So you want an engagement session at the cherry blossoms? Welp. I can help…. MAYBE.

NPS announced their peak bloom prediction to be April 2-5. That said, they also state THIS on their website: “Predicting the bloom.
Forecasting peak bloom is almost impossible more than 10 days in advance.” Even with predictions, dates can change so flexibility is key. Here is the website I follow: Blossom Watch.

The second thing to consider is whether or not the Tidal Basin will be open at all and my magic 8 ball prediction is CHANCES ARE SLIM. Last year, they closed parking lots, barricaded areas and police ushered folks away from the monuments. If it IS open, they will likely be checking for permits and enforcing the mandatory mask mandate that’s LAW in DC. Both Washingtonian and NPS have statements on their websites saying Tidal Basin might be closed and there is a good chance “you will have to enjoy the blossoms from home, virtually.”

To top it all off, Jefferson is also closed for construction so there’s no hope for Jefferson photos.

So F*ck 2021. What now? Well you have 3 options:

  1. Schedule your session for Peak Bloom (April 2-5), hope the tidal basin is open and cross your fingers. This means knowing there is a good chance you have to be flexible on date range and cancelling all together if it’s closed.
  2. Pick an alternate location for pink trees. This can mean Magnolias or Cherry Blossom without Monument backdrops
  3. If the monuments are what’s important, schedule a Monument shoot NOT during peak bloom.

If the Tidal Basin isn’t a MUST have but pink trees are here are a handful of locations to get your pink tree fix. Consider these locations this year if the Tidal Basin closes.

MAGNOLIAS: magnolia trees bloom BEFORE cherry blossoms so these will likely be late March. I am no meteorologist so you have to keep an eye out yourself with a walk about or Instagram geotag stalking.

Smithsonian Gardens 

Rawlins Park 

Nat Council of Negro Women 

DAR Constitution Hall (Photo Permit needed)

CHERRY BLOSSOMS. Bloom in season. Again, dates can fluctuate. We all have access to google, I know just as much as you!

Stanton Park

Scotts Circle

Catholic University

National Cathedral ($250 photo permit fee)

Haines Point (Likely closed as part of Tidal Basin)

Washington Monument Lawn (No parking. Bit of a walk)

Meadowlark ($25 Permit fee)

Sylvanside Farm (Permit required)

Kenwood (Private neighborhood. must Uber. NO parking. They tow)

Arboretum ($250 permit fee)

West Side of Capitol (Currently Fenced off)


I hope this was helpful! Let me know if you want to brave the cold and schedule your sunrise session today!


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