Looking for the best places to see cherry blossoms in New York City? This ultimate guide has over 25 magical spots in NYC to view cherry blossoms in all their glory! Get your camera, family, friends, pets, and picnic baskets ready for this enchanting season!
Living the majority of my life in NYC and experiencing hanami (“flower viewing” in Japanese) year after year in this wild but beautiful city, I’ve come across some incredible spots that I thought would be worth sharing for all you cherry blossom fanatics! Before we jump into the best places to see cherry blossoms in NYC, I thought I share some facts about cherry blossoms that you may find interesting and helpful during your enchanting hunt! If you prefer to just jump right into the guide then click here!
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How long do Cherry blossoms last?
Cherry trees bloom in Spring and only last several weeks (2-3 weeks) from the opening of the first blossom to the shedding of the petals – this of course all depends on the weather. A milder climate is a cherry tree’s best friend as it nurtures the flowers to bloom earlier vs a colder climate which delays the blooming process.
Things get a bit more complicated when the flowers have reached their peak bloom because if rain & strong winds occur frequently it shortens the overall lifespan of cherry blossoms on peak display.
When can you expect to see Cherry Blossoms in bloom in New York City?
Depending on weather conditions, cherry blossoms can be seen in New York City from (early April to early May).
What type of Cherry Blossom Trees are in New York City?
The two most common varieties of cherry blossom trees that you’ll come across in New York City are Yoshino cherry trees (Prunus x yedoensis) & Kwanzan cherry trees (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’). There are over two hundred varieties of cherry blossom trees in Japan. Cherry blossoms are native to the Himalayas before migrating to Japan.
What is the difference between Yoshino Cherry Trees vs Kwanzan Cherry Trees?
There are a few notable differences between a Yoshino cherry tree & a Kwanzan cherry tree. The main difference between the two species is the color & shape of the flowers they bloom.
Yoshino cherry trees bloom pale pink to almost white flowers that truly look white from a distance. Kwanzan cherry trees on the other hand bloom vibrant deep pink flowers that are very rich in color from a distance.
Kwanzan cherry trees bloom much later than Yoshino cherry trees, again this all depends on weather conditions. It may be a few days to several weeks in bloom difference. I’ve listed some additional stats on both cherry trees below.
Common name: Yoshino Cherry
Botanical name: (Prunus x yedoenis)
Pronunciation: PROO-nus x yed-oh-EN-sis
Type of tree: Deciduous
Flower appearance: white, single in clusters of 2 to 5. Exotic branching pattern and vase-like canopy.
Height: 35 to 45 feet.
Spread: 30 to 40 feet.
Fruit: Bears a small, round black fruit. The fruit is edible but people avoid it because of its bitterness. Birds on the other hand love to eat this fruit.
USDA Hardiness Zones: Can flourish in Zones 5–8 – see map below
Lifespan: 15-20 years
Common name: Kwanzan Cherry
Botanical name: (Prunus serrulata “Kwanzan”)
Pronunciation: PROO-nus sair-yoo-LAY-tuh
Type of tree: Small, deciduous, showy tree
Flower appearance: Dramatic deep pink double-blossom that blooms in large clusters of 3 or 5. Upright, vase shape. spreading crown.
Height: 15 to 25 feet.
Spread: 15 to 25 feet.
Fruit: Do not bear fruit.
USDA Hardiness Zones: Can flourish in Zones 5-9 – see map below
Lifespan: 15-20 years
The USDA Hardiness Zones indicate the determined regions where plants can thrive. I provided a map below so you have a visual idea of what I’m talking about.
Ok, now that you know some of the basis on cherry blossoms, let’s get started with this ultimate guide to the best places to see cherry blossoms in New York City!
Best Places To See Cherry Blossoms in New York City
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Central Park is NYC’s largest park! This urban transformative oasis is a Mecca for a wide range of Cherry Blossom trees! It continues to stay on top of my annual bucketlist of places to visit in NYC during cherry blossom season because of all the fascinating spots that are jam-packed in one location. Below is a list of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Central Park:
- Cherry Hill – The crème de la crème of this list. Cherry Hill offers a brilliant lakeside view with plenty of Yoshino Cherry trees to keep you mesmerized! To see more photos of Cherry Hill at Central Park check out my Instagram post here!
- Bethesda Fountain – This glorious & iconic fountain shares the limelight with both Yoshino & Kwanzan Cherry trees engulfing its perimeter.
- Pilgrim Hill – This popular grove is a favorite for picnicking and outdoor sports! You’ll encounter a ton of Yoshino trees here.
