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 this spring. Cherry trees have beautiful flowers ranging from magenta to pale pink to white that begin to bloom in late March or early April. We’ve had a pretty warm winter, so it is expected that cherry trees will bloom any day now! A characteristic of these trees is that they do not remain in flower for more than a week, and trees do not bloom all at once!
Today I’m sharing when and where you can see cherry blossoms in NYC to help you plan your visit. I also included a selection of photos that I took.
Cherry Blossoms History in New York
In 1909, Japan gifted a shipment with 2,500 cherry trees to the United States commemorating the 100th anniversary of the invention of the steamboat, and the 300th 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
Update March 24, 2023 – There will be no festivals this year. Brooklyn Botanic Garden is instead celebrating cherry blossom season with events called Weekends in Bloom.
Where to Find Cherry Blossoms in New York
Cherry Blossoms in Central Park
Central Park is a dream during cherry blossom season, and hundreds of people rush with their cameras to capture cherry trees in peak bloom!
There are two main species of cherry trees in Central Park, the Yoshino Cherry tree and the Kwanzan Cherry tree.
The Yoshino Cherry is a hybrid cherry that can grow 35 to 45 feet and produces light pink, almost white, fragrant flowers.
The Kwanzan Cherry has double-petal pink flowers, which begin to bloom in early May, after the Yoshino Cherry. These trees are smaller and grow 25 to 30 feet.
The best places to see 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.
If you are in New York City in late March, visit the west side of the Jacqueline Kennedy Reservoir in Central Park, typically that is where you will find the first blooms. If you are here in early April, visit The Great Lawn to walk by a handful of beautiful white cherry trees. If you are here in late April, be sure to explore the Bridle Path, my favorite spot to photograph cherry trees!
How long do cherry blossoms last in Central Park?
You can see cherry blossoms in Central Park from late March until early May. Cherry trees bloom at different times, and once a tree is in full bloom, its flowers will remain for about a week. The petals will begin to fall after 7-9 days, depending on the weather.
Map of Cherry Blossoms in Central Park & Tracker
Inside Central Park’s 843 acres, there are fifteen areas where you can see cherry blossoms.
Here is an interactive map where you can track in real-time where the cherry blossoms have peaked in Central Park!
- The Glade
- Cherry Hill
- Pilgrim Hill
- Cedar Hill
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Great Lawn
- East Green
- Bethesda Fountain
- Delacorte Theater
- Lilac Walk
- East Meadow
- Trefoil Arch
- Wagner Cove
Cherry Blossoms in Brooklyn Botanic Garden
With 52 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens, Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in NYC. The Cherry Cultivars Area and the Plant Family Collection are home to the cherry trees that bloom first every year.
The rest of the cherry blossoms will appear four or so weeks after that first bloom. If you visit Brooklyn Botanic Garden, first check out The Japanese Hill and Pond Garden, and then head west towards Cherry Walk! Magnolia Plaza is 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
How to get to Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Enter the garden via one of three entrances:
- 150 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11225
- 455 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225
- 990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Tickets: $18 for Adults. $12 for 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 below shows that the trees are in peak bloom (last updated April 15, 2023)!
Next up is Roosevelt Island.
Cherry Blossoms on Roosevelt Island
Another of the best spots to see breathtaking cherry blossoms in New York City is Roosevelt Island, an island located in the East River, between Manhattan and Queens.
Although the island’s festival has been canceled since March 2020, making the trip to see Kwanzan trees on Roosevelt Island is worth it!
Roosevelt Island is home to Yoshino, Kwanzan, and Okame trees. Typically, Yoshino trees bloom the first week of April, and Kwanzan trees bloom in mid-April, or even later.
- The majority of Kwanzan cherry trees are located on the south side of Roosevelt Island, on Cherry Tree Walk (West Loop Road) located by Cornell Tech (see the pictures above).
- There is a handful of Yoshino trees in front of Duane Reade, and also across from Starbucks (see the picture below).
Map of Roosevelt Island in New York
The largest number of Kwanzan trees on Roosevelt Island is on West Loop Road, south of Cornell Tech (see the map below).
More information for your visit to Roosevelt Island during cherry blossom season
- Roosevelt Island can get very crowded, head there early in the morning. (The trees located closest to the bridge will have the sun blocked by the nearby buildings in the early morning).
- Ride the tram to Roosevelt Island! You will be able to photograph the trees on Cherry Tree Walk from above, and they look beautiful.
- The Cafe at Cornell Tech has a spacious indoor and outdoor sitting area with a beautiful view where you can stop by for snacks, salads, and coffee (see the photos below).
How to get to Roosevelt Island?
You can go to Roosevelt Island in various ways: via the Roosevelt Island Tramway, by taking the NYC Ferry Astoria Route, hopping on the Bus Q102, taking the F Train, driving by car, or by Uber.
After you exit the tram, turn left and you will see an entire row of cherry blossoms by the river. If you take the train, walk south towards Cornell Tech, continue under the bridge, and find the trees on your right.
Can I stay on Roosevelt Island?
Yes! The 224-room Graduate Hotel opened to guests in June 2021. The 18-story hotel is located next to Cornell Tech, the technology, business, law, and design campus of Cornell University, on the island.
The hotel’s highlight is Panorama Room, a rooftop bar and lounge offering breathtaking 360-degree views of New York.
MORE INFO FOR YOUR DAYS IN NEW YORK DURING CHERRY BLOSSOM SEASON
What month is best to visit cherry blossoms?
If your intention is to see cherry blossoms in NYC, then the best time to visit is during the second half of April. Typically, cherry blossoms in New York City reach their peak any time between the end of March and the beginning of May. Visiting in late April increases your chances of seeing cherry blossoms in Central Park, Roosevelt Island, and Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
When is the best time to photograph cherry blossoms?
The early morning, before the parks get crowded, is the best time to photograph cherry trees.
If I didn’t answer your question about cherry blossoms in NYC, leave it in a comment and I’ll get back to you!
Have you visited New York during cherry blossom season?!
MORE PLACES TO SEE CHERRY BLOSSOMS IN NEW YORK
- Washington Square Park
- Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens
- New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx
- Riverside Park
- Union Square Park
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