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Lake Balboa
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Giggs Huang Lake Balboa

Cherry blossom festivals in Los Angeles

Celebrate the arrival of spring with an afternoon at one of these cherry blossom festivals around Los Angeles

By Michael Juliano
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Before the jacaranda trees bloom and as the California poppies begin to flower, Los Angeles also greets the springtime with cherry blossom festival season. Between March and April, a handful of Southern California cities salute their Japanese roots as delicate pink flowers begin to dot the trees in parks and along city streets. Oddly enough, some of the cherry blossom festivals don’t actually feature any cherry trees—you’ll want to head to a botanical garden or Lake Balboa in Van Nuys (pictured above) to see those blossoming buds. But if you’re looking to step into spring, start with a visit to a cherry blossom festival, particularly the ones below.

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Cherry blossom festivals in Los Angeles

Descanso Gardens
Photograph: Courtesy Descanso Gardens

Spring Bloom Walks at Descanso Gardens

Witness the springtime bloom during two months of guided walking tours where you’ll learn all about those beautiful pink-flowering trees (Fri at 1pm; Sat at 11am, 1pm). Make sure to check the garden’s detailed bloom status map.

Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge. Mar 6–May 9: Daily
 9am–5pm; $15 (included with garden admission).

South Coast Botanic Garden
Photograph: Courtesy Jeff Staton

Cherry Blossom Celebration at the South Coast Botanic Garden

The Palos Verdes Hills botanical garden is marking its cherry, rose and poppy blossoms with two months of festivities. First off, on the floral side, you can grab a map and embark on a daily blossom hunt (Mar 1–May 31) or set out on docent-led tours of the gardens on Saturdays in March (Mar 7, 14, 21, 28). You’ll find an evening of family-friendly performances (Mar 13), as well as more adult-leaning workshops, like an afternoon of painting the blooms while sipping mimosas (Mar 7) and learning to craft your own kombucha (Mar 15).

South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd, Palos Verdes Peninsula. Admission $15; additional charges for workshops and after-hours events.

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Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom Festival
Photograph: Courtesy HB Central Park

Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom Festival

This year’s event has been postponed due to inclement weather.

Head to Huntington Beach’s blossoming cherry tree grove
for a festival stocked with food vendors as well as drum, dance and musical performances by ensembles from around Southern California.

Huntington Beach Central Park, 18000 Goldenwest St, Huntington Beach. Mar 13 5–9pm, Mar 14 10am–9pm, Mar 15 10am–4pm; single day $5, weekend pass $10.

Cherry Blossom Festival in West Covina
Photograph: Courtesy ESGVJCC

Cherry Blossom Festival in West Covina

Get a taste of Japanese culture at this East San Gabriel Valley celebration. Scope out an afternoon of dance andtaiko drumming while snacking on gyoza, chicken teriyaki and Spam musubi.

Plaza West Covina, 112 Plaza Dr, West Covina. Mar 21 noon–6pm; free.

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Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival
Photograph: Courtesy City of Torrance

Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival

Spend an afternoon underneath the cherry blossoms as dancers and Japanese folk musicians perform alongside origami workshops and an Akita pup meet-up at this annual Pan-Asian celebration.

Columbia Park, 4045 190th St, Torrance. Apr 5 11am–4pm; free.

Cherry Blossom Festival in Monterey Park
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Keila N

Cherry Blossom Festival in Monterey Park

While Monterey Park may be best known for its concentration of Chinese culture, the city honors its Japanese influences with this free fest featuring drums, martial arts, a tea ceremony and handmade crafts.

Barnes Park, 350 S McPherrin Ave, Monterey Park. Apr 25 11am–7pm, Apr 26 11am–6pm; free.

Looking for more beautiful blossoms?

Huntington Library
Photograph: Courtesy the Huntington Library

The most beautiful Japanese gardens in L.A.

Things to do

Among L.A.’s many beautiful botanical gardens, none are quite as tranquil as Japanese gardens. From a Little Tokyo rooftop to a Pasadena-area museum, these are the most beautiful Japanese gardens in Los Angeles.

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