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Tips for cherry blossom fun during peak bloom

Cherry Blossoms are in bloom around the Tidal Basin across from the Washington Monument in Washington, Thursday, April 9, 2015. Washington's famous cherry blossoms are set to hit peak bloom this weekend as the National Cherry Blossom Festival draws big crowds for its annual parade and Japanese street festival. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON — The cherry blossoms are revealing their beauty, and after a long, cold winter, they are a welcome sight.

The cherry blossoms are expected to be in peak bloom Saturday through Tuesday — just in time for the final weekend of the 2015 Cherry Blossom Festival.

But if you think you’re the only one with the idea to enjoy the blooms’ magnificence, you should know better. Despite the inevitable crowds, there are ways to enjoy the scenery sans the stress.

Below are some tips from the National Park ServiceCherry Blossom Festival organizers and travel websites.

  • Don’t drive. Parking will be a nightmare. Your best bet is taking the Metro. The closest stop to the Tidal Basin is Smithsonian (Orange and Blue lines).  If you are on the Yellow or Green lines, L’Enfant Plaza will get you close.
  • Take a ride on a water taxi. The water taxis are available from Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. You’ll need to make a reservation and tickets are selling out fast. Visit the D.C. Water Taxi website and Potomac River Boat website for more information.
  • Walk the entire route for the full impact of the blossoms in all their glory. Stroll by the FDR and Jefferson Memorial along the way. Plan to spend a few hours there.
  • Pack a lunch. There’s no better place for a picnic.
  • If you hate the crowds, don’t limit yourself to the Tidal Basin. The cherry blossoms are all over the D.C. area, including the Washington Monument, West and East Potomac parks, the Kenwood neighborhood in Maryland, Stanton Park at Maryland Avenue in Northeast and Massachusetts Avenue Northeast.
  • If you’re dead set on the Tidal Basin, try early morning sunrise or later at dusk — a sight that’s sure to be breathtaking. Or try waiting for a weekday. But don’t wait too long as they’re expected to end their peak period by Tuesday, April 14.
  • Whatever you do, do not touch the trees — not even a flower. It’s against the law.
  • Get the app for iPhone or Android.

 

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