Are you looking for the ultimate guide to Spring in Washington DC? This article has everything you need to know to make the most of your trip and some of the best tips for visiting!
Spring in Washington DC is one of the best times to visit Washington DC. With ideal weather and blooming cherry blossom trees, the atmosphere is bright and beautiful in the at that time of year. Basically, if there’s an outdoor activity, springtime is the best time to do it.
But cherry blossoms aren’t all there is to see in Washington DC during the spring months. Will you stroll around the White House gardens, pop into dozens of international embassies during Passport DC Or maybe even enjoy a few international films? Bottom line: there are a bunch of amazing activities to do during the Spring in Washington DC that you won’t want to miss.
Visiting during the spring in Washington DC
Weather in the Spring in Washington
Weather-wise, Spring in Washington DC is pretty amazing. The weather is comfortably warm without being too hot, with an average high temperature of about 66 degrees Fahrenheit. While you may need a jacket at night, it rarely gets too cold.
It is important to note that May is the rainiest month with 4.3 inches of rain, so make sure that you are prepared for that!
It would be wise to pack layers, including a light rain jacket, rain boots (just in case), but also be prepared for warmer weathers too.
Pro tip: if you have allergies, come stocked with your medication because the cherry blossoms are everywhere along with their pollen.
Spring events in Washington DC
Stare in Awe at the Cherry Blossoms During the National Cherry Blossom Festival
One of the best things do in Washington DC is check out the stunning cherry blossoms, and there’s no better time to do this than at the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
This annual festival typically lasts for a few weeks, as it runs from the middle of March to the middle of April – and there are so many events in between! Start with the Pink Tie Party, the Opening Weekend, and the Opening Ceremony. Enjoy the Blossom Kite Festival and the parade during the middle weeks. Finally, finish off the event with the fabulous Petalpalooza.
Over a century ago, in 1912, the major of Tokyo gave a few cherry blossom trees to the city of Washington DC. Since then, these handful of trees have expanded to thousands of beautiful blossoming trees that can be found all around the city!
As mentioned before, these cherry blossoms are basically the highlight of Spring in Washington DC. The vast majority of the cherry blossoms in the U.S.’ capital city are situated around the Tidal Basin. While many people choose to stroll around the area, you can also rent a paddle boat or a bike and soak in the beauty of the blossoms that way.
These cherry blossoms also add an extra special touch to the memorials around the Tidal Basin, including the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Be sure to stop to see them in all of their springtime splendor.
While you can definitely enjoy these cherry blossoms on your own, you should also consider taking a tour. You guide will have loads of fun facts about the cherry blossoms and Japanese culture, which you likely won’t find out about if you choose to explore on your own.
Pro tip: parking in DC can be especially challenging around this time and around the Tidal Basin. It would be wise to use public transportation for ease.
Enjoy Practically Every Activity at the Anacostia River Festival
The Anacostia River Festival is actually part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s hard to sum up the Anacostia River Festival, because there is such an array of activities. With a bike parade, kayaking, canoeing, lawn games, musical performances, and even a photography exhibition, this free festival has something for everyone!
The purpose of this eclectic festival is to celebrate the communities around the Anacostia River. This river winds through the heart of Washington DC, passing by several different diverse communities, before eventually flowing into the Potomac River. Rather than having to venture out into all of these wonderful communities, the Anacostia River Festival brings the communities to you!
Step Into Dozens of International Embassies During Passport DC
Passport DC may be one of the coolest things to do in the Spring in Washington DC. While many people dream of filling up their passports with stamps from countries across the globe, money, time, and responsibilities often make it difficult to do so. Passport DC allows people to get a little taste of this around the world journey without ever leaving the city lines of Washington DC.
During the first two Saturdays each May, visitors can pop into just about every embassy in Washington DC – from Australia to Argentina to Azerbaijan. (The first Saturday is an Around the World Embassy Tour, and the second Saturday is an EU Open House.
This means that the embassies open on the second Saturday are a little more limited than on the first Saturday. Quite a few of the embassies will spread a little bit of their culture through food, drinks, music, dance, and sometimes even animals! One of the embassies is actually known to bring in alpacas for the event! You’ll never know quite to expect from Passport DC until you go and experience it for yourself.
Watch the National Memorial Day Parade
Memorials are the specialty of Washington DC, so you can bet that the city goes all out for Memorial Day. Each Spring in Washington DC, the city puts on the largest Memorial Day parade in the entire United States. This amazing parade is meant to honor those who have served in the U.S. military, both in the present and in the past.
This three-hour parade has over 10,000 participants, including veterans from every U.S. war within the past century. And it’s not just the visitors and locals of Washington DC who get to experience this monumental parade. The event is also televised, so people all over the United States get to pay their respects to the country’s veterans. But if you happen to be in the city, you’ll get a special, first-hand view of the event.
Snack on Some Popcorn at FilmFest DC
Calling all film buffs! FilmFest DC is the perfect springtime festival for you! Each year from the end of April to the start of May, DC becomes home to an eleven-day film festival. With 80 films from 45 different countries, there are so many movies that you can sit and enjoy. From food-centric documentaries to thrillers, there is such a wide array of movies shown as part of FilmFest DC.
If you see a film that you’d like to see, be sure to snatch up a ticket quickly! There are only so many seats in a theater, and people from all around the world come to enjoy this internationally renowned festival, so, needless to say, demand is very high.
Visit the United States Botanic Garden
As we all know, springtime is when all the flowers are at their most beautiful and bright, so why not see as many as you can at the United States Botanic Garden! This botanical garden has plants from all over the world – from the carnivorous Venus flytrap to the endangered Koa’oha tree from Hawaii.
There’s so much to see at the United States Botanic Garden, so be sure to carve out an hour or two to see everything that you want.
This wonderful, flora-filled attraction is completely free to enter, so it’s a great stop to add to your jam-packed Washington DC itinerary.
Tour the White House Gardens
The White House Garden tour is truly a special treat. Only available for one weekend in the spring and one weekend in the fall, you have to be very lucky to have your trip to Washington DC land on one of those particular weekends. This one of the most beautiful walking tours in the city.
Each spring tour takes place during one weekend in April. (The specific weekend is usually announced only a month or so in advance.) While on the tour, you’ll be able to see the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Children’s Garden, the White House Kitchen Garden, and the famous Rose Garden.
You’ll basically get a quick history of all of the U.S. presidents through the lovely plants that they’ve left in the White House Gardens.
Do know that tickets are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you would like to get a ticket, be sure to visit the National Park Service tent on Constitution Avenue early on the morning of your desired tour, as they do run out quite quickly!
Watch a Baseball Game
Springtime is baseball season, and that means that the Washington Nationals come out! Starting in April and continuing through the summer, Washington DC locals and visitors alike love to watch the Washington Nationals play. This is considered one of the best things to do at night in DC.
Between the tension just before a potential third strike to the excitement of a home run, you’ll be on an emotional roller-coaster without ever leaving your seat!
So now the only question is simple: which game will you choose to see? Will you want to watch the Washington Nationals compete against the New York Mets? The Chicago Cubs? Or maybe even the LA Dodgers?
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