No other American city celebrates spring’s arrival like Washington, DC. The lure of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, from kites dancing above the National Mall to family picnics below clouds of pink petals, make Washington, DC a bucket-list getaway.
“This is the year to experience springtime in Washington, DC. In the last 12 months, the District added more than 1,000 new hotel rooms and refreshed hundreds more. Our Michelin-starred dining scene is as lively as it is lauded,” said Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC. “Whether it’s catching a riverside jazz concert, a mesmerizing display of Japanese pop-art or biking the sights on car-free streets, DC’s calendar offers unforgettable experiences to suit every budget.”
Spring highlights include:
• National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 15 – April 16): The nation’s largest springtime celebration is punctuated by free events including the Blossom Kite Festival (April 1); the parade (April 8) and the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival (April 15). The National Park Service estimates 2017’s peak bloom to be March 14-17.
• Passport DC (May): The festive celebration of international culture includes the only-in-DC embassy open houses: Around the World Embassy Tour (May 6) and EU Embassy Open House (May 13).
• DC Bike Ride (May 14): Riders of all levels are welcome to pedal 20 miles of closed-road cycling across the grandest avenues in the nation’s capital.
• Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy (ongoing): The 100th anniversary of President Kennedy’s birth will include world premieres by Yo-Yo Ma and the National Symphony Orchestra Bates (May 24) and the Washington Ballet debut of “Frontier” by Ethan Stiefel (May 25-27).
• DC Jazz Festival (June 9-18): More than 125 performances by the likes of Robert Gasper and Pat Metheny at 40 venues make this the fastest growing jazz festival in the nation.
CityCenterDC, the luxury shopping and restaurant destination in Penn Quarter dresses up with a giant reindeer, a sky-high tree and an interactive hashtag postcard station.
• Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden/Thru May 14 • Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Flair The Textile Museum/March 18-July 24.
• Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I Library of Congress/April 4-Jan. 31, 2018 • Frédérick Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism National Gallery of Art/April 9-July 9 • Spectacular: Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens/June 10-Jan. 1, 2018
New Hotels & Dining
• The Darcy Washington, DC, Curio Collection by Hilton: Opening in April, this property brings 226 contemporary guest rooms, studio suites and one-bedroom suites near Scott Circle. Dining will include Siren by Robert Wiedmaier (Marcel’s) and Lil’ B by David Guas (Bayou Bakery).
• The Line: Anchored by the conversion of a neoclassical church and a new six-story build in Adams Morgan, this art-filled hotel by the Sydell Group is accepting reservations for its new 227-room property for late April. Dining options will include Spoken English from Eric Bruner-Yang (Maketto) and A Rake’s Progress by Spike Gjerde (Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen).
• The Pod Hotel: Emphasizing amenities like free high-speed WiFi over room-size, this new 245-room micro-hotel in Chinatown is accepting reservations for April. The property also house the Crimson Diner and Crimson Room, a bar from the Hilton brothers (Chez Billy Sud). Like the new Hotel Hive and forthcoming Moxy, this micro-hotel primed to attract next-gen travelers.
Many luxury hotels have recent refreshes:
• In the West End, the Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown unveiled the results of a $27M renovation of its guest rooms, meeting spaces and atrium in January.
• The Park Hyatt Washington, DC unveils enhancements of all 216 guest rooms and its lobby by world-renowned designer Tony Chi this month. The "in bloom" theme will also be reflected in a collection of artworks on loan from The Phillips Collection.
• To mark its 90th year, the 182-room St. Regis Hotel hired designer Myron Wolman to refresh its grand lobby and presidential suite.
• Adjacent to the White House, the Hay-Adams Hotel’s rooms and suites were refreshed by Thomas Pheasant.
The District’s springtime offerings will be broadcast on a multi-platform marketing campaign targeting audiences in the New York City and Philadelphia metro areas. In addition to traditional advertising in outlets such as The New Yorker, NYtimes.com and Philadelphia Magazine. On March 10, Destination DC will remind commuters of DC’s proximity by gifting morning coffees at a branded pop-up inside New York’s Penn Station.
“In addition to traditional placements, we’re adding five new playful animations to our Emoji DC keyboard of 82 free stickers and gifs as part of our spring marketing program,” said Robin McClain, vice president of marketing and communications. “We’re also the first destination marketing organization to work with ChefsFeed to create a suite of neighborhood dining videos hosted by top chefs including José Andrés.”
Destination DC, the destination’s marketing office, is primed to help visitors with travel-planning tools on washington.org: itineraries, maps and an events calendar. Destination DC’s social channels sparkle with up-to-the-minute recommendations and breathtaking pictures from travelers and locals.