Blue skies & cherry blossoms: a spring weekend in Washington DC

I’m so ready for spring weather to stick around for good; it’s so gross outside today. Virginia’s “spring” weather has been so wonky lately: 80 degrees one day and 37 the next. I’m just crossing my fingers for some pretty spectacular May flowers. But since I’m forced inside out of the rain, I think this calls for a little reminiscing about our weekend in DC at the beginning of the month.

picnic in the DC cherry blossoms

Before our two low-key weeks in Virginia, I met F in Washington DC for a fun weekend of wandering. DC is one of my favorite cities; I’ve been so many times and still manage to do something new every time. It definitely checks all my boxes: it’s walkable, has great brunch, water views, and lots of cupcakes. I’m not sure how we lucked into it but F and I ended up having two perfect DC days. It was a weekend of sunshine, the cherry blossoms were in peak bloom, and we managed to meet up with each of our DC friends. Now I’ve got tan lines on the tops of my feet and a new found love of Ethiopian food.

cherry blossoms along 1st streetcherry blossomsnational mallwashington DC, national cherry blossom festival, spring in DC

Sakura, sakura: taking in DC’s cherry blossoms

DC’s had its cherry trees since Japan gifted them to the people of America in the early 1900’s, and this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival marked the 80th anniversary of the month-long celebration. It was also my first time being in DC for the festival and I was completely caught off guard by how popular this festival is. I found out from a local friend that this is the weekend that all Washingtonians run for the hills; when talking crowds, the NCBF’s finale weekend is right up there with the 4th of July.

So after my weekend of walking among the cherry blossoms, there are two things I can say about DC during the last weekend of the cherry blossoms: one, the sheer number of people on the Mall, on the streets around the Mall, and in the metro stations will drive you absolutely crazy but you can’t escape it down there, and two, it is really beautiful and it’s worth seeing if you get the chance and have the patience. And on the bright side, with so many people around there’s always someone to take a picture for you.

I can’t speak to the best spots for viewing the cherry blossoms -there are so many that I know nothing about- but I can say that the most popular are along the Tidal Basin and scattered across the National Mall. If you like having some personal space though you should stick to the trees around the Washington Monument because everyone is going to be head for the water.
washington monument collageblue skies and dc cherry blossomsamong cherry blossomstidal basin cherry blossomsjefferson memorial on the tidal basin

Washington DC, cupcake capital of the country?

If I were going to be a DC neighborhood I’d want to be Georgetown. You know I’ve got a thing for cobblestone streets, which Georgetown has in abundance, but it’s also got cupcakes, canals, and lots of color.  You really could just wander around the neighborhood, completely unprepared, and find more than enough to enjoy – which is exactly what we did. We took the metro to Foggy Bottom and hoofed it the rest of the way.

Wandering up and down all the side street gives you a lot to explore. We walked into a shop flying a Galatasaray flag and found Turkish köfte, turned a corner and found Germans on a smoke break outside ZDF’s American headquarters, and most importantly we discovered Baked & Wired.

Well technically we didn’t discover Baked & Wired on our own; we went to Georgetown for it. We were told to avoid the long, long lines at Georgetown Cupcakes and head straight towards B&W because their cakecups are hands down the best. Getting the whole Baked & Wired experience – coffee and a cupcake – works best when tackled by a team of two; the cupcake line goes left while the coffee line goes right. After 15 minutes and a painful internal debate at the cupcake counter, we walked away with two cakecups  (the Texas Sheetcake and the Vanilla Satin come highly recommended by us, but I’ve also heard great things about the Bee Sting bar!) and found a spot along the canal to sit and enjoy them.

georgetown-canalsbaked & wired cupcake collagegeorgetown-waterfront

We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend, even though I’ve still got a page of things to do and places to eat in DC left to get through! But that means there’s another return trip in my future. What’s your favorite thing to do in DC?

 

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5 thoughts on “Blue skies & cherry blossoms: a spring weekend in Washington DC

    • Hi Vera 🙂 It really was a pretty weekend. I’m not sure how we managed it, but we were there on the perfect weekend; others told us that the week before the blooms weren’t all open and the week after they were all knocked off the trees.

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    • DC in the spring is gorgeous -the winter was so rough this year that it really did feel like the city was waking up. I think DC is one cool city so you should definitely make a trip. And those cupcakes are seriously worth a trip! (They’re in Georgetown, the closest metro station to that is Foggy Bottom.)

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    • I’ve been a handful of times, but it’s definitely at its prettiest during the spring. Baked & Wired was a local’s recommendation and we were so lucky to get it! DC is a fun place for sure.

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