Who says cherry blossoms get to steal the spring spotlight? There are plenty of stunning floral displays that will be blooming in D.C. this season!
While the annual Cherry Blossom Festival is an undeniably breathtaking example of the world’s natural beauty, there’s a variety of spring flowers that often get overlooked during all the festivities—most of which can be found in grand displays across our very own city!
Hopefully, after getting your fill of the cherry blossoms, you’ll be inspired to learn more about the other plant life blooming around our nation’s capital. Daffodils, tulips, redbuds, and more are just waiting to be discovered. You should start with these horticultural hotspots:
*Please check with each location prior to your visit for the most up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic as some of these locations made be closed to the public.*
Courtesy of the U.S. Botanic Garden
A trip to the U.S. Botanic Garden will take you on an international journey via some of the world’s most stunning horticultural displays. Venture through the garden’s conservatory, which houses unique exhibits, including a tropical rainforest, rare and endangered plant life, a lavish orchid display, and more! This year marks the 200th Anniversary of the garden, and the theme is "Discover the Orchid World."
During your stay, you’ll want to make sure to save enough time to stop by one of D.C.’s most prized hidden gems: Bartholdi Park. Here, guests can partake in demonstrative lessons on how to bring some of the beauty found at the Botanical Garden into their homes. Once this stubborn winter decides to rest, guests will also be able to enjoy the gorgeous Bartholdi Fountain at the heart of the park. It's a great place to end a romantic evening, as the lights surrounding the fountain’s basin are illuminated at night!
Courtesy of the National Mall and Memorial Parks
While the Tidal Basin is overcrowded cherry blossom spectators, take a short stroll along the National Mall to find even more blooms. The area around the Washington Monument is especially well planned, with colorful tulip beds and armies of daffodils each spring.
Photo by Erik Kvalsvik, Courtesy of Hillwood Estate
For those who aren’t familiar with this botanical hotspot, the Hillwood Estate is the former residence of prominent American socialite, and owner of General Foods, Inc., Marjorie Merriweather Post. During her life, much of her fortune was dedicated to the collection of decorative arts, which are now on display in her famed D.C. manor. An elegant floral landscape was wrapped around Post’s 25-acre home and is open to visitors for admiration.
Exhibits include an extraordinary arrangement of spring foliage, including azaleas, camellias, orchids, and magnolias! And for any guests that prefer their gardens with a spooky twist, try taking a trip to the estate’s Pet Cemetery. Marjorie was a dog-lover through and through, and she chose to honor her pets with a memorial located within the garden grounds!
Photo by Dara Underberg
Lady Bird Johnson may primarily be remembered as the wife of our 36th president of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, but she was quite a force to be reckoned with! Take a trip to Lady Bird Johnson Park and learn a thing or two about the fierce work our 36th first lady of the United States did to bring out the natural beauty of our nation’s cities. As we transition into spring, the park’s landscape will blossom into a lovely panorama of daffodils and tulips!
One of the best ways to experience Lady Bird Johnson Park is to leave your car at Gravelly Point and walk along the path, away from the airport. Pack a picnic and make a day of it! Kids will love having all that grass to run around on, and you'll get some spectacular photos of the planes overhead.
Courtesy of Dumbarton Oaks
If the upcoming Cherry Blossom Festival’s got you itching to learn more about D.C.’s admirable horticulture collection, add this destination to your floral bucket list! The Dumbarton Oaks Garden has officially reopened its doors for the spring season! Located at the highest point in Georgetown, these gardens spread into a labyrinth of ornately designed exhibits. Every detail, down to the last bench, is the product of the meticulous collaborative effort between one of the estate’s residents, Mildred Barnes Bliss, and landscape gardener Beatrix Jones Farrand.
Make the most of your trip by taking a stroll through the dazzling rose garden, making your way through the mouthwatering orchard, and coming to an end at the garden’s romantic Lovers’ Lane Pool. Find out when your favorite flowers are in bloom, and begin planning your visit by visiting the garden’s official website!
What are your favorite D.C. spots to see flowers blooming during the spring? Let us know in the comments!