There’s something very special about cherry blossom season. It’s the one time of year when nature lovers flock to the city to experience a natural wonder. The blooms are delicate and fragile, but they’re a sight to behold. There are many spots in New York where you can view the flowers, and if you know what to look for, there’s no reason why you can’t catch them at their best.
Central Park has two main species of cherry trees: Yoshino and Kwanzan, which have different bloom times. The flowers for each are in bloom for about two weeks, so it’s important to check with us at @nycparks to see when they’re blooming and when to plan your visit.
NYC’s most iconic cherry blossom spot is Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a gorgeous Japanese-style garden and esplanade that’s a magnet for photographers. During the blossoming season, it hosts Weekends in Bloom, offering live music, dance performances, and cultural events.
Another prime viewing location is David Lam Park in Brooklyn. Here, visitors can wander under the canopy of Yoshino cherry trees in full bloom as they look out over the horizon to Manhattan. The park also has a dog run, playgrounds, bike paths, platform terraces, and more.
Little Island on the Hudson River is also a great spot to see cherry blossoms and other budding spring flowers. This floating slice of nature is home to Akebono Yoshino cherry trees and more than 66,000 other blooming plants, including daffodils and tulips.
While it may not be a traditional NYC cherry blossom spot, Washington D.C.’s Tidal Basin offers a beautiful sight that attracts thousands of visitors each year. The blossoms by the park at the end of March, and it’s an event that’s hard to miss. If you’re visiting around peak bloom, be prepared to deal with heavy traffic and large crowds, especially on weekend days.
Getting to the blossoms by car can be tricky, so consider renting a scooter or taking public transportation. Alternatively, try to avoid visiting around peak bloom on a weekday. The area can become clogged with traffic and parking can be difficult.
In addition to the blossoms, Little Island is a scenic place to enjoy the scenery of New York City’s skyline. The park is also an excellent location to go for a hike, and it boasts trails, a picnic area, and a historic train station.
Okame Cherry Trees in Central Park
The Okame cherry tree species is the first to bloom at Central Park, and they typically begin to blossom around mid-March. This type of cherry tree has tiny pink flowers with red calyxes. It’s part of a 1912 gift from the mayor of Tokyo to the U.S.
If you want to take a stroll through the blooming trees, you can also head to Brooklyn’s Riverside Park, which features Yoshino cherry trees. This park is also home to a number of other flowers, including magnolias and redbuds.
Other great spots to see sakura in the city include the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the New York City Museum of Science. These three parks each have their own unique set of blossoms, and they offer a variety of activities to enjoy while you’re there.