How to See the Cherry Blossoms from Alexandria

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 and white, with the National Park Service projecting peak bloom to occur between April 8 and April 12, 2018.

It’s easy to see the nation’s capital all pretty in pink from historic Alexandria, Virginia, located just minutes from Washington, D.C. and the National Cherry Blossom Festival happening March 20 to April 15, 2018. Walkable Old Town is the perfect home base for a more intimate encounter with American history and even more cherry blossoms and other beautiful flowering trees lining the historic streets. Keep reading for our favorite ways to celebrate the cherry blossoms.

Water Taxi to the D.C. Cherry Blossoms

7014280957_656bd2dbb7_oImage Credit: flickr user Mumu Matryoshka
Potomac Riverboat Company offers two choices of water taxi options from Alexandria to Washington, D.C., where you can stroll among the famous Yoshino cherry blossom trees at the Tidal Basin. These river cruises are also an easy way to access events of the National Cherry Blossom Festival including the Blossom Kite FestivalNew this year, you can take The Wharf Water Taxi to Washington, D.C. on a 25-minute cruise from Old Town to the new Wharf development. From the dock at The Wharf, it’s a 10-minute walk to the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin. Starting March 1, The Wharf Water Taxi service is offered daily departing from Old Town Monday through Sunday at 9:40 a.m., 1:05 p.m., 2:25 p.m., 3:45 p.m., 6:25 p.m., 7:35 p.m. and 9:05 p.m. The second option is the National Mall Water Taxi, a 30-minute direct cruise between Old Town Alexandria and the National Mall. Disembark just steps from the Tidal Basin and the blooming trees. The taxi runs daily from March 24 to April 15, 2018, at 11:10 a.m., 1:35 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., docking at Ohio & West Basin Drive SW, near the Tidal Basin, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and a Capital Bikeshare station.  Visitors seeking a guided tour of the D.C. cherry blossoms can choose from a number of fun options, including USA Guided Tours’ Cherry Blossoms Galore Tour.

Cherry Blossom Monuments Cruise

Image Credit: L. Barnes for Visit Alexandria

Traverse the Potomac River and see Old Town Alexandria from a different perspective as you cruise past blossoms in Washington, D.C. on the Cherry Blossom Monuments Cruise by Potomac Riverboat Company. View and listen to the history of iconic monuments, memorials and bridges as the Potomac River awakens to spring. See beautiful cherry blossom trees as you glide past Hains Point and head onward to Georgetown. The cruise is 45 minutes one-way and approximately 90 minutes round-trip and is offered from March 24 to April 15, 2018. Cruises depart Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Cherry Blossom Treats in Alexandria

Image Credit: Dolci Gelati 

After treating your eyes to views of beautiful blooming trees in D.C. or along Alexandria’s picturesque streets, tempt your taste buds with special offerings from Dolci Gelati and Sugar Shack Donuts during the dates of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 20 to April 15, 2018. Head to Dolci Gelati in Old Town for a scoop of the popular seasonal cherry blossom flavor, which is a light, refreshing floral flavor perfect for springtime. Dolci founder Gianluigi Dellaccio knows a thing or two about concocting delectable gelato flavors. Dellaccio was appointed Italy’s “Ambassador of Homemade Gelato” in 2018 and won “Best Gelato Flavor” at the inaugural Gelato Festival America in 2017. The cherry blossom flavor is a local favorite, so be sure to call ahead to confirm it is available on any given day. Known for its decadent handmade creations, locally owned Sugar Shack Donuts in North Old Town will celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with a white chocolate cherry cheesecake donut, rimmed with graham cracker crumbs. Sugar Shack will also offer cherry fritters through the month of April if you can’t get enough of the seasonal cherry flavor. Their donuts and fritters are made fresh by hand and are offered while supplies last until the next batch is served. They can also be pre-ordered by the dozen.

Cherry Blossom Menus in Alexandria

Image Credit: The Majestic

There are more ways than ever to savor  the flavors of spring in Alexandria. Each year during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, some of the best restaurants in the D.C. region take part in the annual Cherry Picks to offer delicious and unique cherry-themed dishes. This year, five Alexandria restaurants are participating, including Virtue Feed & Grain, Vola’s Dockside Grill, Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap, The Majestic, and Rocklands Barbecue. Induldge in everything cherry, from a chipotle-cherry margarita at Virtue, to a pork chop with Morrello cherry glaze at The Majestic, to cherry Clafoutis at Lena’s. Popular Old Town eatery Magnolia’s on King will be serving up two cherry blossom specials of their own, including a cherry blossom pork tenderloin with 24-hour brined pork tenderloin, sweet potato puree, crispy Brussels sprouts, Bing cherry compote, cherry and red wine reduction. They’ll also serve a special cherry sparkler cocktail, “I Cannot Tell a Rye” with rye whiskey, allspice dram, Luxardo, brandied cherry juice, and ginger syrup all topped with sparking brut rose. Check each restaurant’s Facebook page for menus and more details.

“Awesome Blossom” Package at Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa

Image Credit: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria

Travelers hoping to take part in the springtime festivities of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 20 to April 15, 2018, can stay at the Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa with the signature “Awesome Blossom” package. Whether traveling with the family in tow or exploring the blooms with buds, guests will enjoy the “Awesome Blossom” package’s fun perks that allow them hit the ground running including pre-loaded Metro cards; dining credits for cocktails, dining or room service; a map of the most popular spots and a cherry blossom puzzle for the young (or just young at heart) to solve together as a memento of the trip.

Kimpton’s “Awesome Blossom” package includes:

  • Deluxe accommodations at Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa
  • Two preloaded SmarTrip Metrorail cards (Valued at $10 each)
  • $25 daily dining credit for use at hotel’s adjacent restaurant Brabo
  • Keepsake cherry blossom puzzle welcome amenity
  • Complimentary National Cherry Blossom Festival map

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. 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