Where to? Vancouver, Canada
Why you’ll love it: It’s that time of year when your Instagram’s inundated with ethereal sakura photos snapped in Japan, Seoul and China. But across the ocean there’s another floral force to be reckoned with: Vancouver. One of the world’s petal powerhouses, Vancouver is home to 40,000 Japanese cherry blossom trees and absolutely breathtaking blooms across the city.
The annual festival, which ran from March 24-April 17 this year, is a big deal with over a dozen community events that locals and travelers can join. There’s a blossom photo contest, a Japan Fair, tree-planting programs, concerts, haiku competitions and even a painting session.
The best way to see the various sakura scenes is by bicycle, and a popular route takes you across Queen Elizabeth Park, through VanDusen Botanical Garden, and even along the canopies in the Kitsilano neighborhood.
Fun fact: The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival celebrated its 10th Anniversary was this year, plus the city’s first 500 cherry trees were a gift from Japan.
Get there: Cathay Pacific and Air Canada both offer several direct flights every week.