How to Visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival by Bike

Take part in this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, by bike.

Once a year Washington, DC, erupts with vivid shades of fuchsia and pink as the cherry blossom trees begin to flower. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, a five-week festival, from March 20 to April 13, is jam packed with exciting dances, parades, family crafts, and all of it is accessible by bike.

As a way of honoring the long standing relationship between Japan and the US, this yearly festival commemorates a gift of 3,000 cherry trees in 1912. Over the years, the National Cherry Blossom Festival has grown to be a spectacle that attracts more than 1.5 million people annually.

On April 12, take a ride on a Capital Bikeshare bike to Sakura Matsuri, the largest Japanese cultural festival in the US. Featuring food, arts, culture, traditional dances, and J-Pop performances, there is something at this event for everyone to enjoy. Tickets can be bought online for $8 or $10 at the door.

Running along Constitution Avenue on April 13 from 10am-12pm will be the colorful National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade which also marks the last day of the festival. Blossom inspired décor, huge helium balloons, celebrity performers, and marching bands will all be on display at this free public event. Try and get there early so you can get the best possible spot to view this exciting event! Grandstand seats are available to purchase online starting at $20.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival has made sure that biking to all of the events is easy and accessible through a collaboration with Capital Bikeshare. On April 12 and 13 Capital Bikeshare will set up corrals from 10am-5pm at two event locations. Also, supplementary bike parking is available at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial throughout the festival.

If you’re interested in taking a tour or renting bikes for longer rides, Bike and Roll offers great tours around the Metro DC area. One tour of note is their ‘Blossom by Bike’ tour, a two hour ride that has been created especially for the Festival and intended to showcase the famous cherry trees that surround Potomac Tidal Basin around to East Potomac Park.

If you’re coming from out of town and feel the need for a bike-driven adventure around the Capitol, try staying at one of the three Kimpton hotels. All Kimpton hotels are equipped with customized PUBLIC bikes that are complimentary to any guests that want to take a spin on a fun city bike. These three hotels are also acting corporate partners of Capital Bikeshare, meaning docking stations are right in front or not far away from either three of these hotels.

Spring has sprung and the time to celebrate has come. Take part in the large variety of events that are taking place at this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC.

Additional Resources

Maps for the festival & trail guides

Interactive map for the National Cherry Blossom Festival with bike routes and Capital Bikeshare locations

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