A few weeks ago my sister and I visited Washington D.C for the cherry blossom festival. We actually were supposed fly straight from the Express runway show (in St. Louis) to Japan for their festival, but when we were looking up the cherry blossoms the night before we saw they weren’t quite in full bloom yet 🙁 After we saw the D.C cherry blossoms were looking absolutely beautiful in full bloom, my sister made last minute changes (like a couple of hours before our flight last minute!) to our itinerary and we were off to D.C instead! Honestly, we were a little relieved to not fly to Japan at that time because international travel can be so exhausting. Flying to Japan would have been about a a 22 hour travel day and were also still a little jet lagged from our trip Miami right before our St. Louis trip. Traveling definitely takes a toll on the body so we really try to make sure we are fully rested before (and during) our trips to make the most of our time.
When to go:
If you are hoping to catch the cherry blossoms next year I definitely recommend it. It can be difficult catching them bloom at just the right time so there are actually many sites dedicated to tracking the trees. This year was especially challenging because the weather caused a lot of delays for the cherry blossoms. My sister Jasmine (who plans all our travels) had been keeping an eye on the cherry blossoms in both Japan and D. C for a while now, and used this D.C Cherry Blossom Watch to check for updates on bloom forecasts. I also recommend looking up pics on Instagram because this can give you a great constant live-update on how the cherry blossoms are looking.
How to avoid the crowds:
If you can, avoid going on the weekend. The crowds are significantly busier on the weekend than on weekdays. We were there on a Monday evening one day and there was almost no one there! During the weekend we could barely walk through the crowds without bumping into people. Early mornings (right at sunrise) or evening on the weekday are best (this advice really applies to most crowded spots).
Tips for taking photos:
Lighting is always key. Cloudy days ended up working best in this case because the cherry blossoms stood out better than when it was sunny. Sun can also be harsh lighting on the face, so always try to find a nice shady spot for even lighting.
Many of these photos by the Tidal Basin area, and avoiding crowds is important. We did manage to snap some of these photos on the weekend so just be patient and wait for breaks in the crowd to take a photo so you don’t get unwanted photobombs in the background. We also explored around the Tidal Basin area and around the monuments and you can find some beautiful spots without any crowds! (I also had many questions about the camera used, and these photos were taken with my iPhone 6s.)
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