Where to find cherry blossom (Sakura) trees in Southern California 🌸 2024

Seeing cherry blossom trees (櫻 sakura in Japanese) in person is a real treat~ 

What makes these flowers special is their notable appearance and short life span. It is difficult to time the full bloom for cherry blossoms, but there is about a two week flowering window. If you do catch these magnificent flowers in bloom, you'll get to enjoy the magical vibe and as well as have the opportunity to take some aesthetic photos ;)

If you can’t make it to Japan in the springtime, then you have the chance to witness cherry blossoms in bloom in California as well! This blog focuses on Southern California, but hopefully next year I can experience Northern California's cherry blossoms season.

It is difficult to know the exact cherry blossoms forecast in California. In Japan, late march to April is the best time to view cherry blossoms. Since the climate is very different in California, I recommend frequently checking the following locations’ social media and official websites for their blooming forecast.

My Top Picks:

✿ Descanso Gardens in La Cañada

This place is absolutely beautiful. While the entire garden is quite large, there is a small area dedicated to the Japanese aesthetic. There are structures that take on an authentic historic Japanese feel. 
There are numerous photo op areas and stunning views. I came mid march and while there were cherry blossoms, it was too early for the full bloom. On their social media, I saw some gorgeous photos of the sakura in bloom by a bridge.

Aside from cherry blossoms, you can view other popular Japanese flowers like Camellia (椿 tsubaki).
You could probably spend about 30 minutes in the Japanese-style area and around 2-3 hours in total wandering around the entire garden depending on your pace and interests.

I tend to visit this area for the floating lantern festival (Toro Nagashi) in honor of Obon (お盆) in August.
However, I saw photos of this place during the cherry blossom bloom and it is breathtaking.

Why I love this place: you get a feel for the community and a lot of work and maintenance is put into this garden. It is a large location with many scenic details—from bridges to traditional structures, to the koi pond with huge fish. This place is super aesthetic.

Expect to walk through the entire vicinity in about 30-1 hour. There is a gift shop and lots of small details to admire and explore. We usually spend 2-3 hours here in total; taking photos, watching the koi fish, and on shopping and eating if vendors are present.

While the photo below was taken during the summer, I hope it gives you an idea of the atmosphere.

Popular Choice:

✿ The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino

In the last two years, you had to make a reservation for this place. There is a lot more to explore in this location as well. Great for dates and families.


✿ Torrance Cherry Blossom Event  + April 7th (FREE)

Enjoy Japanese festivities such as traditional folk dances and browse through local craft and food vendors all under cherry blossom trees! Torrance is known for their high population of Japanese-Americans. A very laid back and humble community. 

An annual event located in Huntington Beach. Please check their website for updates, as they may need to reschedule due to the weather. 

A small, but tight-nit community. During COVID, this community made the creative effort to preserve this tradition with a drive through type of celebration where children received goodie bags and participants viewed a broadcast with traditional Japanese music and performances. Their physical location in West Covina has a cherry blossom tree or two. Now they sponsor and partake in the West Covina Plaza cherry blossom festival. You won't find Cherry blossoms there, but where can support rows of local vendors and experience elements of Japanese culture, like taiko drumming.


✿ Peter F. Schabarum Regional Park in Rowland Heights 

There are numerous cherry blossom trees lined up throughout the park. It can be quite the walk if you want to see the entire park, but even by the entrance you will see some trees! This place is great for a stroll or picnic. My tip is to park your car in the nearby shopping area and walk to the park; otherwise, there may be a parking fee onsite.

Are there any other worthwhile spots to see cherry blossoms?

Let me know!