Flower Power

March 27, 2012

The cherry blossoms may have already peaked, but you’re just getting started. Use Washington’s famous pink flowers as motivation to work up a sweat, and then take a well-deserved spring break at area spas offering treatments tied in to the annual celebration.

WAYS TO GO

By Foot: Learn while you burn calories by tagging along for the National Park Service’s Cherry Chit Chat Runs, a ranger-guided 3½-mile tour that starts at the Washington Monument Saturdays at 8 a.m. (through April 14, see Nps.gov/cherry). For a slower pace, and a different view, opt instead for NPS’ Lantern Walks, two-mile strolls starting from the Tidal Basin welcome area at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays (through April 15). The rangers enlighten visitors while lighting the way with festive lanterns.

By Boat: Rent paddle boats to see the blossoms from inside the Tidal Basin, rather than crammed up against the tourists around it. (through April 27, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; 1501 Maine Ave. SW; $12 per hour/2-person boats, $19 per hour/4-person boats; tidalbasinpaddleboats.com).

By Bike: If you don’t want to pay for a Blossoms by Bike tour (available daily from Bike and Roll; see Bikethesites.com for details), there are several free options for wheeling your way around the trees. As long as you have your own bike and helmet, you’re invited to join one of the National Park Service’s three-hour Cherry Bike Tours, which start at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. (through April 15; see Nps.gov/cherry). Or meet up at BicycleSPACE’s new location (1019 7th St. NW) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. for a group ride from the store. Get more info on that event and future rides at Bicyclespacewdc.com.

A SPORTING CHANCE

You’re way too late to sign up for the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler (Cherryblossom.org) on Sunday, but cheering the runners along the course will score you some exercise. Save your voice to root for teams in the Cherry Blossom Soccer Tournament, which is also being held this weekend on the National Mall (Cherryblossomsoccer.org). And get in on the athletic action by registering for the Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk, which begins at the National Japanese American Memorial — at the intersection of D Street, Louisiana Avenue and New Jersey Avenue NW — on Saturday at 9 a.m. (Ncbfreedomwalk.org). Saturday, April 7, is Cherry Blossom Yoga, an all-levels practice that starts at 10 a.m. at the Sylvan Theater (Facebook.com/CherryBlossomYogaDC).

CHERRY DISPOSITION

You don’t need to be a tourist to take advantage of these hotel spa treatments.

Ancient traditions meet modern techniques during the Spa at Mandarin Oriental’s Hanakasumi cherry blossom treatment (80 minutes; $250 weekday, $275 weekend). Inspired by Japanese rituals, the massage begins with a cup of cherry tea and includes a full-body exfoliation using Sothys cherry blossom rice powder. A reflexology foot massage and the concluding full-body rubdown encourage total relaxation. 1330 Maryland Ave. SW; 202-787-6100, Mandarinoriental.com.

The Park Hyatt recently added a cherry blossom-and-honey facial, body wrap and pedicure (50-60 minutes; $90-$149) to its list of services. The treatments smooth and hydrate skin using an all-natural mud masque of wild-cherry extract, cherry kernel oil, honey, green tea and pink kaolin clay. Even if you walk in feeling as ancient as the 100-year-old trees around the Tidal Basin, you’ll leave looking like a sapling. 1201 24th St. NW; 202-789-1234, Parkwashington.hyatt.com.

Relâche Spa & Salon at Gaylord National Resort on the National Harbor is offering a series of blossom-inspired treatments, including the 50-minute full-body massage with cherry oil ($155), the extreme hydrating and conditioning cherry blossom pedicure (80 minutes; $120) and the Springtime on the Potomac package (180 minutes; $304), which consists of a cherry blossom facial, full-body scrub, manicure and pedicure. 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Md.; 301-965-4400, Gaylordhotels.com.

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Christopher Porter | March 26, 2012