Cherry Blossom Season Is Upon Us — Here's Where To Enjoy It In The States

Beauty is in bloom.

Photo by Joanthan Ley
cherry blossom season in portland

After a long winter, the arrival of spring fills the air with excitement as warmer weather and a floral perfume aroma envelope the great outdoors. As new buds begin to grow, the explosion of flowers in parks and gardens all over the world has become a draw to eager tourists ready to welcome the changing seasons. From the tulip fields of Holland to the cherry blossom season in Japan, floral festivals celebrating these once-a-year events have grown in popularity over the recent years. Speaking of the latter, with the coming of April, over 83.6 million people are searching for #cherryblossoms in particular on TikTok. While international destinations are world-renowned for their iconic presentations, the US is also home to several cherry blossom hot spots.

While spotting these spectacular sprouts of pale pink is certainly a sight to behold, nailing down exactly when they’ll be in bloom can be tricky, thanks to a multitude of factors, typically location and climate conditions. March and April are generally regarded as the seasons when these elusive blossoms come to fruition, however, the blooms can vary from state to state. In honor of their fleeting but beautiful presence, these are some of the best destinations in the US to see cherry blossoms this spring as well as the best timeframes in which to plan your visit.

Washington, D.C.

Aside from Japan, Washington D.C. is probably the second most well-known destination for cherry blossom viewing in the world. “The city goes all-in for the season with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, happening from March 18 to April 16, with games, galas, food trucks, and more,” explains ASTA Luxury Travel Agent Ryan Corrigan. Every year, hundreds of visitors flock to view the trees at the Tidal Basin, which provides the best photo ops near the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. “A lot of the restaurants in DC do cherry blossom themed drinks and menu items, which adds to the whole experience, like Ciel Social Club, the Lafayette in Hay-Adams Hotel, and Wilson Hardware is another big favorite of mine,” suggests Corrigan.

Brooklyn, New York

While the concrete jungle may not seem like the most obvious choice for a floral celebration, every year the Brooklyn Botanic Garden hosts an impressive display of over 26 species of cherry blossoms that line the walkways of the park’s serene Japanese Garden. According to the website’s “Cherrywatch,” the first few trees have started to open their first blooms — meaning that, within a week or two, the blooms will reach their peak performance in an epic display of pink florals. You can check the website’s map for daily updates as the season progresses from now until early May, and enjoy a lyrical stroll among the 200-something rows of the fuller-than-normal blooms, thanks to the unique double-flowering Kanzan cherries.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Come spring, the sidewalks, streets, and parks come alive with cherry blossoms throughout the historic city of Philadelphia. “The best displays can be seen in Fairmont Park,” says Corrigan, which has a forest of Sakura — a specific type of Japanese cherry tree — that was gifted from Japan and planted in 1926. The Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center updates its website with bloom predictions for the seasons in Fairmount Park, with peak bloom for 2023 expected to begin the first week of April. Shortly after, the Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia, held April 15 and 16, pays homage to the petal palooza with kimono dressing, origami tutorials, sushi-making classes, martial arts, a traditional tea ceremony, and live music performances.

Portland, Oregon

Located just across the pond from Japan, Portland, Oregon is home to not only a spectacular display of cherry blossoms, it’s an epicenter for Japanese culture and home to one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in the US. “The Hoyt Arboretum, the Portland Japanese Garden, and the Tom McCall Waterfront Park are some of the best spots to wander and see the trees in full bloom from mid-March to early April,” explains Corrigan. While you’re in town, “you must grab a bowl of ramen from Afuri, Nimblefish and Nodoguro for Omikase, and Oma's Hideaway or Gado Gado for pan-Asian delights,” suggests Corrigan.

St. Louis, Missouri

Meet Me In St. Louis,” while a great film, also turns out to be an excellent recommendation when it comes to viewing more than 100 varieties of cherry blossom trees at the Missouri Botanical Garden. In 1912, over 20 specimens of cuttings were taken from the originally gifted trees in Washington DC and can be found on display in the Japanese Garden, including the rare Mount Fuji cherry “Shirotae” bloom at the George Washington Carver Garden. You can check the Botanical Garden’s website for fun events and happenings, like the “Sake and Sakura” event on April 7, which invites attendees to visit the Teahouse Island and sample some sake as well as traditional Japanese cuisine.

Traverse City, Michigan


As the proclaimed cherry capital of the world, every spring over 2 million cherry blooms sprawl across the vast rolling hills of farmland located on the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas of Traverse City, Michigan. Surrounded by picturesque glacial lakes and inlets, whose mild “microclimate” creates the perfect atmosphere for these delicate fruits to grow, the blossoms typically spring up around mid-May. The best way to view these cloudy white blooms is by cruising in your car along M-37 and stopping by the local vineyards for an up-close look, biking through the 17-mile Leelanau Trail, kayaking on the lake, or by strolling down Front St in downtown Traverse.

Chalk it up to their color, sheer volume, or fleeting blooms, there’s something special about the changing of the season that inspires people to get outside and make the most of the longer days. Flowers have an unspoken way of bringing people together and whether you’re checking out the cherry blossoms, tulips, daffodils or other seasonal florals, celebrating mother nature is one the best ways to explore somewhere new and connect with the local community. You might even learn something new in the process — and just like a flower, grow from it.