Best of Spring 2015 – Washington, DC

Now that winter is over, and the trees are in bloom, I am excited for Spring and eager to share my 2015 list of The Best of Spring – Washington, DC .

Cherry Blossoms – Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists descend on the Washington, DC region to revel in the beauty of Cherry Blossom trees and the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/.  The current forecast for peak bloom, according to the National Park Service, is April 11-14. Make a plan to see them in person before they are gone!

Cherry Blossoms at the Washington Monument

Cherry Blossoms at the Washington Monument

Washington Nationals baseball – The local team made a huge winter splash by signing 2013 Cy Young Award winning pitcher (American League, 2103) Max Scherzer. With current stars Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper also leading the team, big things are expected from the Washington Nationals in 2015. We may never again openly say “World Series or Bust” but the expectations are certainly high for the Nats this year. Opening Day is April 6th. Check out the schedule and get your tickets. Play Ball!  http://atmlb.com/1FFMLHy

Nationals Opening Day 2015
Waterfront Dining – DC has an abundance of great waterfront views. Why not take advantage and enjoy it with your favorite meal or beverage. Find out more here: http://dcmetroplus.com/dining-category/incredible-waterfront-dining-in-dc/

Bicycle and running paths – Washington, DC and the surrounding neighborhoods are adorned with hundreds of miles of beautiful trails. Whether you walk, bike or run, find your favorite path and enjoy. http://bikewashington.org/trails/

National Zoo – Everyone knows that bears hibernate for winter, but come spring there is no place better to see lions, tigers, bears, and of course pandas, than at the National Zoo. Admission is free (parking extra). Metro accessible.  http://nationalzoo.si.edu/

Panda at Washington National Zoo

Great Falls and assorted hiking trails – In city adorned by brilliant man-made monuments, we often forget the wonder that Mother Nature created, with Great Falls being among the very best in the area. If you’ve never hiked the Billy Goat Trail, or have not done so in a very long time, you owe it to yourself to get out there this spring. http://www.localhikes.com/Hikes/Billy_Goat_A_8872.asp. For more hiking trails http://dc.about.com/od/hiking/a/BestHiking.htm

Annapolis, Middleburg, Skyline Drive and more – There are many places to visit within an hour or so drive of DC. Whether it’s the quaint towns of Middleburg and Annapolis or the hiking trails and spectacular views of Skyline Drive (http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm) there is so much to see and do near Washington. Baltimore and the famed Inner Harbor is only an hour away http://baltimore.org/about-baltimore/inner-harbor (* plan accordingly for weekend and rush-hour traffic).  Photo below was taken in the Virginia countryside – part of the Shenandoah Mountains.

View from a moto ride 8.31.14

Celebrate Planet Earth – Celebrate the earth, music, and life in general, with a huge Earth Day concert. Earth Day on the Mall on April 18th with a mega-sized free concert, featuring No Doubt (w/ Gwen Stefani), Fall Out Boy, Mary J. Blige, Train, Usher, etc. http://bit.ly/1FdAxXQ

This is just a small sample of the wonderful outdoor activities available in and around our Nation’s Capitol.  So get outside and enjoy the Best of Spring – Washington, DC style!

*All photos were taken by Steve from 4Staff.

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The Best of Spring – Washington, DC

English: Japanese cherry trees (Sakura), a gif...

English: Japanese cherry trees (Sakura), a gift from Japan in 1965, adorn the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Washington Monument is visible in the distance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here comes the sun! After what seems like the never-ending winter, everybody must be ultra-ready for Spring.

To quote/paraphrase George Harrison and The Beatles,

It’s been a long, cold lonely winter…
It feels like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Here Comes the Sun” – written by George Harrison from the Beatles‘ 1969 album Abbey Road.

Now that winter is over, and the trees are in bloom, I am excited for Spring and eager to share my updated list of The Best of Spring -Washington, DC .

