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Where to see the cherry blossoms without huge crowds

Shelley Block and her daughter Sara Rosenblum walk among the cherry blossoms in the Kenwood neighborhood of Bethesda in 2016. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

Visiting the Tidal Basin at midday during peak bloom means dealing with large crowds, little to no parking and packed Metro cars. It's best to see the blossoms there early in the morning — we're talking 7 a.m. early — or late afternoon. But you know what's probably better? Skipping the trip entirely. If you've been to the Tidal Basin during peak bloom before, there's no need to return year after year, especially since cherry blossoms abound elsewhere. Assuming the upcoming cold snap doesn't totally damage this year's bloom, here are a few spots to find cherry blossoms without huge crowds.

The people behind the Christmas bar are opening a new Japanese-themed pop up


Hillwood, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW; 202-686-5807

Hillwood's eight cherry blossom trees are primarily located toward the front of the property, alongside Linnean Avenue NW. Suggested donation $5-$18.

Dumbarton Oaks, 1703 32nd St. NW; 202-339-6400

The Georgetown estate has cherry trees at the north end of its garden, which typically bloom slightly later than the ones at the Tidal Basin. Admission $5-$10.

National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave. NE; 202-245-2726

The arboretum has about 500 cherry trees. According to the arboretum's website, last weekend's cold snap damaged some of them — including the First Lady and Okame varieties — but there's still hope. The Pendula and Yoshino cherries are expected to bloom soon.

Cherry blossoms could be seriously damaged by upcoming cold snap


Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria; 703-642-5173

The park has about 20 cherry trees, though most are on the smaller side since they were planted only a few years ago.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct., Vienna; 703-255-3631

Meadowlark has at least four varieties of cherry blossom trees. Peak bloom is generally a few days after the Tidal Basin peak. Admission $2.50-$5.

Wiehle Avenue in Reston, north of the intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Baron Cameron Avenue, Reston

A group of about 60 cherry blossom trees was planted 20 years ago as part of a Reston streetscape project.


Kenwoodbetween Little Falls Parkway and River Road, Bethesda

With the area's largest concentration of blossoms in a single neighborhood, Kenwood has approximately 1,200 cherry blossom trees, planted in the 1920s.

Brookside Gardens1800 Glenallan Ave., Silver Spring; 301-962-1400

Most of Brookside Gardens’ cherry blossom trees are in the Gude Garden, which has a Japanese teahouse and pond.

Crofton Parkwaybounded by Crain Highway, Defense Highway and Davidson Road, Crofton

Dozens of cherry trees were planted along Crofton Parkway’s 3.5-mile loop, along with the white blossoms of Bradford pear trees.

Margaret Ely contributed to this report.

This post has been updated; it was originally published on March 22, 2016.

Read more:

Cherry blossom peak bloom delayed because of cold snap, Park Service says

— Cherry blossoms could be seriously damaged by upcoming cold snap

The people behind the Christmas bar are opening a new Japanese-themed pop up