My wife and I are always being asked for advice on finding a hotel for the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. For the 2018 Cherry Blossom Festival our advice is the same as last year. That is, consider how important it is to be able to walk from your hotel or Airbnb to the Tidal Basin. If that is important your options for a hotel are limited, or you’ll need to stay downtown and walk about 45 minutes to the Tidal Basin everyday. For travelers coming to D.C. for the Cherry Blossoms that want to prioritize finding a cheap and reliable hotel we suggest utilizing the Metro system to avoid the high cost of downtown hotels and parking fees. The Metro opens up possibilities for staying in one of D.C. suburbs, or satellite cities in Maryland and Virginia.
Hotels Within Walking Distance to Cherry Blossoms & Tidal Basin
There are only a handful of hotels south of the National Mall close to the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial where a majority of people spend their time looking at the Cherry Blossoms. Each of the hotels listed below will likely have high rates for the weeks of peak bloom. However, with cost comes convenience and all of these hotels will also place you with a short walk to the National Mall.
Affordable Hotels Near Cherry Blossoms
If you want to find a cheap and reliable hotel near the Metro with a short commute to the Cherry Blossoms below are our top suggestions. Each of the hotels listed below is within a short walk to the Metro. Most of the hotels listed below are situated in a pleasant neighborhood with restaurants nearby. All of the hotels below offer free parking.
Choosing where to stay for the 2018 Cherry Blossom festival can be broken down into four primary places. Those are Arlington, Alexandria, Downtown, and in the Suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. Staying deeper in suburbs brings savings on hotels and a free place to park the car. The drawback is a longer commute. For a good balance between location and saving we suggest looking at Arlington, VA or Alexandria just across the Potomac River.
Staying In Arlington, VA
There are 4 primary Arlington, VA Metro stations that have hotels within walking distance. The stations we suggest considering first are Ballston and Rosslyn. Each station has a handful of hotels nearby that will cater to all Washington, D.C. travelers including families, romantic getaways, and economy driven travelers. My wife and I lived in Ballston for 3 years and it is a charming urban pocket with many restaurants nearby. Runners up to these options include the Crystal City Metro station and Courthouse Metro station. Lots of people will consider Crystal City adjacent to Reagan National Airport. Crystal City will lack charm, but will offer up a large variety of hotel options and that can bring about cheaper rates.
Staying In Downtown D.C.
Downtown Washington, D.C. spans from Georgetown to Union Station. We suggest prioritizing DuPont Circle as your first choice because it is sits among brownstone residential homes and embassies. DuPont Night life has something for everyone as well with many restaurant nearby. A runner up area to consider would be Chinatown, or Metro Center which are the heart of downtown Washington, D.C. After this look into Foggy Bottom near GWU University. The perks to staying downtown are that you can in fact walk to the National Mall, and Tidal Basin, although this will take about 45 minutes. We suggest avoiding the area around the Nationals Baseball Stadium.
Staying In the Suburbs of Maryland & Virginia
The best way to find a deal on a hotel in Washington, D.C. is look at the end stations of the Metro in Maryland and Virginia. We often suggest the three hotels at Branch Ave. in the suburbs of Maryland off I-95 as one the best locations to save on a hotel and be within walking distance to a Metro station. In Virginia the Dunn Loring station or Falls Church station are popular locations to find value minded hotels with a modest commute into the Tidal Basin to view the Cherry Blossoms.
Staying In Alexandria, VA
Staying in Alexandria for the Cherry Blossom Festival is an excellent choice. Between a short Metro ride on the Yellow line and a modest walk you can expect to be at the Tidal Basin from your hotel in Alexandria in under about 40 minutes. Alexandria’s Old Town has many restaurants and main street style shops. Old Town has a lot charm and character relative to nearby neighborhoods like Crystal City, or Springfield. It is also close to Mt. Vernon, and the along the Mt. Vernon trail for accessing DC by bike. There are three Metro stations that connect Alexandria with Washington, D.C. which are listed below.
There are four hotels near the Tidal Basin. The Holiday Inn, Residence Inn and Hyatt Place will all suit families who need large rooms. The Holiday Inn has a roof top pool and is the closest hotel to the Tidal Basin. Travelers seeking a romantic hotel for the Cherry Blossom Festival will like the Capitol South Hotel near Capitol Hill.
Airbnb for Cherry Blossom Festival
Save $40 on your first Airbnb experience by signing up here. We spent a good deal of time looking at Airbnb rates for weekend dates during peak bloom. What we found was that Airbnb’s classified as the “Entire Home” (meaning you have the entire place to yourself and are not staying with the host) are just as or more expensive than nearby hotels. If you plan to use Airbnb over a hotel don’t expect savings unless you are looking outside the city, or are comfortable staying in an Airbnb with the owners.
Hotel Packages for Cherry Blossom Festival
Lots of hotels advertise “Cherry Blossom Hotel Packages.” Kate and I did the research and found that often these packages don’t save you money and instead offer up small luxuries like a campaign toast, breakfast, wifi, or a discount to the hotel restaurant. If you have romantic intentions while visiting the Cherry Blossom Festival maybe these packages will appeal to the occasion. Otherwise the best way to find a good deal on a hotel is to simply compare rates for a few areas that make sense. We have built exclusive tools to help you do just that. To access to the tools first take our where to stay quiz. It only takes 45 seconds and is five questions. After the quiz you can use our tools to find the best deals.
Parking is difficult near the Tidal Basin and we highly suggest avoiding driving to the Tidal Basin during morning or afternoon rush hour. There is metered street parking along the Tidal Basin along the Ohio Street highlighted below. These spaces often fill up fast with tour buses. If driving down to the Tidal Basin is a must prepaying for a parking space ahead of time is an easy way to save time and frustration. Keep in mind, using the Metro or riding a bike are the best alternatives for accessing the Tidal Basin.
National Arboretum for Cherry Blossoms
One of the best places to see Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. is the National Arboretum. This is a good place to avoid the crowds and escape the mayhem around peak bloom. Photographers will enjoy the flexibility to photograph the blossoms while not having to compete with so many people.
Mt. Vernon Trail for Cherry Blossoms
The Mt. Vernon trail along the Potomac River is littered with Cherry Blossoms trees and is one of the best places to see the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. Riding a bike along the trail between Arlington and Alexandria also provides an excellent view of the National Mall and Monuments.