Cherry Blossom Festival, Branch Brook Park
Here's a little known fact: New Jersey has more cherry trees than Washington D.C. Every spring, residents and visitors alike can see the largest cherry blossom collection in the United States.
Branch Brook Park, which runs through Belleville and Newark, has more than 2,700 Japanese cherry blossom trees that burst into full bloom during the annual Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival, usually in April, which features various events for visitors of all ages. The weeklong festival includes the Cherry Blossom Challenge Bike Race (an official NJBA event), the Cherry Blossom 10k Fun Run (a USATF-sanctioned race), a free 1-mile fun run, the Essex County Family Day with free kid-friendly activities, and Bloomfest, featuring Japanese cultural demonstrations, live music, a crafter's marketplace, food and more.
The festival is just one of the many celebrations in New Jersey that showcases the natural beauty of the state.
Each year thousands of visitors are awed by the beautiful colors of pink and white. The park first adopted a pink and white hue in 1927, when Caroline Bamburger Fuld donated 2,000 cherry blossom trees to the Essex County Parks system in memory of her late husband.
Branch Brook Park also holds the distinction of being the first county park in the United States opened to the public, it was designed by the famed landscape architectural firm of Olmsted Brothers, a successor to Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park in New York City.