More than 1 million people will crowd around the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms with the peak expected between March 24-31. It will be mad crowded. The biggest complaint is there’s someone in your photo because it’s hard to find an isolated place.
First a disclaimer: photographer Angela Pan and I offer cherry blossom photo tours on March 24 and April 1 starting at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Visit Capital Photo History Tours for details. Angela is awesome and will show you how to turn a photo into a work of art for your walls.
But here’s some free advice: come early. Like 7 a.m. early to get nice sunrise photos and not feel crowded. By 11 a.m., the place is rocking. Consider walking across to the FDR Memorial where it’s a little less crowded and you can get the Jefferson, King and Washington Memorials in the background.
But, you can also venture away from the Tidal Basin to see the trees. Sure, there are 3,750 to choose around the water, but there are other places where you’ll have some room to work.
Arlington National Cemetery has 400 cherry trees. The best place is above the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Nationals Park has several in the outfield upper deck and you can see a pretty good baseball team, too.
Stanton Park on Capitol Hill has cherry trees bordering the four-acre oasis and a playground for kids. It’s at Massachusetts Ave. between 4th and 6th Sts. SE.
Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown has 10 acres of gardens and trees, including sour cherry trees. Sorry, I’ve never tasted them to know if they’re sour.
Anacostia Park has 1,200 acres with gardens, trails and shoreline along with cherry trees.
The U.S. National Arboretum at the end of New York Ave. NE has 400 cherry trees through the 446 acres. Lots of other plants and trees, too.