cherry-blossoms-in-spring-in-central-park-nyc

10 Places to See Cherry Blossoms in NYC

In Brooklyn, Guides, New York, See & Do by Megan ILeave a Comment

Ahh, spring is in the air in the city which means the cherry blossoms in NYC are about to bloom kicking off the season of warmer weather and sunny days! After a long winter, cherry blossom season in NYC is something that not only visitors enjoy, but locals!

To see the city blooming with pink blossoms from these gorgeous trees is just an exciting start for all the other blooms to come from the season. Most people have heard of the cherry blossom festivals in NYC at the botanic gardens, but there are several other places to witness cherry blossoms in New York!

Our guide covers all you need to know about these 10 amazing places to see cherry blossoms in NYC this spring!

Where to go to See Cherry Blossoms in New York

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

blooming-cherry-blossoms-in-spring-for-the-brooklyn-botanic-garden-cherry-blossom-festivalThe best place to view and learn about cherry blossoms in NYC would be none other than the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Not only is a plethora of information available to learn more about the cherry trees, but the BBG also has several different viewing experiences within the park and hosts the most well-known cherry blossom festival in NYC.

The Cherry Esplanade includes a picnicking lawn, one of the only available spaces within the G=garden to spread out on the grassy plains, offering an ideal location for an afternoon with the blooming cherry trees.

Notable features of the Japanese Hill and Pond Garden include its winding walkways, wooden bridges, Shinto shrine, and homage to Japanese gardens.

Here, you’ll find a variety of cherry flowers both white and pink, blooming at different times throughout the Spring. Other sections of the BBG to view cherry blossoms include the Cherry Cultivars Area and the Osborne Garden, and it’s recommended to check the website for updates and to see whether or not it is cherry blossom season in NYC.

While cherry blossom trees will only bloom once a week in the year, the BBG is home to many different species and with different bloom times, so there are plenty of opportunities to see the blossoms in the springtime.

Also be sure to check out our guide on the Cherry Blossom Festival in Brooklyn Botanic Garden, also known as Sakura Matsuri, an annual cherry blossom festival in NYC with live performances and unique activities in late Spring.

Tickets are required to enter the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, so while you’re here, it’s also worth a visit to any of the 15 gardens and 6 conservatories. Book online in advance to secure your time especially this time of year as it’s a popular time to visit!

New York Botanical Garden

blooming-sakura-cherry-blossom-brooklyn-botanic-gardenHead north to the Bronx for a visit to the New York Botanical Garden to enjoy their gorgeous display of cherry blossoms in NYC. A trip here grants you an afternoon amongst over 200 blossoming trees throughout the entire garden, including a romantic stroll along the winding pathway in Cherry Valley.

Pack some lunch and head over to the garden’s Picnic Pavillion to wrap up your day after spending an afternoon with the cherry blossoms in New York.

Tickets are required for the NYBG, but New York residents (with ID) have free admission on Wednesdays to the garden grounds.

To make the most of your visit to the NYBG during the season, be sure to keep an eye out for the annual Orchid Show happening around the same time each year. Follow the blooming season with the NY Botanic Garden’s cherry tracker to time your visit with the seasonal cherry blossoms in NYC. 

Central Park

Central Park has no shortage of great scenic areas for viewing cherry blossoms in NYC. Cherry trees are scattered throughout several locations, making it convenient to get to, and sure to be a great viewing experience no matter where you choose to go!

The array of pink Kwanzan and white Yoshino blossoming cherry trees can be found mostly between 72nd and 96th street. The full map of locations to see cherry trees within Central Park can be found here, but it’s highly recommended to visit the Reservoir, Cherry Hill, and Bethesda Fountain in particular!

The proximity of Central Park in central Manhattan makes it an easy detour to fit into a busy day of sightseeing for tourists, as well as a nice and relaxed stroll in the park for locals to see cherry blossoms in NYC as well.

This is one of our favorite picnic spots in NYC too, so grab a blanket and some snacks and enjoy the cherry blossoms in NYC but sitting back and relaxing with a picnic!

Roosevelt Island

Make your way to Roosevelt Island, nestled between Queens and Manhattan for a day well spent viewing the cherry blossoms in New York, with great views of the city along the way.

During the blooming season, the cherry trees on Roosevelt Island are almost inescapable, as they’re planted all around the walkways, and perfect to grab a bench anywhere on the island and sit in the shade of the blossoming cherry trees as you watch the Manhattan skyline across the water.

Plan your visit in late March-April to time it with the local cherry blossom festival in NYC, packed with live performances, a tea ceremony, and tons of activities embracing Japanese cherry blossom traditions.

Attendance is free, and provides a full afternoon of activities and quality time spent outdoors in the Spring! To get there, or end your trip, use your MetroCard to hop on the Roosevelt Island Tram for a great aerial view of the cherry blossoms, Manhattan, and Queens along the East Side River.

Lewis Howard Latimer House

An quaint location in Queens to check out during cherry blossom season in NYC is found in downtown Flushing, at the Lewis Howard Latimer House. This museum, once home to African American inventor Lewis Latimer, now hosts educational programs inside the charming two-story house built in the late 1800s.

