4 Things You Need to Do during Cherry Blossom Season in D.C.

Have you ever wondered how to fully embrace cherry blossom season in Washington, D.C.? It’s one of the busiest times of year in the area, and the perfect time to do any and everything you can before the blossoms go. Strolling, or being stuck in foot traffic, around the Tidal Basin is a given. Indulging in the cherry blossom-inspired food and events are some things that you must consider to fully experience this special time of year. Peak bloom is April 1, which means at least 70% of them will be fully bloomed on that day. You definitely want to partake before it comes to an end!

Cherry Blossoms 2016

Cherry Blossoms on the Tidal Basin 2016

This time only comes once a year, so this is the perfect time to explore! Check out my list of things to do in D.C. to compliment your cherry blossom viewing activities. Note: This time of year brings a LOT of traffic to D.C. area. Driving times are based on low traffic times. Expect some traffic patterns to change and a lot of tourists.

  • Visit the Cherry Blossom Pub pop-up – This pop-up has been super popular since its beginning. It tends to be super busy after 6:30 pm, per their FAQs page. They have cherry blossom-themed drinks and ramen. It’s located near the Shaw-Howard University metro stop, which isn’t super close to the Tidal Basin. It’s about 30 minutes by metro and 15-20 minutes away, if you’re driving. Street parking is available. (Shaw) 1843 7th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 
  • Munch on cherry blossom dessertsAstro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken – Cherry Cheesecake doughnut. This Astro location is about a 10-minute drive or a 15-minute metro ride from the Tidal Basin. 1308 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20005
    • District Doughnut – A cherry blossom doughnut made up of vanilla bean dough, cream cheese glaze, and cherry pie filling, topped with crumbled pie crust and cream cheese drizzle. The Wharf location is about a five-minute drive from the Tidal Basin and about 12 minutes via metro. (The Wharf) 5 Market Square SW
      Washington DC, 20024. 2 other locations on Capitol Hill – Barracks Row and in Georgetown.
    • Baked & Wired – A cherry blossom cupcake made up of vanilla cake with maraschino cherries in the batter topped with a cherry buttercream. (Georgetown) 1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Washington DC 20007
  • Sip Rosé at the Watergate Hotel on the weekend. – Until Sunday, April 14, the Watergate Hotel offers cherry blossom-themed afternoon tea on Saturdays and Sundays. The menu includes Veuve Cliquot Champagne Rosé and cherry blossom macarons. Reservations are required. The hotel is 26 minutes from the Tidal Basin via metro and eight minutes by car. 2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20037
  • Learn about Japanese culture at the Japanese Street Festival. – Formally known as Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival is an opportunity to learn more about the culture and traditions through food, performances, and art. This part of 7th St. NW is about six minutes away, if you’re driving, and 25 minutes by metro. Pennsylvania Ave., NW between 3rd and 7th Streets.

Check out the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc.’s official 2019 event guide.

Until next time.

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And the Beat Goes On

Happy New Year! I was out of town for the first time ever on New Year’s Day for my friend, Donia’s, birthday. She organized a trip to New York that was super fun.

I had heard good things about Beatstro, a hip hop-themed restaurant located in the Bronx AKA the birthplace of hip hop. We decided to make the trek to the Bronx from Brooklyn, and I’m glad we did. Per my friend, Remi, it’s strongly recommended that you make a reservation. Shout out to her for recommending this spot, too! This place is poppin, especially on the weekends.

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This restaurant felt just right. It felt home-y to me. I’ve been a super hip hop fan ever since 2011, when I started college at St. John’s University. This was my kind of place: the vibe, the food, the people, the art-covered…it was dope.

The drink menu had a lot of great options. I chose the sangria before dinner and (finally) tried limoncello after. This was the best sangria I’ve ever had! It was the perfect balance of alcohol and fruit, and I definitely wanted another one. Instead, I chose to try limoncello, like I’ve been meaning to do for years. I don’t regret a single calorie. It’s the sweetest alcoholic beverage I’ve had, which is right up my alley.

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Limoncello

I chose the Thick Thighs & Hot Waffles, which is a waffle topped with fried chicken, pickled strawberries, and syrup. I’m a big fan of chicken and waffles, and this dish did not disappoint. The chicken was made to perfection, and the waffle was fluffy and delicious. The strawberries complimented everything, particularly the syrup, very well.

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Thick Thighs & Hot Waffles

I absolutely would get this dish again and can’t wait to go to Beatstro the next time I visit NYC. There are so many great options for food and drinks that it’s hard to just choose one! If you’re looking for a great brunch or dinner spot, this is it!

Until next time.

Festival Peruano de Arlington (Photo Diary)

I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area and didn’t realize how much I took it for granted until I went to university out of state for 4 years. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that we had tons of historical landmarks, amazing Smithsonian museums with FREE admission, and a lot of tourists from all over the country and the world who come to visit from spring to early fall. But I never went into deep thought about the cultural communities and subcultures we have in this area. Better late than never.

I’m so glad my family and I had the opportunity to go to one of the events in the D.C. Metro Area centered around Peruvian culture. We attended Festival Peruano de Arlington (Peru Festival of Arlington) this past Sunday and got to experience a taste of their culture. This was actually the festival’s 30th anniversary. I can’t wait to go to more cultural events in the future.

Here are some photos from our day.

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Firenzes Artisinal Gelato

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Chirimoya gelato

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Handmade bracelets and toys

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My mom bought dream catcher bracelets for my sisters and me.

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Plantains from Peruvian Brothers

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Chicken empanada

Until next time.