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10 Breathtaking Spots to See Cherry Blossoms in New York City

best spots for cherry blossoms NYC

I moved to New York City in the spring, so this particular season has a very special place in my heart. Every year, like clockwork, the bursts of blooms serve as a reminder that warmer days are just around the corner.

Sentimental feelings aside, spring in New York City is something else. Blushing trees completely change the landscape and thankfully, there’s no shortage of great spots to find cherry blossoms in New York City. I wanted to share my personal list of favorite spots to see cherry blossoms in NYC, let’s dive right in!


Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (10 Best Neighborhoods + 3 to Avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s my favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.


Cherry blossoms in Central Park, Bethesda Fountain

What is the Best Time to See Cherry Blossoms in New York City?

There’s two main varieties of cherry blossoms in New York City: Yoshino trees & Kwanzan trees, which bloom at separate times. Yoshino trees bloom in early to mid April, Kwanzan trees bloom in late April, which means you can catch fantastic spring blooms during a month-long span!

But the goal is to catch the cherry blossoms at peak bloom in NYC, which is more challenging to pin down because peak bloom varies from year to year (depending on the winter weather). Peak bloom is typically a short-lived window (3-4 days). My best advice for those visiting New York City for cherry blossoms is to plan for mid-April and/or the first week of May.

P.S. If you can’t make it out to see the cherry blossoms in NYC for yourself, I highly recommend getting this delightful book. It’s a great gift for anyone that needs a remedy for NYC wanderlust.


Where to Find Cherry Blossoms in New York City

(Table of Contents)

Hunter's Point South Park cherry blossoms

#10. Hunter’s Point South Park

Hunter’s Point South Park is located in Long Island City, Queens. The folks who designed the park did a great job of planting rows of Yoshino trees near the water, which has turned this into a fantastic place to see cherry blossoms in NYC. You’ll get the opportunity to take in breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, while soaking in the light almond-light fragrance of cherry blossoms.

Best Time to Visit Hunter’s Point South Park for Cherry Blossoms: Early to mid April. For reference, the photo was taken April 8, 2023.


Union Square Park Spring Blooms

#9. Union Square Park

One of my favorite things about Union Square Park is the breathtaking display of cherry blossoms in spring. The park is home to several Kwanzan trees that create the most beautiful canopy of color. But take note, Union Square Park gets very busy during the weekends. If you’d like some semblance of solitude I suggest visiting during the weekday, preferably early in the morning.

Also worth knowing, Union Square Park has a great year-round greenmarket. You’ll find everything from local honey to fresh baked bread and original artwork. Check it out while you’re in the area.

Best Time to Visit Union Square Park for Cherry Blossoms in NYC: Mid to late April.


Best spots for cherry blossoms new York City
Riverside Park Cherry Walk

#8. Riverside Park

Situated along the Hudson River on the Upper West Side, Riverside Park is often considered Manhattan’s most scenic waterfront park. Stretching from West 59th Street to 181st Street, the park spans 400 acres!

It’s full of healthy trees that offer ample shade and there’s even has some charming gardens to explore (like the famous garden in You’ve Got Mail). This is also one of the best spots to see cherry blossoms in New York City, particularly a 4-mile stretch from 100th to 125th Street (referred to as “Cherry Walk”).

Fun fact: You might already know that Washington D.C. is a famous spot for cherry blossoms. Well, you might be surprised to learn that the cherry trees at Riverside Park were planted from the same group of trees as the ones at the Tidal Basin in D.C., which is so cool!

Best Time to Visit Riverside Park for Cherry Blossoms in New York City: Late April – early May.


cherry blossoms at Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn

#7. Green-Wood Cemetery

I know some folks might consider a cemetery as a place to see cherry blossoms a morbid thought, but this peaceful place is hard to beat. The highest concentration of cherry blossoms can be found by the Valley Water and Sylvan Water ponds (pictured above).

This is also a really great spot for birding during the spring season, so take advantage. While visiting the cemetery, make an effort to see the 25-year art installation titled Here Lie the Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery. It’s a grave designed specifically for secrets, visitors can write their most intimate thoughts on paper and lay them to rest.

Best Time to Visit Green-Wood Cemetery for NYC Cherry Blossoms: Early May.


