The cherry blossoms on the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. are in full bloom for a very short period each spring. The cherry blossom season can start anywhere from mid-March to mid-April and last for about two weeks.
During the day, hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the area to see the flowering trees.
The following photos were taken at 11 p.m. with an extended time exposure. By adjusting the exposure, the camera lens allows more light in, which brightens the photograph.
Cherry Blossoms at Night
At night, the cherry blossoms are eerily beautiful. The area is much quieter. The flowers may be harder to see, but there are certain areas along the Tidal Basin that are well lit and give you a dramatic effect.
For visitors who do not mind taking a late-evening stroll, the experience is well worth the jaunt.
Best Time of Day to See the Blossoms
Anytime is a good time to see the blossoms. Although, visitors should be prepared for heavier crowds on weekends and when the trees reach their peak blooming period. There is no guarantee, but there are often fewer people during the week, early in the morning, and in the late afternoon or early evening. The best time to see them is probably at dusk after most of the crowds have gone home.
Cherry Blossoms and the Washington Monument
The 555-foot Washington Monument is the world's tallest stone structure and world's tallest obelisk built to honor George Washington, the first President of the United States. The monument is located almost due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial and is made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss.
After a rainy day, the lights illuminating the structure reflect the fog, giving the obelisk a ghostly, almost eerie glow. The cherry blossoms in the foreground appear to frame the monument.
National Cherry Blossom Festival
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is Washington, D.C.’s great springtime celebration that annually celebrates the gift of the Yoshino cherry blossom trees and their symbol of enduring friendship between the citizens of Japan and the United States. The event is timed in conjunction with the peak blooming period of the trees.
Festival events include family day and the opening ceremony, fireworks and a parade. There are over 150 daily cultural performances by local, national and international entertainers, sports competitions, and so much more. Many festival events are free and open to the public—for all ages.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
The path next to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is surrounded by cherry blossoms. The memorial is dedicated to the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States.
Dedicated in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, the monument, spread over 7.5 acres, traces 12 years of the history of the United States through a sequence of four outdoor rooms, one for each of FDR's terms of office.
Illuminated at night, the Jefferson Memorial appears enveloped by cherry blossoms. The memorial is open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight.
The Jefferson Memorial honors the memory of founding father Thomas Jefferson, main writer of the Declaration of Independence, and third President of the United States.