Best Places for Cherry Blossom Viewing in Illinois

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CHICAGO, IL – The arrival of cherry blossoms in Illinois marks the start of spring and warmer days. Sakura blooms are typically observed in the first two weeks of April, but sometimes they may bloom in late April to early May. 

These delicate flowers bloom for only a week or two, making them a sought-after sight. Here are the best spots to experience this natural spectacle in Illinois.

Cherry Tree Allée at the University of Illinois Arboretum, Urbana, is a must-visit. The trees are an extension of the gardens at Japan House at the University of Illinois, and their annual “sakura watch” posts on their website and social media guide visitors to this spot during peak blooming season. The setting in Cherry Tree Allée is truly stunning.

Jackson Park, located south of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, is the city’s most popular spot for cherry blossom viewing. More than 160 cherry trees bloom in shades of white to deep pink every spring, creating an unforgettable view.

Visitors can also take a stroll through the Chicago Botanic Garden’s 17-acre Malott Japanese Garden to spot a handful of cherry blossom trees and ornamental flowering cherry shrubs. At the Morton Arboretum in suburban Lisle, cherry blossom trees are featured in the Korean plant landscape located on the east side of the arboretum.

For a more extensive experience, travelers can visit Japan House at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where they will find 50 stunning cherry blossom trees. Japan House is a cultural center that hosts regular cultural events, including hanami, to enhance visitors’ experiences.

Cherry blossom trees peak anywhere from late March to early May, depending on weather conditions, and once they hit their peak, they typically last anywhere from three to eight days before shedding their petals. It’s best to plan your visit carefully to witness this beautiful display of nature.

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