15 Places to See Cherry Blossoms Across the United States

You don’t need to fly to Japan to see these legendary pink flowers.

Japan isn’t the only place to see cherry blossoms each spring. From the iconic blooms of Washington, D.C., to lesser-known groves like those that line the roads in Traverse City, Michigan, there are many places in the United States to see those pale pink blooms each spring.

Although it’s difficult to anticipate exactly when peak blooms will occur, most areas will see them in March or April. However, they can appear as early as February in some places, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, or as late as May in Traverse City, Michigan, depending on the weather. Once in bloom, these iconic flowers don’t stick around for long. But historically, that’s part of their allure. In Japan, where the flowers and the world’s infatuation with them originate, the cherry blossom (called sakura in Japanese) symbolizes the fleeting nature of life. But Japanese culture counteracts this notion of imminent decay with hanami, a long-standing tradition of gathering beneath the blossoms with food, music, and friends to celebrate rather than mourn their beauty.

If you dream of witnessing a bloom but a flight to Japan isn’t in the cards, hope is not lost. There might be an ideal place to see cherry blossoms in your own backyard.

These are the 15 best places to see cherry blossoms in the United States.

People walking beneath two rows of dark pink cherry blossoms at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis

The cherry blossom trees at the Missouri Botanical Garden typically bloom from March to April.

Photo by chettarin/Shutterstock

1. Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, Missouri)

Head straight to the Missouri Botanical Garden‘s 14-acre Japanese Garden for a front seat to the floral show; Japanese apricots bloom at the end of February, followed by the blooming of different varieties of cherry trees from March through early April. There are 40 Higan cherry trees, 40 Yoshino cherry trees, and 20 Centennial cherry trees at the Missouri Botanical Garden, so there’s plenty of pink shade to sit under with a snack and a friend or two. Admission is $16, with a discounted rate for locals ($6). Children 12 and under can experience the park for free.

Cherry blossoms in a park in Macon, Georgia, with paved path between two rows of trees

Macon, Georgia, is home to more than 350,0000 Yoshino cherry blossom trees.

Photo by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

2. Carolyn Crayton Park (Macon, Georgia)

Macon’s International Cherry Blossom Festival bills itself as the “pinkest party on Earth” in honor of the astounding 350,000 Yoshino cherry trees that bloom throughout the city. The festival takes place at Carolyn Crayton Park each year. In 2024, it will be held March 15–24. For a $10 daily entry fee, flower fans can enjoy concerts, rides, and games, and even a dog agility show. Cherry blossom enthusiasts who can’t make it to the celebration in person can check out the live BloomCam, which captures the bursts of pink in real time.

Cherry blossom trees blooming over a river in Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville has more than 1,000 cherry blossom trees.

Photo by Vol de Nuit/Shutterstock

3. Nashville Public Square Park (Nashville, Tennessee)

On April 13, the city of Nashville gathers at Nashville Public Square Park to celebrate cherry blossom season. In addition to the main event—the flowers, of course—visitors can participate in a cosplay contest, kid-focused crafts, a cherry blossom–themed dog parade, cultural lectures, martial arts demonstrations, live music, and much more. Local vendors regularly set up shop at the event, selling art and other handmade wares.

You can, of course, visit on other days during peak bloom (which generally happens between the end of March and mid-April, according to the Nashville Tree Conservation Corps) to simply enjoy a quiet moment beneath the pink blossoms. The park offers the perfect scene for a springtime picnic or alfresco reading session.

Strands of cherry blossoms dangling in the foreground, with a dry garden at the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Each spring, cherry blossoms bloom at the peaceful Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon.

Photo by Joanthan Ley

4. Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Portland Japanese Garden (Portland, Oregon)

Portland, Oregon, has not one but two wonderful places to view cherry blossoms each spring: Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Portland Japanese Garden.

Tom McCall Waterfront Park sits on the edge of the Japanese American Historical Plaza; it was built in 1990 to honor those whose lives were uprooted during the era of Japanese American internment camps. There are 100 cherry trees planted in and around the park, but visitors are encouraged to also explore the rest of the plaza, which is dotted with poems that explore the Japanese American experience.

