If you’re visiting Toronto, have you included a day trip to the Ontario side of Niagara Falls? After all, the falls are among the world’s most famous natural landmarks and just a few hours from Canada’s largest city. What’s more, there are many ways to get there, whether it’s by public transportation, rental car or …
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With the cherry tree blossom season fast approaching, what could be better to shake off your winter doldrums than to enjoy these colorful flowers. After all, Americans across the country are more than ready for the warmer weather that springtime can provide. However, you don’t even have to wait until the official day of spring as the blooming season has already begun in some parts of California. As much as California gets an early start, you don’t have to wait long in other parts of the country. But by the same token, you may have to act fast as peak blooms don’t last too long. With any further delay, here are 10 of the best cities in America for you to see these beautiful cherry blossom blooms.
The famous cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C. gets the most attention in the National Capital Region. However, another top spot for you to see sakura trees is near the northern section of the Capital Beltway. As a matter of fact, the peak bloom is just days after the Japanese cherry trees in the nation’s capital. In more detail, there are some 1,200 Yoshino cherry trees in the Kenwood neighborhood of Bethesda in Montgomery County. On the other hand, Kenwood doesn’t have a cherry festival or specific public space in which you can view these flowering beauties. Nevertheless, Kenwood is somewhat of a hidden treasure and well worth a visit if you don’t mind traveling on neighborhood streets. For the best spots, Montgomery County recommends you travel along Dorset Avenue, Kennedy Drive and Kenwood Avenue.
In Ohio, the most typical type of cherry tree is black cherry although its blossoms aren’t like the common cherry blossom or prunus serrulata. On the other hand, in Cincinnati you can see over 1,100 Japanese cherry trees at Ault Park. The most distinctive trees you can see are the weeping trees that can grow up to 30 feet tall and wide. In the event you visit Ault Park, the blooming season is from March to April. It’s about a 20-minute drive from downtown to reach the city’s fourth largest park. While Ault Park is the main attraction, you can see cherry trees elsewhere in Cincinnati. For example, Bellevue Park and Eden Park are great suggestions as well as Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum.
In America’s second most populous city, there is no doubt you can find several cherry blossom blooms in LA. Of the many spots, the one that gets the most attention is Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge. In particular, you’ll want to visit the Japanese garden, where the cherry trees tend to bloom in February and March. Other notable spots are Huntington Gardens in San Marin and Grand Park near Little Tokyo. However, the largest collection of blossom trees you can find is probably at Lake Balboa in Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley. Covering 27 acres, Lake Balboa is known to have over 2,000 Japanese cherry trees. In addition, some LA communities are hosting cherry blossom festivals, like West Covina and Monterey Park. Lastly, if you visit Little Tokyo, your best chance to see blossoms is at James Irvine Japanese Garden.
Macon may be best known as the former home of musicians like Otis Redding, Little Richard and the Allman Brothers. On the other hand, this city in the literal heart of Georgia is also famous for its 350,000 Yoshino cherry trees. To put that in perspective, Macon has more cherry trees than any other city in the country. Moreover, it’s known as the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World and host of the International Cherry Blossom Festival in March. By the way, this festival coincides in late March with the bloom of these Japanese flowering cherry trees. Held over 10 days, the festival features several events, including a Cherry Blossom Ball and Parade.
Did you know that Music City is one of America’s best places to see cherry tree blossoms? Indeed, Nashville that’s best known for the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame has at least 1,000 Yoshino trees. Furthermore, there’s also the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival on April 15, which includes a cherry blossom walk. If that’s not enough, Nashville hosts special events during Japan Week leading to the festival although details are not currently available. While Nashville Public Square is your top spot to see cherry blossoms in this vibrant city, there are other recommendations. For example, Riverfront Park and Shelby Avenue Arboretum are both known for these flowering pink beauties.
