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Tidal Basin
Tidal Basin

Tidal Basin

E Basin Drive NW, Ohio Drive NW, Washington, DC

The Basics

Enjoy a walk or bike ride around the 2.1-mile (3.4-kilometer) Tidal Basin loop, which passes by several key monuments. If you’re there between May and October, you can explore the inlet by paddleboat. The Tidal Basin features on many walking, biking, and Segway tours—hop-on hop-off trolleys stop there as well. The inlet is also close to other landmarks on the National Mall, making it easy to check out multiple sights in one visit.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes if you plan to tour the area, as distances between attractions can be greater than anticipated.

  • Paddleboats can be booked online. Reserve yours well in advance if you’ll be visiting during cherry blossom season.

  • The Tidal Basin trail and all monuments around the inlet are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.

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How to Get There

It’s best to take public transit to the Tidal Basin, as parking in the area is limited. The closest metro stations are Smithsonian (on the Blue, Silver, and Orange lines) and L’Enfant Plaza (on the Blue, Silver, Orange, Green, and Yellow lines), and the National Mall Circulator bus stops nearby. Bikeshares are also a good way to get around.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

For the ideal views, head to the Tidal Basin on a clear day. Avoid going after heavy rains, as the area can flood. The prettiest, though also busiest, time to visit is in spring when the cherry trees are in bloom—go in the early morning or the evening to beat the crowds.

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Less-Crowded Places to See the Cherry Blossoms

Washington DC’s most popular spot to view cherry blossoms, the Tidal Basin can be extremely crowded during peak bloom. For fewer people, opt for one of the city’s less-crowded areas to marvel at the lovely blooms, such as the United States National Arboretum, Stanton Park, or Anacostia Park.

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