At the Portland Japanese Garden, visitors have a chance to experience Japanese culture alongside a handful of cherry trees, each artfully arranged throughout the space to create carefully considered views—a key characteristic of traditional Japanese gardens. Reservations for timed entry are recommended, and tickets cost $16 to $22 per person (children under six enter for free). Just make sure to leave time for tea and mochi at the garden’s Umami Café or for one of the many cultural offerings, such as koto (Japanese harp) performances or ikebana (flower arrangement) demonstrations.

Hot pink tulips blooming alongside pale cherry trees at the Dallas Arboretum

Tulips bloom alongside the cherry trees at the Dallas Arboretum.

Courtesy of Dallas Arboretum

5. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden (Dallas, Texas)

Come springtime in Dallas, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden bursts into vivid color, as cherry trees bloom alongside tulips each year. The arboretum’s Dallas Blooms event, which is the largest floral festival in the Southwest, will run from February 24 to April 8 this year and coincides with cherry blossom season. There’s a robust roster of activities and events planned for 2024, and visitors can look forward to live concerts, a tour of the historic DeGolyer House, and a petting zoo for the kiddos.

A cherry blossom tree next to wooden roofed entryway to San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden

Stay for tea in San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden and you’ll enjoy a lovely view of cherry blossoms.

Photo by Shutterstock

6. The Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, California)

Although you can find cherry trees throughout San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, head to its Japanese Tea Garden to see the trees interspersed throughout the historic garden’s picturesque bridges, pagodas, and teahouse. The peak season for San Francisco’s cherry blossoms is typically around mid-March to mid-April. To celebrate the blossoms in grand fashion, head to San Francisco’s Japantown to attend the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which will take place on April 13, 14, 20, and 21 in 2024.

Tall blooming cherry trees at the quad at the University of Washington

The 29 cherry trees planted along the University of Washington’s quad make for an impressive display in the spring

Photo by Checubus/Shutterstock

7. The University of Washington Quad (Seattle, Washington)

Location: Pierce Ln. | Find on Google Maps
Since 1962, Seattle locals have known that spring at the University of Washington is synonymous with one thing: cherry blossoms. The dozens of trees that line UW’s central quad look so ethereal that stressed-out students, harried professors, and those simply passing by can’t help but stop and stare when the trees are in bloom. In fact, the highly anticipated cherry blossoms even have their own Twitter account.

Cherry trees blooming near water, with Washington Monument in background

Washington, D.C. is one of the most famous places in the country to view cherry blossoms.

Photo by Orhan Cam/Shutterstock

8. The National Mall (Washington, D.C.)

  • Location: Third St. to 14th St. NW (between Madison Dr. NW and Jefferson Dr. SW. | Find on Google Maps

No list of the best places to see cherry blossoms in the USA would be complete without a mention of Washington, D.C.

In 1912, the mayor of Tokyo gifted 3,000 trees to the District as a symbol of Japanese American friendship, and they’re planted all along the National Mall. The locals’ secret is to visit in the evening after the daytime crowds have gone, or stroll through Dumbarton Oaks, a beautiful (and relatively tourist-free) historic estate in D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood. Official forecasts for D.C.’s cherry blossoms say it’s still too early to predict when exactly the flowers will be in peak bloom, but the flowers have typically appeared in March during past seasons.

A branch of cherry blossoms

One of the first signs of spring in Philadelphia: cherry blossoms

Courtesy of Noah Cote/Unsplash

9. Fairmount Park (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Philly turns into a magnificently pink city come springtime, when thousands upon thousands of cherry trees come into full bloom. The beautiful Shofuso Japanese House and Garden (tickets start at $14 per person) in Fairmount Park is the pinnacle of the sakura display, but many other viewing spots in the city don’t require an entrance fee. For example, we love the rows of pink trees behind the Please Touch Museum in West Fairmount Park and the stretch located along Kelly Drive behind Boathouse Row.

Cherry blossoms alongside water and near red tori gate in Brookyln’s Botanic Garden

Brookyln’s Botanic Garden, with its many blooming cherry trees, is a perfect place for a springtime stroll.

