Cherry Blossoms by Laurie Collins in Washington, DC, USA

I wanted to show how beautiful springtime can be here in Washington DC. All my pictures were taken during peak blooming season, usually in April, in and around the Tidal Basin area downtown. Every year, over 1,700 trees burst with beautiful white and pink flowers lasting for 3-4 days.

Name:Laurie Collins

Systems Engineer

Tell us about Washington DC:

I am lucky enough to live in the Nation’s Capital. We are filled with history and have some of the best museums in the country. Tourist season begins in the spring and stays strong through September. We get to experience all four seasons, from spring flowers, to very hot, humid summers, to beautiful fall leaves and an occasional snow storm. We have wonderful places to stay and extraordinary places to eat.

A perfect day?

Waking up begins with an early walk through the National Zoo. Getting there early allows me to see all the animals wide awake and active. I might head up to The Little Red Fox to get a honey cinnamon latte which will make you want to lick the sides of the cup – it is that good! I will head over to the US National Arboretum where I will roam with my camera on the 446 acres of land right in the city! For dinner, one of my favorite places to dine is Le Diplomate, a local brasserie serving classic French fare & drinks. They have beautiful tile floors and a sidewalk cafe, weather permitting.

What is the best thing about Washington DC?

We are mostly a walkable community. We have the option to walk, metro, bike, or take the bus. We are notorious for traffic so having public transportation options are great and reasonable.

What is the worst?

Traffic! When the tourist season begins, traffic can really get gridlocked and people are always in a hurry to get somewhere. Even the locals need the weekends to get their shopping done, so good transportation is a must!

What would be surprising about Washington DC to an outsider?

Our museums and Zoo are FREE! That’s so important because being the Nation’s Capital, you want your visit to be affordable. It’s also very easy to get around because our underground Metro system can take you almost anywhere. We are also very close to Maryland and Virginia which have many amazing attractions to see too.

If Washington DC was a person or character who would it be?

An octopus! Many arms of government, diversity of people, creative art venues and transportation.

Who are three of your favorite artists?

My favorite artist photographers are those I hang around with almost weekly. They can be found through @IGDC on Instagram. My favorite bands are sometimes playing at the 9:30 Club, another local music venue here.


Name:Laurie Collins


Favorite place to eat:

Rose’s Luxury in Eastern Market/Barracks Row for fried Italian eggplant with feta, anchovy and wildflower honey. Oyamel in Penn Quarter for creative Mexican tapas and stellar margaritas. Ripple in Cleveland Park for the best grilled cheese happy hour sandwiches.

Favorite place to drink:

POV at the W Hotel with its rooftop terrace for the best view of the city. Old Ebbitt Grill proudly wears the crown of DC’s oldest saloon and is great for people watching. Belga Cafe for a long list of Belgian ales.

Favorite shop:

Union Market is a unique place in the city where a wide variety of ethnic groups and diverse social-economic groups come together and share the same spirit of community. Salt & Sundry has beautifully curated selections of tableware, linens, artisanal foods and one-of-a-kind vintage finds, as well as reclaimed wood farm tables. Dolcezza Gelato serves daily-made artisanal gelato which will make you come back for more.

Local Tip:

Traffic is crazy, look into getting a Capital Bikeshare pass while you’re here or a Metro Card to get around.

Must Do:

Museums, museums, museums! The National Gallery of Art and Natural History Museum. Travel up the Washington Monument but go at 8:30am to get free tickets for a later time that day. Visit the cherry blossoms in April. Attend a National’s baseball game. Visit the White House.