Spring is nearly here, and that can mean only one thing: cherry blossom season is almost upon us. While peak blossoms will vary by destination, it is common for these iconic trees to flourish from mid-March to mid-April.
While the best destination in the world to see the beautiful trees in all its glory is Japan, there are many places across the US that will allow you to absorb the beauty of the pink and white flowers each year. Here are the best places to see cherry blossom trees in the United States.
The first destination on your list should be Macon, Georgia, which is known as the cherry blossom capital of the world. That is because between 30,000 to 35,000 Yoshino cherry trees line the Instagram-worthy streets, which surround many college campuses, neighborhoods and downtown.
The city also plays host to the 10-day International Cherry Blossom Festival, which has been coined the “pinkest party on Earth” and the event is held every early spring when the trees are in full bloom.
St Louis, Missouri
Stunning cherry blossom trees flank the iconic Gateway Arch in St Louis, which beautifully bloom between March through to early April every year. Both locals and tourists also have the option to visit the 14-acre Japanese Garden that can be found at Missouri Botanical Garden, which features a variety of different species, such as Yoshino, Higan and Centennial.
The cherry blossom peak bloom is a cause for celebration in Washington, D.C. To honor the 3,000 cherry trees gifted by the mayor of Tokyo to the US capital in 1912, the city hosts the National Cherry Blossom Festival every spring, and it is a celebration of the close relationship between the United States and Japan.
People across the country, therefore, attend the event, which starts in the day and can last well into the night, to enjoy much food, drink and songs under the flourishing cherry blossoms.
Philadelphia is also home to one of the biggest cherry blossom events in the United States, as it plays host to the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia every April at Fairmount Park.
Once here, you can admire up to 1,000 gorgeous cherry trees. The event is held in homage to the historic gift of cherry trees from the Japanese government in 1926, which was to commemorate the 150th anniversary of American independence.
Brooklyn, New York
It is not only Philadelphia and Macon who host annual cherry blossom events, as you can also attend Sakura Matsuri (Japanese for “cherry blossom festival”) at Brooklyn Botanic Garden each April. The event offers 60 activities for visitors to choose from, as well as a tea ceremony and traditional music performances.
Spring is a great time to be a student at the University of Washington, as this is when the campus comes alive with cherry blossoms. The 31 trees planted here were presented as a gift to Seattle from Japan in 1912 and were transplanted from Washington Park Arboretum in the 1960s. The trees are so popular with locals and tourists that they now have their own Twitter account.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco has been honoring their cherry blossom season with the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival since 1968. The annual celebration is held over two weekends in the middle of May and features everything from parades and street performances to art exhibitions.
While Boston might not be as well-known for its cherry blossom trees as much as Washington, D.C. or Macon, Beantown is home to many striking trees along the Charles River Esplanade in Back Bay, which can add a burst of color into the city’s skyline.
The Brookline neighborhood also celebrates Sakura with the Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates the cherry blossom peak bloom, as well as Japanese culture, cuisine, music, games, and crafts.
According to Dave Forehand, the vice president of The Dallas Arboretum, they planted only 10 trees in the botanical garden nearly 20 years ago as part of an experiment. Consequently, he has planted 10 trees every year of his working life, which has resulted in more than 150 trees blossoming in the arboretum from mid-March. Visitors from across the state, therefore, attend the Bloom Festival in Dallas when the trees, as well as 500,000 other bulbs, are planted annually.
So, don’t overlook the blossoming cherry tree events when driving through one of the above cities this spring. It is a beautiful sight you don’t want to miss!