Cherry Blossom Snoop

Let’s get the lowdown on how the cherry blossoms are coming along on the National Mall and around the Tidal Basin. We’ll do several of these at various times of day, weekdays and weekends as weather permits, as we approach peak bloom forecasted for April 8-12. If you miss this one, don't worry - more are on the way!

The route: From the Haupt Garden, we’ll walk west along the path in the Mall that runs parallel to Jefferson Drive, cross 14th St SW and veer left along the sidewalk in front of Washington Monument, cross Independence Ave SW in front of the Floral Library, and enter the path that runs along the shoreline of the Tidal Basin. We’ll walk clockwise around the shoreline of the Tidal Basin, past the Jefferson, FDR and MLK memorials to the Japanese Lantern and First Cherry Blossom Tree Planting. From there we’ll recross Independence Ave SW and walk north through the World War Two Memorial to Constitution Ave NW, where we’ll turn right and walk east. At 15th St NW we’ll turn right, walk south to Madison Dr NW, turn left, and walk towards the Capitol Building in the National Mall. At 12th St SW we’ll turn south and return to the Haupt Garden.

The route is a clockwise loop of about 4 miles of smiles and should take no more than an hour and a half. Since we’re scouting for the first blooms, we may depart from our route in pursuit as needed, but we’ll try to keep to the hour and a half duration.

Google route map:

How to get there: (Metro recommended) From the Smithsonian Metro Station, walk east 0.1 miles on Independence Ave SW toward 12th St SW, turn left and walk north into the garden, through the wrought iron gates flanked by the Freer & Sackler Gallery and the National Museum of African Art. The  Smithsonian Institution “Castle” will be immediately in front of you at 1000 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington DC 20004.

Where to meet: We'll meet in the Enid A. Haupt Garden just south of the Smithsonian Institution Castle.

What to bring: Water, comfy shoes, and your furry friend if desired. (Leashes, please. NB: service animals only inside the Smithsonian Visitor Center.) The forecast is sunny and 47 degrees, so consider the layered look.

Administrative stuff: There are public restrooms, drinking fountains and a snack bar in the Smithsonian Institution. As a reminder, this is a kids-free zone, no one under 18 years of age is permitted.

Cost: None.


• Cherry Blossom Cam:

• National Cherry Blossom Festival:

• Smithsonian Maps and Directions:

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  • SC

    My first walk with the group. Easy and nice, I enjoyed it.

    March 28, 2014

  • Richard B.

    Yesterday was my first walk. I had a great time: saw some wonderful sights and had a great conversation with some goods folks. Hope to see you again - soon.

    March 28, 2014

  • John M

    The cherry trees aren't quite ready for prime time, but a wonderful walk with friendly folks! Thanks!!

    March 27, 2014

  • Barbara

    Great day, great company! No cherry blossoms yet, but lots of cool gnarly cherry tree trunks...

    1 · March 27, 2014

  • Barbara F.

    I can't make it after all. But in the future does anyone know not a good place to park so that I can bring my dog?

    March 26, 2014

  • Richard B.

    This will be my first event. How will I be able to recognize the group?

    March 26, 2014

  • Dianne

    Doesn't appear to be much there yet, John.

    March 24, 2014

    • John M

      I didn't say there was. The link to the blossom cam was already in the event description.

      March 24, 2014

    • Dianne

      Always one step ahead! You're the greatest!

      March 24, 2014

  • Donna

    There is an area in Bethesda that I've heard is excellent for cherry blossom viewing. Just an idea to include a walk in that area?

    2 · March 24, 2014

    • John M

      I'll bite! Please send me an email with the area details. I'll check it out on Thursday & set up an event for it. Thanks!

      March 24, 2014

    • Dianne

      Kenwood, in Bethesda, is a residential neighborhood with several blocks lined with cherry trees.

      March 24, 2014

  • Diana B.

    This sounds like so much fun even thought the buds are still closed. I think there are a few trees that bloom earlier than the majority. Can't make this one thanks to meetings but hope to catch one or two. Sometimes Smithsonian metro can be busy during Cherry Blossom season. LEnfant is pretty close as well and I think different lines if that makes it easier for some. Great idea John!

    2 · March 24, 2014

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