The cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin, which had been forecast by the National Park Service to open last week, and then this week, now are expected to achieve peak bloom next week. The NPS says the date change is due to the continued cold spring weather that has gripped the region and won’t seem to let go. We made another unscientific sunrise visit to the cherry trees on Friday morning, and while less tightly closed than last Friday and showing just a hint of color, they were still more bud than flower.
The new predicted peak bloom dates are April 6 through 8, and Mother Nature may oblige, but slowly. Friday is expected to be in the 60s, Saturday in the 50s, and Sunday, at last, in the 70s, with the warm temps forecast to last through next week. What this means is it’s probably safe to start planning your trip to the Tidal Basin, whether it’s for a walk, a run, a bike or boat ride, a picnic, or—a particular favorite of longtime Washingtonians—a visit at sunrise or after sunset. Parking can be a challenge, but there are spaces available on the edges of West Potomac Park near the river.
For Metro riders, the Smithsonian stop at 12th and Independence is the recommended stop, with a walk along the Mall to the Tidal Basin. Another option, with a longer walk but maybe fewer people, is to get off at Foggy Bottom and walk down 23rd to the Lincoln Memorial and across to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, which is adjacent to the Tidal Basin and the blossoms. For more information, visit WMATA.