Weekend In Washington, D.C. During Cherry Blossom Season

A friend of mine described Washington, D.C. as cool, clean and classy and she wasn’t mistaken. I was blown away at how different it is to other cities I’ve visited in the USA (New York, Boston, Chicago and the likes) It’s all of the above and some, from the amazing architecture to the green green grass and the low rise buildings to the man made Tidal Basin. It’s a compact city on the Potomac river bordered by the states of Maryland and Virginia.

Washington, D.C. the capital of the United States, is rich in history and culture, and is a unique and historical place among American cities, because it was completely planned for the national capital and needed to be distinct from the states. President George Washington chose the specific site along the Potomac and Anacostia rivers.

We arrived to a mild and sunny afternoon and were delighted to be told that we had come just in time for Cherry Blossom season. Cherry Blossom season is huge in D.C. it’s one of Washington’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing approx 1.5 million visitors for three weeks of street parties, concerts, family activities and days to go fly a kite. Not forgetting the chance to see the stunning display of delicate pink and white flowers which adorn the branches of the beautiful Cherry Blossom trees. The tree in full bloom is a reminder that winter has gone and spring is here, marking a time of new beginnings and fresh starts.

We started our tour of Washington, D.C. at the White House as it was only a two-minute walk from our hotel The St, Regis Washington, D.C. a fab hotel located in Downtown D.C. that is within walking distance to all the museums, memorials and galleries. We were delighted with our choice. There is an evening ritual at St Regis hotels around the world, where at 6pm every evening champagne is opened using a sabre and offered to guests staying in the hotel, the sabring celebrates the transition from day to night. It’s said that Napoleon Bonaparte famously opened champagne with his sabre in both victory and defeat and the art of sabrage is now the signature ceremony of the St. Regis Evening Rituals series. Personally, I was delighted to experience this ritual and enjoy the delicious champagne.

“Champagne: in victory, one deserves it; in defeat, one needs it.” – NAPOLEON

The White House is exactly as you see in the movies, a white mansion, surrounded by expansive green lawns, gardens and security fencing. We arrived early in the morning so were very lucky to get right up close to the railings and take some photos as there were very few people visiting at that time. Seemingly, most days at this time of the year the crowds can be ten deep, I guess we just got lucky. The streets are lined with Secret Service agents either walking or on bikes, ensuring a sense of security, therefore one feels very safe. Overall, the White House exudes a sense of importance and power, befitting its role as the home of the President of The United States.

There are so many sights to see in Washington, D.C. it’s hard to decide where to go or what to do. As we didn’t have any real plans, we decided to see how our days panned out. After the White House, we walked the length and breadth of the National Mall – It’s an historic park stretching over two miles from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial and is flanked by numerous museums and monuments, including the Washington Monument and the World War II memorial. It’s a great place to explore American history and culture and you get to spend as much time as you want, depending on your particular interests.

Following that, we went to explore the Tidal Basin – The Tidal Basin is a scenic reservoir beside the National Mall. It is famous for its scenic views of cherry blossoms which line its shores and creates a stunning backdrop for the monuments and memorials nearby. There are approximately 3,500 cherry blossom trees surrounding the Tidal Basin so you can imagine the beautiful sight before us. The trees were a gift from Japan to the United States in 1912 as a symbol of friendship between the two nations. I was obsessed with the colours and clusters of flowers and how the branches drooped to create stunning views of the Jefferson Memorial across the basin. The basin is surrounded by walking paths making it easy to visit the memorials and monuments but were quite busy when we were there. I’d recommend visiting early in the morning to avoid the crowds, especially during Cherry Blossom season.

The following day we booked a tour of The Capitol Building – Arguably the most magnificent building in Washington. The tour was free, lasted about 1.5 hours, and was very interesting to hear about the history of American politics and learn about American democracy. I’d definitely recommend a visit to the Capitol Building which can be booked online or entry is included in most tours.

Another great way to see the sights is by Segway, we booked a 2.5 hour tour of Washington with Capitol Segway and it was amazing! We visited Another great way to see the sights is by Segway, we booked a 2.5 hour tour of Washington with Capitol Segway with stops to take photos and the opportunity to visit the Lincoln Memorial and The Reflecting Pool which are both stunning. The highlight for me was, we got to ride the Segway down Pennsylvania Avenue which is the route for presidential inaugural parades and home to significant and iconic landmarks, including the Old Post Office Pavilion, Trump International Hotel and Washington, D.C. city hall to name but a few. Pennsylvania Avenue runs for approximately six miles connecting the White House to the Capitol Building. The buildings are stunning and every street corner tells a story.

I had never ridden a Segway before and couldn’t recommend it highly enough if you wanted a different experience of sight seeing. Make sure Washington, D.C. is on your travel list this year and follow Travel Times for more travel inspiration.


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