October 6, 2022

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Let the blooms begin!

10 min read

Spring is here and everyone’s favorite flowering trees are painting the nation pink, as cherry blossom season kicks off across the country.

The exotic blooms draw sizable crowds each spring to Washington D.C., where they are most famously recognized. However, cherry blossoms still put on a good show in other parts of our country.


What You Need To Know

  • Cherry blossoms signal the start of spring
  • The flowering tree can grow in most U.S. states
  • Peak bloom ranges from as early as mid-January to as late as early June
  • You do not have to travel to Washington, D.C. to get a good view of the blossoms this year

A hallmark of spring, millions gather to view the cherry blossoms year after year, enjoying the many festivals and celebrations centered around the time the blooms will peak.

Around late March and early April, many Americans set out to our nation’s capital hoping to see the infamous blossoms in peak bloom. But the truth is, you most likely don’t have to go far to see shades of pink this spring without the rose-tinted glasses on.

Branches of a cherry blossom tree hanging over Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. in 2021. (Carl Brewer)

Although cherry blossoms are native to eastern Asia, worldwide celebrations commemorating their annual blooms take place each spring. The tree thrives best in the temperate climates of midlatitudes, but some species can tolerate warmer climates.

With this in mind, they can be planted in almost every U.S. state, even in parts of Florida and Hawaii!

Check out the interactive map below to see where you can see the blooms near you. For more details on each location, read on below.

Washington, D.C.

When you think of cherry blossoms in the U.S., one place comes to mind: Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. cherry blossoms in 2021. (Carl Brewer)

Received as a gift from Japan back in 1912, over 3,700 cherry blossoms lining the Tidal Basin captivate crowds each spring. As mentioned above, the blossoms are an icon of our nation’s capital.

Cherry blossom branch hanging over Tidal Basin with the Jefferson Memorial in the background. (Photo by Delia Caslin)

In honor of the event, the city hosts the National Cherry Blossom Festival, where visitors near and far can enjoy additional entertainment, shops and good-eats while taking in the views.

Cherry blossoms framing the Washington Monument in late March 2019. (Photo by Delia Caslin)

Follow this year’s bloom watch here. Or, check out what’s going on in real time on the Cherry Bossom Cam.

Forecast peak bloom for 2022: March 22 to 25.

Macon, Georgia

While D.C.’s blossoms may be more popular, when it comes down to the numbers, Macon, Ga. wins by a long shot.

Proud home to nearly 350,000 cherry blossoms, this central Georgia city is stunning in the spring. For the best views, though, visitors should drive through the Cherry Blossom Trail.

The city will host the 40th International Cherry Blossom Festival from March 18 to 27. However, if you can’t make it there in person, you can still check out the Bloom Cam.

Blooming period: Early to mid-March.

Massachusetts

If you are looking to enjoy the blooms a bit later in the season, ship up to Boston! During April, Esplanade Park along the Charles River won’t disappoint.

This riverside park offers splendid views year round, but the cherry blossoms make it an extra special place to be in the spring. As a bonus, you may also stumble across some other beautiful blooms at the same time.

Whether you prefer to take a stroll or kayak alongside the park itself, you’ll be able to capture the picturesque landscape from many perspectives.

It’s still too early for this season’s blossoms, but here’s a glimpse from last spring.

Blooming period: April through early May.

New York City

Aside from Central Park, we often think of New York City as the concrete jungle. Yet, even the most populated city in the U.S. doesn’t fall short on options to enjoy the cherry blossoms each spring. 

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers of one of the best opportunities to see the blossoms, specifically in their Japanese Garden and Cherry Esplanade. Like many other botanical gardens, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is home to a variety of cherry trees, each blooming at a different time.

NYC cherry blossoms in April 2021. (Spectrum News NY1)

However, one feature that makes this botanical garden standout from the rest is its well-thought-out design and layout. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden designed the layout of the garden in such a way that something is always in bloom from mid-March through the end of April.

Be sure to catch the latest updates on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s cherry blossom webpage.

Here, you can track the blooms on the “CherryWatch” map and take a virtual tour through the Japanese Garden or Cherry Esplanade when the trees were in bloom during previous years. Also, make sure to view the cool time lapse of the blooms near the bottom of the webpage.

What’s another fun way to view the blossoms? Taking the Roosevelt Island tram offers some nice views of the blooming trees outlining the island from above.

Cherry blossoms on Roosevelt Island. (Photo by Erick Adame)

Blooming period: Mid-March through late April.

New York State

You’ll have to wait a while longer Upstate, but once the snow melts up, you can enjoy both the blossoms and the events scheduled at the Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival on April 30 and May 1 this year. 

The event takes place at the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park, behind the Buffalo History Museum. Set on Mirror Lake, visitors can take in the scenic views by foot or boat. However, you can spot blossoms in other places throughout the park as well.

Cherry blossoms blooming in Forest Lawn Cemetery within Delaware Park. (Photo by Bob McCloud)

Check out some of the footage taken from previous years here.

Blooming period: Late April through early May.

North Carolina

It’s not called Cherryville for nothing! This historic suburb of Charlotte earned its name in the late nineteenth century when a resident of the town planted cherry trees along the railroad track.

Cherryville is the perfect place for locals to visit when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, usually throughout the month of March. However, this town becomes a local hotspot in mid-April when the annual Cherry Blossom Festival takes place.

Cherry blossom tree in Charlotte. (Spectrum News File Photo)

For those not looking to venture out of Charlotte itself, head downtown. You’ll be able to get your fill of the blossoms there.

Blooming period: Early March through mid-April.

Florida

The Sunshine State might have earned its name from its lush vegetation and large variety of flowers… But not for its cherry blossoms.

