Enjoying the cherry blossoms in DC

I have so much to show you design-wise, but it’s not completely ready yet. I’ve spent the last month trying to find a contractor who will finish this one last job for the beach house rental, but no luck so far. As soon as that’s ready, I’m going to flood your inboxes with photos of the renovation!

While we’re waiting, I thought I’d step outside the design box and share some of my favorite tips for enjoying the cherry blossoms in DC. Springtime here is magical, and the cherry blossoms are the crowning touch. It’s easily my favorite time of year.

But this can also be a stressful time–have you ever heard of blossom traffic?–so if you’re coming to DC, these tips might be useful.

1. Don’t drive.

You will not find a parking spot. I promise. Please, just take an uber or use the metro. And that leads me to the next tip . . .

2. Wear comfortable shoes and warm clothing, and bring an umbrella.

It’s easy to forget how much space there is on the National Mall! If you take the metro to the Smithsonian stop, you’ll likely end up walking at least two miles, maybe more. The sidewalks around the Tidal Basin have some bumps from tree roots, so sneakers are the best bet. And remember that it’s chilly and windy, and this is the rainy season.

On that note, I recommend bringing a blanket or beach towel so you can sit on the ground if it’s muddy. There aren’t many benches near the Tidal Basin, and you might want to rest your feet.

3. Plan ahead.

If you want to rent a paddle boat in the Tidal Basin, reserve it in advance. And if you haven’t made a reservation yet, don’t despair — there are still lots of boats available for this coming week!

Also, plan ahead for food, water, and bathrooms. If you wind up in a pickle, there are always street vendors who will sell you a bottle of water or some chips, but it’s much easier if you plan ahead. This year I’m planning to bring hot chocolate in a thermos and some light snacks. And remember that there’s a nice, big bathroom facility near the WWII memorial (on the side facing the Tidal Basin).

4. Explore other parts of the city.

After ambling around the Tidal Basin, you can walk to the Salamander Hotel (formerly the Mandarin Oriental) for a lovely tea or blossom-themed cocktails. Their private garden is incredibly peaceful, and it’s a nice spot to rest after the craziness of the crowds. You can also walk to the Wharf for dinner or drinks. We’re partial to Tiki TNT, a tropical-themed bar with beautiful views of the water.

If you can, try to pop into the gardens behind the Smithsonian Institution (the red brick castle on the Mall). Their Japanese Magnolias are so beautiful. (And there’s a bathroom inside the castle, too!)

Above all, enjoy! These ethereal blooms are here for only a short time, and the whole city is celebrating them!

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