The Jefferson Memorial during the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC
© Rae Gabrielle/Alam
Cherry blossoms spring to life
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is always a highlight of spring in our nation's capital. It's timed for the peak bloom date (usually the last week in March or first week of April) when most of the blossoms are open on the cherry trees that surround the Tidal Basin. The trees were originally a gift from Japan, planted in Washington in 1912. While some Cherry Blossom Festival events are virtual this year, the trees will decorate the city as usual—just as they do in this photo framing the Jefferson Memorial. This year's festival began on March 20 and runs until April 11. It includes in-person tours and activities visitors can do on their own, as well as virtual viewings and an online Celebration Show that debuts on April 9.