#FlyWashington Magazine Spring 2020 | Page 66

Washington Monument with Cherry Blossoms Credit: Songquan Photography EAST POTOMAC PARK Fewer visitors cross I-395 east of the Jefferson Memorial to this off-shoot of the Tidal Basin, leaving more space for fans to enjoy the 10 unique species of cherry blossom trees, including Kwanzan cherry, which typically come out a couple of weeks after the others. Follow the 4.4-mile loop around Hains Point on the eastern most tip for endless Instagrammable views of the trees against the backdrops of the Potomac River, Anacostia River, and Washington Channel. U.S. NATIONAL ARBORETUM Where better to hug a tree than the National Arboretum? This 446-acre park, four miles northeast of the Tidal Basin, is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and boasts more than 30 sites to see flowering blossoms along 9.5 miles of meandering roads and paths. A few are “weeping” versions, with long, flowering branches hanging down to the ground. While there, learn more about Japanese horticulture at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, also onsite. ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, Perhaps nowhere does the spiritual side of the cherry blossoms feel more meaningful than among the 400,000 graves of Americans who gave what Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion.” Throughout the cemetery’s 624 acres, more than 400 cherry trees brighten the somber scene, alongside flowering magnolias, and grand oaks. A particular pleasant grove of cherry trees surrounds the eternal flame of the President John F. Kennedy Gravesite. THE GARDENS OF DUMBARTON OAKS At the highest point of Georgetown sits the historic estate of Dumbarton Oaks, built in the early 1920s by Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss. Working with landscape gardener Beatrix Farrand, Mildred established the lush gardens that still draw visitors today. Cherry blossom season offers perhaps the ideal time to visit, as the trees transform the 10 acres into a flowery spectacle. Dumbarton Oaks is a now a Harvard University research institute, with a museum boasting world-class collections of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art, as well. FLYWASHINGTON.COM 64 SPRING 2020