With predicted peak bloom dates swiftly approaching, it's time to start planning how you to celebrate the cherry blossoms this year.
Plenty of D.C.-area bars, restaurants and hotels will offer specials starting Sunday to ring in the festivities. Check out a wide array of activities and dining options, ranging from cherry-themed cocktails to lunch cruises on the Tidal Basin.
Here is a list of specials so you can give your tastebuds a cherry fix:
- Cherry Blossom Views & Cruise: If you choose to lodge at the Mandarin Oriental, you'll get a room with a Tidal Basin view, two passes to the Odyssey's Cherry Blossom Lunch Cruise, cherry blossom afternoon tea and a District Survival Backpack with all Cherry Blossom Festival must-haves.
- Cherry Rose Cookie: Milk Bar recently debuted a limited-time-only cookie, the Cherry Rose, for the National Cherry Blossom festival. Milk Bar calls it "a fruity meets floral combination of freeze-dried cherries, milk crumbs, and rose water essence with a final layer of dusted cherries on top!" The cookie is available at Milk Bar in CityCenterDC (1090 Eye St. NW), or can be ordered online for in-store pickup.
- Starbucks: The coffee giant is -- for a very limited time -- offering a Cherry Blossom Frappuccino, made with strawberries and cream, white chocolate matcha drizzle and a sprinkle of matcha. It'll be available only March 15-20.
- Spring Blossom Sushi: Maki Shop (1522 14th St. NW) will debut a new hand roll, the Spring Blossom, starting March 23. The Spring Blossom will feature Shio Koji marinated broiled tofu, pickled watermelon radish, cherry-infused vinegar seasoned rice, mitsuba (Japanese wild parsley) and a pink soy sheet.
- Cherry Blossom Cocktails in Dupont: In the mood for a cherry-inspired happy hour? Stop by Cafe Dupont at the Dupont Circle Hotel (1500 New Hampshire Ave. NW) and ask for a Blood and Sand, Blossom or Almond Cherry Cello.
- Cherry Blossom Pizza: Northern Virginia locations of NKD Pizza (including Ballston, Pentagon City, McLean and Reston) will serve up sweet and savory treats. The restaurant's Cherry Blossom Pizza features dark, sweet cherries, garlic oil, mozzarella, hoisin sauce, spring greens and pulled pork.
- Cherry Rickeys: Throughout April, you can order Cherry Rickeys, a bourbon-based beverage, and also try out cherry-infused dishes at Occidental Grill & Seafood (1475 Pennsylvania Ave. NW). On Thursdays, Occidental will add cherries into some of its famous meals and serve up a cherry fennel pollen-scented crisp for dessert.
- Housemade Pop Tarts: Ready to try a new flavor of Ted's Bulletin'sbeloved housemade pop tarts ? Well, you're in luck because Ted's (various locations including Barracks Row and 14th Street NW) is bringing back its seasonal cherry limeade flavor sweets.
- Drink in the Blossoms: Check out the "Drink in the Blossoms" package at The Carlyle, Dupont Circle (1731 New Hampshire Ave. NW), which includes hotel accommodations, two complementary cocktails, two sachets of cherry blossom rose team and a festival postcard for loved ones.
- Tea & Japanese Bar Bites: Stop by the Willard Intercontinental (1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) and enjoy Japanese-inspired bar bites and cocktails. The hotel will also showcase Japanese music and dance performances, as well as calligraphy classes on select evenings.
- Cherry-Filled Doughnuts: Sink your teeth into a vanilla doughnut with a cherry filling and vanilla bean cream cheese glaze with a cherry blossom design on top. This goodness is available at Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (1308 G St. NW and 7511 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church).
- Japanese Whiskey Flights: After you snap pictures in front of the White House, make sure to check out the Japanese whiskey flight at BLT Steak (1625 I St. NW), featuring one-ounce tastings of selected whiskeys.