The Nation’s Greatest Springtime Celebration: Travel to Our Nationals Capital
Our nation’s capital is always an inspiring travel destination. During the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington is stunningly beautiful, bursting with pale pink and white blossoms! With so many free programs for the entire family and their varied interests, planning a trip to make everyone happy is easy.
In addition to the National Cherry Blossom Festival events, the Smithsonian Institution encompasses 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park, most of which are free and open every day except December 25. There are bike, boat, food, and photography tours.
The Washington, DC area is served by the nation’s second busiest transit system making travel between events, museums, hotels and performances effortless.
But what is the history of these beautiful trees?
In 1912, Mayor Ozaki of Tokyo gave 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington, DC to honor the goodwill and friendship between the Japanese and American people. First Lady Helen Taft helped plant the ﬁrst two trees. Our First Ladies have been involved since that time and, in recent years, served as Honorary Chairs of the National Cherry Blossom Festivals.
Today, there are 16 varieties and 3,750 cherry trees planted around the Tidal Basin in three National Parks. The programs run, and are celebrated, for four full weeks. Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival holds a free opening event featuring world-renowned performers at the Warner Theatre.
If you want more to do, Washington offers many free and wonderful opportunities just within the Smithsonian Institute. From the newly opened African American History and Culture Museum, African Art Museum, Air and Space Museum, American Art Museum, American History Museum, American Indian Museum, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Zoo, and 9 more museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy!
Several museums will feature art exhibits, ﬁlm screenings and interactive Cherry Blossom Festival related events, such as making Japanese fans and wind socks. You can obtain timed entrances to museums and all the Smithsonian information you need to plan visits online at Smithsonian Information.
The Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) website has a trip planner, maps, time tables and much more information available to make traveling throughout the Washington area painless. Especially during busy tourist times of the year, the Metro can be the easiest and least expensive way to arrive on time for museum entries and scheduled events.
It will take more than one trip to Washington to visit all that the area has to offer. The Congress, the White House, the monuments and war memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, the United States Holocaust Museum, Mount Vernon- George Washington’s estate, and so much more are unforgettable experiences. Fall in love with Washington during the Cherry Blossom Festival and you will want to return again and again!