Soon we’ll be seeing the hallmark of spring in the D.C. area, when nearly 1,700 cherry blossom trees color Washington’s Tidal Basin in shades of pink, with peak bloom expected from the National Park Service between March 14-17, 2017.
It’s easy to see the nation’s capital all pretty in pink from historic Alexandria, Virginia, located just minutes from Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River. This year, there’s even more ways than ever to see the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. and Alexandria on new boat cruises, photo tours and more. Keep reading for all of our favorite ways to take in the cherry blossoms in D.C. and Alexandria.
Cherry Blossom Monuments Cruise
Image Credit: flickr user cherryblossomwatch
Traverse the Potomac River and see Old Town Alexandria from a different perspective as you head to the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. on the Cherry Blossom Monuments Cruise. View and listen to the history of the iconic monuments, memorials and bridges as the Potomac River awakens to the spring and see the prize and joy of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the cherry blossom trees. The cruise is 50 minutes one-way and approximately two hours round-trip and is offered during peak bloom from March 17-19. Cruises depart at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Water Taxi to National Mall: Cherry Blossom Festival Service
Image Credit: flickr user Mumu Matryoshka
Potomac Riverboat Company offers a 30-minute direct water taxi between Old Town Alexandria and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It’s an easy way to access events of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, including the Blossom Kite Festival. From March 24-April 16, 2017, every day of the week at 11:10 a.m., 1:35 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., the boat docks at Ohio & West Basin Drive SW, near the Tidal Basin, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and a Capital Bikeshare station. Then return to walkable Old Town for a more intimate encounter with American history and even more cherry blossoms and other beautiful flowering trees lining the historic streets.
Private Cherry Blossom Boat Tours from Alexandria
Image Credit: Embark DC
Choose your own adventure on a privately chartered cherry blossom boat tour with Embark D.C. beginning March 15 and while cherry blossoms are blooming. Tours range from two to four hours and can include stops to take in the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin and surrounding monuments in Washington, D.C., the Georgetown waterfront, or even a stop to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. Your captain will provide narration throughout the tour, along with complimentary soft drinks. You can BYOB, plan a picnic, have your experience catered, or even grill BBQ on the boat (with advanced notice). Call 202-570-2410 to customize a tour for your friends and family. A two-hour minimum is required.
Cherry Blossom Photo Tour in Old Town Alexandria
Image Credit: M. Chenet for Visit Alexandria
Experience a new angle on cherry blossom season on this engaging new photo tour. Starting with crocuses in early March and progressing to cherry blossoms as the month continues, historic Old Town Alexandria is popping with gorgeous blooms. Peak cherry blossom bloom is impossible to predict with accuracy, but you’ll be taken to the best flowers Old Town has to offer. Come learn photography tips, take your photos up a notch (or three!) and enjoy a walk touring some of Old Town’s best spring colors on Saturdays from March 11-April 8, 2017 at 5 p.m. (except March 11, with a tour at 4 p.m.) During this one-hour experience, you will learn highlights of Alexandria’s history while practicing techniques for photographing town in its spring glory. Each participant will receive one-on-one coaching tailored to their needs. This tour is good for smartphones and DSLRs/CSCs, it is pet-friendly, and has a 10-person maximum.
“Blossoms by day, Bliss by night” Package at Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa
Image Credit: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria
This spring as the District begins to bloom, the National Cherry Blossom Festival will return to Washington, D.C. from March 15 to April 23, 2017. Travelers are invited to take in the beauty of the blossoms and stay in serenity at Kimpton Hotels with their signature “Blossoms by day, Bliss by night” package. By booking the offer, guests can indulge in relaxing Japanese-inspired experiences during their stay, while benefitting from Kimpton’s centrally located hotels nearby the stunning blooms.
Kimpton’s “Blossoms by day, Bliss by night” package includes:
· Deluxe accommodations at Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa
· Welcome bottle of sake
· Two in-room Japanese Camellia Oil Massages per stay
More Information on How to See the Cherry Blossoms from Alexandria:
Hop on a bikeshare bike and pedal north on the Mount Vernon Trail and across the Potomac for an invigorating six mile Tour de Spring. You can also get to the cherry blossoms from Alexandria via D.C.’s Metrorail system, but check this page of travel options during Metro improvements to determine if Metrorail or an alternative choice like rideshare or taxi might be a better bet during the dates of your visit. If taking Metrorail; L’Enfant Plaza Metro and Smithsonian Metro are the stops closest to the Tidal Basin.
For more things to do this spring in Alexandria, click here.
Header image credit: Matt Chenet for Visit Alexandria