How to get to the Cherry Blossom Festival
Public transportation is the best option for traveling to the National Mall and Memorial Parks during the cherry blossom festival as parking is extremely limited.
The Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) provides local train and bus service in Washington, DC. The nearest Metro train stop to the festival is the Smithsonian/National Mall station on the Orange, Blue and Silver lines. The two entrances/exits to Smithsonian/National Mall station are located at 12th Street & Jefferson Drive SW (on the Mall) and 12th Street & Independence Avenue SW. To avoid crowds, consider walking from Foggy Bottom (Orange, Blue and Silver lines), Federal Triangle (Orange, Blue and Silver lines), L'Enfant Plaza (Orange, Blue, Silver, Yellow, and Green lines).
Bicycles provide an easy, no fuss way to get to and through the Cherry Blossom Festival.
If you choose to drive, prepare for severe traffic congestion, extremely scarce parking, and altered traffic patterns including road closures and temporary one-way roads. Downtown Washington, DC is serviced by Interstate 395, Interstate 66, and US Highways 1, 29, and 50. Consider parking at a Metro station and using public transportation to reach the National Mall (see the Public Transportation section above).
There is not enough parking to accommodate all the vehicles driven to the Cherry Blossom festival. Visitor parking is available along Madison Drive NW and Jefferson Drive NW along the Mall, or along Constitution Avenue NW. Extremely limited bus parking on Independence Avenue SW between 15th and 17th streets. Limited handicapped parking is available near the memorials, but these fill quickly.
Visitors are often surprised how much walking they do in our park! Take care of your feet. Wear comfortable walking shoes so you don't get blisters. The Smithsonian/National Mall Metro station is about one mile from the Tidal Basin Welcome Area (near the MLK Jr. Memorial). The Tidal Basin walkway itself is 1.8 miles in circumference. The Hains Point loop is approximately 4 miles. The distance from the Lincoln Memorial to the US Capitol is 2 miles.
Cruise past the cherry blossoms with D.C. Cruises or the Potomac Riverboat Company Water Taxi to landmarks such as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, and the 14th Street Bridge. Potomac Riverboat Company is offers DIRECT service to the National Mall from the National Harbor, Maryland, and Alexandria, Virginia. Docking at West Basin and Ohio Drives in SW Washington, are a short walk to the Lincoln Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the Tidal Basin.
The DC Circulator National Mall route provides transportation between 15 stops at the monuments, memorials, and museums throughout National Mall and Memorial Parks. There will be a stop at Ohio Drive and West Drive just for the Tidal Basin Welcome Area.
Last updated: March 14, 2022