The most famous cherry trees in Washington, D.C. are those lining the city's gorgeous Tidal Basin, and for good reason. The Tidal Basin makes for a stunning, leisurely walk, with views of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial, and for two or so weeks every spring, the magnificent cherry blossoms blooming from 3,750 cherry trees.
However, the Tidal Basin draws as many as 1.5 million people for its annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. Crowds swell around the Basin to get a view of of the pink and white bursts. But fear not! There are plenty of other cherry blossoms around town that provide all the awe and wonder of the Tidal Basin ones, with fractions of the crowds.
My favorite spot to view the blossoms is at Rawlins Park, located at 18th and E Streets NW. Lined with cherry trees on all four sides, Rawlins Park is an urban oasis, complete with an impressive statue of John Rawlins, former Secretary of War under President Ulysses S. Grant, two long reflecting pools, frequented by ducks, a calming fountain, and numerous park benches.
Pack a sandwich, coffee, or a book, and pick a park bench. Or go for an unhurried stroll around the park. Drink in the views, and feel your pulse and blood pressure slacken. Find your own cherry blossom bliss.
Honorable mention: Lafayette Park, just north of the White House, also has wonderful cherry blossoms, people-watching opportunities, and plentiful park benches.
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These are magnolia trees!
These magnolias flower before the Japanese cherry trees, and have much larger flowers.
Rawlins Park does not have any cherry trees. It's still nice, and walking distance from the tidal basin, Constitution Gardens, and the reflecting pool.