This suggested 2.25 mile self-guided walk north and west of Washington Square Park provides excellent opportunities to see flowering trees in bloom, especially the white blossoms of the callery pears.
In addition to the trees, this area is rich in architecture, culture, shops, and dining. A few recommended stops are noted on the map at the end of this post.
Many more could be listed, but sometimes it's better to leave spaces for surprises and personal discoveries.
This walk was inspired by the French Situationist practice of dérive, an unplanned journey...
When I spotted a group of trees, I ventured off in their direction.
When I reached those trees, I looked again for a new group of trees within my visual range.
If you follow this self-guided walk, also look for opportunities to go off in other directions for your own adventures.
Good spots for blooming trees and other blooming things along the way:
• E. 8th. Smallish uniform pear trees nine the north side of the street.
• E. 9th a good line-up of callery pear trees in bloom.
• University Place is a fun mix of retail, restaurants, and trees.
• Stop at Union Square Greenmarket to pick up blooming plants to bring home.
• 7th Avenue. Even the avenues sport a few nice pear trees.
• E. 17th Street. A nice group of trees lines the sidewalk in front of the Rubin Museum of Art. The museum was once a Barneys store.
• Jackson Square. Look for a couple of magnolia trees (pink and white) in bloom.
• Waverly Street near W. 11th provides a spectacular canopy of callery pears. It's the highlight of the walk. Feel free to cut to the chase and begin the walk near there.
• Stonewall Place is nice, too, for the pears.
• Pop into Jefferson Market Garden next to the library to see what's in bloom.
• Washington Square Park looks great in spring, showing off seasonal blooming trees and plantings. Also, I think people blossom, too, and the park is a good place to show it off.
Read more about the Callery Pear (Central Park Conservancy).
View A Walk for the Blooming Trees in a larger map
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from the afternoon of March 23, 2012. More on Flickr WOTBA.