Washington is a well-known destination for those wanting to see cherry blossoms — but there are plenty of other places in the U.S. where you can spot them, too.
There comes a time every spring when I open Instagram only to find my feed has been transformed into a sea of pink, courtesy of friends who live in Washington, D.C. That’s right ― it’s cherry blossom season!
The U.S. capital is home to nearly 4,000 cherry trees along the iconic Tidal Basin, and each year, locals and tourists alike anxiously await the stunning “peak bloom” when 70% of the blossoms are open. First planted in 1912, Washington’s cherry trees were a gift of friendship from the mayor of Tokyo, which came after a decadeslong lobbying effort led by pioneering journalist and travel writer Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore.
In Japan, cherry blossoms are known as “sakura,” and they are an important cultural icon symbolizing renewal and optimism, as well as the transient nature of life. Peak bloom tends to start each March, ushering in a season of celebratory festivals across Japan that date back centuries. In 1934, Washington held its first National Cherry Blossom Festival, a tradition that persists in the U.S. to this day.
Peak bloom can be notoriously difficult to predict, particularly in recent years as the effects of climate change have led to concerningly early blossoms. Still, if you’re looking to catch the pink beauties in all their glory, a number of trackers and forecasts are available to keep eager nature lovers up to date.
And the good news is that you don’t have to travel to the mid-Atlantic to see the blooms. HuffPost has rounded up 16 places where you can see gorgeous cherry blossoms across the U.S.
Jimfeng via Getty Images
The country's most iconic blooms are undoubtedly the cherry blossoms that line Washington's National Mall and Tidal Basin, perfect photo spots for tourists visiting the capital's famous monuments and museums.
Gregobagel via Getty Images
Voyage across the country to the other famous "Washington" destination and you'll also find beautiful cherry blossoms. The University of Washington's Seattle campus features gorgeous Yoshino cherry trees.
Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images
Manhattan, New York City
Manhattan's famous Central Park is home to several clusters of cherry trees, which were also a gift from Japan. Some of the most picturesque blooms are around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. On the Upper West Side, you'll find cherry trees in Riverside Park and the aptly named Sakura Park.
Daniel Knighton via Getty Images
San Diego, California
Visitors to the 12-acre Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego's Balboa Park can typically see the cherry trees in bloom around early March.
Jami Davis / EyeEm via Getty Images
Macon, Georgia, has its own International Cherry Blossom Festival each spring to celebrate the blooming of the city's reported 350,000 Yoshino trees.
Gary Hershorn via Getty Images
Newark, New Jersey
With about 5,200 trees in 18 varieties, Branch Brook Park in Newark, New Jersey, boasts the largest and most varied collection of Japanese flowering cherry blossom trees in a U.S. park.
DaveAlan via Getty Images
Seattle isn't the only place in the Pacific Northwest with cherry blossoms to admire. Portland, Oregon, has its own waterfront blooms. You can also drive about an hour south to see the trees along the Oregon State Capitol mall in Salem.
Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival
Nashville hosts a cherry blossom festival in honor of the 1,000 cherry trees planted in scenic parks and other locations around the city.
NurPhoto via Getty Images
In the springtime, you can find cherry blossoms around the City of Brotherly Love, especially in Fairmount Park and along the Schuylkill River.
Cherry trees have been part of the campus of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, since 1979 when they were received as a gift from Chubu University, the school's partner institution in Kasugai, Japan.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Brooklyn, New York City
Brooklyn is another notable cherry blossom destination, thanks to the truly impressive collection of flowering trees at Brooklyn Botanic Garden next to Prospect Park.
Deb Perry via Getty Images
Traverse City, Michigan
Midwesterners can find a sea of cherry blossoms in bloom in the Traverse City, Michigan, area during the springtime.
Myung J. Chun via Getty Images
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles has its own pockets of cherry blossom beauty, most notably at Lake Balboa Park in the San Fernando Valley area.
Derek Neuland / EyeEm via Getty Images
Buffalo, New York
Another notable cherry blossom festival is Buffalo's annual celebration, which takes place in the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park.
Brooks Kraft via Getty Images
Washington-area residents or visitors who want to take in the cherry blossoms without the crowds might want to consider Bethesda, Maryland, where Yoshino cherry trees line quiet residential streets.
Christine Nanji via Getty Images
Boston's got its own cherry blossom presence, with blooms along the Charles River, in the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and beyond.