New York City
In America’s largest city, there are several locations where you can see beautiful cherry blossom trees. For instance, Central Park is quite popular to see blossoming cherry trees as is Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. You also shouldn’t overlook Randall’s Island in the East River near East Harlem. That’s not to mention lesser-known spots like Hunter’s Point South Park, Riverside Park and the aptly named Sakura Park. Above all, however, the best spot in New York City may be Brooklyn Botanic Gardens near Prospect Park. Unfortunately, the Gardens will not be hosting its popular Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival this year. Nevertheless, a visit to the Garden’s Cherry Esplanade will be well worth the price of admission. In case you go, the blooming season lasts from about mid-March until late April.
Newark, New Jersey
If you in the New York metropolitan area looking for other cherry blossoms blooms, head over to Newark, New Jersey. More specifically, you should visit Branch Brook Park about 10 minutes from downtown Newark. That’s because this Jersey park has over 5,200 Japanese cherry trees in 18 varieties. In other words, no other spot in America has a larger concentration of these cherry blossoms. The park is also known to be the first country park in the United States. That’s not to mention that the park hosts the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival from April 1-16.
San Francisco has had a long connection with Japan and its culture. After all, the city was once home to the west coast immigration station on Angel Island, processing thousands of Asian immigrants for 30 years. What’s more it’s home to one of the three remaining Japantowns in California. In fact, the San Francisco Japantown is the oldest and is one of the city’s best places to see cherry blossoms. Equally important is the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, held over two weekends in April. First held in 1968, the event draws over 220,000 visitors, making it the largest Japanese festival in California.
Japanese Tea Garden
In addition to Japantown, you should visit the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park for cherry blossom trees. Originally an attraction the 1894 world’s fair, it’s the oldest Japanese-style garden in the country. In case you visit the Tea Garden, don’t forget to also visit the Botanical Gardens, just a short walk away.
While Michigan leads the country in cherry production, Washington produces America’s most sweet cherries. Whereas most of the cherry farms are in the Cascades and Yakima Valley, Seattle is also a top spot to see cherry blossoms. If you ask a local where the best place to see blossoms, chances are it’s the quad at the University of Washington. However, there are other great spots in the Emerald City, such as the Japanese Garden at Washington Park Arboretum, reopening March 1. That’s not to mention Seward Park and Jefferson Park, among others. Lastly, you must visit the city’s top attraction Seattle Center, which features the Space Needle iconic symbol of the city. In April, the Seattle Center will host the annual Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival, one of the city’s 24 free cultural festivals.
What better place for you to see cherry blossoms this spring than the Cherry Capital of the World? That would be Traverse City in Northern Michigan and in a region that produces about half of America’s tart cherries. Because of this, you can see an estimated two million cherry trees within the region. The top spot for you see cherry blooms is along the Old Mission Peninsula overlooking Grand Traverse Bay. However, you shouldn’t overlook a drive to the Traverse Wine Coast along the Leelanau Peninsula. The blooming season in Traverse City typically occurs by mid-May and last for a few weeks. That’s not to mention the Traverse City Cherry Festival drawing 500,000 visitors over eight days in July.
Of all the best American cities to see cherry blossoms this spring, Washington D.C. may be the most famous. That’s mainly because of the gift of friendship from the mayor of Tokyo to America’s capital city of over 3,000 cherry trees. Each spring, visitors flock West Potomac Park for the blooming season of these beautiful Japanese cherry trees. What’s more, the city hosts the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival at the park’s Tidal Basin, which includes a festive parade. If you are thinking of visiting, the average blooming season is from late March into early April. While it’s too early to tell when the peak bloom will occur, your best bet is the last week of March and first week of April.
When you think of a seaside boardwalk, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? In brief, it’s probably a picturesque beachside community often accompanied by a family friendly amusement park. Of course, that’s why coastal cities rank among America’s top destinations in the summer. In light of this, it’s not too late to start planning for a seaside vacation before summer is over. Without further delay, here is a look at 15 of the best seaside boardwalks in the United States.
