Self-Guided Walking Tour of Arlington Cherry Blossoms
Published March 27, 2020
Due to the current situation, the Cherry Blossom Festival has been canceled. While staying at home is encouraged, it is also encouraged to go for walks as a family. For this, Walk Arlington has created a self-guided walking tour of Arlington cherry blossoms in the neighborhoods of Ballston and Cherrydale.
Walk Arlington states: “Cherry blossom season in the D.C. area is a wonderful time of year, and taking in the blossoms is a beloved tradition. WalkArlington has created a walk featuring a few of our favorite locations in Arlington where you can appreciate the blooms and enjoy all that springtime in Arlington has to offer.”
Guide Points Include:
- Welburn Square: Located in the heart of Ballston, Welburn Square has one of Arlington’s most well-designed collections of ornamental cherry trees.
- Ballston Quarter: Ballston Quarter is a popular neighborhood destination featuring a food hall, shops, a movie theater, and more.
- Central Library: Arlington’s Central Library has a small collection of Kwanzan cherry trees near the rear entrance, including some special ones.
- Cherry Valley Park: Continuing with the cherry theme, Cherry Valley Park is a great little park in the heart of Arlington’s Cherrydale neighborhood.
- Cherry Blossoms of Cherrydale: The intersection of Lee Highway near North Monroe Street is known for having a plethora of beautiful cherry blossom trees.
While many residents and visitors are familiar with the Cherry blossoms of D.C., not everyone is aware of their local origin. In fact, the Cherry blossom was a gift from Japan, circa 1912. The United States received over 3,000, which were then divided up and planted in Manhattan, NYC and Washington, D.C. Within the 3,020 trees, there were 12 different types. Helen Herron Taft, wife and First Lady to then president William Howard Taft, planted the first 2 trees which now span the shore of the Tidal Basin as well as the East Potomac Park roadway in D.C. (1)
While the initial batch contained twelve varieties of trees, most visitors to Northern Virginia will notice the two dominate ones in the crowd: Kwanzan and Yoshino. The most glaring difference between the two is that the Yoshino, found around the Washington Monument and Tidal Basin, is generally white while the Kwanzan, mainly in East Potomac Park, is pink. (2)
These beautiful trees may have started out in Washington, D.C., but they are also clearly visible in and around various parts of Arlington (hence the app), not to mention the view from Arlington over the Potomac. Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon, Virginia Square and Ballston already have great walking routes (which we have highlighted here), and these Cherry blossoms only help to enhance the walking experience. It should be noted that many of the Arlington Cherry blossoms appear to be a different type than the Yoshino or Kwanzan.
- Cherry Blossom Watch: Arlington Edition. (2020). Walk Arlington. Source: https://app.sidewalk.guide/guide/5696523966873600/cherry-blossom-bloom-watch-arlington-edition
- History of the Cherry Blossom Trees and Festival. (2020). National Cherry Blossom Festival. Source: http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/about/history/
- Cherry Blossom Festival: Types. (2020). National Park Service. Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20151009045959/http://www.nps.gov/cherry/cherry-blossom-types.htm