cherry blossom tree at the New York Botanical Garden
Photo courtesy New York Botanical Garden

The cherry blossom trees in NYC are beginning to bloom! During this time of year, many will make the annual trek to Washington D.C. to partake in the National Cherry Blossom Festival, but our city is home to its own collection of sakura, the famous Japanese trees — some of which you can find in unlikely locations.

Unknown to many, collections of cherry blossom trees in New York City come from the initial gift from Japan in 1909-1912 to Washington D.C. In fact, the largest collection of cherry blossoms in the United States is in Branch Brook Park, New Jersey with more than 2,700 trees. Though the park is not in New York City proper, we’ve included it at the end of this list. While many locations are forgoing annual cherry blossom festivals this year in favor of virtual alternatives, you are still welcome to visits these beautiful pink-flowered trees on your own to enjoy a safe and socially distanced spring stroll!

1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Cherry Blossom trees

The most famous location for cherry blossom viewing in New York City is the Cherry Esplanade at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. While there won’t be a 2022 Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom festival, guests can still visit the Garden to enjoy the blooms in a safe socially distanced manner. Art in the Garden: Weekends in Bloom will celebrate cherry blossom season with pop-up music and dance performances, guided tours, and special activities for kids on April 23rd, 30th, and May 7th.

Check out our previous photography of the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden here. And if you plan on visiting, you’re free to sit on the grassy lawns, but picnic blankets and food are not permitted. You can track the blooms on the Garden’s website to make sure you’ll get a good show when you visit!