One of the most challenging aspects of visiting the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington is getting there. Parking is nearly impossible — if you must go by car, be prepared to circle for a spot that’s many blocks away. We recommend public transportation. Here are three maps to illustrate the best ways to get to the blossoms. (And here’s everything else you’ll need to know about going to the festival.)
The Tidal Basin is about a half mile from the Smithsonian Metro Station’s Independence Avenue exit. It can be crowded on weekends, and you may wish to walk an extra 10 minutes from L’Enfant Plaza or Federal Triangle.
The D.C. Circulator bus, which makes a constant loop of Union Station, the National Mall and the memorials, has multiple stops near the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial, and it costs $1.
Capital Bikeshare operates three stations around the Tidal Basin: one on East Basin Drive SW, just south of the Jefferson Memorial; one on Ohio Drive SW near the Welcome Center; and one on Independence Avenue near the John Paul Jones Memorial. There are other docks a short walk away, including at the Lincoln Memorial and on Hains Point.
Parking is extremely limited, with some spaces near the memorials reserved for handicapped access. The closest parking is at the metered lot at the Tidal Basin boathouse, which has a three-hour time limit.