While there is some hope for the trees to survive across the northern half of the state, the year-round warm climate makes it difficult for cherry blossoms to survive.

However, that doesn’t mean there’s none to see at all. Floridians could head to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach to get their fill. You’ll probably have to wait until 2023, though.

Blooming period: During the month of February.

Kentucky

Unless you’re paying respects to a deceased loved one, heading to the cemetery may not be the first place you think of when attempting to see the cherry blossoms. But not if you live in Lexington.

Many state-dwellers visit the Lexington Cemetery every spring to catch the blooms between the end of March and early April.

The famously photographed weeping cherries remain a favorite, but if you time it out just right, you may also get to appreciate the other flowering trees and gardens that complete the landscape. 

Blooming period: Late March through early April.

Ohio

When it comes to cherry blossoms, Ohio does not fall short. While there are plenty of great places to see them this spring, some of the more notable spots to visit include the Dawes Arboretum, Ault Park, Ohio University and throughout the city of Dayton.

Less than 40 miles east of Columbus, Dawes Arboretum is always a solid choice to see the cherry blossoms. Head over to the Japanese Garden, and you’ll find the blossoms amongst other flowering trees. You can check out what’s in bloom here.

For those living in Cincinnati, the Ault Park is a beautiful spot to take in a variety of blooms, which include the 1000 cherry trees that were gifted to the mayor back in the 1930s.

In Athens, students and those who visit Ohio University during the springtime can enjoy the cherry blossoms that were planted along one of the campus’s bike paths. Gifted to the university in 1979, the blossoms are a hit each year. Track the bloom progression here.

You’ll also find plenty of blossoms in Dayton. Thanks to the Operation 2000 Cherry Tree Project, over 1000 cherry trees decorate the city each spring.

Blooming period: Late March through April.

Wisconsin

For starters, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum holds not only cherry blossoms but also other flowering trees and native-growing wildflowers that visitors can enjoy. Make sure to check out their webpage to see what’s in bloom when.

Another option? Tour the cherry orchards of Door County. On the peninsula that juts out into Lake Michigan, Door County is an ideal location to grow fruit-bearing cherry trees.

Around mid-May, visitors can explore over 2000 acres of blossoming cherry trees that blanket the county, while also indulging in a variety of locally grown cherry products.

Before you plan your trip, check out the cherry blossom report, as well as the list of orchards you can visit.

You can also watch drone footage of some of the Door County cherry orchards in bloom.

Blooming period: Mid-April through May.

Missouri

If you live in and around the St. Louis area, you can get your fill of blossoms at the Missouri Botanical Garden during the last two weeks of March and the first week of April.

From the weeping Higan to the classic Yoshino, the Japanese Garden is home to a wide variety of cherry trees and other flowering fruit trees. Also on display is the wild black cherry tree, which is native to North America.

Can’t make it to D.C. this year? Don’t worry! The Missouri Botanical Garden was gifted 20 cuttings from the original trees planted in our nation’s capital to commemorate the 100th anniversary in 2012.

Back in late March 2020, the garden posted drone footage of their weeping cherries and Yoshino cherries in bloom. Watch the video segments below.

 

Blooming period: Late March through early April.

Texas

Are you wondering if you can see the cherry blossoms in the Lone Star State? While Texas isn’t abundant with these flowering trees, there are two options in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area: The Dallas Arboretum and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

With over 150 cherry blossoms blooming around mid-March, many spectators find themselves in awe at the Dallas Arboretum. Along with the blossoms, visitors can also check out the other blooms in action, including the daffodils and tulips.

Can’t make it there in person? Click here to take a virtual tour of the other gardens within the arboretum.

Also, you can check out the other blooms, entertainment and other fun events the arboretum hosts at the annual spring festival, Dallas Blooms. This year’s festival started on Feb. 19, but there’s still plenty of time to join in on the fun before it ends April 10.

West of the Dallas Arboretum, another great place to check out the blossoms is in Japanese Garden of the Fort Worth Botanical Garden. Here, you can see plenty of blooming cherry trees and the other beautiful features as you stroll through the 7.5-acre garden.

Blooming period: Late February through early April.

Southern California

Like Florida and Hawaii, the warmer and drier climate of Southern California can make it more difficult for cherry blossoms to grow. But that doesn’t stop this hardy tree from showing off its beautiful pink blooms every spring.

Containing a wide variety of gardens within, head over to the Japanese Garden at Descanso Gardens to check out the blossoms before the season wraps up for good this year. Take a peak at the Weekly Flowering Boom Map to see what’s in bloom.

What’s another great spot to check out the blooms? Take a stroll or a jog through Lake Balboa/Anthony C. Beilenson Park, in the San Fernando Valley, which is home to over 1000 cherry blossoms.

Blooming period: Early March through April.

Hawaii

Despite being in the tropics, Hawaii’s mountainous terrain provides cool enough conditions for cherry blossoms to flourish. However, there are only two places where you can view the blossoms: Wahiawa and Waimea.

For the biggest array of blossoms, head to Wahiawa in Oahu. Specifically speaking, take a walk or a drive down California and Glen Avenues, where you’ll find most of the flowering trees boarding the Wahiawa Botanical Garden.

Over on the Big Island, you can catch the blooms along the Mamalahoa Highway, lining Church Row Park. While there’s not as many here as in Oahu, more blossoms are planted each year.

Compared to the rest of the country, Hawaii’s cherry blossom season begins and ends the earliest, starting in mid-January and lasting until early March at the latest. The 2022 blooming season is over, but there’s always next year to look forward to.

Blooming period: Mid-January through early March.

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