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit.  The 2010 Festival commemorates the 98th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between United States and Japan. For schedules and information visit www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org or call the Festival hotline at (877) 44BLOOM.

SOURCE Destination DC