Annual DC Cherry Blossom Sunrise Run

Hello friends! Earlier this week I did something fun: my annual sunrise run around the cherry blossoms in DC!

DC Cherry Blossom 2023

For this year’s adventure, I recruited my friend Katie to join me and we drove into town around 6am on Wednesday morning so we could be at the tide pools by sunrise.

We were in town at 6:15am but had some parking issues (the spot I planned on starting Hains Point was closed – not sure why, maybe for the upcoming Cherry Blossom Festival?) so I went glad we made it got there extra early.

At 6:30 am we found another parking lot (on 23rd Street) and ran down to the Lincoln Memorial from there.

The early morning scene at the Lincoln Memorial is always fun because pretty much everyone is exercising. Solidarity! (Most of the people exercising were behind us on the Lincoln steps.)

Lincoln memorial at sunrise

The reflecting pool is now completely drained. Guess it’s getting its yearly cleaning!

From there we walked over to the MLK memorial and entered the tide pool there. We were hoping for a beautiful sunrise (will another year ever top my epic cherry blossom sunrise pics from 2016?!) but unfortunately there were too many clouds. A pity!

The pre-dawn light was really pretty though.

Hello, cherry blossoms! They weren’t all 100% out and in top form, but they got very close. When we arrived it was difficult to get a non-blurry picture in the dim lighting!

There were a few other people checking out the blooms with us, but it certainly wasn’t as crowded as it gets later in the day.

Other people around = easy to find someone to take a picture of us though!

People were sparse enough to walk around the entire tide pool, but we paused for photos when we felt inspired. 🙂

This is always one of my favorite views below. As you can see, the flowers aren’t fully filled yet, but the dark shadows of the trees against the background of the morning sky were really pretty.

Around and around we go!

It was really fun to be out there. I’m fortunate that these days I can usually walk right after the kids are dropped off (as opposed to 6am in the dark) but it was fun to be out in the world and on an adventure so early.

Thank you to Katie for joining me (and to our husbands for doing the kids breakfast and graduation routine on their own in our absence…Katie’s kids go to school with mine)!

After our loop through the tide pool, we exited the MLK Memorial and then walked over to the mall to add a little distance, did a loop around the Washington Monument, and then back to my car on 23rd Street.

It was pretty deserted down there!

We ended up covering 4.5 miles which felt good.

I’m considering going back a day next week (I’m out of town this weekend) to see if I can get a better sunrise and possibly see the full bloom of the cherry blossoms, but we’ll see… not sure about the logistics will work with kids donation items and Matt’s work schedule!

Have a great weekend friends and see you next week!

Have you ever been here to see the cherry blossoms in DC? What did you think?

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