Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossoms Without the Crowds

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Every March and April more than 1.5 million tourists descend upon Washington, D.C. to see the famous Cherry Blossoms. As we hit peak bloom, you might be asking yourself how you can visit the world-famous Tidal Basin without battling the crowds.

Years ago, I stumbled upon the secret.

Pink and white cherry blossom viewing in Washington, D.C.
Cherry Blossoms during Peak Bloom at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.

Breakfast at the Blossoms

When my children were young, they had that not-so-endearing trait shared by so many little tikes: they woke up ridiculously early. Even though I too am a morning person, I was still desperate for my oldest son to sleep past 4:30 a.m. (he is a teenager now, so this problem has self-corrected). Suffice it to say, I was often up early with high-energy boys.

That is when I invented “Breakfast at the Blossoms.” Taking advantage of the boys’ early waking hour, we would make our way down to the Tidal Basin at sunrise to enjoy a picnic breakfast under the cherry trees showcasing their pink and white spring finery. Even during peak season, we can typically count the number of other visitors on one or two hands.

It is typically still a bit dark when we arrive, but we have the Tidal Basin to ourselves!

“Breakfast at the Blossoms” became a tradition that continues to this day, even as it becomes harder and harder to get the boys up and moving. The advantages of easy parking, no crowds, and unobstructed views far outweigh any begging required now to get everyone out the door.


This year, Monday, April 1 (tomorrow!) is peak bloom day. I know where I will be at 7:00 a.m. And you?

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