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What DC Locals Know...About March

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 at 11:16pm Laura Gray

Well, wait a minute. IS it March? Even locals have been amazed at the spring wormhole we seem to have fallen through. Wasn’t it just last month we were talking about potential snowball fights in Dupont? (No complaints here.)

But if we’re going by the calendar, then we’ll assume it’s March and – of course – we have to talk about one of the best parts of this month: our beloved cherry trees. By now most of us already have had a great preview of local trees in pre-bloom, thanks to our recent weather, so let’s hope for no late winter surprises. Although I think I did see a weather forecast with a bit of light snow for Friday…

Back to the trees. First, let’s cover the basics.

1. Locals know the biggest question every year is “when will they bloom?” The answer will be revealed TODAY, March 1, by the National Park Service. You can check out the announcement here.  *** BLOG UPDATE on WEDNESDAY (spoiler alert): it's March 14-17.  

2. You should also know the general National Park Service cherry blossom website is here but what you really want to follow are all the activities scheduled in the formal Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs March 20-April 26. The main website is here.

Second, let’s get to some bonus material.

1. One worthwhile event within the larger cherry blossom festival is the National Kite Festival on the Washington Monument grounds at the National Mall. This is a really amazing display of hundreds of flying kites, flying competitions, even a place where you can build and fly your own. Check out the details here.

2. Another bonus: if you do go visit the Tidal Basin trees, you may get a glimpse of Big Daddy. Big Daddy (and his progeny) are a family of beaver that developed a taste for cherry trees back in the late 90s – to the point of doing some pretty serious tree damage around the Tidal Basin. The family has been moved to an undisclosed location (witness protection program!) but has returned a few times to the scene of the crime. Here's the back story.

The Big Daddy legend also helps explain why you’ll see cartoon beaver characters in the area advising you don’t climb the trees or pick the blossoms, here. Pay attention to that, BTW – picking cherry blossoms is against the law.

3. If visiting the Tidal Basin seems like too much work (or crowded!), do what locals do and visit the trees…somewhere else. Hains Point is a good nearby good option, lined with trees and less traffic (great place to visit just about any time of year, actually.) It’s a favorite of local runners and cyclists because the vehicular traffic is so low.

Or check out any of these cherry-friendly location alternatives, including best spots to photograph the blooms.

4. Or maybe you want the REALLY easy option to avoid see the trees but avoid the crowds completely. Check out Cherry Cam! The NPS and Earthcam have partnered to provide live shots of the Tidal Basin cherry trees so you can see for yourself whether the blooms are yet worth a visit. Here's the cam site.

And if all this isn’t “insider” enough for you, there’s always the 4th season of House of Cards, which starts March 4. Details here.

Cherry-o! (Come on now, that was a good one.)



Want to know more about living, working and enjoying the DC area? Ask a local who knows, and work with a different class of real estate advisor. Ask me, at

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