Washington Square Park in the spring

#6. Washington Square Park

Located in the heart of the charming Greenwich Village, there seems to be a gravitational pull to Washington Square Park. Many folks consider this one of the most inviting parks in NYC and a great park for people-watching.

There’s really no bad time to visit the park, but spring is especially memorable. There’s a cheery energy in the air as both locals and tourists eagerly flock outdoors after the dreary winter months. You’ll see all sorts of spring blooms at Washington Square Park (the daffodils are prolific!), but my favorite blooms are the magnolias and Yoshino cherry trees near the arch.

Best Time to Visit Washington Square Park for Cherry Blossoms in NYC: Early-mid April


Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossoms in spring

#5. Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island has some of the best skyline views of New York City, but most locals tend to save their visit for the spring, not hard to see why. Roosevelt Island is home to both Yoshino trees (which bloom in early April) and Kwanzan trees (early May), giving visitors a six-week window to see cherry blossoms in NYC! The trees along the waterfront create a breathtaking canopy of blooms. Take a stroll down the esplanade or park yourself on a bench and people watch for a while.

Best Time to Visit Roosevelt Island for Cherry Blossoms: Early-mid April through mid-May.


Cherry Blossoms in New York City

#4. New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Garden feels like it was designed to be the top spring destination in NYC, and I’m happy to report that it delivers. During peak bloom, this botanical garden takes on a fairy-tale appearance. Between the bright yellow daffodils and vivid magenta Kwanzan cherry blossoms, you won’t know which way to look.

The highest concentration of cherry blooms is at Cherry Valley (aptly named), followed by the spring blooms at the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum and Daffodil Hill.

Best Time to Visit the New York Botanical Garden for NYC Cherry Blossoms: Early May.


Cherry Blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City

#3. Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Nothing says cherry blossom season in New York City like the pretty blooms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Knowing that the spring blooms are an annual tradition for many New Yorkers, the garden provides a very helpful spring bloom tracker on their website.

Best Time to Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for Cherry Blossoms in NYC: Early May.


Cherry Blossoms in Brooklyn
Prospect Park Cherry Blossoms
Spring Blooms in Prospect Park | Cherry Blossoms in Brooklyn

#2. Prospect Park

Prospect Park was designed by Frederick Olmstead and Calvert Vaux (the architects responsible for Central Park). Located in Brooklyn, the park is a masterpiece but gets much fewer visitors than Central Park. Locals tend to congregate around the top attractions, like the Long Meadow (spanning 90-acres), the Prospect Park Zoo, the charming Boathouse, Picnic House and Concert Grove.

But if you’re visiting to see some of the best spring blooms in Brooklyn, you’ll want to focus on the area by the Grand Army Plaza and the Long Meadow. Bring a picnic blanket and make an afternoon of it! Make sure to check out this helpful spring bloom guide from Prospect Park Alliance, it tracks peak bloom in the park.

Best Time to Visit Prospect Park for Cherry Blossoms in New York City: Early May.


Central Park Spring Blooms by Cleopatra's Needle

#1. Central Park

As if you needed another reason to love Central Park! You’ll want to visit Central Park in the spring to fully appreciate the mesmerizing beauty of this beloved local gem. As you know, Central Park is huge. It spans more than 840 acres.

If you’re after the best spots for cherry blossom in Central Park, read our helpful article on the best spots for spring blooms in Central Park. If you don’t have time to read the article (yet), just know you can’t miss the jaw-dropping Shakespeare Garden, because the tulips are gorgeous!

Central park tulips
Best spots for spring blooms New York City
The stunning tulips at the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park

Places to check out in Central Park for cherry blossoms:

  • Cherry Hill: Mid-Park at West 72nd Street
  • Pilgrim Hill: East 72nd Street
  • Conservatory Garden: East Side from 104th to 106th Street
  • Kennedy Onassis Reservoir: 85th Street to 96th Street
  • The Shakespeare Garden

I suggest wearing comfortable shoes (here’s my advice on the best shoes for walking around NYC) and getting an early start. Central Park gets very busy during the spring season because it’s magical!

