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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.
Cherry Blossoms without the Crowds
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.
Breakfast at the Blossoms
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.
“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.
If you would like to see the Cherry Blossoms without the crowds, we suggest you adopt “Breakfast at the Blossoms” for yourself. Arrive no later than 8:00 a.m. for best results.
If you make a day of it, you’ll no doubt need to stop for a bite to eat. Here’s a list of the best places to eat near the National Mall.
Another great way to visit the area is on bike. Check out our recommendation for D.C.’s best bike tour.