Washington, D.C. is booming with historical sights. But the sights that bloom are the most unforgettable.
Every spring the cherry trees scattered around our nation's capital burst into life, sending vibrant shades of pink showering over white marble monuments. They draw massive crowds from all over, who gather around the Washington and Jefferson monuments around mid-April to experience this annual natural wonder.
All senses are pricked by this festival of color. The springtime aromas mix with the buzz and hum of awed tourists. Before Washington's infamous humidity hits later in summer, this time of year typically offers visitors a comfortable springtime atmosphere.
And of course, the sights are a visual feast, especially at dusk. The pools reflect the setting sun, which infuse the pinkish-white blossoms with an amber halo. Even the faux petals draping every store and restaurant signals that the cherry blossom effect is all-reaching.
A visit is worthwhile and the city is well-marked to let you know where the best viewing is. Around the Tidal Basin, where the Jefferson Memorial shimmers in the background, is one of the most awe-inspiring. But near the Capitol and Washington Monument are also worthy stops. And a neighborhood about a half hour away in Bethesda, Maryland hides a treasure-trove of cherry trees without as much human congestion.
Here are some of my favorite photos of the 2013 cherry blossoms.