Here are the best places to enjoy the cherry blossoms throughout the city, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island
Where to see cherry blossoms in Manhattan
Cherry Walk, Riverside Park, Manhattan
The walkway along the Hudson River, from 100th Street to 125th Street, is known as Cherry Walk. The entire length of this promenade is dotted with cherry trees.
Most of these trees are from the original group planted in Washington D.C.’s Tidal Basin in 1912 as a gift from Japan to the U.S., and others are a gift from the Committee of Japanese Residents of New York in celebration of the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of the river.
It’s a lovely walk or bike route – but for those of you unfamiliar with the area, be forewarned that there is no exit between the the northern and southern ends of the walkway.
So, unless you want to walk or bike the full mile, pick the ‘unofficial’ Cherry Walk, just south of the official one.
The section of Riverside Park between 96th and 90th streets also is dotted with beautiful pink and white cherry trees.
There are several clusters of cherry blossoms, and two main species of cherry blossom in Central Park – the Kwanzan Cherry and Yoshino Cherry.
Here’s where to ind them:.
Find them around the bridle path at 90th St, East Drive at 66th St, the east side of the Boathouse at 74th St. and at Cherry Hill, which is mid-park at 72nd St., and around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.
- Conservatory Garden (East Side from 104th to 106th Street)
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.(85th Street to 96th Street)
- Pilgrim Hill (East Side at 72nd Street)
- Cherry Hill (Mid-Park at 72nd Street)
- Dene Slope (East Side from 65th to 67th Street)
There also are some cherry trees sprinkled through the Ramble, around Delacorte Theater, and at the southeast edge of Great Lawn.
to the Delacorte Theater
The Yoshino Cherry can be spotted on the east side of the Reservoir, Lilac Walk, Cherry Hill, Conservatory Water, the Ramble, Delacorte Theater, and at the southeast edge of Great Lawn.
The Kwanzan Cherry is usually found at the west side of the Reservoir, East Green, West of the Metropolitan Museum, East Drive at 744th Street, Bethesda Terrace, across the east Drive from the Loeb Boathouse and at the Southeast corner of the Great Lawn Oval.
The cherry trees here also were a gift from the Committee of Japanese Residents of New York.
This small park is really the northern extension of Riverside Park. The trees are next to Grant’s Tomb and behind Riverside Church.
The park also features a 10-foot stone torii donated by the City of Tokyo to mark the sister city designation between Tokyo and New York City, in 1960.
Cherry trees line promenade bordering the East River, with stunning views of the Manhattan Mahattan skyline, including the United Nations building.
There’s no annual mid-April Cherry Blossom Festival again this year at FDR Four Freedoms Park, at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island. So once again we will miss the Japanese culture fair and tea ceremony, music, dance, and martial arts performances.
Pedestrian and cycling trails are dotted with cherry trees.
Like Roosevelt Island, Randalls is on the East River, between East Harlem, the South Bronx and Astoria, Queens.
Unlike Roosevelt Island, there’s no tram – the best way to get here is to take the M35 bus from the Northwest corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue. Transfer is available from the Lexington Avenue 4, 5 or 6 subway at 125th Street.
Where to see cherry blossoms in Brooklyn
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
There are three areas for enjoying the world famous cherry trees here, Cherry Walk and Cherry Esplanade, a huge lawn with parallel rows of trees, and the Japanese Garden, where petals are reflected in the water of a small pond.
There are benches to sit and enjoy, or park yourself on the Esplanade lawn for a picnic.
Follow the BBG Cherry Watch website to find out what’s blooming where.
Once again this year, there won’t be a huge Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Matsuri on the last weekend of April. It’s always a magical day of Japanese cultural activities and performances, such as taiko drumming, tea ceremonies and artist workshops. Maybe it will return in 2022.
New to the Cherry Esplanade in 2021 is a meditative sound installation. Click here to listen anywhere, including when you need a work-at-home break.
Loved is a site-specific outdoor sound installation by composer Michael Gordon performed by percussionist David Cossin. The five-minute recording features Cossin playing seven vibraphones and it repeats hourly, through May 9th.
Click here to listen anywhere, including when you need a work-at-home break.
Picnicking is not allowed at BBG, except for Member’s Sunset Picnics. You may sit on the lawn of Cherry Esplanade only.
- Admission: Free for members and children under 12. Adults are $30 with discounts for seniors and students.
I describe Green-Wood as a park with headstones, since there are beautiful trees and flower plantings everywhere, including cherry trees.
You can find both pink and white cherry blossom trees, primarily around Hamilton Parkway.
Where to see cherry blossoms in Bronx
This 250-acre outdoor museum features more than 200 cherry trees, are sprinkled among some of the oldest trees in New York City.
NYBG also has a cherry tracker, so you can figure out the best time to visit.
Our recommendation is as soon as possible after April 10.
That’s when the long-awaited Kusama show begins on April 10, so you’ll be getting polka dots along with cherry blossoms.
Picknicking is permitted only in the public Picnic Pavilion, located just behind the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden
- Admission, on weekdays, is $23 for adults, $20 for seniors 65+, $20 for students, $10 for children (2 – 12,) and free for children under 2. On weekends, the garden pass is $28 for adults, $25 for seniors 65+, $25 for students, $12 for children (2 – 12,) and free for children under 2.
Where to see cherry blossoms in Queens
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Yamazakura and Somei-Yoshino cherry trees bloom at the 1964 World’s Fair site, including around the Unisphere globe and the the sadly decrepit New York State Pavilion.
The annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival won’t be held again this year, so we’ll all miss cultural event features live Taiko drum performances, a traditional Japanese chorus, a Japanese folk dance, and a tea ceremony.
Where to see cherry blossoms in Staten Island
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
Located within the Staten Island Botanical Garden, this gem is the perfect spot to go for some serenity and flower viewing.
In such a small layout, however, it is compacted with ancient Chinese culture, philosophy, and beautiful architecture, which portrays the type of garden you will only see in the Ming dynasty.
Everything here was built by Chinese artisans in Suzhou, known as a city of gardens, and shipped to the US.
In addition to cherry trees, you’ll roam through rock formations, a bamboo forest, redbuds, magnolia, jasmine, and mahonia flowers.
Insider tip: In the garden’s upper pavilion, look for a mosaic made of broken pieces of a rice bowl, which represents China, and another mosaic made of broken beer bottles, which represents the U.S.
- Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors above 65, and free for children 5 and under, active military and Snug Harbor Member.
My NYC guidebook, Peaceful Places in New York City includes best places to see cherry blossoms in NYC. It’s available in print and eBook versions at Amazon.
- The cover photo is the Bow Bridge in Central Park. No cherry blossoms here, and, just a lovely place to visit.
This guide to NYC cherry blossoms has been published annually since 2014, updated for 2021