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mar 13 2013

Mark Your Calendar: The National Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry blossoms in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. monuments surrounded by cherry blossoms? Don't forget to pack your camera.

(Courtesy bdinphoenix/myBudgetTravel)

It's that time of year again. Washington D.C. is gearing up for its 101st annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, set to take place this year from March 20th to April 14th—peak days, when at least 70 percent of the blossoms are open, will be from Tuesday, March 26th, thru Saturday, March 30th. Don't miss The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. between 7th and 17th streets, NW, along Constitution Avenue on Saturday, April 13th, featuring performances by pop star Mya and singer Elliot Yamin from American Idol among a variety of floats, balloons, and marching bands. Grandstand seating costs $20 per person, but you can stand along the parade route free of charge. Download the free festival app for your iPhone or Android for the latest updates.

SEE OUR READERS' BEST PHOTOS OF CHERRY BLOSSOMS AROUND THE WORLD

OnBoard Tours runs a guided bus tour featuring the best places to view the cherry blossoms, stopping at the U.S. Capitol, Lower Senate Park, The White House, The Old Post Office, the FDR Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, World War II Memorial, and Washington Monument during the three-hour tour. Tours are available for $69.99 for adults and $59.99 for children ages 12 and under—enter promo code NCBF001 for a $5 discount per person when booking online.

Hotels in and around Washington D.C. are getting in on the action and offering special rates in honor of the Festival—click here to view all the options ranging from the Sheraton Pentagon City for from $87 a night to splurges like the Mandarin Oriental Washington D.C. for from $265 a night. Eleven Kimpton Hotels throughout Washington D.C. and Virginia are participating in the Blossoms & Bubbles Package, offering perks like a $30 room credit per stay (to use towards parking or dining), a bar of locally handcrafted cherry blossom soap, bubbles for kids, complimentary sake during wine hour at the hotel, and rates ranging from $135 to $185 per night depending on the hotel. Use promo code BLOOM when booking online between March 20th and April 14th.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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