There are two things that Washington DC is known for, other than politics of course. The cherry blossoms and the wonderful jazz and blues musicians of yesteryear that changed the American music scene forever. This unique trip will combine both national treasures!
The Cherry Blossoms
The cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. not only signify the beginning of Spring, but also the importance of international friendships. Japan gifted the US with over 3,000 beautiful cherry trees in 1912, as a sign of friendship between the two countries. The first Cherry Blossom Festival was in 1927 and has expanded throughout the years, each year attracting over 1.5 million people from around the world. It is a chance to see this beautiful city in all it's glory. D.C. gets very crowded this time of year, but it is so worth it. Luckily, they have a fabulous Metro system so we can avoid being stuck in traffic!
How do we know if the cherry blossoms will be at their peak?
The short answer is we don't. Determining the best time to see the cherry blossoms at their peak is nearly impossible. It truly depends on the weather. But these are the dates of the festival, so we are going to keep our fingers crossed. I CAN NOT GUARANTEE that the cherry blossoms will be out when we go!
Climate change and cherry blossoms.
Watch the following video, produced by the National Park Service, to learn more about how climate change is effecting the timing of the cherry blossoms.
In addition to enjoying the cherry blossoms by day (hopefully they'll be out), we will enjoy some music by night. We will learn about the history of U Street - once known as Black Broadway. This neighborhood was the birth place of Duke Ellington, and home to numerous nightclubs that featured the likes of Cab Calloway, Pearl Bailey, Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Jelly Roll Morton, among many others. Still a thriving music scene, we will enjoy a tour of the area and have dinner, followed by live music to feed our souls. (This will depend on the covid situation at the time. Some clubs are not open right now.)
Washington D.C. is a walking city! We will take advantage of the Metro as much as possible, but be prepared to do a lot of walking...especially with the cherry blossom crowds in town.
Thursday, April 7th
Our trip will have a somewhat flexible itinerary. Washington D.C. is such a wonderful place to just walk around and explore. I have outlined a possible itinerary below, but this can be easily changed based on the groups preferences, including the possibility of splitting up to attend whatever you want to see.
Like most of our trips, we will be renting a house for our visit to the DC area. This gives us a chance to relax and get to know each other. We will be using DC's fabulous Metro/Bus system to get around. We can get into our home at 3:00, so plan your arrival accordingly. After everyone has arrived and settled in, we will go out for an early Welcome Dinner, followed by a moonlight tour of the National Mall. (Meals included: D)
Saturday, April 9th
Today we will be watching the National Cherry Blossom Parade in the morning from reserved seats.
The afternoon will include the Japanese Street Festival, the largest Japanese festival in the US. Every year, performers, artists, and restaurants travel from across the country and around the world to Washington, DC to share their love of Japanese culture and traditions with the Festival attendees. Lunch is not included today so you can choose what you want to eat at the festival. At the end of this long day, we will return home to have a relaxing take-out dinner at the house. (Meals included: B,D)
Monday, April 11th
Our trip comes to an end after breakfast. Check out time is 11am. Transportation is provided to the airport or train station. Safe travels home. (Meals included: B)
Friday, April 8th
Breakfast will be served at home each morning. Much of our itinerary is flexible and will depend on the weather. We will plan to see the cherry blossoms and have a picnic on the National Mall. In the afternoon, we will have a private tour of U Street to hear about the history of Black Broadway. Our tour will include the streets & back alleys of this amazing neighborhood and teach us the history behind the murals, theatres, music venues, and memorials. Along the way, we'll listen to a diverse playlist that will match up with the murals and venues. Our evening will consist of dinner out followed by live music. (Meals included: B, L, D)
Sunday, April 10th
We may need a lazy morning by now after two full days of activities, or we may want to visit the National Museum of Art this morning. We'll see how we feel.
In the afternoon, we have reserved-entry tickets at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. We'll go out in the evening for our goodbye dinner followed by live music at the.
(Meals included: B,L,D)