(Updated at 10:55 a.m.) After a pandemic winter, the region’s annual rite of spring is finally here: The cherry blossoms have bloomed.
A string of warm weather days got the famed Tidal Basin cherry blossoms to hit peak bloom a few days earlier than initially predicted. While there were fears that peak bloom would result in crowded conditions that would prompt the National Park Service to shut down access, that has yet to materialize.
As of now, the Tidal Basin remains open with peak bloom expected to last about a week.
If blossom peeping is what you’re after, then Arlington National Cemetery is another possible destination, with numerous cherry blossom trees. However, it’s currently only open to the public on a limited basis.
Here in Arlington, our cherry blossoms aren’t as famous as those across the river, but there are still plenty to see elsewhere around the county. Clusters of cherry trees and blossoms can be seen in various Arlington neighborhoods, heralding the arrival of spring without the fanfare of their Tidal Basin brethren.
ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott traveled around Arlington over the past week to capture some of the blooms, as seen in the gallery above.
There are other ways to participate in the cherry blossom festivities that don’t require venturing across the Potomac.
In National Landing, where dozens of cherry trees are being planted, two “Art in Bloom” sculptures are now on display. Relatedly, Amazon is now a top-level sponsor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Arlington restaurants are included in the annual “Cherry Picks” program, which highlights cherry blossom-inspired dishes.
A new addition to the festival is the “Porch Parade and Pedal Procession,” in which area residents and businesses decorate their porches, yards, and windows with a cherry blossom theme. Arlington is home to numerous such displays, according to a map.
Some Arlington neighborhoods, including the Aurora Highlands community near National Landing, are even organizing their own cherry blossom activities this year.
— Takis Karantonis (@TakisKarantonis) March 30, 2021