Sweet dates among D.C.'s cherry blossoms

Every spring, as the weather warms and the cherry blossom trees erupt into pretty pink blooms, Washington, D.C., becomes the loveliest backdrop for romantic adventures.

Chery Blossom Parade 2WThe cherry blossom trees, a gift to the U.S. from Japan in 1912, are planted around the Tidal Basin in East Potomac Park and on the White House grounds. There are about 3,000 of them total.

“Spring in Washington means blossoms decorate the Tidal Basin pink, creating a picture-perfect background for any date,” says Diana Mayhew, president of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

While simply strolling through the blossoming trees is a pretty way to spend a few hours, couples can also make the most of the season by visiting during the scheduled parties, performances and ceremonies of the Cherry Blossom Festival, which started March 20 and runs through April 17. Or couples can plan activities of their own. From boat tours to photography classes, there's plenty to do under the blooms.

Official Events

The National Cherry Blossom Festival organizes a bunch of official events, including the Opening Ceremony March 26, the Blossom Kite Festival April 2, the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival April 9 and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade April 16.

During the season, other groups also host events. The Sakura Matsuri ‑ Japanese Street Festival, a celebration of Japanese culture, is Saturday, April 16, and is hosted by The Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. Cherry Blast!, April 16-17, is a gathering of Japanese sights, sounds and tastes that spotlights all things related to anime, cosplay and gaming.

For festival details, visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org. Find out when the blossoms will peak at cherryblossomwatch.com.

Sit Back and RideCherry Blossoms Pedicab F

Strolling through the blossoms is fun, but lounging in the back of a pedicab can be a more relaxing and romantic way to enjoy the blooms.

Couples taking National Pedicab's Cherry Blossom Adventure Tour are pedaled through the blossoms — and may even visit more out-of-the-way spots.

"The tour is unique in that it goes around Hains Point [in East Potomac Park]," says Joe Brophy, the general manager of National Pedicabs. "Most visitors to the festival kind of ignore [the blossoms there], but it's one of the greatest treasures. It's beautiful, you can get really close to the blossoms, and it's very quiet."

Snuggling in a pedicab with blankets and music (some drivers have Bluetooth speakers) can be especially romantic.

"Part of what's great is that it's cozy. It's intimate," Brophy says.

For details on pedicab rides call 202-269-9090 or visit nationalpedicabs.com/our-tours/cherryblossomadventure or nonpartisanpedicab.spicypress.com/cherry-blossom-tours.

Click next below for more Cherry Blossom date ideas.

Click here for family fun among the cherry blossoms.


 

Cherry Blossoms photo safari WPicture Perfect

If you and your significant other enjoy photography or want to learn more about it, grab your cameras and explore the blossoms from behind the lens.

"A lot of couples both enjoy photography," says E. David Luria, the owner of Washington Photo Safari, a company that teaches photography classes around the city, including some featuring the cherry blossoms.

Classes during the festival include afternoon shoots at the Tidal Basin, sunrise shoots, multiple location shoots with travel via Circulator bus or pedicab, evening architectural shoots featuring buildings lit pink, and an evening shoot during the fireworks.

"You get to see the blossoms through the eyes of the lens," says Laurel resident Dave Meixner, who has taken multiple classes with Washington Photo Safari.

Classes include people with all different levels of experience, so photo novices should not feel intimidated.

For details on photo classes of the blossoms, call 877-512-5969 or visit washingtonphotosafari.com or phototourdc.com/cherryblossoms.

Get Active

Sporty couples have plenty of opportunities for active dates during cherry blossom season, from early morning runs through the trees to bike rides to Segway tours.

Water lovers might also team up to paddle around the Tidal Basin in a two- or four-person paddle boat. Make the tour as quick or leisurely as you'd like while getting an up-close glimpse of the blossoms from the water.

For bicycle rental and Segway tours, call 202-842-2453 or visit bikeandrolldc.com/Tours.
For paddle boats, visit tidalbasinpaddleboats.com.

Cruisin'

Paddleboats aren't the only way to enjoy a waterside view of the blossoms. Entertainment Cruises offers excursions ranging from 45-minute tours to multi-hour events Cherry blossoms cruise Wthat include meals.

"The best way to see the cherry blossoms is from the water," says Dan Leaman, vice president and general manager of Entertainment Cruises. It's also a good way to beat the cherry blossom crowds.

“On the vessels, you have your own table,” he says. “It's more exclusive. Private.”

For information on cruises, visit entertainmentcruises.com/our-cities/washington-dc, potomacriverboatco.com or dc-cruises.com

By Kit Waskom Pollard

Photos:

Pedicab courtesy of National Pedicab

Photo Safari by E. David Luria/Washington Photo Safari

Cherry Blossom Cruise courtesy of Entertainment Cruises