As with any village, town, or city that experiences a significant winter season, spring is the time when the city seems to come alive again as people come out of their burrows and spend time outside. However, spring in the District has 5 aspects that I think set it apart from other metropolitan areas.
The city is known for spring. The Cherry Blossom Festival and it’s tag-along outdoor events are some of DC’s most well-known festivities. They also mark the time when spending time outdoors becomes and urgent need among us office-dwellers. While the cherry blossoms had a bit of a tough year, I was able to experience the Peak Bloom of 2016 and it was worth braving the crowds. Yes, I spent the day feeling claustrophobic while walking around the tidal basin, but it was so beautiful! In addition to the cherry blossoms, other flowers bloom in DC, which make walks a pleasure and the city more photogenic than normal. I think that is saying something because I live in a beautiful city.
Spring is the locals season. Does tourist season ever end in DC? I am sure the case could be made for both sides of that argument. One thing for certain is that aside from peak bloom, the spring tourists seem to be primarily of large school group type that can be easily avoided. Spring is the season when those of who live in DC (or maybe just my friends and me) don’t mind going to the Mall, Georgetown, or other hot spots. We enjoy strolling and exploring the city for ourselves.
Spring has the most beautiful (and bearable) weather…for the most part. My favorite season is fall, but spring means packing away the winter clothes after a season that looked like it was never going to end. This year’s winter was especially topsy-turvy, which means I welcomed spring with open arms. Unfortunately, I worry this season will be short and inevitable turn into the hot humid days of summer when I will take cover in the blessed air conditioning. Until then, I plan on spending every possible spare minute outside. This leads to my final two reasons why everyone should take advantage of spring in DC.
Outdoor activities abound and museum season dies down. I try not to visit museums during the nice weather months for a few reasons: they are more crowded than the cold months, and why would you spend time indoors when there is so much to do outside? From street festivals to hiking to spending time in parks to baseball to outdoor movies, there is plenty to do in DC. And while these activities happen in the summer, they kick-off in the spring.
My final reason to take advantage of spring in DC is food related. You can either try out the plethora of cherry blossom related food items – I’m talking wine, beer, cupcakes, doughnuts, etc. – or you can enjoy spring by eating outside. Whether it’s enjoying happy hour on a sidewalk, eating food truck food on Farragut Fridays, having a picnic, or hosting a cookout with friends in your own yard, the good weather and long evenings make all of these enjoyable activities.
It has been a long, confusing winter, so get outside and envoy everything spring has to offer in the District before the sweltering summer starts!