The Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival is an international event that draws more than 1.5 million visitors to the capital every year. The three-week festival includes balls, tours and outdoor activities for families.
The annual display of cherry blossoms in bloom is fantastic, however the throngs of people can quickly become tiresome.
If you love seeing the trees in bloom but are tired of fighting the crowds around the Basin, try a smaller festival this year. These unexpected cherry blossom festivals around the country show off the same flowers — with room to actually stop and smell the blooms.
Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival
Developed by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, this weeklong cherry blossom festival also introduces visitors to Japanese culture with music, art and food in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. The festival will run April 7–15 this year.
Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival
Over the past 10 years, Nashville has been planting cherry blossom trees. This year, the city has finally reached its goal of 1,000 trees planted and will celebrate with a daylong festival in Public Square. Entertainment will include martial arts performances, musical acts and a pet parade from the Nashville Humane Society. This year’s festival will take place on Saturday, April 14.
Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival
Newark, New Jersey
For one week, Newark’s Branch Brook Park transforms into a cherry blossom sanctuary, festooned in pink. The weeklong event includes a bike race, 10K run, guided tours and culminates with Bloomfest, a day-long celebration of the cherry blossom and Japanese culture, on Sunday, April 15.
Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival
San Francisco, California
The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival attracts more than 220,000 visitors every year. Since 1968, the festival has honored Japanese culture in San Francisco’s Japantown. This year, the festival will run from April 14–22.
Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn, New York
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden houses 26 different kinds of flowering cherry blossoms. For one weekend every year, the garden honors the blossoms’ Japanese heritage with music performances, dances and tea ceremonies. This year, the festival takes place April 28–29.
International Cherry Blossom Festival
Macon’s 10-day long festival has been honoring the city’s 350,000 Yoshino tree blooms since 1982 with concerts, rides and parades. The festival already took place this year, but mark your calendars for March 22–31, 2019.