You don’t have to fly all the way to Japan to see splendid cherry blossoms. 

With the emergence of their fluffy, delicate flowers, blossoming cherry trees are a sign that spring is well and truly here.

All over the USA, people celebrate their bloom with annual festivals, or just simply get outside to special spots and take in the cherries’ natural beauty. As another blooming season approaches, here are the ten best places to see cherry blossoms – and when to see them – in 2024.

1. The National Mall, Washington, DC

When to experience it in 2024: follow the National Park Service's Bloom Watch for their peak bloom announcement on February 29.

It’s estimated that more than 1.5 million visitors descend upon the US capital to gaze at the 3000-plus trees during the three-week-long National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20–April 14). The festival started with the planting of two trees gifted by Tokyo in DC’s West Potomac Park in March 1912. More than 100 years later, the cherry trees are clustered around the picturesque Tidal Basin reservoir, and the festival has grown to include events throughout the city. Look for restaurants, bars and neighborhoods all over the District getting in the spirit with special offerings.

Cherry blossom trees at the Missouri Botanical Garden in spring, with the Climatron geodesic dome visible between the branches.
The Climatron geodesic dome at the Missouri Botanical Garden © Shutterstock 

2. Missouri Botanical Garden, St Louis

When to experience it in 2024: Last two weeks of March through the first week of April.

The Missouri Botanical Garden contains more than 100 varieties of blossoming cherry trees, with 20 specimens propagated from cuttings from the trees gifted to Washington, DC, in 1912. You can find many of these varieties in the Japanese Garden (a spot known in Japanese as Seiwa-en), while such less-familiar examples as the Mt Fuji cherry “Shirotae” bloom at the George Washington Carver Garden. This St Louis venue’s “Sake and Sakura” event on April 5 celebrates the trees’ sheer beauty through Japanese food and drink, and also provides a chance to see the garden’s enchanting Teahouse Island.  

Japanese Friendship Garden during the Cherry Blossom Festival in Balboa Park, San Diego, California
Cherries bloom in the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park, San Diego, California © Sundry Photography / Getty

3. Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Garden, San Diego, California

When to experience it in 2024: The Cherry Blossom Festival taking place from March 7–10.

San Diego has not only beaches and rugged coastline, but plenty of cherry blossoms, too. The star specimens can be found in Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Garden. In mid-March, the garden’s annual Cherry Blossom Week offers a variety of programs involving local merchants, performances, a children’s arts-and-crafts area, a beer and sake garden, and a tea garden at the Inamori Pavilion.

4. The Cumberland River Greenway, Nashville, Tennessee

When to experience it in 2024: the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival is on April 13.

Music City has its own strings of cherry blossoms, thanks to a tree-planting project in parks and neighborhoods led by government officials and the Japan-America Society of Tennessee. During the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival, a Cherry Blossom Walk meanders a 2.5-mile course through these areas, following the Cumberland River Greenway after beginning (then ending) at Nashville Public Square. The one-day festival in April celebrates both spring and Japanese culture with programming on the front lawn of the Metro Courthouse at Public Square Park. Expect traditional and contemporary Japanese music and dance, martial-arts demonstrations, a “Pups in Pink Parade” and a variety of Japanese cuisine, including Japanese-inspired festival menus.

Cherry blossoms in a downtown square in Macon, Georgia, with a monument in the distance
Yoshino cherry trees in all their glory in Macon, Georgia © Getty Images/iStockphoto

5. Central City Park, Macon, Georgia

When to experience it in 2024: The Macon Georgia International Cherry Blossom Festival is over ten days from March 15–24.

Held at Central City Park, the Macon Georgia International Cherry Blossom Festival recognizes the over 350,000 Yoshino cherry trees that give this Georgia town a pinkish hue each spring. The festival takes place in part thanks to William A Fickling Sr, a local realtor who was pleased to discover that the first Yoshino cherry tree in Macon was planted on his estate in 1949. Inspired, he began to propagate and provide Yoshinos within the Macon community. Today, this ten-day festival includes standout events such as the “Little Mr and Miss Cherry Blossom” pageant, cherry blossom car painting, a dog show, hot-air balloon rides, and a cherry blossom ball. You can also follow Macon’s Cherry Blossom Trail, starting from the downtown Visitor Center. If you can't get to Macon for the festival, you can watch the trees bloom on their live BloomCam.

Branches of pink cherry blossoms at Wooster Square, New Haven, Connecticut, New England, USA
Blossoming Yoshino cherry trees transform New Haven’s Wooster Square each year © Shutterstock

6. Wooster Square, New Haven, Connecticut

When to experience it in 2024: the Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on April 14.

New Haven is the site of an annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which happens every April to welcome the square’s Yoshino Japanese cherry blossoms. The trees were placed here in 1973; in the decades since, the one-day festival has grown to incorporate music, a family and children’s activity area, food trucks, and more.

Pink cherry blossoms at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia during the spring.
Pink cherry blossoms at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia © Chad Michael Butler / Shutterstock 

7. Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

When to experience it in 2024: the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival is April 13–14. 

Planted in 1926 as a gift from the people of Japan, a series of sakura flowering cherry trees transform Fairmount Park Horticulture Center each year – and take center stage at the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia. In the past this mid-April weekend event has incorporated origami sessions, sushi-making classes and drumming performances, and Cherry Blossom 5K and 10K races. This year the schedule will be announced as the festival dates get closer. 

People walking amongst flowers on a spring day at Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Texas
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden has 150 cherry blossoms to enjoy © Shutterstock / W. Scott McGill

8. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas, Texas

When to experience it in 2024: Dallas Blooms runs February 24–April 8

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden’s 150 cherry-blossom trees get their moment during Dallas Blooms, a six-week celebration from late February through early April. This year’s theme of “A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words” will see the festival bringing in larger-than-life living selfie walls, adding a fun photo opportunity to the overall Dallas Blooms experience.

A woman in traditional Japanese dress stands in front of pink cherry blossoms
The Sakura Matsuri Festival celebrates Japanese culture at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden © Julie Markes / Brooklyn Botanic Garden

9. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York

When to experience it in 2024: The park advises to follow the Cherrywatch map for updates on blooms from mid-March.

To help track the progress of the famed cherry blossoms at New York City’s Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG), the garden’s website has a “Cherrywatch” map that gets updated every day. (The blooms usually appear from mid-March to late April.) With 26 species and cultivars in the BBG’s Flowering Cherry Collection, these trees can be found throughout the garden’s 52 acres, especially in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the Cherry Cultivars Area, the Cherry Esplanade and the Cherry Walk. To fête the season, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden puts on the popular Sakura Matsuri, a weekend festival held each spring that not only celebrates these blossoms but also honors Japanese culture through music, dance, food and art.

Cherry blossoms in the Japanese Garden atJapanese Garden in Delaware Park, Buffalo, New York, where visitors stroll an enjoy a sunny day
Cherry blossoms in the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park, Buffalo © Joanne Strell / Shutterstock 

10. Japanese Garden at Delaware Park, Buffalo, New York

When to experience it in 2024: the Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival takes place over two days from April 27–28.

A gift from its sister city of Kanazawa, the Japanese Garden at Delaware Park in Buffalo has cherry blossoms that come out later than the ones found in DC – yet burst just as boldly during the Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival. Along with self-guided walks, in the past events have included drum demonstrations, presentations on Japanese culture at the Buffalo History Museum and pink boat rides on the park’s Mirror Lake. Keep checking in with the festival website for this year's event lineup as dates get closer.

This article was first published Feb 12, 2020 and updated Feb 16, 2024.

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