Philadelphia, PA - As spring approaches and Philadelphia's cherry trees open their blooms, the city feels brighter and lovelier. These vibrant blooms offer a welcome break from the typically gray weather in the Northeast. When it comes to seeing these blooming beauties, horticulturists say there are plenty of spots around Philly you can enjoy this natural beauty without leaving town.
Where to See The Cherry Blossoms in Philadelphia
There's no doubt that the famously pink flowers are a beautiful sight to behold, and many cities host festivals and celebrations dedicated to these blooming trees. But where do you go in and around Philly? Below is a list of our favorite spots.
Fairmount Park Horticulture Center
Fairmount Park Horticulture Center offers free access to the blooms. Some of the original 1926 plantings are included in these beautiful trees. There are two rows of cherry trees in parallel, with two large weeping cherries trees. Photos can be taken in beautiful settings like the gazebo or Alexander Stirling Calder sundial.
Shofuso Japanese House & Garden
Shofuso Japanese House & Garden is one of the most beautiful places to see cherry blooms. The sanctuary in Fairmount Park includes a Japanese house, a tranquil garden, and a koi pond. Bright blossoms abound on the property, with the star attraction being the 75-year-old Weeping Cherry Tree.
Kelly Drive, just north of Boathouse Row, is another great place to enjoy the spring colors. You can also see the river from the intersection of Girard Avenue & Kelly Drive. This ribbon of public park is perfect for a stroll or picnic with friends underneath the cherry trees when they’re in bloom.
Rittenhouse Square / Center City
This historic cobblestone street is packed with blooming cherry trees and is among the best places to admire these iconic flowers in Philadelphia. You can even walk around the area with a tour guide and soak in all of the beauty that’s going on.
West Fairmount Park
One of our favorite spots is West Fairmount Park, just off Avenue of the Republic or States Drive. There you will find the stone gazebo surrounded by rows of pink blossoms. It was breathtaking; we could see it just before peak bloom last year.
Belmont Plateau is famous for its spectacular views of Philadelphia's skyline and is a great spot to see fall colors. It's stunning in March and April when cherry blossom season is here when the trees along Belmont Mansion Drive are at their best. Enjoy the view while you enjoy a picnic.
Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, on the west bank of the Schuylkill River, is home to one of the longest stretches of cherry trees. Plenty of pink and white blossoms along the 2-mile stretch that runs from Falls Bridge to Montgomery Drive in south.
You'll find plenty of cherry blossoms on the city's east side, near the Delaware River waterfront. They are in an unusual spot in the middle of Columbus Boulevard. There are many cherry trees along the trolley tracks near Cherry Street Pier. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the piers or the waterfront attractions, and stop by the trees.
Philadelphia Museum of Art and Water Works
One of Philadelphia's most famous views is the combination of Water Works and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It's also given pops of pink in spring by the cherry trees that line the area around the Azalea Gardens, Fountain of Sea Horses and the museum's west side.
Drexel Park in West Philadelphia offers great skyline views and blossoms along its paths. You'll see a variety of cherry trees throughout the university, from Okame to Yoshino.
Bartram's Garden is another must-visit for Philadelphians looking to take in Cherry Blossoms. The 50-acre botanical garden along the Schuylkill River boasts a welcome center, gardens, trails, and a boat launch perfect for river tours by kayak.
Streets And Parks Around Center City
The trees line the streets and parks of downtown, from Washington Square West to Rittenhouse Square to Graduate Hospital. You can take a stroll along Manning Street or down Panama Street. Or you could wander through the many other options leading to the cherry blossoms at the city's heart.
University of Pennsylvania
Cherry trees can be found in University City at the University of Pennsylvania, an accredited arboretum. Among the many colorful trees that blossom on the grounds in spring, you will find about 150 cherry trees. Many cherry tree varieties produce different bloom colors, especially in Claudia Cohen Hall and College Hall. If you are curious, you can find out the difference between an Okame and a Yoshino by looking at their labels.
The beautiful spring season is when you can visit Morris Arboretum, Chestnut Hill. Many cherry blossom trees exist among the 92 acres of flowers and trees in the arboretum. Visit the English Park section or the Butcher Sculpture Garden for impressive displays.
Longwood Gardens is known for its beautiful displays all year, but spring is the best time to visit. Cherry blossoms are at the Oak and Conifer Knolls near the Large Lake. It's a great place to spend an afternoon with your family or sit on one of the benches around the garden to enjoy the beauty of the season!