- The Obelisk aka Cleopatra’s Needle – This timeless beauty is the oldest outdoor monument in NYC. The grove surrounding the obelisk is home to fusion of cherry, magnolias, and crabapple trees. To see more photos of The Obelisk at Central Park check out my Instagram post here!
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir – If you take a stroll around on the eastern and western sides of this reservoir you’ll find a mix of both Kwanzan and Yoshino Cherries.
- Bridle Path (From East 84th Street up to Engineer’s Gate) – This walk is pure magic! You’re encircled with brilliant blooms throughout the entire stroll. Check out a little video I put together on my Instagram here / TikTok here! To see more photos of the Bridle Path at Central Park check out my Instagram posts – Part 1 here / Part 2 here!
- Metropolitan Museum Of Art – You can find a significant amount of Kwanzan Cherry trees directly behind the Met.
- Cedar Hill + The Glade – Cedar hill is a sloping lawn dotted with Kwanzan Cherry trees and is also another great spot for picnicking or relaxing. Just south of Cedar Hill you’ll encounter The Glade and a mix of Kwanzan & Yoshino Cherries.
- Ramble – You’ll find a mix of Cherry trees scattered within this area.
- Nell Singer Lilac Walk – This fragrant path is dotted with Yoshino trees.
- Delacorte Theatre – Yoshino Cherry trees are thriving behind this 1,800-seat open-air theater theatre.
- Conservatory Garden – The only formal garden in Central Park. This secluded oasis boasts several cherry trees
Washington Square Park
This iconic public park is the heart of Greenwich Village. This bustling social space attracts people from all walks of life and is full of cultural activities. Two of the most prominent features of Washington Square Park are its giant marble arch and its large fountain. You’ll find plenty of cherry blossom trees, seating, and lawn space to chill. If you visit during peak time you’ll come across the giant marble arch framed by cherry blossoms – it’s a really popular photo composition!
Address: 1 Washington Sq W, New York, NY 10011
The trees that line the East River walkway create a striking white and pink canopy. If you take the tram to Roosevelt Island you’ll be able to see the cherry blossom trees from a unique vantage point on your way in. The waterfront views of Manhattan are another plus! It’s such a special place to set up a picnic with loved ones under the shade of the cherry blossom trees!
Address: 680 Main Street Roosevelt Island, NY 10044
Madison Square Park
This urban oasis can be found right across the street from The Flatiron Building which is considered the most famous triangle-shaped building in NYC! You’ll find an abundance of Kwanzan Cherry trees at Madison Square Park which is really interesting because the most popular variety of cherry trees in the world is the Yoshino. When these pretty in pink beauties have reached their peak bloom, they gracefully frame The Flatiron Building giving the iconic wedge-shaped landmark an enchanting makeover. In the midst of all the Kwanzan Cherry trees, you can spot a Yoshino Cherry tree right along 5th Ave.
Address: 11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
Laduree – Soho, NY
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Ladurée, the well-known Parisian tea room has a charming outdoor dining area/garden in Soho that is dotted with cherry blossom trees! Set against accents of antique finials, a limestone fountain, and treillage, the whole ambiance gives the illusion that you’re dining on the romantic streets of Paris, France! Make sure to try their cherry blossom latte! It tastes just as good as it looks and pairs scrumptiously with their freshly made raspberry french toast, croissant, or a box of their infamous macarons! To see more of this Parisian gem during cherry blossom season, check out a little video I put together on my Instagram here / TikTok here! To see more photos of Ladurée Soho NYC, check out my Instagram post here!
Address: 398 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012
Randall Island has a variety of gorgeous cherry blossom trees to see and enjoy over the course of the season along with waterfront views, pedestrian trails, and a 40,000 square foot, environmentally sustainable urban farm. If you want more insight on the different types of cherry blossom species and when they typically hit peak bloom, followed by a map of where to see each of them on the island then be sure to check out Randall’s Island Cherry Blossom Guide here!
Randall’s Island also hosts an annual free cherry blossom festival that includes activities such as paper flower making, kite making, Japanese folk dancing and drumming, the chance to try on a summer kimono (yukata), crafts, games, face painting, and more!
To stay in the loop on the next cherry blossom festival and other upcoming events at Randall Island click here! The park also has a virtual tour experience of their urban farm, fun DIY projects, scavenger hunts, virtual yoga classes, and more that you can check here!
