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The Best Cherry Blossoms in America

The Best Cherry Blossoms in America

When you start to see flowers blooming instead of snow on the ground, you know that spring is right around the corner. One plant you’ll love to find during the season is cherry blossoms. Native to Japan, these flowers bloom in the trees and add some color to the land thanks to their pink and white petals. Cherry blossoms grow throughout the U.S. in gardens, parks and even right along the streets! Some cities also host festivals where you can celebrate these beautiful buds and experience them growing up close. Take a trip to these cities in the spring and see them for yourself!

Cherry Blossom Destinations in the United States

Washington D.C.

The nation’s capital is filled with various beautiful plants you’ll find growing alongside the monuments. Cherry blossom trees are one of them, and they make Washington D.C. come alive with color once they’re in bloom. You can see them in parks, the National Arboretum and along the water throughout late March and April in the District of Columbia.

These trees were a gift from Tokyo to the city in 1912, and they’re celebrated every year at the National Cherry Blossom Festival. They’re especially majestic around the Tidal Basin, a popular area you’ve likely seen on social media that attracts a high number of visitors.

This four-week event wants everyone to get involved while walking underneath the pink and white trees in bloom. You can fly a kite over the treetops, watch live music performances and sip some tea in your fanciest pink clothes. The best part is you have a great view of both the cherry blossoms and the city’s landmarks in everything you do! The festival runs from March 20 to April 17.

Tidal Basin Cherry Blossom Views Washington D.C.
Tidal Basin Cherry Blossom Views (©Yeon Choi)

Brooklyn, NY

New York City is no stranger to secret gardens in its boroughs, as you’ll find parks and gardens hidden in between the skyscrapers. You’ll find cherry blossoms in Central Park, the New York Botanical Garden and various spots throughout the city. That said, there is one spot in particular that holds the most majestic plants.

One place is the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, a place filled with gardens and conservatories devoted to growing some of the most beautiful plants you’ll find in the city. The grounds are home to a cherry esplanade where you can lay across a green lawn surrounded by pink cherry blossoms. Their trees grow Kanzan cherry blossoms, meaning their flowers grow in pairs that can give you twice the beauty.

The garden’s blossoms tend to bloom in April, so you have the whole month to visit and see them for yourself. You can either visit during their Sakura Matsuri festival celebrating Japanese culture or watch videos on their website of the cherry blossoms blooming right before your eyes. Check online for updates on the peak bloom dates too.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Cherry Blossoms New York
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Cherry Blossoms (©Tagger Yancey IV / NYC & Company)

Salem, OR

Salem is a city on the West Coast with a rich Japanese culture. A part of that comes from the cherry blossoms that grow throughout the city. The best place to see them is at Capitol Mall, where 151 Akebono cherry blossom trees have been planted throughout the grounds. When you see their pink flowers begin to bloom, you know that spring is here.

Every third Saturday in March, the city hosts Cherry Blossom Day in Salem. This festival celebrates not only the city’s cherry blossoms but also Japanese culture. While you walk beside the trees, you can listen to traditional music, see local artwork on display and take part in the art of Japanese flower arrangement or Ikebana. While last year’s celebration was virtual, this year’s will take place on March 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cherry Blossoms in Bloom
Cherry Blossoms in Bloom (Courtesy AJ/Unsplash)

Macon, GA

If there’s one city that loves cherry blossoms, it’s Macon. Their trees can be found at Carolyn Crayton Park, where you can watch the flowers bloom when you walk along the Cherry Blossom Trail. As they start to grow in late March, the city comes together and invites everyone for the annual Macon, Georgia International Cherry Blossom Festival

. This ten-day event wants you to think pink as you celebrate the arrival of the new buds. There are events for all ages, including a parade, live music and even competitions for your dog! There’s also a carnival held in the park filled with rides, concessions and other attractions celebrating all things cherry blossom. This year is their 40th festival, so make sure you don’t miss out! The festival begins on March 18 and ends on March 27.

Cherry Blossoms at Third St. Park in Macon, Georgia
Cherry Blossoms at Third St. Park in Macon (©Larry Najera)

St. Louis, MO

St. Louis has a secret garden of its own, thanks to the cherry blossoms you’ll find in the city. They’re planted in the Japanese garden located at Missouri Botanical Garden, but they hold much more than the typical tree. There are over 230 different types of cherry blossom trees on the grounds, and each one offers something new. You’ll find trees blooming in different colors, from the brightest white to the softest pink.

