National Park Service Just Announced When to Expect Peak Bloom for Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossoms

The city’s iconic flowers normally bloom in late March or early April—here’s when the National Park Service predicts they’ll be at their fullest in 2024.

Branch of blooming cherry tree in D.C., with Jefferson Memorial in distance

Peak bloom is expected the last week of March in Washington, D.C. this year.

Photo by Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

The National Park Service (NPS) has forecast that Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry blossoms will reach peak bloom—when 70 percent of the flowers are open—between March 23 and March 26, 2024. Although blossoms will start to open before then, those days near and in the last week of March are 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 2023, peak bloom occurred on March 23 (right within the original March 22–25 prediction) and on March 21 in 2022. In both years, florets became visible around two to three weeks prior to peak bloom.

When is the National Cherry Blossom Festival?

The National Cherry Blossom Festival will take place in the nation’s capital between March 20 and April 14, 2024, and will commemorate the 112th anniversary of the Mayor of Tokyo gifting the iconic trees to Washington, D.C.

Highlights of the 2024 festival include the opening ceremony and annual lantern lighting in partnership with the Japan Foundation on March 23 at the Warner Theatre; the Blossom Kite Festival on March 30 on the Mall; and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 13 (tickets are currently on sale for $25–$40 per person).

In addition to the iconic Cherry Blossom Festival at the National Mall, the National Wharf will also be hosting a cherry blossom–themed festival. This event, called Bloomaroo, will feature live music and fireworks and will take place on March 23, 2024.

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—because parking can be limited. Nearby hotels include:

Related: 5 New Washington, D.C. Hotels Offering a Truly Local Stay

If you are unable to view the blossoms in person, the NPS, which operates the National Mall and Memorial Parks, will live stream the blooms via its 24-hour BloomCam.

This article originally appeared online in 2019; it was most recently updated on February 29, 2024.

Jessie Beck is a San Francisco–based writer and associate director of SEO and video at Afar. She contributes to travel gear, outdoor adventure, and local getaway coverage and has previously lived in Washington, D.C., Malta, Seattle, and Madagascar.
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