Photo by Shutterstock

10. Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Brooklyn, New York)

No spring in Brooklyn is properly spent without a visit to the Botanic Garden. Advance tickets are recommended, though some are available same-day at the Gardens’ admission booths. Tickets cost $12–$18 per person, and children under 12 are admitted for free. Once in the gardens, visitors can stroll among rows of over 200 blossoming trees at the enclosed Japanese Hill-and-Pond garden or the aptly named Cherry Walk, a meandering path lined with Prunus ‘Kanzan’ cherry trees, a spectacular variety with fuller than normal flowers.

A few branches of white cherry blossoms along the esplanade in Boston

The highest concentration of cherry blossom trees are between the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge and the Mass Avenue access ramp.

Courtesy of Pragyan Goswami/Unsplash

11. Charles River Esplanade (Boston, Massachusetts)

There aren’t many places in Boston to see cherry blossoms, but bloom season along the Charles River Esplanade in Back Bay is truly spectacular. If the weather is warm enough, onlookers can float down the river in a kayak or paddle up close for a view from the water.

A few branches of pink cherry blossoms near water in Branch Brook Park

There are more cherry trees in Newark’s Branch Brook Park than there are in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Shutterstock

12. Branch Brook Park (Newark, New Jersey)

There are approximately 4,000 cherry trees in Branch Brook Park—that’s 1,000 more than the country’s most famous springtime display in Washington, D.C. Since 1927, the remarkable number of blooms at this Essex County park has been a primary draw for visitors. This year, New Jersey’s “pinkest park” will host a free cherry blossom celebration from April 6 to 14 that culminates in Bloomfest! on the 14th, a celebration of Japanese culture featuring demonstrations, live music, and a craft market.

Blooming cherry trees around sign for Ohio University

Ohio University’s cherry blossoms were given to the institution by the Chubu University.

Photo by Robert A. Powell/Shutterstock

13. Ohio University (Athens, Ohio)

The 200 cherry trees that line Ohio University’s campus were given to it in 1979 by its Japanese sister campus, Chubu University, as a symbol of friendship between the two institutions. The pink blossoms that decorate the banks of Athens’s Hocking River typically bloom from late March through April and have become a symbol of spring for students and faculty. To get you in the cherry blossom spirit, check out the timelapse video the university created to capture last year’s phenomenal bloom.

Rows of blooming cherry trees off of Highway M-37 in Traverse City, Michigan

You can’t actually stroll the cherry orchards of Traverse City, but when the trees are in bloom, you can view them from hikes and along drives through the area.

Photo by gary richard enis/Shutterstock

14. Highway M-37 (Traverse City, Michigan)

Because Michigan is the American capital of all things “cherry,” it’s only natural that it would be a cherry blossom–peeping destination as well. Blossoms typically start to appear around mid-May each year, there are some iconic scenic drives, like Highway M-37 by Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, which takes visitors through roughly 2 million cherry trees. Although you can’t walk in the orchards, the bikeable, 17-mile Leelanau Trail, which includes several sections that go by cherry trees, is perfect for those who prefer to view the blooms at a slower pace.

Pink and white cherry blossoms at pond with small bridge at Descano Gardens

Located in La Cañada Flintridge, Descano Gardens encompasses 50 acres of peaceful forested lands.

Photo by Kit Leong/Shutterstock

15. Descanso Gardens (La Cañada Flintridge, California)

Located about 20 minutes outside of downtown Los Angeles, Descanso Gardens is known for its seasonal horticultural displays and is considered something of a museum of living collections. Around March and April, the cherry trees here burst into color, and the Gardens will hold cherry blossom–themed programming, such as guided walks, origami demonstrations, and flower-arranging workshops. But you might simply want to pack a picnic and enjoy the flowers—the Gardens also have one of the largest collections of camellias in the Western Hemisphere. To keep track of what flowers you might be able to spot on your visit, check out its What’s in Bloom resource page, which allows visitors to see which flowers are budding, blooming, or past their peak.

This article originally appeared online in March 2017; it was most recently updated on February 9, 2024, to include current information. Jessie Beck and Erika Owen contributed to the reporting of this story.

From Our Partners
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR