News & Politics

The Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Date Has Been Postponed Again, But May Be Imminent

Next week might be the best time to visit the Tidal Basin.

The cherry blossom trees on the Tidal Basin, April 5, 2013. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

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

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.

Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.