Last year I took a trip to visit the Kenwood section of Bethesda because it has long been hyped as being the alternative place to view cherry blossom trees without enduring the crowds at the Tidal Basin in downtown Washington, DC. I saw that the area is crammed with cherry blossom trees and, yes, the views of those blossom definitely rivals the Tidal Basin trees. But when I went I saw that there was a bunch of traffic in that neighborhood along with tons of “No Parking” signs. While I managed to park my car on a side street that didn’t have any “No Parking” signs, it was still a hassle dealing with crowds.

I saw first-hand that while there may have been a time when Kenwood was the less-crowded alternative to the Tidal Basin, it’s really no longer a local secret because I saw so many people walking out and about. There were some streets close to the neighborhood entrance that had just as many cars and people as the Tidal Basin.

This year I saw this article in The Washington Post on alternate places to see the cherry blossoms without encountering huge crowds and I saw that there were trees in Crofton, Maryland that were listed. I was surprised to see Crofton mentioned because I’ve been making regular trips to that place because that’s where the meetings of my support group for people who are separated or divorced are held and I didn’t recall seeing cherry blossom trees. A few days ago I had to be in that town because I’m currently attending a book discussion group that my support group is running on Monday nights so I decided to arrive a little bit early to check this out.

So I drove along Crofton Parkway and I found that, yes there are cherry blossom trees as well as the white blossoms of the Bradford pear trees (which are also a common sight in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area because they bloom at the same time as the cherry blossoms) planted alongside that street. They aren’t quite as compacted together as the numerous trees in Kenwood but there are still enough of them to warrant a pleasant drive around Crofton Parkway. Best of all, there were hardly any crowds at all, unlike Kenwood. I think it’s due to the fact that Kenwood is located close to the DC border while Crofton is located about a 30-45 minute drive away (depending on the traffic) from DC so the tourists are far less likely to crowd the Crofton Parkway.

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I especially loved the light effect on the flowers that was created by the late afternoon sun.

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I didn’t do as much driving as I wanted to because of my meeting. I definitely recommend seeing these cherry blossom trees in Crofton, especially for locals who are tired of dealing with the crowds in Kenwood and the Tidal Basin.

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