Few things are as “DC” as the blooming of the cherry blossoms each spring.
Unfortunately, the annual arrival of the beloved trees is such a big deal, that people travel from all over the world to see them.
We love the cherry blossoms, and don’t want you to take them for granted, but we also don’t want you fighting crowds and chaos just to catch a glimpse.
If you don’t mind the frenzy. head over to the Tidal Basin any time in the next month for the full Cherry Blossom Festival.
But. if you’re like us, keep reading below for 6 ways to experience the cherry blossoms without the tourists.
1. Sip Awesome Cocktails at the Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar
Unless you live under an Instagram rock, you probably know the deal by now. DC’s spectacular Cherry Blossom PopUp Bar is back for a limited time. Indulge in one of the specially designed and hand-crafted, cherry blossom inspired cocktails with quirky names like “Love Crazed Monster Crushes World.” As you do, you’ll be surrounded by a stunning canopy of cherry blossoms and butterflies without being bombarded by bus trippers.
#FrayLife Tip: Not that it’s possible to, but don’t miss your photo op with the smoke-blowing, 10-foot Godzilla robot hovering over the ‘Tokyo Memory Lane’ themed bar.
2. Run/Walk Along the Potomac or Embassy Row
Get away from the crowded areas of the Tidal Basin and go on your own running or walking adventure along the Potomac (along Ohio Drive SW) or down Embassy Row (along Massachusetts Ave NW). You’ll be surprised to find lesser known patches of cherry blossoms along these routes blooming, and you’ll be able to have plenty of room to breathe in the sweet smell without tourists bumping into you.
#FrayLife Tip: We recommend starting your Embassy Row walk from the Japanese Embassy or heading toward the rear of the Jefferson Memorial on Ohio Drive SW during sunset to get the best photo opportunities!
3. Get Artsy at a Cherry Blossom-Themed Paint & Sip Night
Avoid any tourists at all and grab a drink with friends at one of the many studios in the DMV area offering guided classes with cherry blossom themes. ArtJamz and Uncork’d are two of our favorites, so check out the scheduled classes posted on their websites. The best part is you can bond over the final piece of artwork and keep the canvas to bring home or give to a friend, so your cherry blossom memories will last long after the trees are out of bloom.
#FrayLife Tip: ArtJamz has open studio time in case you and your friends would rather dabble with your own version of cherry blossoms artwork without an instructor!
4. Find Your Center with Cherry Blossom Yoga
The Smithsonian American Art Museum and Brightest Young Things are partnering with the National Cherry Blossom Festival to host a free yoga session at the Renwick Gallery. It goes down on April 14 from 9-10am and is meant for people of any age or skill level. Grab your ticket HERE and don’t forget your own mat.
#FrayLife Tip: The best part about this free session is the super unique ambiance of the yoga session taking place within Burning Man Temple!
5. Run In (or Watch) Credit Union’s Cherry Blossom Race
Credit Union’s Cherry Blossom Race has grown so much over the years that there’s now a lottery just to snag a spot. Although entries are already closed, you can still be a spectator to watch 16,000 runners race through the blossoms on a 10 mile or 5k route around the National Mall ranging in pursuit of $80,000 in prize money. Ok, so this might be a little touristy, but at least not in the traditional festival sense.
#FrayLife Tip: Miss out on this race? Here are more spring races you should check out!
6. Immerse Yourself in Cherry Blossom Dream at Artechouse
Why deal with tens of thousands at the Tidal Basin, when you can immerse yourself in the cherry blossom-themed installation at Artechouse!? Japanese artist Sakura Yume designed a one-of-a-kind exhibit that gives you unique ways to interact with the art, such as colorful cherry blossom petals that react to your movement. Bring your friends so you can be sure to take the best selfies together that will be sure to have you stand out from the same old touristy poses taken at the Tidal Basin.
#FrayLife Tip: For two nights only, (March 23 and 24 from 7-11pm) Artechouse will host a special night where you and your friends can enjoy the digital art experience, cocktails and a DJ.
What is your favorite way to experience the cherry blossoms without dealing with the tourist crowds? Let us know what cool things we’re missing.
If hearing about the Cherry Blossom Popup above whet your appetite for more, read the full #FrayLife review of the bar.