(Washington, D.C.-LititzDailyNews.com)-Sunday was a perfect day to check out the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. Warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine drew a number of tourists and locals alike to amble around the Tidal Basin and witness the annual spectacle of nature. If you haven’t made the trip and need some convincing, here are 10 reasons why you should go see the cherry blossoms this year.
1. National Cherry Blossom Festival. From a colorful April 8 parade featuring performances by top-notch entertainers like Grammy-nominated Jo Dee Messina and Nick Lachey to the largest celebration of Japanese culture in the U.S., this weeks-long national festival is blossoming with fun for the whole family. Cost: Most events are free. Parade is free, but if you’d prefer a seat in a grandstand, tickets are only $20 each. For more info about events, visit National Cherry Blossom Festival.
2. Photo Ops Galore. Perk up your SnapChat and Instagram feeds with some fresh flower photos. Bring some pink props and snap away! Whether it’s for wedding photos or candid selfies, the cherry blossoms are the backdrop du jour in Washington, D.C. each spring. Take a walk and you’ll see brides in their gowns and beaus in tuxes, tourists toting pink parasols, and plenty of people and pets looking pretty (or handsome) in pink. Puddles provide rare reflection shots!
3. Fragrant, Tactile Fun. Not only are the cherry blossoms pretty, they’re gloriously fragrant. They smell like spring. Create a memorable experience that connects generations when you bring your children, parents, grandchildren, and extended family to sniff the air together and touch the pretty petals.
4. Get outdoors. Take your FitBit for a stroll or a run among the historic statues and inspiring memorials skirted by lots of pink petals. Or rent a paddle boat and get a workout with a monumental view on the Tidal Basin. Rent a bike, or take a bike tour around the scenic area.
5. Find inspiration. The cherry trees had to endure snow, freezing rain, and wild temperature swings this Spring. The fact that they are blooming so beautifully is a testament to persistence despite circumstances. Inscribed on the nearby walls of the memorials, plaques, and displays are words of insight, inspiration, and equality. Put your problems in perspective by learning about how astute leaders and heroes of previous generations handled their own, and the nation’s challenges.
6. Soak in some sunshine. Vitamin D levels of many individuals drop over the winter due to a lack of sun exposure, which can cause fatigue, so roll up your sleeves and soak up some rays. Tuesday’s high is supposed to be around 77 degrees-perfect for a picnic!
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7. Relax, It’s Free. There’s no cost to stroll around the Tidal Basin or visit the national monuments and musueums. So check out the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, Natural History Museum, the newly-opened National Museum of African American History and Culture,or one of its other 16 world-class facilities (including a zoo!). Parking is free along many nearby streets, and limited number of timed handicapped parking spaces are also available near the monuments. A trip to D.C. doesn’t have to break the bank. Hotels and restaurants outside the city are a great value.
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8. History becomes Real. When you view the magnificent statue of Thomas Jefferson standing amid the Jefferson Memorial and read the words he wrote at the foundation of our nation, it forges a connection between the past and your present part in history.
9. Monumental Views. From Jeffersonian columns to Washington’s obelisk, it is an education in architecture and design just waiting to happen. Bring along some Legos and let your child’s imagination soar to new historical heights.
10. Annual Event. It only happens once a year, so what are you waiting for? Make your plans to visit D.C. today, then share your photos with us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the hashtag #LititzDailyNews. Other hashtags you might consider are
Lynn Rebuck is the national award-winning photojournalist and editor of LititzDailyNews.com, an independent digital news site that received a 2015 EPPY Award Honorable Mention for Best Photojournalism as well as 8 top digital news awards on the East Coast. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Email Lynn at editor@LititzDaily.com. Support this independent paper with a non-tax-deductible donation via the PayPal button below or to the right. You’ll help to maintain a free and independent press.