How to Enjoy Cherry Blossoms in Bloom
I can't think of a better way to enjoy Cherry Blossoms on a sunny weekend than sitting under and enjoying a good book and having a picnic!
In Japan, flower viewing is called Hanami (花見) and usually involves an outdoor party under the cherry trees, or sakura (桜), the national flower of Japan. It is traditional to enjoy the transient beauty of sakura as they have a short blooming season, about a week or two.
When do Cherry Blossoms Bloom in San Francisco?
They are gorgeous and in full bloom for only a short period around mid March- mid April so be sure to keep an eye out for that crucial window of time!
- If you live in San Francisco, simply start keeping an eye out for the bare trees to start developing little buds. Once you see them it's a matter of a few weeks with good weather before they get pink and puffy, then boom. NPS has a great image of the different stages of buds.
- Check the Cherry Blossom Festival Website for updates and events
- Check instagram / Social media pages with location tags to see if they're in bloom yet. Look at location tags of some of my favorite spots listed in the map below!
What I Brought in My Elise Bag
It's not a true Arden Cove outing without a little What's In My Bag (WIMB) segment! I kept it simple as it was just a short trip to Presidio's Letterman pond where you can spot a few beautiful trees throughout the park. Take a stroll and find the perfect place to sit.
I brought my trusty Elise Crossbody for today's picnic. Pre-order the Elise Crossbody on Indiegogo!
- Small snack to enjoy during my humble Hanami
- Kindle and headphones for audiobook while strolling around the park
- hand sanitizer
- keys, cards, cash
I also brought a warm jacket (San Francisco can always get chilly!) and a picnic blanket.
Where to see Cherry Blossoms in San Francisco / Best Places to see Sakura
Cherry Blossoms can be spotted in a couple different locations around San Francisco, but here are some of the favorites- places with multiple trees in a beautiful location. Here is a Google map with the locations pined.
- Japantown Peace Plaza - also where the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is hosted
- Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
- Lyon Street Steps - a very photogenic set of staircases lined with beautiful trees and plants
- Presidio Park - notably around the Letterman Drive / Lake.
- Yerba Buena Gardens - a few trees are interspersed for a pretty break from downtown SF
What to See and Eat Nearby in the Presidio
We decided to enjoy the cherry blossoms in the Presidio for this video. There's a great spot around the Letterman Pond, where we have plenty of room for us to spread out for a socially distance picnic and multiple trees filled with blossoms to see in the area.
Nearby is a Starbucks where you can get a drink to stay warm and cozy on your picnic (or cool if you like ice drinks like me), or dine on the outdoor patio of Sessions for a full feast within view of the blossoms.
You can also get food to go for a substantial picnic by picking up a slice of pizza at nearby Pizzeria Avellino or a sandwich at Golden Gate Market Deli & Liquor (May I suggest the San Franpsycho?)
You'll find loads more options if you want to take a short walk to Chestnut Street which has many different restaurants and cuisines to choose from.
Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival
San Francisco's Japantown holds the biggest Cherry Blossom Festival in the West Coast (the East Coast goes to Washington DC). There you'll find a celebration of Japanese and Japanese American's rich and diverse heritage and culture, packed with fun events, shows, food and more. Visit their website for more information.
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Karin is the co-founder of Arden Cove and co-creator of the Anti-Theft Waterproof Crossbodies - bags created for women who want all the practicality and safety features without compromising in style. Shop ArdenCove.com.
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