Cherry Blossoms and Beyond: Washington, DC Delights Visitors throughout Spring

Washington, DC | I-95 Exit Guide

No other American city celebrates springtime like Washington, DC and 2019 blooms brightly with new reasons to explore. The National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20-April 14) celebrates 107 years of the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC. Other landmark seasonal experiences include an exhibition of interactive digital art; East Regional NCAA men’s basketball tournament games; the reopening of the International Spy Museum at L’Enfant Plaza and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Fossil Hall.

Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, connects travelers with itinerary inspiration on DDC’s Facebook and Instagram channels deliver immediate recommendations via #myDCcool.

“Discover the real DC. Our citywide events calendar, mild temperatures and blooming trees and gardens are natural invitations to explore our neighborhoods this spring,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of DDC. “Travel the world during Passport DC, bike by landmarks on car-free streets, dine in a restaurant with Michelin stars and catch exhibitions about powerful women.”

Springtime highlights include:


  • National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20–April 14): The nation’s largest springtime celebration pops with events: Opening Ceremony (March 23); Blossom Kite Festival (March 30); Petalpalooza (April 6); the parade (April 13), garden tours; CineMatsuri, a Japanese film fest, and more. Peak bloom is estimated to be April 3-6.
  • Direct Current (March 24-April 7): Cutting-edge dance, music, drag, film, theater and activism converge at the Kennedy Center. Participants include Bon Iver and TU Dance; Vijay Iyer Sextet and Bill T. Jones.
  • 2019 Washington Auto Show (April 5-14): More than 600 models, from luxury rides to concept cars, drive excitement across three floors at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
  • Passport DC (May): DC’s global celebration includes Around the World Embassy Tour (May 4); European Union Embassies’ Open House (May 11); Fiesta Asia! (May 18). (FREE)
  • DC Jazz Festival (June 7-16): The 15th edition of the fastest growing jazz festival in the country draws performers like Joshua Redman Quartet and Snarky Puppy.
  • By the People Festival (June 15-23): Halcyon, an arts and humanities incubator, champions ideas that bind America.


  • Queens of Egypt, National Geographic Museum (March 1 – September 2)
  • In Peak Bloom, Artechouse (March 20-May 27)
  • Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice, National Gallery of Art (March 24 – July 7; FREE)
  • Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence, National Portrait Gallery (March 29, 2019 – January 5, 2020; FREE)
  • Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644-1912, Freer|Sackler (March 30 – June 29; FREE)
  • Rirkrit Tiravanija: Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Green, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden (May 17 – June 24; FREE)
  • Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote, Library of Congress (June 4 – ongoing; FREE)
  • David H. Koch – Hall of Fossils: Deep Time, National Museum of Natural History (reopens June 8)

Sports and Outdoors

  • Wayne Rooney and DC United, DC’s MLS team, kick off their first full season at Audi Field (March 3).
  • NCAA 2019 East Regional Basketball Tournament games at Capital One Arena (March 29 & 31).
  • Washington Nationals Opening Day against the Mets (March 28).
  • DC Bike Ride (May 18): Explore a 20 miles scenic closed-road course on two-wheels.

About Destination DC: Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities.

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