Looking for cherry blossoms in New York?
As a nature lover that lives in New York, you are in the right place to learn about these must-see trees. Cherry blossoms bloom during Spring, from late March or early April through mid-May. It is worth noting that cherry trees do not remain in flower for more than a week, and trees do not bloom all at once!
In today’s post I am sharing where you can find the best cherry blossoms in New York!
Cherry Blossoms History in New York
In 1909, Japan gifted a shipment with 2,500 cherry trees to the United States commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the invention of the steamboat, and the three hundredth anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage up the Hudson River. After that shipment was lost at sea, a new shipment arrived in 1912, and was planted throughout the parks of New York.
Cherry Blossom Festivals
The Cherry Blossom Festivals have not been confirmed yet, so the dates below are tentative!
- April 1, 2023 at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
- April 15, 2023 at Central Park
- April 26, 2023 in New York City
Where to Find Cherry Blossoms in New York
Cherry Blossoms in Central Park
The two main species of cherry trees in Central Park are the Yoshino Cherry and the Kwanzan Cherry. The Yoshino Cherry is a hybrid cherry that can reach heights of 35 to 45 feet, and produces light pink, almost white, fragrant flowers. The Kwanzan Cherry has double-petal pink flowers, which start to bloom in early May, after the Yoshino Cherry. These trees are small, reach a height of 25 to 30 feet, and have a wide vase-shaped spreading crown.
The top places to find cherry trees in Central Park are the Reservoir (east and west sides), Cherry Hill, Pilgrim Hill, Cedar Hill, the Glade (south of Cedar Hill between 74th & 77th Streets), Great Lawn, Nell Singer Lilac Walk (northeast of Sheep Meadow), directly behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art, behind the Delacorte Theater, and on either side of the Bethesda Fountain.
Map of Cherry Blossoms in Central Park
Here is a map of cherry blossom trees in Central Park!
Inside the park’s 843 acres, you can find more than a dozen areas with stunning cherry trees!
- The Glade
- Cherry Hill
- Pilgrim Hill
- Cedar Hill
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Great Lawn
- East Green
- Bethesda Fountain
- Delacorte Theater
- Lilac Walk
- East Meadow
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Cherry Blossoms in Brooklyn Botanic Garden
With its 52 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens, Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in New York. Prunus × incam ‘Okame’ in the Cherry Cultivars Area and Prunus hirtipes in the Plant Family Collection are the very first cherry trees to blossom at Brooklyn Botanic Garden every year.
The rest of the cherry blossoms will appear four or so weeks after that first bloom. If you visit BBG, be sure to check out The Japanese Hill and Pond Garden, and then head west towards Cherry Walk! Magnolia Plaza is definitely worth seeing as well, this area is usually in bloom along with the earliest cherries.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Hours:
- March: Tuesday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m
- April 1 – May 15, 2023
- Tuesday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 8:30 p.m
- Friday – Sunday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m
- Closed Mondays
- Note: Closing early April 25–26 and May 2–3 for ticketed Hanami Nights.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Address: You can enter the garden via one of three entrances: 150 Eastern Parkway, 455 Flatbush Avenue, or 990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Tickets: $18 Adults. $12 Seniors & Students over 12. Tickets are available 30 days in advance of visit days. Same-day tickets may be obtained at Garden admission booths. Children under 12 are free.
- Winter Weekdays: December–February. Pay-What-You-Wish from Tuesday to Friday.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Cherry Blossom Map
Here is an illustrative map of the garden that will be helpful for your visit! The tracker currently shows that the first blooms have taken place (March 13, 2023)!
Cherry Blossoms in Roosevelt Island
There is a long row of cherry blossoms in Roosevelt Island, an island in New York City’s East River, Back in 2019, Roosevelt Island’s Cherry Blossom Festival was reported to have been extremely overcrowded. Although the festival has been cancelled since March 2020, you can enjoy dozens of stunning Kwanzan cherry trees in Roosevelt Island.
Insider’s Tip: The cherry trees are located on the south side of Roosevelt Island, across from Cornell Tech, on both sides of the university. You will also find a handful of cherry trees across from the Starbucks coffee shop in the island.
I often get asked whether visiting Roosevelt Island is worth it, and although Roosevelt Island is usually not one of the top things to do in New York, if you happen to be here in April or May, I’d say jump on the tram, enjoy the views, and after you exit the tram, grab coffee at Starbucks and make your way to the cherry blossoms!
Can anyone go to Roosevelt Island?
Yes! If you are wondering how to get to Roosevelt Island, it is quite easy via the Roosevelt Island Tramway, the NYC Ferry Astoria Route, Bus Q102, the F Train, car or Uber.
Can I Stay in Roosevelt Island?
Yes! The 224-room Graduate Hotel opened to guests in June 2021. The 18-story hotel is located adjacent to Cornell Tech, the technology, business, law, and design campus of Cornell University, in the island. The hotel’s highlight is Panorama Room, a rooftop bar and lounge offering breathtaking 360-degree views of New York.
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