The cherry blossoms at the Latimer House can be found in the garden, in a picturesque and well pruned backyard with the house as a cozy backdrop.

This is an excellent option to view the blossoms and also engage children in creative outlets, as they have “tinker labs”, a hands-on experience to learn about science and technology. The museum also frequently hosts art installation and workshops for all ages, found on their website.

The museum and garden are open Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday from 12-5 pm. The entrance fee is a suggested donation of $5 for the museum, but the garden remains free to enter.

Sakura Park 

cherry-blossom-tree-in-brooklynThere’s no better place to visit for cherry blossom season in NYC than the park named after the cherry tree itself, Sakura Park located in Morningside Heights. The park is home to 700 out of 2500 of the original cherry trees gifted to NYC by the Committee of Japanese Residents of New York in 1912.

The gift marked the Hudson-Fulton Celebration, marking the discovery of the Hudson River, as well as the pioneering voyage of the steamboat on the Hudson. Sakura Park’s historical significance can be traced back to 1960 when Tokyo and New York City formally became sister cities.

The Japanese Emperor and his wife gave the gift of a traditional Japanese structure, known as a Toro to the city of New York, and the stone toro can now be found today in Sakura Park.

An afternoon spent in Sakura Park to see the Cherry Blossoms in NYC can easily be wrapped up walking around Riverside Park to further enjoy the season and surrounding cherry trees along the water.

Riverside Park’s Cherry Walk

The scenic waterfront of Riverside Park, spanning along the waterfront (from 72nd to 158th street) is perfect for a day spent admiring the cherry blossoms in New York in a section of the park known as Cherry Walk.

This stretch of greenery has a portion of the original 2,500 cherry trees gifted to the city in 1912 from the Committee of Japanese Residents of NY can be found between 100-125th street along the river.

For a seasonal themed afternoon enjoying the cherry blossoms in New York, begin the stroll from the south and walk up the pathway to make your way to Sakura Park (also mentioned on this list).

Plenty of benches and open green fields can be found with great views of the Hudson along the pathway, making for lots of lovely picnic locations to view the cherry blossoms in NYC.

The surrounding neighborhood of Cherry Walk has a ton of restaurant options nearby, perfect to visit before or after your scenic day viewing the cherry blossom season in NYC.

Flushing Meadows Park

Cherry Blossoms in Brooklyn in Prospect Park

One of the many reasons to make the trip out to Flushing Meadows Park includes its seasonal display of cherry blossoms in New York each spring. 168 cherry trees are scattered around the park, a donation from the Cherry Association of Japan, and the Japanese American Association on Arbor Day 1992.

Today, the dark pink, and pale white cherry blossoms can be found all throughout the largest park in Queens. The views of the cherry trees along the walkways are best found around the iconic Unisphere in the middle of the park.

It’s always a pleasure to visit anytime during the season, but in addition, the park hosts the opportunity to experience an authentic cherry blossom festival in NYC each year. The Sakura Matsuri Festival held annually at Flushing Meadows is a lively event filled with cultural spectacles for the season.

The previous festivals featured live Japanese taiko drum performances, a Japanese chorus, folk dances, and tea ceremonies. Like many of the other cherry blossom festivals going on in the city for the season, the event is held around late March-early April each year. 

Snug Harbor Cultural Center

For those looking for a more private and secluded location to view cherry blossoms in NYC, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center located in the Staten Island Botanical Garden provides the perfect ambiance and picturesque views at every turn. Make your way to the NY Scholar’s Garden inside Snug Harbor to transport yourself to East Asia to enjoy the cherry blossom season in NYC.

The park boasts traditional Chinese architecture inspired by the Ming Dynasty, with numerous elements of classical Chinese artistry found here. The park hosts a variety of native Asian flora such as magnolia and jasmine trees, a bamboo forest.

Picnic pavilions are located in several locations throughout Snug Harbor as well, making it a perfect day trip to celebrate the Spring blooming season! Entrance to Snug Harbor’s main campus is free, while the garden costs $5, or $4 for students and seniors, and free for children under 5 and active military members.

Randall’s Island

Randall’s Island is an absolute hidden gem of the city and offers a quiet retreat from the business of New York all year round, and especially worth the trip out there to catch the cherry blossoms in New York.

To get a good glimpse of the cherry blossoms with a fantastic view of the surrounding areas, head over to the Urban Farm located on the southeast end of the island between the Robert F Kennedy Bridge and Hell’s Gate Bridge, two famous NYC bridges.

If you’re looking to attend a cherry blossom festival in NYC, the island’s park alliance throws an extravagant and educational festival each year honoring the blooming cherry trees found on the island. The festival is free to attend but with a suggested donation, and is held between late April to early May depending on when the trees bloom for the season.

This family-friendly event is filled with activities such as kite making, origami, games, and other types of crafts. Live performances are held honoring Japanese culture in an effort to demonstrate traditional Japanese customs inspired by the blossoming cherry trees. The island is accessible via a footbridge from 103rd street, or a car and pedestrian-friendly bridge on 125th street. 

Honorable Mentions:

Queens Botanical Garden, Kissena Park, Prospect Park, Green-wood Cemetery 

 

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