The nation’s capital shines in spring with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, outdoor activities, sports action, free events and so much more.

DC owns springtime. Its signature celebration, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, is the centerpiece, but the city offers so much more as the weather warms up. Check out all the things to do and start planning your springtime excursion with family and friends to Washington, DC.

Celebrate the cherry blossoms

The National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20 – April 12, 2020) is DC’s signature springtime celebration, honoring the gift of the Japanese trees in 1912, as well as their peak bloom. The festival is full of great events, many of which are free to attend. Throughout the spring, many DC-area hotels offer special cherry blossom-themed packages, which, in addition to deals and discounts, may include a free bloom-inspired cocktail, chocolates, meals or more.

Get that perfect blossom Instagram photo

DC is quite the sight to see during the spring, especially with blossoms blooming all over. Discover the best places to photograph the blossoms in the District and you’ll come away with an Instagram post that will make your friends jealous.

Head to the Key Bridge Boathouse for kayaking and paddleboarding

Located in Georgetown on the Potomac River, Key Bridge Boathouse is a great place to go for on-the-water adventures. Rent a kayak, canoe or even a standup paddleboard and make the river your personal playground. You should be able to catch views of the gorgeous Georgetown waterfront, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and even the Washington Monument. You can also paddle over to Theodore Roosevelt Island, which is an attraction unto itself.

Tour an embassy for free during Passport DC

Passport DC (May 1-31) is an annual celebration of international cultures in DC. Don’t miss your two chances to tour an embassy for free: the Around the World Embassy Tour on May 2 and the European Union Open House on May 9.

Head to a rooftop bar for drinks

Springtime is the perfect time to head to a gorgeous rooftop bar, order up some drinks and savor a night in the nation’s capital. There are great locales all over the city offering craft cocktails, delicious bar bites and jaw-dropping views. Pair Instagram-worthy views with a cool drink and delicious bites at the best Washington, DC rooftop bars and restaurants.

Options range from The luxurious Watergate Hotel’s  Top of the Gate with 360-degree rooftop views to La Vie, a stunning and sleek restaurant at The Wharf featuring views of the Washington Channel from its rooftop terrace.

Check out all the colorful things to do in DC

DC’s color palette is not confined to museums or its bounty of natural beauty. The city is filled with murals and street art, such as Lisa Marie Thalhammer’s LOVE mural in Shaw, the Watermelon House on Q Street, the Marvin Gaye mural at 710 S Street, Union Market’s Heart Wall, James Bullough’s mind-bending work at 905 U Street (commissioned by The Phillips Collection) and Cory L. Stowers’ Paul Robeson mural. All showcase a variety of colors and ideas – and they’re all free to see. Southwest Arts Club manages Blind Whino, a repurposed church that was built in 1886. The incredible facade sports a range of colors and shapes, making the building an Instagram favorite.

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