Address: 20 Randall’s Island Park, New York, NY 10035
This historic public park is located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood in Manhattan. In 1912, more than 2,000 cherry trees were brought to the United States from Japan and planted in New York City parks, and this beautiful, historic park (Sakura means “cherry blossom” in Japanese) was born. Sakura Park is one of NYC’s smaller parks coming in at two acres, amenities include a play area for children, a performance pavilion used by the Manhattan School of Music, and a ten-foot-stone Japanese torii donated by the city of Tokyo in 1960.
Address: 3916, 500 Riverside Dr, New York, NY 10027
This private Ivy League school is home to a strewn of cherry blossoms. You can encounter some along College Walk, a stretch of 116th street on the Morningside Heights campus, between Amsterdam Ave & Broadway. You can also find an abundance at the Low Memorial Library and in front of St. Paul’s-Fayerweather-Shermerhorn-Avery courtyard.
Address: 116th and Broadway, New York, NY 10027
Riverside Park Cherry Walk
Stretching four miles from 72nd to 158th streets along the Hudson River, Riverside Park is widely regarded as Manhattan’s most spectacular waterfront park. It is one of only ten scenic landmarks in all of New York City, and for good reason. It has unique waterfront beauty, with rocky areas, spectacular lawns, and stately trees. Several dozen cherry trees grace The Cherry Walk section of Riverside Park from 100th to 125th Street.
Address: Riverside Dr. to Hudson River, W. 72 St. to St Clair Pl.
St. Paul’s Chapel of Trinity Church | Trinity Church Wall Street
St. Paul’s Chapel is Manhattan’s oldest surviving church building – It was constructed in 1766. You can admire a glorious cherry tree right in the churchyard which is open to visitors who wish to visit the historic memorials and monuments or enjoy a moment of quiet. The roof of the church is actually held up by tree trunks – which is truly fascinating! Today it remains a symbol of healing and hope after the tragic 9/11 aftermath – the church provided round-the-clock relief to ground zero rescue and recovery workers. It also didn’t suffer any physical damage following the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, earning it the nickname “ the little chapel that stood.”
Address: 209 Broadway, New York, NY 10007
Union Square Park
This lively urban oasis has a collection of cherry trees and other radiant spring blooms that will have you enthralled as make your way through the park. You’ll also come across the Union Square Green Market which is a wonderful opportunity to obtain fresh produce, meats & fish, baked items, sweets, wine, plants & flowers, jewelry and so much more!
Address: Broadway To 4 Ave., E 14 St. To E 17 St.
United Nations Headquarters
The United Nations HQ’s garden is chock-full of cherry trees during the Spring! If you plan to visit the United Nations Headquarters in New York, they do offer guided tours which start in the General Assembly building, entrance at 46th Street and 1st Avenue. Click here for Ticket information.
Address: 405 East 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10017
Marcus Garvey Park
An abundance of cherry blossoms can be found in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem (formerly known as Mount Morris Park). Most can be seen at the cherry blossom walkway near the Fifth Avenue and 124th Street entrance to Marcus Garvey Park. The park covers 20.16 acres, amenities include three playgrounds, an outdoor pool, a recreation center, an amphitheater, and a fire watchtower on top of a rock platform named the Acropolis.
Address : 6316, Mt Morris Park W, New York, NY 10027
This impressive church is the earliest example of Gothic Architecture in NYC. It has a charming courtyard where magnolias thrive – I know it’s doesn’t belong in the cherry tree family but it’s too magnificent to not add on this list. When the magnolias are in full bloom, it makes this hidden gem look like something out of a fairytale!
Address: 802 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
Best Places To See Cherry Blossoms in Brooklyn
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is personally my favorite place to see Cherry Blossoms in New York. The BBG has the famous Cherry Blossom Esplanade and Japanese Hill-and-Pond garden that are showstoppers during sakura season!
The BBG also hosts the crazy popular, two-day Japanese Sakura Matsuri festival every year – which celebrates Japanese culture with a rich program of events that include live music by J-rock bands, performances by Taiko drummers and samurai sword masters, and a number of fun activities including a Japanese tearoom, art gallery, and a mini flea market.
To perfectly plan your visit when the blossoms have hit their glorious peak, the BBG has a Cherry Blossom tracker aka the CherryWatch online for future visitors here – it’s updated each day with live updates on the petal blooming status of every tree in the main collection. Definitely make use of it! For the latest events, dining options, hours & admission prices at BBG click here!To see more photos of cherry blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, check out my Instagram posts here (Part 1 here | Part here)! To see a little video I put together of the cherry blossoms at BBG, check out my Instagram reel here / TikTok post here!
