The National Park Service (NPS) has forecasted that Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry blossoms will reach peak bloom—when 70 percent of the flowers are open—between March 23–25, 2022. Although blossoms will start to open before then, the last week of March is predicted to be the best time to see the flowers at their fullest this year.
Peak bloom typically happens in Washington, D.C. around the last week of March and the first week of April. In 2021, peak bloom happened on March 28 (earlier than the original April 2–3 prediction) and on March 20 in 2020.
When is the National Cherry Blossom Festival?
The National Cherry Blossom Festival will take place between March 20 and April 17 and will commemorate the 110th anniversary of the Mayor of Tokyo gifting the iconic trees to Washington, D.C.
Although the festival limited its in-person events in 2021 to help curb the spread of COVID-19, in-person events are back for the 2022 celebrations. This includes the opening ceremony and annual lantern lighting on March 20 at the Warner Theatre; the Blossom Kite Festival on March 26 on the Mall; and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 9 (tickets are currently on sale for $25–$30 per person).
The festival will also bring back the Art in Bloom installations, a collection of outdoor, blossom-themed sculptures throughout the District, which began as a socially distanced addition to the festivities in 2021.
Cherry blossom viewing tips
If you’re able to see the cherry blossoms in person, remember to keep the cherry blossoms happy and healthy by never picking them (it’s actually against the law) and avoid touching them while posing for photos.
For those coming to Washington, D.C. for the cherry blossoms, it’s best to choose a hotel within walking distance of the National Mall and Memorial Parks—the most popular viewing spots—since parking can be limited. Nearby hotels include:
- Book now: The Willard
- Book now: Mandarin Oriental
- Book now: Canopy by Hilton Washington DC the Wharf
If you are unable to view the blossoms in person, the NPS, which operates the National Mall and Memorial Parks, will continue to live stream the blooms via its 24-hour BloomCam.
This article originally appeared online in March 2019; it was updated on March 1, 2022, to include current information.