Planning a trip to the Capital Region to see the famous cherry blossoms this year? Extend your stay and explore Northern Virginia for a trip that is packed with outdoor activities, unique events, craft beverages, historic homes and expansive gardens.
1. Check out the View from the Marine Corps War Memorial
Often called Iwo Jima, the memorial affords panoramic views of the Washington, D.C. skyline and sights, including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Capitol Building.
2. Discover Virginia Craft Beer, Wine & Spirits
Featuring more than 40 breweries, 45 wineries and a variety of unique distilleries, Northern Virginia offers visitors an array of opportunities to sip and savor delicious craft beverages made throughout the region. The Steins, Vines & Moonshine Trail and The LoCo Ale Trail are just two of the boozy-themed trails visitors can choose to explore while visiting the Capital Region. Stop by Old Ox Brewery on the LoCo Ale Trail to experience the official beer of the National Cherry Blossom Festival!
3. Explore Oatlands Historic House and Gardens in Leesburg
Experience the historic five-acre formal terraced garden at Oatlands Historic House and Gardens in Leesburg. First established in the early 1800s, this garden features boxwood parterres, statuary, a teahouse, a rose garden, and a reflecting pool. Many of the plantings and original elements are still around today and the site welcomes thousands of visitors annually.
4. Go Beyond the Tidal Basin to Attend Official National Cherry Blossom Festival Events in Fairfax County
Each year, different venues in Fairfax County present several official events celebrating Japanese culture and heritage from floral design workshops to interactive art installations, to tea programs and bonsai tours. Keep tabs on this year’s events at www.fxva.com/cherryblossom.
5. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Artisan Confections
Artisan Confections specializes in high-quality, hand-made chocolates that are elegant in both design and flavor. They thoughtfully select the best ingredients – from French Valrhona chocolate to organic mint grown on a Maryland farm – to craft smooth, delicate confections that are so fresh they have a shelf life. During the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, visitors can find special cherry-themed chocolates too.
6. Pick Your Own Flowers at Burnside Farms’ Festival of Spring
Visitors can experience D.C.’s Countryside in Prince William, VA where Burnside Farms is just one of the great outdoor attractions to explore. With over eight acres of colorful spring flowers, visitors can experience a variety of activities, photo opportunities and, of course, pick-your-own flowers to bring home at the family-owned flower farm just miles outside of Washington, D.C.
7. See the D.C. Cherry Blossoms by Water from Alexandria
It’s easy to celebrate cherry blossom season in D.C. from Alexandria, Virginia with Potomac Riverboat Company’s Cherry Blossom Monuments Cruise. Traverse the Potomac River from Old Town Alexandria and cruise past the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. on the Cherry Blossom Monuments Cruise by Potomac Riverboat Company. View and listen to the history of the iconic monuments, memorials and bridges as the D.C. region awakens to spring. See beautiful cherry blossom trees as you glide past Hains Point and head onward to Georgetown.
8. Take a Self-Guided Garden Tour of Fairfax County’s Most Splendid Gardens
Don’t miss: River Farm, a historic 25-acre site on the banks of the Potomac River that was once part of George Washington’s original five farms; Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, a 95-acre oasis featuring more than 100 cherry trees surrounding a lovely lake, plus an extensive shade garden, native wildflowers, gazebos, birds, butterflies, seasonal blooms and the very unique Korean Bell Garden; and Green Spring Gardens, an outdoor classroom, national historic site, and museum featuring a wooded stream, a valley with ponds, a native plant garden, over 20 thematic demonstration gardens, and a greenhouse filled with tropical plants.
9. Take a Bike Tour from Alexandria to D.C.’s Cherry Blossoms
10. Visit Great Country Farms in Loudoun County
Trade the bustle of the city for a relaxing afternoon on the farm at Great Country Farms in Loudoun. This pick-your-own farm features fruits and vegetables year-round as well as a petting zoo, country store and children’s activities. Spring is the perfect time to see the baby animals and welcome another season of growing.