Each year, the National Park Service welcomes spring to the nation's capital with the Cherry Blossom Festival. The annual flowering of the cherry trees in Washington, D.C., has become a living landmark for visitors from around the world. The famous trees, a gift from Japan in 1912, usually reach their peak bloom during the first week of April. A canopy of pink and white blossoms circles the Tidal Basin, framing spectacular views of the domed Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument obelisk.
This year, the Auburn/Cayuga Community College Alumni Association offers a three-day bus excursion to Washington from Friday, April 1, to Sunday, April 3. The trip is timed for the midpoint of the 2011 Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs from March 26 to April 10.
Travelers will stay at the Crystal City (Va.) Marriott, located at a Metro stop for convenient subway access. Sightseeing highlights in and around the capital include the White House, Capitol Hill, National Mall, Smithsonian Institution, Arlington National Cemetery, World War II and Vietnam War Memorials, National Gallery of Art and Washington National Cathedral. Many attractions are free of charge and within easy walking distance of one another. To save time on self-paced tours, trolleys offer hop-on-hop-off passes.
The trip will depart from the Auburn campus at 6:00 a.m. for mid-afternoon arrival. The return trip will depart mid-afternoon and arrive in Auburn approximately 11:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The cost of $248 per person includes the two-night hotel stay (double occupancy) and round-trip travel by air-conditioned motor coach. Although offered by the Alumni Association, the trip is open to the public; age restrictions may apply. Seating is limited and reservations must be paid in full through the college's Alumni Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-255-1743, extension 2224 or 2454.