While many North American cities have a few hundred cherry trees blooming in the downtown core, Vancouver is lucky enough to have 40,000 cherry trees spread throughout the city. Many of these pink and white beauties, in an impressive variety of cultivars including Akebono and Accolade, are blooming now.
You’ve probably spotted the cherry blossoms at Burrard Skytrain Station. And snapped a smartphone pic or two of the blossoms outside your front door. But where should you really commit and set up your picnic blanket?
Here are your five best options for a day of sunshine and petals:
5 Places to Enjoy Vancouver Cherry Blossoms Now
1) Kitsilano Beach Park
Kitsilano Beach and nearby Vanier Park have many trees in bloom. Find pale pink Somei-yoshino on the water side of the museums. There’s a blushing Spire cherry tree in bloom at Kitsilano Beach, west of the Kitsilano Showboat. Four white Star cherry trees are going strong near the H.R. MacMillan Planetarium.
2) Granville Island
Find the ideal picnic spot among the cluster of bubble gum-hued, waterfront Akebonos near the community centre in Sutcliffe Park on Granville Island. You’ll find more at the nearby Shorepine Walk at the False Creek Seawall.
3) West End/Stanley Park
Settle in among the many Accolade trees blooming at Chilco mini-park at Comox in the West End. Of course Stanley Park has ample options. Find a grove of Akebono cherry trees in bloom on the lower side of the Rose Garden in Stanley Park. The trees planted at the Japanese Canadian War Memorial in Stanley Park are also starting to bloom. The cluster currently boasts three Akebono in flower between the row of rarer Shirotae and the Ojochin trees. In the early 1930s the mayors of Kobe and Yokohama, Japan presented the Park Board with these trees, honouring Japanese Canadians who served in WWI.
4) East Vancouver – Oppenheimer and Andy Livingstone Parks
Oppenheimer Park in Strathcona is awash with gorgeous Somei-yoshino and Akebono cherries. Like the trees at the Stanley Park Memorial, these have historical significance for Vancouver; In 1977, Japanese Canadian Issei pioneers planted 21 sakura in the Park to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Canada’s first known immigrant from Japan. There are also Akebono cherry trees in bloom now at Andy Livingstone.
5) VanDusen Botanical Garden
Beautiful and plentiful Beni-shidare cherry trees are currently in bloom along with several other ornamental cherries.
All cherry blossom intel comes from the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Cherry Scouts. View the full list of bloom locations on their “Blooming Now” Google Map. For more info on Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, April 4-30, check out this post on the top 5 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival events.
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