One of the nice things about living in Northern Virginia is the arrival of springtime. And for the last 100 years, that means the arrival of the Yoshino Cherry blossoms.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place in Washington DC where cherry trees seem to be all over. But the most spectacular site is at the Jefferson Memorial overlooking the Tidal Basin. It is a wonderful place to walk during the two week peak bloom period with spectacular views including the Washington Monument in the background.
Although we plan to go annually, somehow my family doesn’t always make it down… although it is an easy fifteen minute drive from Vienna, VA where we live. It typically takes a house guest to drag us down to appreciate what is right in our back yard.
The history is that President Taft’s wife, Helen, planted the first two Yoshino Cherry trees in 1912 with the wife of the Japanese Ambassador. There were close to 3,000 trees planted and some of the originals still survive today.
Needless to say, the U.S. Park Police keep a very tight lid on traffic as thousands of people arrive daily to take in the sight. If you go early enough, then you may be able to snag one of the few street parking spots. Otherwise, take the Metro to the Smithsonian Station and walk over. You may want to walk over to the FDR Memorial while you are here.
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