Traveling around the country in your RV is an unparalleled experience. Your home-on-wheels can take you just about anywhere you’d like to go. It’s a wonderfully affordable and easy way to travel, no matter if you are traveling solo, as a couple, or as a family. Another great perk is the ability to travel with your pets as well, since many hotels are not pet-friendly. Your own RV allows you to travel with the freedom and comforts that cannot be found anywhere else. It can be fun to plan your trips around an event. One special annual event that comes to mind is the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC. Visiting this gorgeous springtime festival in your RV is an unparalleled experience that many have some to love.
This stunning and beloved event celebrates the bloom of the Japanese cherry blossom tree. While there are Cherry Blossom Festivals all around the world, it can be tricky to get your RV overseas, and there aren’t any Harvest Hosts locations outside of North America. (…yet!) It’s also important to note that there are several Cherry Blossom Festivals within the United States. However, the one in Washington DC is the largest one and attracts the most yearly visitors. Settle in and get ready to learn all about the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, what to do, and where to stay when visiting.
What is it?
Japanese cherry blossom trees, or Sakura, are found all throughout the Northern hemisphere. Not to be confused with actual cherry trees, cherry blossom trees do not produce edible fruit. Depending on the type of cherry blossom tree, the blooms may be pink or white, and they always bloom in the spring.
The Cherry Blossom Festival is an event that is scheduled around the peak bloom, when the flowers are at their largest and most vibrant size. The festival in Washington DC showcases the blossoms while also providing live music, art exhibits, Japanese history exhibits, a 5k, and so much more.
When is it?
The dates of the festival typically vary slightly from year to year, but the festival always takes place in the early spring. For 2022, the dates of the festival are March 20th through April 17th. The National Park Service measures the progress of when the trees start to bloom to determine the best dates to visit and witness them at their peak size and shape.
What to Do
There are numerous events surrounding the yearly festival. Many people in the surrounding tri-state area will decorate their porches for neighborhood competitions. Festival visitors can enjoy immersive art exhibits, learn about Japanese history, view fireworks, practice photography and much more. There is a huge street festival and parade as well. A full list of the Cherry Blossom Festival events can be found on the official website.
In addition to the festival events, first time visitors to Washington DC need to visit the Smithsonian Museum at the very least. DC is also home to over seventy unique museums that cannot be found anywhere else, including the National Air and Space Museum, National Geographic Museum, National Museum of African American History and Culture, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and more. There are also tons of historical monuments, attractions, and memorials throughout the city, offering a rich cultural and historical experience for all who visit.
Where to Stay
If you visit the yearly cherry blossom festival in your RV, you will need to find a nearby place to use as a basecamp while exploring the area. There are several nearby campground options and Harvest Hosts locations to choose from.
Consider any of the following campgrounds nearby the city when visiting the cherry blossom festival or even just the capitol. Be sure to book well in advance, as these locations tend to fill up quickly around the time of the festival.
Operated by the NPS, this park is open year round and is perfect for smaller RVs. It is very affordable and low frills, and it is located about thirty minutes from Washington DC.
This full hookups campground offers many resort-style amenities such as pools, a hot tub, mini golf, a dog park, and much more. They also have a seasonal park bus that takes visitors directly to Washington DC, as well as an on-site bus depot for taking other buses straight to the Metro. This park is also located about thirty minutes from Washington DC.
Lake Fairfax Park is another no-frills campground, and it is operated by Fairfax County. They offer partial hookups and individual or group sites. This campground is located about thirty minutes from Washington DC.
Harvest Hosts Locations
These Harvest Hosts locations are also all located within close proximity to the festival and to Washington DC. Consider any of the following for a nice relaxing campsite to come back to after a day of seeing the blossoms.
Port City Brewing Company – Alexandria, VA
This award-winning brewery produces, serves, and ships beer to Washington DC and to the mid-Atlantic area. They offer a variety of beers year round and feature several seasonal beers as well. This Harvest Hosts location offers four pet-friendly sites for RVs of any size.
HopScratch Farm – Harwood, MD
At HopScratch Farm, Tom and Amy moved their family into the on-site 1821 farmhouse in 2018. This twelve-acre property allowed them to develop the agricultural business of their dreams, and today, they sell beef and lamb products along with goat soap and merchandise. This Harvest Hosts location offers one pet-friendly space for an RV of any size.
Twin Valley Distillers – Rockville, MD
Owned and operated by former chef Edgardo Zuniga, Twin Valley Distillers is the third operating distillery in Maryland. Quality is extremely important to them, and they locally source their grains to produce their own whiskey varieties. Edgardo incorporates flavors from Central and South America as well as the Caribbean, as well as local flavors from Maryland, into each bottle. This Harvest Hosts location offers one pet-friendly site for an RV up to thirty-five feet in length.
Healing Temple Church – Hyattsville, MD
This Pentecostal church has opened their parking lot to offer one pet-friendly space for an RV up to thirty feet in length. Visitors can patronize the host by donation and can also spend time walking the grounds or attending a service.
Romano Vineyard & Winery – Brandywine, MD
After purchasing this farm in 1998, the Romano Vineyard and Winery was founded by Joseph and Jo-Ann Romano in 2007. They began their farming endeavors with beekeeping, then added crops, and eventually added grapes as well. They now produce over ten varieties of wine that are sold online, on-site, and in stores throughout the state. This Harvest Hosts location offers two pet-friendly spaces for RVs up to thirty feet in length.
Mary’s Land Farm – Ellicott City, MD
This sustainable, organic 160-acre farm has the goal of raising and producing a variety of different animals and plants, all working together in a regenerative ecosystem. They offer livestock products such as meat and eggs, orchard fruits, and vegetables for sale. This Harvest Hosts location has five pet-friendly sites available for RVs of any size.
Another way to enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival and skip the campgrounds is to add Boondockers Welcome onto your Harvest Hosts plan. There are several Boondockers Welcome locations in the DC area, which can help extend your stay and avoid campgrounds altogether.
The opportunity to visit the Cherry Blossom Festival is a special experience. These stunning blooms are gorgeous, and it’s no wonder they are so popular to see. Visiting in your RV can be a more affordable and comfortable way to travel, versus staying in hotels or rentals. Be sure to consider this method next time you want to head to the Cherry Blossom Festival or any other event.
Have you visited DC in your RV? Have you been to the Cherry Blossom Festival? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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