Thing to Do

Walk Around the Tidal Basin

Cherry trees blooming at the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial

1-3 Hours
Self-Guided Tours - Walking

Pets are allowed on the Tidal Basin trail and grounds of the memorials but not inside the memorials themselves. Pets should stay on leashes no longer than 6 feet in length. Service animals are permitted without exception.

Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.

The Tidal Basin is part of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. The site lies at the southern end of the National Mall, adjacent to the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. The memorial rests within the sightline to and from the White House, which stands one mile to the north.


General parking is available on West Basin Drive, on Ohio Drive SW, and at the Tidal Basin parking lot along Maine Ave., SW. Handicap parking and bus loading zone are available on Home Front Drive SW, accessed from southbound 17th St.

Public Transportation

Public Transportation is the best option for reaching National Mall and Memorial Park sites easily and conveniently. There are many options to reach us via Washington, DC's Subway system known as Metro, or bicycle viaCapital Bikeshare. The National Mall Circulator Loop bus will provide easy access around the National Mall and convenient connections to other Circulator buses for visits to uptown sites. Trains including AmtrakMARC, andVRE service Union Station and/or L'Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C.


Interstate 395 provides access to the Mall from the South. Interstate 495, New York Avenue, Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the Cabin John Parkway provide access from the North. Interstate 66, U.S. Routes 50 and 29 provide access from the West. U.S. Routes 50, 1, and 4 provide access from the East.

Year Round
Time of Day
Day, Dawn, Dusk
Accessibility Information

Service Animals

Service animals are allowed in national parks. For a definition of a service animal, please see the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) definition.


There are accessible parking spots next to the FDR memorial and next to the Jefferson Memorial. The Tidal Basin path is level and wheelchair accessible. All of the monuments are accessible along the Tidal Basin path, and each monument has accessible restrooms.


Assistive listening devices, or large print brochures may be available by request or with advance notice. For information about individual park programs, please visit park websites. Accessibility information is located under the Plan Your Visit tab.

National Mall and Memorial Parks

Tidal Basin and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
Tidal Basin and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.


Shimmering in the sun, surrounded by cherry trees and national monuments, the Tidal Basin is a must see in Washington, DC. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the Washington Monument are easily visible along the two mile long Tidal Basin Loop Trail.

Concessionaires offer paddleboat rentals during late spring, summer and early fall.

Scenic Views In the City

  • US Marine Corps War Memorial.

    US Marine Corps War Memorial

    From Arlington Ridge, experience a panoramic view of iconic DC architecture behind the US Marine Corps War Memorial.

  • Fountain at Meridian Hill Park.

    Meridian Hill Park

    Meridian Hill Park offers visitors the opportunity to escape the bustle of the city and find a peaceful refuge, recreation and fresh air.

  • People walking on Georgetown Waterfront Path.

    Georgetown Waterfront Park

    Georgetown Waterfront Park stretches along the banks of the Potomac River from 31st Street NW to the Key Bridge.

  • Exterior day view of the Old Post Office building.

    Old Post Office Tower

    Find a new perspective at the top of the Old Post Office Tower.

  • Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial.

    Arlington House

    Gaze across the river that once divided us, from the steps of Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial.

  • A young visitor dressed up as Frederick Douglass

    Frederick Douglass Home

    Talk to a ranger, tour Frederick Douglass's home or walk the grounds for a sweeping view of Washington D.C.

  • Aerial view of the National Mall.

    National Mall and Memorial Parks

    Attend a Ranger Program, paddle in the Tidal Basin, or dive into history at memorials and monuments on the National Mall.

  • Cyclists on the Mount Vernon Trail across from Capital Hill.

    Mount Vernon Trail

    A run, walk, or cycle alongside the Potomac River offers uninterrupted views of Washington, D.C.'s skyline.

Last updated: March 28, 2023