Atlantic City, NJ
Even if this list wasn’t alphabetized, the AC’s boardwalk deserves to be mentioned first. After all, it was the America’s first, opened way back in 1870. On top of that, it’s one of the longest and among the East Coasts’ most famous boardwalks. Extending over 4 miles, the iconic pedestrian pathway connects several of the AC’s top attractions, like casinos, retail shopping, piers and the famed Boardwalk Hall. Lastly, if it gets too hot, the beaches are just footsteps away.
Daytona Beach, FL
It’s not just the historic boardwalk that makes this Florida city so exceptionally popular. For one, it’s home to one of the world’s most famous beaches. For another, there are amusement park rides, arcade games and of course, a legendary racetrack. In addition are lively summer concerts at the time weathered Bandshell. If that’s not enough, head over to the Pier or enjoy an upcoming event in the Festival Capital of Florida.
Hampton Beach, NH
This beautiful seaside community doesn’t really have a boardwalk. Yet almost everywhere you look, is a business named after it. Moreover, with arcade games, cheap eats and small retail shops, it definitely looks like the real thing. What’s more, events are held all summer, including live entertainment on the Sea Shell Stage, a talent contest and seafood fest. Lastly, Hampton Beach will host a long list of world-class performers all summer at the iconic Casino Ballroom.
Blessed with summery weather all year long, Hollywood Beach has been drawing visitors since the 1920s. During the early days, a cement walkway was paved as this resort area was emerging as the Atlantic City of the South. With this in mind, Hollywood Beach Broadwalk now extends nearly 2.5 miles and among the best in Florida. Several hotels, eateries and tourists shops line the walkway to complete the total vacation experience. Oh and that’s not a typo, it is called Broadwalk!
Like New Jersey, the Empire State has an impressive collection of boardwalks. While Coney Island reigns supreme, Rockaway and Long Beach are as scenic as they are as expansive. However, the nearly-mile long Jones Beach boardwalk makes the cut here. That’s primarily because of concerts at the Bandshell and Jones Beach Theater. In fact, aside from Atlantic City, no other boardwalk comes close to this level of world-class entertainment.
Mission Beach, San Diego
Featuring a historic seaside amusement park, Mission Beach has not one, but two seaside boardwalks. The first opened in 1925, around the same time as Belmont Park. Today, the boardwalk runs the length of Mission and Pacific beaches . Unsurprisingly, the walkway is filled people, to enjoy snack shops, nightlife and shops for water activities. Additionally, on the opposite side of the beach is Mission Bay, with its own popular Bayside Walk.
Myrtle Beach, SC
Located along South Carolina’s Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach is among the top beach destinations in the entire South. The top South Carolina boardwalk dates to the 1930s and today runs 1.2 miles long while bustling with activity. The pathway connects visitors to many affordable hotel and attractions, including the 187-foot tall SkyWheel. If that’s not enough, there are arcade games, a wooden roller coaster and even more amusement parks.
Ocean City, MD
Located on Fenwick Island, Ocean City is a resort community with a population of barely over 7,000. But in summertime, it’s reminiscent of other popular coastal destinations. The first boardwalk opened in 1902 and now ranks among the Top 10 Best. The 2.25 mile boardwalk is dog friendly and known for its award-winning food options. Even more is Trimper’s Rides, one of America’s best and oldest remaining seaside parks. In fact, Trimper’s is the oldest operating family-owned amusement park in the country, dating back to 1893.
Once named the East Coast’s Best Family Beach, Rehoboth Beach backs up the distinction. Similarly, the mile-long seaside boardwalk has earned its own national awards. The original boardwalk dates to 1873, the same year the town was established. What is more, the contemporary walkway is actually made of wood! In addition, there are family-friendly attractions like Funland and Ryan’s Mini Golf. During the summer months, you can enjoy free music for the Rehoboth Beach Summer Concert Series. In fact, the Concert Series features over 40 live music acts each season.
