8 Best Locations for DC Cherry Blossom Photos

In Washington DC, February means that we are gearing up for one of my absolute favorite times of the year; DC cherry blossom season! From late March to mid-April, the city comes alive with beautiful pink and white blooms. And, to top that off, there is even a three-week-long cultural festival held across the city that is dedicated to this beautiful season!

With DC’s National Cherry Blossom Festival just around the corner, you may be wondering where are the best locations to see the cherry blossoms and get your photos taken. While the Tidal Basin is one of the most popular areas to see the cherry blossoms, I don’t recommend visiting this location due to the large crowds that gather here during this month. You want your photos to feel relaxed and fun, not worrying about how many other people are around.

So, today I’m sharing 8 of my favorite cherry blossom locations around Washington DC that are NOT at the Tidal Basin, overcrowded during this period!

1. US National Arboretum

Not only is the National Arboretum my all-time favorite place to see the cherry blossoms in Washington DC, but it is also a great place for photographs all year long! It has some of the best views of the cherry blossoms and an added perk is that the blossoms at this location often peak at a different time than those at the Tidal Basin, offering you even more chances to view these beautiful blooms! This location is also much less crowded than the Tidal Basin, in part due to its large size of 446 acres!

2. East Potomac park and Haines point

The Hains Point trail is a 4.4-mile loop that allows you to view its thousands of cherry blossoms in a multitude of different ways. Relax and enjoy the waterfront views of the Potomac River, Anacostia River, and the Washington Channel or venture around on foot, bike, or even the Wharf Jitney. I promise you are sure to see beautiful views of the over 10 different varieties of cherry blossoms no matter where you go!

3. The Smithsonian Enid Haupt Garden

This 4.2-acre garden sits adjacent to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. The Enid Haupt Garden was originally built to replicate the American Victorian gardens as they appeared in the late 19th century so as you can imagine, the grounds are exquisite and do not lack an abundance of Magnolias trees. Point taken, for the purist, this is technically not a cherry blossom location but if you want beautiful flowers in your photos, this is the place. Plus, the magnolias usually blossoms before the cherry trees so if you would like a session at the beginning of March, this is a great option!

4. Union Station and Lower U.S. Capitol

There is something about being in the heart of the nation’s capital that makes viewing the cherry blossoms extra special. Viewers can enjoy the cherry blossoms on foot or bike thanks to the wide path and the best viewing area is at the edge of the Mall near the US capitol and Union Station. Away from the crowd, you can have photos taken with the blossom and the Capitol building in the background!

5. Stanton Park and Capitol Hill

Stanton Park, in the vibrant neighborhood of Capitol Hill, offers a perfect setting for a laid-back cherry blossom engagement session. With its scenic pathways and abundance of cherry trees, the park provides a picturesque backdrop for capturing cherished moments. Couples can stroll along the park’s winding paths, pausing to admire the blooming cherry blossoms and soak in the tranquility of the surroundings. The best part? You are a block away from the US Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the Supreme Court, which are one of the best locations for engagement sessions. From this location, you can get a great mix of photos!

6. Congressional Cemetery

Nestled beside the Anacostia River, the Congressional Cemetery offers a unique spot for a cherry blossom engagement session. In springtime, the cemetery bursts into life with the vibrant hues of blooming cherry trees, creating a stunning backdrop for photos. Couples can wander through the peaceful grounds, surrounded by historic gravestones and verdant landscapes, while the gentle pink petals of the cherry blossoms lend a romantic touch to the atmosphere.

7. The Basilica/brookland

Located in the neighborhood of Brookland, the Basilica is the largest Roman Catholic Church in North America! It is also home to more than 150 cherry trees that come alive during the early spring months. What could be better than viewing beautiful architecture and cherry blossoms and having your photos taken at the same time? On the bright side, if you dislike the millions of tourists gathered around the Tidal Basin, this is a great way to get more intimate photos of the beautiful cherry tree. This is definitely a hidden spot in DC.

8. The National Cathedral 

Perched atop the highest point in Washington, D.C., the National Cathedral offers a majestic setting for a cherry blossom engagement session. It’s my all-time favorite for proposal sessions. The Bishop’s Garden comes to life with the delicate pink blooms of cherry trees. Couples can explore the cathedral’s intricate stonework and tranquil gardens during their photoshoot. It’s intimate and gorgeous, warmly recommend it!

If you have never visited Washington DC during the cherry festival season, I highly encourage you to do so! You won’t be disappointed by the thousands of cherry blossoms in bloom, plus they make for a gorgeous backdrop for any photoshoot. If you’re ready to schedule a Washington DC photoshoot with me, head on over to my contact page to learn more!

If you are still looking for the perfect location for your engagement photos, take a look at my list of the best engagement locations in Washington DC.

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