  • Cherry Blossoms – The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual celebration that showcases the gift of 3,000 cherry trees that the city of Tokyo gave to our nation’s capital. www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/.   This year’s peak blossom season is later than normal, due to an unusually long winter.  The current forecast for peak bloom is April 11-13 (Friday to Sunday this week), so make a plan to get out  and  see them in person before they are gone!
  • National Zoo – Everyone knows that bears hibernate and the birds fly south for winter, but come spring there is no place better to see lions, tigers, bears and more than at the National Zoo.  Best of all, you may get lucky enough to see the baby panda, Bao Bao.  http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/GiantPandas/default.cfm#BaoBao
  •  Annapolis, Middleburg, Skyline Drive and more – There are many places to visit within an hour or so drive of DC.  Whether it’s the quaint towns of Middleburg and Annapolis or the hiking trails and spectacular views of Skyline Drive, including several waterfalls http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm, there is so much to see and do near Washington.  Even Baltimore and the famed Inner Harbor is less than an hour away http://baltimore.org/about-baltimore/inner-harbor  (* plan accordingly for weekend and rush-hour traffic)

Get out and enjoy the Spring.  After a very long winter, we all deserve it!

Spring in Washington, DC – Top Things to Do

Adorned with an abundance of blooming flowers and lush trees, stately homes and magnificent monuments, Washington, DC is so amazingly beautiful in the spring, that my words cannot do it justice.  However, eloquence aside, here are a few ways to appreciate Washington, DC in the Spring of 2013.

  • Washington Nationals baseball – I’ll admit it, I’m biased.  I love baseball.  To me, and to many baseball fans, nothing quite says “Spring” like the start of baseball season. The Nationals had their best season in 2012, making their first trip to the playoffs.  With a healthy team, and a few keys additions, much is expected for our local team this year.  Check out the schedule and get your Natitude on.  www.nationals.com
  • Bicycle and running paths – Washington, DC and the surrounding neighborhoods are adorned with hundreds of miles of beautiful trails.  Whether you walk, bike or run, find your favorite route and enjoy exercising in the great outdoors. http://bikewashington.org/trails/
  • National Zoo – Hibernation season is over for animals and humans alike. There is no place better to see lions, tigers, bears and more than at the National Zoo.  Best of all, the National Zoo remains free, and is also metro accessible.  http://nationalzoo.si.edu/
  • Outdoor cafes – DC has an abundance of choices for outdoor dining and libations.  Eat, Drink & Enjoy!  http://dc.about.com/od/restaurants/a/Diningoutdoors.htm
  • Gold Cup – With hundreds of tent parties and thousands of people all fancily dressed (giant hats are a major part of the unwritten female dress code), who would have thought that steeplechase races could be so much fun?!?!  This Spring’s Gold Cup is on Saturday May 4th.  It is located about an hour drive outside of Washington in The Plains, VA http://www.vagoldcup.com/
  •  Earth Day on the Mall – Join the eco-friendly movement on April 22nd. http://www.earthday.org/2013/

Saving the best for last, any “DC Spring” list would be incomplete without mentioning the fabulous Cherry Blossoms.  A photographers dream, and a romantic’s rationalization for spring fever, each year the Cherry Blossoms bring a flood of tourists and locals to gaze in splendid wonder at their marvelous beauty.

Bursting Blossoms

  • The National Cherry Blossom Festival – The Festival runs March 20th through April 14th.  Festivities include fireworks at the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival on April 6th.  The annual Cherry Blossom parade on April 13th is followed by the Japanese Cultural Street Festival.

     The colder than average March and chilly start to April slowed the emergence of Washington, D.C.’s cherry blossoms.  Peak bloom was revised to April 6-10, with a more realistic expectation of April 8-11.  It’s  a VERY short peak window, so hurry and see them before they are gone!

    Visit http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/ to keep up to date on peak bloom days and other festival events. 

    * While it was not my intent to recycle old posts, this post is an update of last year’s Spring blog.  For a review of that “Top 10” list, please visit:

    https://theguyfrom4staff.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/top-10-things-to-love-about-washington-dc-in-the-spring