The National Park Service announced that peak bloom for this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. will be from April 3 to 6. The festival season kicks off March 20 and runs through April 14, signaling the arrival of spring in the nation's capital. With the help of this curated guide, you’ll know where to stay, eat and drink in the District for the springtime festivities around the Tidal Basin.
Steeped in 200 years of history, the iconic Willard InterContinental Washington, D.C., located two blocks from The White House, is a historic hotel that offers 335 spacious and elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites that exude a unique blend of contemporary luxury and historic charm. Tailored to children 11 years and younger, The Willard’s Kids Concierge offers a selection of amenities and activities to ensure that even the youngest of guests have a luxury experience to remember. Led by Kids Concierge Brian Thomasson, this service aims to both ease the stress of family travel, as well as enhance the family experience at The Willard, by providing families with the resources needed for a seamless stay.
Pod DC is Washington’s first micro hotel, offering an energetic and fun alternative to the typical hotel experience. Located just 15 minutes away from Reagan National Airport in the heart of Penn Quarter, and just a stone’s throw from Capital One Arena, the National Portrait Gallery and the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro, Pod DC features three unique social spaces for eating, drinking and meeting new friends. Pod DC is one-stop shop, even boasting a year-round rooftop with sweeping sightlines of the capital city.
Nestled right on Washington’s iconic Dupont Circle, The Dupont Circle hotel is an Irish-owned, four-star boutique hotel that has become a local favorite known for its elegance, vibrant décor and original artwork. Located just moments from the city’s historic National Mall and Smithsonian museum portfolio, the hotel is surrounded by international embassies, an energetic nightlife scene and entertainment options galore, including music, art, fitness and much more. And when it comes to dining, the hotel has just revamped and relaunched its on-site dining options, recently debuting the globally inspired, farm-to-table the Pembroke restaurant and bar and glamorous, 50s-inspired cocktail bar Doyle.
Union Market is D.C.’s hippest feasting ground, featuring more than 40 culinary vendors that have something for every taste, from Korean tacos to fresh seafood to BBQ and much, much more. The sprawling, industrial-chic market is located within northeast Washington’s vibrant Union Market District, which boasts additional restaurant options like Stephen Starr’s St. Anselm, Pluma by Bluebird Bakery and the Michelin-starred Michelle Obama favorite Masseria.
Enjoy three floors of great music, fabulous food and craft cocktails at Crimson, the one-stop destination for all things Southern. Located in the heart of Chinatown inside micro hotel Pod DC, Crimson features a trio of spaces, including a rooftop bar with views of the Washington Monument, a Southern-inspired diner and a subterranean whiskey pub. After sightseeing, head over to Crimson for their specialty cheesecake with cherry sauce for $8.00.
The Pembroke, located in The Dupont Circle hotel, is D.C.’s newest dining sensation. This globally-influenced, farm-and-sea-to-table restaurant is bright, airy and full of spring hues, from plush blue velvet semicircle banquettes to coral leather couches and stunning marble tabletops. The new dinner menu embraces global accents from Morocco, France, Italy, Ireland, Spain and more, while the 10-cocktail drink menu complements The Pembroke’s impressively extensive wine list of nearly 70 bottles and almost 30 glasses of sparkling, white, red and rose from around the world.
Since landing in D.C. last fall, Gregorys Coffee has quickly become a local favorite with four locations across the city. Fuel your sightseeing goals with the “Cherry Bomb” specialty latte ($4.75/12 ounces, $5.25/16 ounces, $5.90/20 ounces) made with oat milk, espresso, strawberry syrup, and cherry blossom extract topped with edible flowers available during Cherry Blossom Season (March 20-April 13). From gluten-free coco-oats to crunchy power bites and a vegan breakfast sandwich, Gregorys has healthy (and filling) grab-and-go options for a long day outside.
Satellite Room is the ultimate dive bar and the perfect spot to enjoy beer, milkshakes, pizza and loaded tots after a long day at the Tidal Basin taking in the cherry blossoms. Plus, its nearness to neighbor 9:30 Club means seeing a piece of iconic D.C. history up close — and maybe even taking in a concert or two while in town.
This new two-story, 6,000-square-foot waterfront pub is at the center of D.C.’s hot new neighborhood, The Wharf. Brighton's menu includes a wide range of hearty favorites from land and sea, such as fish & chips, short rib curry, crab cakes, bratwurst and much more to be enjoyed from any number of vantage points: the spacious ground-floor terrace, a second-floor balcony overlooking the Potomac River and a mezzanine level for an above-bar view.
Wurst and beer hall The Berliner is located in one of Georgetown’s last original warehouse spaces on Water Street. Inspired by family ties and modern Berlin comfort food, The Berliner’s menu offers classics like bratwurst, kofte kebab, pretzels and falafel. Featuring 24 beers on tap with a variety of domestic, international and seasonal brews, The Berliner is the perfect spot for a midday break after exploring D.C.’s monuments and during happy hour they will offer seasonal drinks at a special rate.