Thursday, March 31, 2011

5 Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms (besides Japan)

With the recent tragic events in Japan, there aren't many tourists making the journey to Sakura and Kyoto for the cherry blossom festivals there. Many people don't know, however, that there are other cities that have spectacular displays of pink blossoms each spring, and events and festivals to go with them. Here are a few of the other best places to see cherry blossoms:

San Francisco – California’s best city for pink flowers, San Francisco hosts a cherry blossom festival every April. The best places to go are Golden Gate Park, and the San Jose Heritage Garden, which is a little out of town but has an entire field of cherry blossom trees.

Vancouver – Vancouver is Canada’s cherry blossom capital. Their events run from mid-March through the end of April. The best streets to see the flowers is 7th Avenue in Mount Pleasant, but the city offers a cherry blossom viewing map that you can download here.

Honolulu – Hawaii has its own tradition of cherry blossoms, which bloom in Honolulu, and Waimea on the Big Island. The best place to see them is in Church Row Park, where the cherry blossom festival is held. Hawaii’s cherry blossoms bloom early though, so this event is usually held in February.

Seoul – If your heart is set on going east, South Korea has spectacular displays each April. The best place to go is Seoul, which has beautiful pink and white vistas at Mount Namsan and Seoul Forest. For a real treat, visit Children’s Grand Park, which lights up its more than 1,000 cherry blossom trees each night.

Washington DC – Outside of Japan, Washington DC is the place to go to see cherry blossom trees. The landscape positively explodes pink everywhere you look, and it becomes nearly impossible to take a bad picture. It all stems from 3,000 cherry trees given to the US by Japan as a sign of goodwill, and each spring the city hosts the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The best place to see the cherry blossoms is in Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park.


Image by katmere.

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