Address: 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225
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Adjacent to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the gorgeous Prospect Park. If you can’t deal with the crowds or if ticket prices of the Japanese Sakura Matsuri festival are not in your budget, then visiting Prospect Park is a great alternative! You can find Cherry Blossom trees if you start from the Grand Army Plaza (it’s the park’s formal entrance) and make your way through the stone path in the Long Meadow. If you want more insight on additional spring blooms that are available in the park then check out the Prospect Park Alliance’s Spring Bloom Guide here!
Address: 95 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215
The Green-Wood Cemetery
This historic cemetery is home to both pink and white cherry blossom trees. The 478-acre Greenwood Heights graveyard makes for an eerie and magical backdrop to all the beloved cherry trees once they’re in bloom! The vistas of tombstones and mausoleums are given a charming fresh breath of life thanks to all the pink and white petals. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I find so much peace when I take a stroll through The Green-Wood Cemetery. It truly is one of the most unique places in Brooklyn, NY to see Cherry Blossoms without the influx of crowds.
Address: 500 25th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232
This Brooklyn oasis is tucked between the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Sure, it may not be as popular as Prospect Park or Central Park but that shouldn’t be a reason not to visit this local gem. You’ll find a variety of cherry blossoms and eastern redbud trees at McCarren Park. This beloved 35-acre park is filled with fun amenities such as picnic tables, grassy lawns, a running track, an Olympic-size pool, a skate park, handball / basketball court, and soccer / baseball field. The cherry blossom trees are lit up during the night giving their beauty a unique perspective to be marveled at.
Address: 776 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Cadman Plaza Park
Cadman Plaza Park is a gorgeous park on the border of the historical Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn neighborhoods that serves as a playground for the entire community. In the center of the park is the monumental Brooklyn War Memorial, dedicated to the 300,000 Brooklynites who served in World War II. You’ll find a brilliant cherry tree within the Brooklyn War Memorial site right in front of a statue shaped out a female comforting a child.
Address: Cadman Plaza E, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Best Places To See Cherry Blossoms in Queens
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
At its peak, you can admire cherry blossoms at this iconic Queens park! For the prettiest views check out the grove next to the NY state pavilion and all around the unisphere / fountains. The park hosts the annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival celebrates the blossoming of the cherry trees at Flushing Meadows and also features live drum performances known as Taiko, a Japanese folk dance, a traditional Japanese chorus, and a tea ceremony. For the latest events click here!
Address: Between Grand Central Pkwy and, Van Wyck Expy, 11354
Queen Botanical Garden
This 39-acre urban oasis is located in Flushing, New York, and features perennial gardens, rose beds, arboretum, art gallery, and you guessed it cherry blossoms! The famed “Cherry Circle” is the place to be to see some gorgeous flower blooms along a winding path. Sadly, QBG does not have special events for cherry blossom season. For the latest events, hours & admission prices at Queen Botanical Garden click here! To view a map of Queen Botanical Garden click here!
Address: 43-50 Main St, Queens, NY 11355
Lewis Howard Latimer House Museum
You can find an abundance of Yoshino Cherry trees within the garden at Lewis H. Latimer House Museum. This historic museum in Flushing, Queens was once home to African American inventor Lewis Latimer. Today, the museum hosts a variety of educational programs, art installations, and workshops for all ages inside the charming two-story house which was built in the late 1800s. The cherry blossoms at the Latimer House make such a beautiful backdrop to this unique house. For the latest events, hours & admission prices at Lewis H. Latimer House Museum click here!
Address: 34-41 137th St, Queens, NY 11354
Hunter’s Point South Park
Hunter’s Point South is a vibrant and inviting waterfront park in Long Island City that is home to a plethora of Yoshino Cherry trees that ring around the parks oval-shaped turf field (a.k.a. “The Oval”) in the spring. The 30-acre park offers a ton of fun and relaxing facilities for everyone in the area. It features a picnic terrace, playgrounds, a bikeway, dog run, waterside promenade, basketball courts, outdoor gym, fishing area, etc.
Address: Center Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11101
Best Places To See Cherry Blossoms in The Bronx
New York Botanical Garden
The New York Botanical Garden is a floral wonderland located in the Bronx. Coming in at 250 acres of land, this iconic botanical garden features more than a million plants. It’s a place for study and research as well as enchantment and exploration. More than 200 flowering cherry trees are planted across the garden’s historic landscape, and their cheerful pink and white blossoms follow shortly after the magnolias in spring.
