Find the best Metro lines, bus routes and bicycle pathways for reaching the most-popular cherry blossom spots, as well as less-populated areas for blossom revelry.
DC’s Metrorail, Metrobus and DC Circulator are the most convenient options for reaching the city’s blossom sites during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Taking a bike ride to the blossoms and coasting alongside the beautiful trees is another route that locals and visitors love. For new visitors to DC: driving is not the preferred method of transportation in and around the city, as parking spaces are hard to come by in the District. And one last reminder: please wear a mask and maintain social distancing during your travels.
In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and DC Health and in consultation with the National Park Service Office of Public Health, the National Park Service will limit all vehicular and pedestrian access to the Tidal Basin, East Potomac Park and West Potomac Park during the peak bloom period of the cherry blossoms as a public health precaution to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The start and end dates of any restrictions are dependent on the bloom cycle of the trees, but are currently projected to fall between approximately March 26 and April 12. Updates will be posted the National Park Service's website and on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts dedicated to the National Mall.
Please make sure to check the latest travel status updates for DC and note that some public transportation options may be operating on a modified schedule during your visit. You can also read the COVID-19 guidelines and safety procedures for Metro and the DC Circulator.
How do I get to the Tidal Basin cherry blossoms?
METRO: Use the Blue, Orange or Silver lines and exit at the Smithsonian Metro stop. From there, it’s a 10-15 minute walk to the Tidal Basin Welcome Area, located at 1501 Maine Avenue SW.
BUS: The DC Circulator's National Mall route makes stops directly on the Tidal Basin at the Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials, as well as in front of the Holocaust Memorial Museum. The 32, 34 or 36 Metrobus routes will drop you at the National Mall, near the Washington Monument. A 10-minute walk south will bring you to the welcome area.
BICYCLE: If using your own bike, there is parking available near the Jefferson Memorial, roughly six minutes of walking time from the Tidal Basin. There is a Capital Bikeshare docking station near the Jefferson Memorial, as well as one at Jefferson Drive and 14th Street NW, both a short ride from the blossoms.
How do I get to the cherry blossom trees on the National Mall?
METRO: Numerous Metro stations are within walking distance of the Mall, but again, Smithsonian is your best bet. Federal Triangle (Orange, Blue, Silver) and Archives (Green, Yellow) are also nearby.
BUS: The 32, 34 or 36 Metrobus routes all drop passengers off at the National Mall, near the Washington Monument. The DC Circulator operates routes around the National Mall, which will make moving around the sites even easier.
BICYCLE: Since the trek from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial and West Potomac Park is time consuming on foot, biking around the National Mall could make for a better option. The area is adorned with a wide path to accommodate both pedestrians and bicyclists. Cruise and see the sites on your own two wheels or rent one from a Capital Bikeshare station nearby. Bike parking is readily available near the Jefferson Memorial (6-minute ride from Lincoln). Guided tours are available from Bike and Roll DC.
How do I get to East Potomac Park?
METRO: Although it’s a bit of a hike (roughly 20 minutes), East Potomac Park can be accessed by foot from both the Smithsonian station via the East Basin Drive Bridge and L’Enfant Plaza (Blue, Orange, Silver, Green, Yellow lines) via a walking path from Benjamin Banneker Circle that runs next to the Francis Case Memorial Bridge. The park makes for a perfect picnic spot.
BUS: The DC Circulator route through the National Mall includes a stop in the park, making it the best and most convenient option for reaching its offering of blossoms.
BICYCLE: East Potomac Park is easily traversed via your own bicycle, or you can simply travel there on two wheels and park at the Jefferson Memorial before viewing the cherry trees on foot. Capital Bikeshare also boasts two stations nearby: one at Hains Point, and the other at the Jefferson Memorial.
What are some less-crowded blossom spots, and what’s the best way to get to them?
U.S. National Arboretum: The 446-acre arboretum boasts more than 30 sites to see flowering blossoms. The best way to reach the Arboretum grounds is via taxi, Uber or automobile with lots of free parking to be had.
Stanton Park: Just removed from the tourist-centric parts of DC, Stanton Park in Capitol Hill boasts a gorgeous lineup of cherry trees. The park is just a 10-minute walk from Union Station (Red Line), making Metrorail a very convenient option for transportation.
Anacostia Park: Nestled next to the Anacostia River, this 1,200-acre multi-use park also has blooming cherry blossom trees for your enjoyment. You can enter the park after a 10-minute walk from the Anacostia Metro station (Green Line).
Your ultimate guide to the cherry blossoms and springtime in Washington, DC