The name might not be recognizable. However, think Coney Island and you will instantly know Riegelmann is one famous boardwalk. Even before the wooden walkway was completed in 1923, Coney Island was by far, America’s largest amusement area. Although many attractions have come and gone, Coney Island continues to draw enormous crowds. A few landmark attractions are thankfully still around, like the Cyclone, Wonder Wheel and original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand. That’s not to mention the 250-foot tall Parachute Jump tower, although it’s no longer operational.
Santa Cruz Boardwalk
Like many of today’s amusement parks, the boardwalk here is no longer wooden. However, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk retains some of its oldest rides and attractions. This includes the Giant Dipper roller coaster, Looff Carousel and the Cocoanut Grove. Opened in 1907, the Beach Boardwalk is the oldest surviving amusement park on the West Coast. Even more, the Beach Boardwalk has been named the world’s best seaside park by the Golden Ticket Awards.
If you’re a Beatles fan visiting London, there are obviously some attractions you’ll want to see. Of course, some are quite obvious and really need no introduction. However, there are many other hidden gems that are important spots in the history of the legendary band from Liverpool. A great way to see many top Beatles attractions in London is an affordable walking tour. However, you can always see Fab Four places you only read about all on your own. Here’s a quick look at just 1o of the best Beatles attractions in London.
Abbey Road Crossing
3 Abbey Road
London NW8 9AY, UK
Is there any other crosswalk more famous than the one in front of Abbey Road Studios? That’s hard to answer, since Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing is by far the world’s busiest intersection. However, Beatles fans worldwide will argue that nothing can compare to their beloved zebra crossing. In fact, it’s likely the first London attraction that you’ll want to visit as a Beatles fan. Also known as the Beatles Crossing, you can find this iconic setting in the St. John’s Wood section of London. Don’t forget to visit the Graffiti Wall and the Abbey Road Shop.
Related: Famous Music Locations in London
Asher Family Home
57 Wimpole St.
London W1G 8yW, UK
One of the most popular attractions of the many available London Beatles tours is the Asher family home. In case you need more detail, this is where Paul McCartney lived with his girlfriend Jane Asher and her parents Richard and Margaret. It was here that Sir Paul and John Lennon wrote “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, the Fab Four’s first No. 1 hit in the U.S. If that’s not enough, the music and lyrics to “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yesterday” were made here. If you decide to visit on your own, you might want to first stop by Marylebone Station (more on this later). Both the Asher home on Wimpole and this historic train station are in the same namesake neighborhood.
Beatles Rooftop Concert
3 Savile Row
London W1S 3PB, UK
Next to Abbey Road Crossing, this iconic building may just be the second stop of your London Beatles tour. For one, this was location of Apple Corps headquarters, the band’s own multimedia company, which included Apple Records. However, the building’s rooftop is important as the location of the band’s final public performance in January 1969. The rest, as they say is history. By September 1969, John Lennon left the band and the following year the band officially broke up. If you go, take notice of the Blue Plaque on second floor of the building that marks this momentous occasion. Savile Row is just a .3-mile walk from Piccadilly Circus.
London Beatles Store
231-233 Baker St.
London NW1 6XE, UK
+44 20 7935 4464
In London, there is no better place to purchase Fab Four merchandise and memorabilia than the Beatles Store. In fact, the store is said to stock the world’s largest range of Beatles gifts, including clothing, souvenirs and collectibles. The London Beatles Store is just a short walk from the Baker Street subway station. Also of particular interest is the Sherlock Holmes Museum, just a few doors down at 221b Baker Street. Incidentally, the original Apple Boutique once stood a few blocks away at 94 Baker Street. Today, there is a Blue Plaque that signifies its importance in music history.
Madame Tussauds London
Yet another London attraction you may wish to visit is the world-famous Madame Tussauds wax museum. In fact, it was the original Beatles wax figures from this museum that appear on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Madame Tussauds is also very close to the Baker Street subway station.