There are 14 acres of blossoms for you to explore that range from typical Kanzan blooms to hanging Higan cherry blossoms. There are even cherry blossoms planted that come from the original cuttings of trees gifted to the U.S. from Japan in 1912! No matter what type of cherry blossom you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in St. Louis. Be sure to visit in late March and early April to get the best look at them.

St. Louis Cherry Blossoms
St. Louis Cherry Blossoms (©AJ Wallace)

Fresno, CA

While most cherry blossoms can be found on the East Coast, the West Coast has some destinations to see them as well. One of them is Fresno, where there’s a secret place for you to see them off the beaten path. The Fresno County Blossom Trail

is a walking tour you can take that guides you through a grove of cherry blossoms. From mid-February to mid-March, you can watch the buds bloom before your eyes as you walk beside them.

The cherry blossoms are scattered with other fruit blossoms like apple, peach and citrus blossoms, so you’ll have a variety of colors and flowers to see during your tour. If you really want to get close to them, take a ride on the Blossom Trail Train that runs through the gardens on weekends in March.

Shinzen Friendship Park Cherry Blossoms in Fresno
Shinzen Friendship Park Cherry Blossoms in Fresno (©Daniel Jerez)

Nashville, TN

Nashville is typically the home of country music, but you can also find cherry blossoms growing there. There are 1,000 cherry blossom trees planted throughout the city, and you can watch the streets turn pink in the spring, thanks to their buds.

Whether you’re walking through town or in the park, you’re bound to find one along your path. If you want to celebrate with the city, visit during the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival! This event honors not only the trees themselves but also the Japanese culture from which they originated.

You can join the official Cherry Blossom Walk with the mayor, participate in a sumo wrestling match or dress up in costume and see if you win the Cosplay Contest. No matter how you join the fun, you’re bound to have cherry blossom petals at your feet. The festival will be held on April 9 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cherry Blossoms at Nashville Public Square
Cherry Blossoms at Nashville Public Square (Courtesy Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival)

New Haven, CT

New Haven is no stranger to cherry blossoms, as the city planted 72 trees in Wooster Square in 1973. Today, you can watch these Yoshino trees bloom every spring with bright pink petals around the park. To commemorate these trees, Wooster Square hosts an annual Cherry Blossom Festival on its grounds. It’s a yearly day of outdoor fun in April filled with live music, vendors and even some fun for your pets!

You can experience all this and more while walking along the trails of the park and seeing the cherry blossoms grow above you. While the festival has had to be canceled for the past two years, 2022’s is tentatively planned for April 24. If you’re visiting New England, be sure to stop by and see if the cherry blossoms are ready to bloom.

Cherry Blossoms in Wooster Square New Haven, Connecticut
Cherry Blossoms in Wooster Square (Courtesy Historic Wooster Square Association)

Traverse City, MI

If you’re visiting the northern U.S., you’ll find a hidden treasure waiting for you in Michigan. Cherry blossoms are grown throughout Traverse City, and you can find them wherever you look.

While most trees tend to bloom during March and April, these trees begin blooming in the middle of May, allowing you to have some cherry blossom fun later in the spring. Most of the city’s cherry blossoms are grown on private farms, so you won’t be able to see them up close. However, there’s still a way for you to experience their beauty.

The city has designated a self-guided driving tour of their cherry blossoms, allowing you to drive by and see them while on the road. They’re planted close to major highways and local counties, and they’re mixed in with local vineyards and fruit orchards as well. With such a perfect blend of bright colors and blossoming flowers, this is one drive you won’t forget.

Cherry Blossom Trees in Michigan
Cherry Blossom Trees in Michigan (©Abigail Miller)

Philadelphia, PA

Do you want to view cherry blossoms on the East Coast while staying close to New York? See the flowers in Philadelphia! The city boasts thousands of cherry blossom trees planted in various parks and gardens that you can see come to life in mid-April.

No matter what street you travel on, you’re bound to catch their pink and white blossoms spread out over the city. The best place to see them is Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, as you can see them bloom alongside the traditional Japanese architecture like they were meant to be seen.

If you want to have even more fun with the trees, participate in the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival. You can have a picnic under the garden’s trees, run under their blossoms in the 10K or 5K run or view the festival virtually if you’re not able to visit in person. If you come to Philadelphia in the spring, you’re sure to find a pop of color throughout the city, thanks to their cherry blossoms.

Shofuso Cherry Blossoms in Philadelphia
Shofuso Cherry Blossoms (Courtesy Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia)