Crowds swarm Tidal Basin as cherry blossoms near peak bloom

Crowds take in the cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in D.C. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)
Crowds take in the cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in D.C. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)
Cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin on March 22, 2023. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

Peak bloom for D.C.’s cherry blossoms is expected any day now, and crowds are already gathering in anticipation of getting the best view of the puffy white and pink blossoms.

On Wednesday morning, the Tidal Basin was swarmed with gaggles of photographers looking for a perfect shot, joggers enjoying the cool weather and beautiful sites, and even a bride and groom taking wedding pictures featuring the iconic flowery backdrop.

“It’s actually quite beautiful this year, because the light is soft today,” Michele Roden told WTOP. “I like it when it’s colorful.”

Roden has been posting up and enjoying the cherry blossoms for most of her life. She said the first photo ever taken of her was taken during cherry blossom season with her grandfather.

Blossom season is one of the busiest times along the Tidal Basin — for tourists and locals alike.

Hunter Stewart and Evan Fossen decided to take an early morning stroll among the blossoms before heading to work.

“Last year, we went down after work, kind of golden hour time, which was pretty, but it was packed,” said Stewart. “So this year, we’re like, let’s go in the morning before work. And it’s definitely a better experience.”

Fossen added, “It’s just a really cool, shared experience that so many people get to enjoy. Being in that atmosphere of everyone experiencing the joy together of the beautiful blossoms is really neat.”

A cold snap over the weekend that saw temps plummet below freezing hasn’t seemed to affect the beautiful white and pink flowers.

“The temperature goes up and down every year. We always worry about it and then somehow it’s always a miracle,” said Roden.

Kelly and Hugh Healy traveled from New Hampshire to check out the blossoms.

“We were here a couple of days ago, and saw that it wasn’t quite peak. So we thought we had enough time to come down and catch it before we catch our plane back to New Hampshire,” said Kelly Healy.

“What a great place to have all of this. And then everything else behind you with the monuments and the mall,” added Hugh Healy.

The National Park Service arborists predicted the trees would reach peak bloom sometime between Wednesday and Saturday.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up