You can find a large and diverse planting of cherries along the curving path in the Cherry Collection. Many can also be found among the evergreens of the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum. A row of pink weeping cherries adorns the front of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, while others are interspersed among daffodils and crabapple trees on Daffodil Hill. The NYBG has a Cherry Blossom Tracker here which is so useful to help you plan your perfect visit! For the latest events, dining options, hours & admission prices at NYBG click here!
Address: 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458
Best Places To See Cherry Blossoms in Staten Island
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
Snug Harbor, is another personal favorite spot of mine to see cherry blossoms! This hidden gem is tucked away in Staten Island. It is home to the impressive Chinese Scholar’s Garden which in fact is one of two authentic classical outdoor Chinese gardens built in the United States! The park boasts traditional Chinese architecture inspired by the Ming Dynasty, with numerous elements of classical Chinese artistry found here! Visitors can explore cherry blossoms when in season, eight pavilions, a bamboo forest path, jasmine trees, waterfalls, a koi-filled pond, Chinese calligraphy, and a variety of Gonshi scholar’s rocks – you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to East Asia!
You can expect to find all sorts of other beautiful spring blooms such as magnolia, redbuds, and mahonia. Guests are encouraged to picnic on the grounds – there are several picnic tables for public use. For the latest events, dining options, hours & admission prices at Snug Harbor click here!
Address: 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301
Silver Lake Park
Silver Lake Park is considered the Central Park of Staten Island and is home to plenty of cherry blossom trees around its infamous lake which is now used as a working reservoir of the Catskill water supply system for New York City. Silver Lake Park has tons of recreational activities amidst plenty of trails and open space to wander. Such as an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, sports fields, etc.
Address: Victory Blvd. &, Silver Lake Park Rd, Staten Island, NY 10301
Bonus – Best Place To See Cherry Blossoms in New Jersey
Branch Brook Park
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Now I know this blog is dedicated to the best places to see cherry blossoms in NYC but I had to include this extra special gem located in New Jersey as a bonus since it’s pretty close to Manhattan (about 30-45 mins if you’re driving or taking the PATH train).
Branch Brook Park, located in Newark, NJ, has more than 5,200 Japanese cherry blossom trees that burst into full bloom during spring. It has the largest collection and most varied cherry blossom trees in the United States. It truly is a magnificent display of nature! You’ll find an abundance of cherry trees dotted all over the park with the highest concentration around the lake in the southern end of the park.
Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs annually host a series of events in Branch Brook Park during the Cherry Blossom Season. The Bloomfest is really popular – it includes fun-filled activities such as live music, food & craft market, Japanese cultural demonstrations, children’s activities, and more! The park even has a live webcam so that you can plan your perfect visit! For the latest events & hours at Branch Brook Park click here!To see more photos of a little shoot I did at Branch Brook Park NJ amongst the beautiful cherry blossoms, check out my Instagram post here!
10 Fun Facts About Cherry Blossoms
- Cherry blossom trees are Ornamental plants which mean they are grown for decorative purposes rather than functional purposes (food or other by-products).
- Cherry blossoms give off an almond with a hint of cherry scent.
- Cherry trees were given as gifts to the USA from Japan in honor of their friendship. Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki donated 3,000 cherry trees in 1912.
- The title of cherry blossom capital of the world goes to Macon, Georgia which is home to 300,000-plus Yoshino cherry blossom trees.
- There are 200 different varieties of cherry blossom.
- Cherry blossoms are said to be native to the Himalayas before migrating to Japan.
- In Japan, cherry blossoms are a symbol of mortality because of their immense beauty and quick death and this symbolism often appears in popular Japanese culture.
- In Nagoya, Japan, a 14-foot cherry tree was crafted entirely out of LEGO. It took 800,000 bricks to put it all together. It ended up weighing over 7,000 pounds, setting a Guinness World Record in 2018.
- They make up the best-selling fragrance in the U.S. (Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom). The fragrance sells 30 million units annually!
- Cherry blossom petals are edible.
There you have it, 25+ magical places to see cherry blossoms in NYC! I thank you for taking the time of your day to check out this guide. If you personally know any cherry blossom fanatics who are on the hunt for the best places in New York City to see sakura in all their pink & white glory then be sure to share this guide with them!
Please let me know in the comments if you’ve visited any of these places on this guide and which one was your favorite! Also, if you know any other great spots to see cherry blossoms in NYC that are not included in this guide, I’m all ears and would love to add it to this list for others to experience one day!
Be sure to check out some of my Instagram posts ( Part 1 – here | Part 2 – here| Part 3 – here | Part 4- here | Part 5 – here | Part 6 – here| Part 7 -here ) + my “Spring in NYC” IG highlights & TikTok playlist to see more of these magical spots in video!
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