Every year, I have couples request photos in the cherry blossoms… and rightfully so! Ben and I even did our engagement photos with cherry blossoms! However.. tourists are swarming, even at sunrise! Please see exhibit A:
The Tidal Basin can be nuts. Because everyone wants their spring blooms without hundreds of people swarming, I have compiled a list of alternative photo locations that still allow for maximum blossoms but minimal people.
1. HAINS POINT & EAST POTOMAC PARK
Address: Hains Point, Washington, DC 20242
This is where Ben and I started! It is the closest to the memorial you can get with parking! If trees are your goal, this is the best location!
2. ERICSSON MEMORIAL
At the intersection of 23rd St. SW, Ohio Drive SW & Independence Ave. SW
The start of the pink trees is by the Ericsson Memorial. You can see the bridge into Virginia in the background! If it is busy, we can make the angles work for us and find one tree (especially at sunrise). I would suggest taking an uber here!
3. FDR MEMORIAL
1850 West Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242
This is technically around the Tidal Basin. Going at sunrise on a weekday is the best for minimal tourists! You can try your luck parking near the loop but weekends, no way! Also, if you avoid peak bloom and go right before the window, you can get lucky as long as the blooms are still strong! You DEFINITELY want to avoid the and can check the National Park Website or additional sites for info on peak bloom dates.
4. CHILES PEACH ORCHARD
1351 Greenwood Road
Crozet, VA 22932
This venue looks INCREDIBLE but it is a bit of a drive and you should 100% contact the owners to find best times!
5. KENWOOD CHEVY CHASE
Brookside Dr and Dorset Ave
Bethesda, MD 20815
This is the DMV’s best kept secret! It is technically a neighborhood but is STUNNING in spring. No parking is allowed on the streets and there are police on patrol! Parking and walking or an uber is the best option.
6. Swann Farms
7740 Swan LaneOwings, Maryland
Again, this is a bit of a drive! Contact the owners beforehand to see what it looks like!
7. Ruppert Nursery
23601 LAYTONSVILLE RD, LAYTONSVILLE, MD 20882
If you like the tall skinny rows of blossoms, this looks ideal if you’re up for a drive!
8. Catholic University
400 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017
Again, no one thinks to go to a college to snap their engagement photos but the blossoms are out if you time it right!! It’s also said that UDC Law School has some awesome blossoms!
9. The Smithsonian Gardens
Ok so TECHNICALLY these are magnolia blooms and not cherry blossoms. BUT, they look fairly similar and have different bloom dates! Open 7AM to 7PM.
10. Dumbarton Oaks
1703 32nd St NW, Washington, DC 20007
This may truthfully be the best DC option BUT Dumbarton does not allow professional engagement photography! Great scenery though!
This Washingtonian List os also very helpful!! This list suggests Stanton Park, Anacostia Park, Foxhall Village and Meadowlark!