Nothing says the beginning of springtime like The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC! This spring celebration all came about thanks to a generous gift from the mayor of Tokyo, when he gifted the city of Washington, DC with 3,000 cherry trees in 1912. The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates this gift and the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. Each year, the Cherry Blossom Festival draws well over a million people to Washington, DC. Here’s what you need to know heading into this year’s celebrations and how you can plan ahead with Cherry Blossom Festival parking.
DC Cherry Blossom Forecast 2023
The festival itself runs from March 18-April 16, and the National Park Service anticipates peak bloom in late March, depending on the weather. Right now, it’s too early to tell, as peak bloom is almost impossible to forecast more than 10 days in advance. “Peak bloom” refers to the point when 70% of the cherry blossoms surrounding the Tidal Basin bloom. You can find more information on the peak bloom forecast on the official website of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
If you’re driving or parking at the National Cherry Blossom Festival, you’ll definitely want to plan ahead and reserve parking in advance. Here are your best bets for parking near top viewing spots and Cherry Blossom Festival events:
Tidal Basin Parking
The Tidal Basin is the main viewing area for cherry blossoms, with over 1,700 cherry trees surrounding the basin. Given how popular this spot is, parking can be a challenge, especially during peak bloom days. Be sure to plan ahead and reserve your spot today. Here are our top recommendations for Tidal Basin parking (adjust to your preferred date and time):
- 300 12th St. SW – Lot
- 1330 Maryland Ave. SW – Valet
- 480 L’Enfant Plaza SW – Hilton DC National Mall – Valet
- 800 Maine Ave. SW Garage – (Lot 882)
Tip: Save money by going on a weekday!
National Mall Parking
The National Mall is another popular viewing spot for cherry blossoms. Parking near the National Mall is a bit easier than the Tidal Basin during this busy time, but we’d still recommend planning ahead to reserve your parking spot. Here are our top recommendations for National Mall parking (adjust to your preferred date and time):
- 320 6th St. NW (601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) – North Building – SP+ Valet
- 616 E St NW – Penn Quarter Garage
- 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW – Valet
- 300A 12th St. SW – Crystal Parking – Lot
- 389 6th St. SW (500 C St. SW) – Federal Center Plaza – Garage – (Lot 256)
2023 Cherry Blossom Festival Parking
If you’re heading to any of the festival events, find all of the details below, including our recommendations for Cherry Blossom Festival parking.
Pink Tie Party
About: The annual Pink Tie Party is a fundraiser benefiting the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Date & Time: March 16, 2023 7-11 p.m.
Location: Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave.
Cost: $225 general admission – Find details here
Opening Ceremony Parking
About: Kick off the 2022 National Cherry Blossom Festival and watch world-renowned performers in this celebration of the anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan to the United States. For a full line-up of performers, check out the official Cherry Blossoms Festival page.
Date & Time: March 25, 2023, 5-6:30 pm
Location: Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW
Cost: Free – Advance ticketing required- Click here for details
Blossom Kite Festival Parking
About: The annual Blossom Kite Festival features a variety of competitions and demonstrations from kite makers and flyers from across the US and other countries, plus Rokkaku Battles and the Hot Tricks Showdown. Bring your own kite or make a kite at an activity station (while supplies last) to fly on the Public Field.
Date & Time: March 25, 2023, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Location: Grounds of the Washington Monument near Near 15th St and Constitution Ave, NW
About: This year’s Petalpalooza is held at the Yards Park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood and transforms into a one-day-only springtime spectacle. Enjoy a full day of live music, a beer garden, fireworks, and fun activities for the whole family.
Date & Time: April 8, 2023, 1-9 p.m.
Location: The Yards Park, 355 Water St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run & 5K Run-Walk Parking
About: The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk are premier road races for runners kicking off the spring running season. Proceeds from the event support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Click here for more information on the race.
Date & Time: April 1, 2023 at 9:15 a.m.(5K Run-Walk), and April 2, 2023 at 7:30 a.m. (10-miler)
Location: Washington Monument Grounds
You can find the course maps here.
Entry Fees: $55 10-mile entry; $45 5K entry; Free to spectators
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade Parking
About: The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade is one of DC’s largest spectator events. From the National Archives to the Washington Monument, the 10-block long parade features giant colorful helium balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands from across the country, and celebrity entertainers.
Date & Time: April 15, 2023, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Location: Constitution Ave, from 7th to 17th streets, NW
Cost: Grandstand seating starts at $25 – purchase tickets here. Standing along the parade route is FREE, along Constitution Ave, between 9th and 15th streets, NW. Arrive early for the best views.
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If you have any questions on Cherry Blossom Festival parking, give us a call at (844)324-7768!