Study Reveals the Best Locations to View Cherry Blossom Season in the US
Ornamental Japanese cherry blossoms are nature’s confetti and one of the reminders that spring is on its way.
Residents in Japan celebrate the arrival of the cherry blossom, known in Japan as Sakura, every year with a blossom festival known as Sakura matsuri, with visitors from around the world trying to catch a glimpse of the petals in full bloom.
If you can’t make it over to Japan for this year’s Sakura season, the US has plenty of bloomin’ marvelous places to see the flowers in action.
To give you some destination inspiration, Japanese snack subscription box company Sakuraco analyzed categories like average Google review score, annual sunshine hours, annual rainfall and the number of Instagram hashtags to reveal which locations across the US are the best to visit this cherry blossom season.
California is the best state to view cherry blossoms, with three locations in the top 10. The Descanso Gardens in Los Angeles take the number one spot, with a high score of 8.8.
The Descanso Gardens scored the second highest for the number of Instagram hashtags (8.9). It was beaten only by the Dallas Arboretum, which received the highest score for Instagram hashtag mentions (10). But it’s the sunshine and low rainfall that make the Descanso Gardens a clear winner. They scored highly for low rainfall (9) and average sunshine hours (10).
Cherry blossoms typically reach their peak bloom between the beginning of March and the beginning of May, but this varies depending on the state. In warmer locations, where there is a milder winter, the blossoms usually arrive in early March. However, in colder states, cherry blossoms tend to bloom later in April.
Different varieties of cherry blossom trees bloom at different times, and they only last around two weeks. So, if you’re looking for that perfect Instagram shot, be quick, as they might not be there the following weekend.
The Dallas Arboretum is the second-best location to view cherry blossoms this spring, scoring 7.4 overall. Each year it hosts the Dallas Blooms festival which was voted one of the best places to view spring blooms in the south. The festival runs from 25 February to 16 April and showcases the magnificent blooms on hundreds of Japanese cherry trees.
The arboretum received the highest score for Instagram hashtags (10) and a high score for average sunshine hours (7.8).
Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego (6.3) and the San Mateo Japanese Garden (6), rank in third and fourth position respectively. Both these locations were designed as traditional Japanese centers and have gardens dedicated to cherry blossoms.
The Japanese Friendship Garden is highly ranked due to its average sunshine hours (10) and average rainfall (10). The San Mateo Japanese Garden ranks highly thanks to its average sunshine hours (10). However, these locations are let down by the number of Instagram hashtags, as they both have fewer than 1,000 tags.
Fairmount Park in Philadelphia (5.5) completes the top five best locations to view blooming cherry blossoms this spring. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden (5.2) is the second location from Texas in the top 10, ranking sixth.
Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis (5) and Charles River Esplanade in Boston (5) rank seventh and eighth respectively as the best locations to view cherry blossoms. These two locations received the best average Google review score in the top ten, each receiving full marks (10).
Rounding up the top 10 are the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (4.9) in Vienna and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (4.8) in New York City. Despite its low score, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden ranks third for its number of Instagram hashtags (9.2). However, it is let down by its average sunshine hours (0) and average rainfall (2.2).
From traditional Japanese gardens to botanical gardens, there are plenty of gorgeous locations to view the cherry blossoms, so get your camera ready and discover some of the best places to see blossoms.
Ayumi Chikamoto, Founder at Sakuraco commented on the study:
“The 2023 cherry blossom season is drawing closer, and in anticipation, we thought this study provides the perfect inspiration to see what the best of the US has to offer for the Sakura season.”