If you’re looking for an alternative to the bustling crowds that occur during Washington, DC’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, consider visiting the Kenwood neighborhood in Montgomery County, Maryland. Here are a few things you need to know before you visit.
What to Expect:
In the early 1930s and 1940s, a local developer planted cherry trees as a way to promote the neighborhood to potential home buyers. Now, over 1,200 trees grace the neighborhood bearing hundreds of thousands of beautiful tiny white flowers that bloom during the spring season.
Kenwood is a suburban neighborhood located close to the Washington, DC line, and is considered part of Bethesda and Chevy Chase. The best cherry blossom viewing can be found along Kennedy Drive, Dorset Avenue and Kenwood Avenue.
According to an article in Bethesda Magazine, the cherry blossoms in Kenwood typically reach their peak three to four days after the trees in The Nation’s Capital. The National Park Service offers a “Bloom Watch” page that provides regular updates on when the trees along Washington, DC’s Tidal Basin will reach their peak.
Take the red line to the Bethesda station, and then enter the Capital Crescent Trail on Bethesda Avenue. The walk from the Metro to the neighborhood entrance is a do-able mile and a half.
By Bike or Foot:
If you’re feeling adventurous and looking for a workout, you can pick up the Capital Crescent Trail at its terminal point right under the Whitehurst Freeway in Georgetown, and bike or run along a scenic six-mile route straight into Kenwood.
Kenwood is an easy drive from anywhere in Montgomery County including downtown Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville, Gaithersburg and Germantown. The drive from Washington, DC to Kenwood takes between 30 – 45 minutes, depending on the time-of-day. Remember, street parking is limited.
Tips for Parking:
Street parking is strictly forbidden with signs posted on nearly every street. If you are going to drive to Kenwood, consider viewing the blooms from the car instead of attempting to park. Alternatively, you can park at a Park & Ride lot and walk to Kenwood along the Capital Crescent Trail.
Where to Eat:
There are a number of fine restaurants in Bethesda and Chevy Chase to satisfy your cravings. You can also consider picking up a few items from a local market in Bethesda and enjoy the spring weather with a picnic in Jump Park on the Capital Crescent Trail off of the Little Falls Parkway.