London Palladium Theatre
8 Argyll St.
London W1F 7TF, UK
A prominent venue that dates to 1910, the London Palladium is known as the world’s most famous variety theater. But for Beatles fans, it was an October 1963 concert that inspired the media to come up with the term “Beatlemania”. On that October evening, the band was on a TV variety show known as Tonight at the London Palladium. After that performance, the Beatles were likely the most popular band in the UK. This iconic music and entertainment venue is about a quarter mile from the Oxford Circus tube station.
Marylebone Train Station
London NW1 6JJ, UL
For Harry Potter fans, the train station to visit is King’s Cross and Platform 9 ¾. However, for Beatles fans, London’s most important train station is Marylebone. That’s because in the opening scenes of “A Hard Day’s Night” you can see the Beatles running to catch their train at the station. However, that depot was meant to be Lime Street station, in the band’s hometown of Liverpool. Nevertheless, who can forget John, George and Ringo running from their fans before meeting Paul and his grandfather onboard the train.
Paul McCartney Home
7 Cavendish Ave.
London NW8 9JG, UK
Just a short walk from Abbey Road is the home Paul McCartney bought for £40,000 in April, 1965. A three-story Regency townhouse, some of the Beatles most famous songs were written here at McCartney’s top level music room. In detail, “Penny Lane” “Hello Goodbye” and “Hey Jude” were all largely composed here. Today, Sir Paul resides here when he’s in London, despite the frequent tours that pass by. Nevertheless, if you do visit, please be mindful and respectful of not only this home, but the neighbors as well. This is regardless of whether it’s a top Beatles in London attraction or not.
Ringo Starr Former Home
34 Montagu Square
London W1H 2LJ, UK
Around the same time that Paul McCartney lived on Wimpole Street, Ringo leased a home on Montagu Square. As a matter of fact, this was the first home for newlyweds Ringo and his wife Maureen Tigrett. However, it wasn’t just the Starrs who lived here during the 1960s. Indeed, Paul McCartney lived here briefly, as did Jimi Hendrix. That’s to say nothing of the fact that this was the first London residence of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. As a matter of fact, this was where John and Yoko struck a pose for their “Two Virgins” album cover. In 2010 Yoko Ono made an appearance to unveil the new Blue Plaque of her late husband.
17 St. Anne’s Court
London W1F 0BQ, UK
At the time it was operating, Trident Studios was one of the most important recording studios in London. For instance, Elton John’s “Your Song” was made here, as was David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”. That’s not to mention Queen’s first three albums and Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain”. Of course, there’s also a very important Beatles connection here. Indeed, this is where “Hey Jude” was recorded, along with portions of the Beatles “White Album”. Although Trident Studios is long gone, you can see the Blue Plaque to mark the spot where Ziggy Stardust was made. That in itself is a London attraction.
Related: Historic Music Venues in Los Angeles
Where Paul Met Linda
9 Kingly St.
London W1B 5PH, UK
During the Swinging Sixties, one of the most popular live music venues in London was Bag O’Nails. Just one block from fashionable Carnaby Street, Bag O’Nails was a favorite hangout for Paul McCartney, who would come here to dine after recording sessions. What’s more, Jimi Hendrix made his second appearance here in January 1967, with John Lennon, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger and others in attendance. However, it was during a Georgie Fame concert in May 1967 that Paul first met future wife Linda Eastman. That evening, Sir Paul introduced himself to Linda, who was on assignment to photograph prominent musicians. After an evening out, the two saw each other again at Brian Epstein’s home to promote “Sgt. Pepper”.
When visiting Toronto, should you be using public transportation, including the subway rather than a rental car? After all, it’s among the most congested cities not only in North America but across the globe. While it’s certainly convenient to get a car rental at the airport, you might have a better experience by using mass …
If you plan to visit Toronto, Canada this year, you’ll be visiting one of the world’s greatest cities. But just how well do you know the vibrant capital city of Ontario? Sure, you might know it lies along Lake Ontario and Niagara Falls is not far away. But don’t you want to learn more facts …