For the last several years, I’ve had the sweet privilege to join my dad on a Washington, DC, adventure. (Well, I’ve gotten to adventure; he’s had to attend annual meetings.) My mom’s health troubles prevented her from accompanying him, so I jumped at the chance to go play. In fact, this year breaks my steak (#weep) of being in DC during cherry-blossom season. So allow me to relive the memories in today’s blog post, with 3 tips to maximize your time enjoying the pink-and-white blossoms.

 

The Washington, DC, Cherry Blossom Experience

 

 

Keep an eye on the forecast. And not just the weather: the cherry-blossom forecast, too.

 

DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival website features a dedicated peak-blooms forecast. Bookmark the page for updates so you can hit the blossoms at their peak.

 

In fact … they’re at their peak right now:

 

A watchful photographer captured this stunning image of the cherry blossoms on April 4, 2018. Image via cherryblossomwatch.com.

A watchful photographer captured this stunning image of the cherry blossoms on April 4, 2018. Image via cherryblossomwatch.com.

 

Also, as with many other locations, don’t let an overcast day get in your way. The blossoms are still gorgeous, and photographers often comment that the overcast skies give you better pictures.

 

Use bikes to get around.

 

Capital Bike Share offers handy bikes for rent, with a number of convenient pick-up/drop-off locations. Consider purchasing a 24-hour pass, which allows for unlimited rides of up to 30 minutes’ duration each. I did this on my past two DC trips, and loved it. I hadn’t even been planning to rent a bike initially, but wanted to visit all of the monuments one morning. My dad told me it couldn’t be done on foot — which, naturally, made me want to prove it. Enter Capital Bike Share! Their inexpensive rates and locations made the decision easy. Next thing my dad knew (as he checked Find Friends), I was halfway down the Mall toward the Washington Monument! (And I successfully visited the WWII, Lincoln, MLK, FDR, and Jefferson monuments accordingly.)

 

Looking at the Washington Monument during cherry-blossom season. Image via WiseGeek.com.

Looking at the Washington Monument during cherry-blossom season. Image via WiseGeek.com.

  

Be patient and smart.

 

You won’t be the only visitor to DC during cherry-blossom season. When the sun breaks, head outside. Take deep breaths when 8th-grade field trips go by. Enjoy the immediate gratification of cell-phone and digital-camera snapshots, and retake your pictures as needed. Keep an eye on your valuables; crowds are a dream for surreptitious nabbers.

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