Dig in to our guide to finding peak flavors and fun during peak bloom
Nothing signifies the arrival of spring in the nation's capital quite like the blooming of the cherry blossom trees and the National Cherry Blossom Festival. But spring is blossoming off the National Mall as well, in the form of cherry blossom-inspired flavors, tours and specials from DC businesses. Whether you’re looking to dine inside safely, order food to-go for an epic at-home meal or enjoy a cherry blossom-themed experience, the District has a plethora of options to take your spring celebration to the next level.
Have a delicious meal and a Pink Tie Party
Dress up at home like you’re at the year’s biggest ball during the 2021 Pink Tie Party, which will take place on March 26 (make sure to purchase your ticket and meal by March 19). Typically a black tie fundraising affair in-person, this year’s edition will allow you to join revelers from all over the world virtually. A new feature this year: A $100 ticket includes dinner from a local restaurant, allowing you to choose from an incredible array of flavors. You’ll also get a Pink Tie Party At-Home kit featuring items provided by event sponsors. Expect engaging entertainment (including sake experts!), friendly competitions and plenty of springtime pageantry.
Check out the Cherry Picks Program
Savor the taste of spring thanks to the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Cherry Picks Program, run in conjunction with the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. During the festival, which runs March 20 through April 11, participating restaurants highlight creative spring menus. The link above will feature an updated list as the festival gets under way
See ‘Renewal 2121’ at ARTECHOUSE
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising concerns over climate change, this installation at ARTECHOUSE will transport you 100 years in the future. You’ll be immersed in an industrial city where nature is combating the onslaught of an overreaching metropolis, a stark warning if mankind continues at its current pace. Hope is found through the beautiful cherry blossoms peeking through neon lights, showing the way for those ready to take action. ‘Renewal 2121’, which runs from March 15 through Sept. 6, is an original ARTECHOUSE production and was, of course, inspired by the city’s gorgeous transformation during the spring season.
Book a Cherry Blossom Package at The St. Regis, Washington, DC
Treat yourself by safely enjoying a stay at one of DC’s most luxurious hotels. The St. Regis, Washington, DC is offering several cherry blossom-themed specials this spring. Packages include offerings such as a night in the hotel’s Cherry Blossom Suite, a cherry blossom welcome dessert, a cherry blossom afternoon tea experience, cherry blossom bath products and more.
Pedal past the petals with Potomac Paddle Club
It’s bring-your-own-beer, bring-your-own-food and bring-your-own-cooler when you hop aboard with Potomac Paddle Club, which offers a vessel for you and up to 11 friends to take in the scenery near the cherry blossoms and enjoy an on-the-water picnic. You can pedal or simply let the motor take you along the Potomac River. The boats also have Bluetooth capability, if you’d like to bring your own soundtrack for the trip.
Cherish CherryFest at Wunder Garten
Head to Wunder Garten, which offers plenty of outdoor space for gathering and plenty of beers on tap, for CherryFest, which begins Friday, March 19 and runs through April 11. Expect the restaurant/bar to be decked out in full cherry blossom regalia to go along with food and drink specials.
Enjoy afternoon tea at The Willard, The Hay-Adams and Fairmont
Two of DC’s finest, most historic hotels can immerse you in cherry blossom spirit this spring. The Willard’s Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea runs on Saturdays and Sundays from March 20 – April 11, offering a menu filled with delicious seasonal items. The Lafayette, The Hay-Adams’ in-house restaurant, also features afternoon tea outfitted for the springtime, as does Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown in its Cherry Blossom Pop-up Lounge (Saturdays and Sundays, March 27 - April 25).
Find cherry blossom bliss with Fork Tours
Formerly known as Carpe DC Food Tours, Fork Tours combines DC history and DC deliciousness into an unforgettable DC experience. This spring, purchase a National Cherry Blossom Festival Flavor Pass, which lets you enjoy specials and discounts at numerous restaurants. There’s also the ‘Cherry Blossom Cocktails – From Flower to Fruit’ experience, which will teach you how to create two seasonal cocktails while learning more about DC’s cherry blossom trees and drink history.
Indulge in Immigrant Food’s Pink Dragon mylk
Although it may sound like a drink from Game of Thrones, Immigrant Food’s pink delicacy is a refreshing, flavor-filled concoction, sure to deliver a more powerful punch than whatever the final season of that show was. The libation features oatmilk, pink dragon fruit, blue agave, yellow raisins and cardamom, mixed together beautifully for just $6. The drink is inspired by DC’s 1,400 Yoshino cherry trees.
Chow down on cherry blossom doughnuts from Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
One of DC’s most popular purveyors of doughnuts will offer up a cherry cheesecake variety filled with tart red cherry jam and topped with a cream cheese glaze and cherry blossom design beginning March 15. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken plans to feature the item at all three of its locations, including a new pop-up in the Shaw neighborhood at 1819 7th Street NW.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with cherry blossom flavors from Ice Cream Jubilee
Add ice cream to your spring soiree when you order a cherry blossom-themed ice cream sandwich kit from Ice Cream Jubilee, which includes two ice cream pints, sugar cookie dough for 8-12 cookies, a cherry blossom cookie cutter and decoration supplies. Kits become available on March 12. The popular shop is also bringing back the Cherries Jubilee flavor, which is similar to a spiked chocolate-covered cherry and features black cherry ice cream with dark chocolate chips and a touch iof brandy. Visit the Specials page on Ice Cream Jubilee’s website for more information.
Take a water taxi to experience the cherry blossoms
Potomac Riverboat Company by Hornblower will offer safe water taxi service throughout the cherry blossom season beginning March 19. Routes that connect to The Wharf, Georgetown, Old Town Alexandria and National Harbor are all featured. You'll be able to enjoy breathtaking views of the city and cherry blossoms as you meander down the Potomac River.