If you’d like some guidance during your first visit to Central Park, I suggest reading 15 ICONIC Things to Do in Central Park (our most popular post). It highlights the top attractions in the park, hope you enjoy!


More Great Spots for Spring Blooms in NYC


Park Avenue Tulips
best spring blooms NYC

Park Avenue Tulips

Upper East Side’s Park Avenue is always a sight to behold, but my favorite time to stroll the avenue is during spring. The cherry blossom trees are popping and the tulips cover the ground in a sea of yellow. Also, I have no idea what they do to these tulips but I swear they’re the size of teacups!

Love tulips? You might enjoy 10 Outstanding Spots to Find Tulips in New York City


Different Types of Cherry Blossoms in New York City

As I mentioned, one of the best things about spring in New York City is that there’s a variety of cherry trees. The first cherry blossoms in NYC are Yoshino Cherry Trees (they bloom early April), which are followed in early May by Kwanzan Cherry Tree blooms (sometimes known at Japanese Cherry).

Let’s break them down further below.

Where to see cherry blossoms New York City
Types of cherry trees in NYC
Yoshino cherry tree blossoms
Yoshino Cherry Blossoms in New York City
Yoshino Cherry Trees (Early-April)

The Yoshino cherry trees in New York City were gifted from Japan in 1912. Producing delicate white flowers that give off a very light almond scent, they can reach impressive heights of 40 feet. These are the first cherry trees to bloom in New York City and you can expect to catch them at peak around the first and second weeks of April.


kwanzan cherry blossoms
Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms

Kwanzan Cherry Trees (Early May)

Kwanzan cherry trees produce heavy clusters of double-petal flowers adorned in deep pink shades. The clusters take on a full mushroom shape, making them exceptionally beautiful. These cherry blossoms don’t bloom until early May.

Kwanzan cherry trees are slightly shorter than Yoshino cherry trees and grow to heights of 30 feet. However, the blooms are much more colorful than the muted cherry blossoms from Yoshino trees. You can typically spot these trees from a distance.


Types of cherry trees in NYC
crabapple tree blossoms
Crabapple Blossoms

Crabapple Trees (April – May)

Crabapple trees have some of the prettiest blooms, in my opinion. This is largely thanks to the explosion of color between the budding green leaves, the pleasant creamy white shade of the open petals and velvety fuscia shades of the closed petals.

Crabapple trees bloom between April and May. Based on personal experience they tend to bloom around the same time as Kwanzan trees and you’ll often see these two varieties of New York City cherry blossoms planted next to each other.


where to find cherry blossoms nyc
types of cherry trees in New York City
Magnolia Blooms in New York City

Magnolia Trees (Early April)

Much like the Yoshino trees, Magnolias are early bloomers (early April) and their large flowers are truly breathtaking! There are 4 types of magnolia trees in New York City: sweetbay magnolias, saucer magnolias, southern magnolias and star magnolias.


New York City Cherry Blossoms (Post Summary)

In sum, here’s the best spots for cherry blossoms in New York City.

  1. Central Park
  2. Prospect Park
  3. Brooklyn Botanical Garden
  4. New York Botanical Garden
  5. Roosevelt Island
  6. Washington Square Park
  7. Green-Wood Cemetery
  8. Riverside Park
  9. Union Square Park
  10. Hunter’s Point South Park

New York City Cherry Blossoms Map


Helpful Related Articles

Where to See NYC Cherry Blossoms: 10 Breathtaking Spots for Cherry Blossoms in New York City
NYC Cherry Blossom Tracker: The New York City Cherry Blossoms Tracker – What to Expect This Year
Things to Do NYC Spring: 30+ Spectacular Things to Do in New York City in Spring
Things to Do NYC in April: 20 Amazing Things to Do in New York City in April (2023)
Where to See NYC Tulips: 10 Outstanding Spots to Find Tulips in New York City
Central Park Cherry Blossoms: 5 BREATHTAKING Spots to Catch Spring Blooms in Central Park
Best NYC Parks: 10 ICONIC New York City Parks You Can’t Afford to Miss

Cheers!

Sophie Mummble

Friday 1st of April 2022

I want to visit with my kids one day! What's the best area to see cherrybloom?

newyorksimply

Thursday 7th of April 2022

Central Park! :)