Washington, DC’s National Cherry Blossom Festival kicked off on March 20 and with the signature events back in person, it’s important to know what your options are if you plan to travel into the city for the event. Driving might not be the best idea as parking is limited, and both vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be at a maximum. We highly recommend taking advantage of the outstanding public transportation facilities in the city as well as the unique bike sharing system.
Your Cherry Blossom destination will be the Tidal Basin at the Jefferson Memorial. Map out your route and pick your mode of commute from our list below.
1. Travel by Metro
If you’re new to the region, the Metrorail is one of the most well-known options for getting around. While there is no stop directly at the Tidal Basin, you can exit the system at nearby stations such as Smithsonian (Blue, Silver, or Orange Lines), L’Enfant Plaza (Yellow or Green Lines), or even Arlington National Cemetery (Blue Line).
Depending on your plans for the day, you could easily add in a stop at your favorite museum, memorial, or see the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery.
2. Travel by Bus
The DC Circulator is a great and easy option as the route takes visitors directly to the Tidal Basin. The National Mall route starts at Union Station and runs along the National Mall, Constitution Avenue, Ohio Drive (i.e., Tidal Basic, Lincoln Memorial), and can be picked up anywhere there is a red DC Circulator sign at a designated bus stop.
The cost to ride is $1 and accepts both SmarTrip card and cash. No change is given, so if you pay with cash make sure you have exact change.
3. Travel by Capital Bikeshare
Capital Bikeshare is a fun way to get around Arlington County and Washington, DC. Visitors can use a bike and dock it at any available station around the DC Metro region. There are over 600 stations and more than 5,000 bikes in the system, including electric bikes. Return your Capital Bikeshare bike to any station once you’ve arrived at your destination, then check one out again when you’re ready to roll. The city is filled with secure bike lanes, all of them tracked in the Capital Bikeshare app or in Google Maps.
Unlocking a bike will only cost $1 and you'll be charged $0.05 for each minute, so a 30-minute trip will cost you around $2.50 (for e-bikes the minute rate is $0.15). You can also take purchase a 24-hour pass for $8.00.
4. Travel by E-Scooter
E-Scooters are one of the most popular modes available to residents and visitors in Arlington and Washington, DC. With several different companies operating in the region, the most important thing to know is the rules. There are places where some scooters will suddenly turn off (mainly inside the mall), and other places where you can’t park (also inside the mall, some specific parks, proximities to the White House, and other). Check on each company app to make sure you don’t get into trouble!
Most e-scooters are $1.00 on average to unlock and $0.15/minute to ride. Download the app for your preferred e-scooter to receive more details.
5. Travel by Water Shuttle
People may not be as familiar with this option as they are with the ones listed above, but the National Cherry Blossom Festival is also accessible by water taxi from Georgetown. This is a great option if you’re hoping to also squeeze in some time for shopping and dining before or after the festival.
A water taxi costs $26.00 for adults, $13.00 for kids (return trip) and must be booked online and in advance.
Update Your Hotel's Brochures
One of the most important things an Arlington hotelier can do for the National Cherry Blossom Festival is make sure your guest services are up to date. In addition to training front office staff on nearby transportation options, Arlington Transportation Partners can provide hotels with new and updated brochures for easy travel around the county.
This service is free and brochures are delivered directly to your hotel. Your hotel can also share the flyer below with your guests to inform them on how to travel to the blossoms.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners
Editor's Note: This blog was updated on March 21, 2022 with new information written by Eduardo Plasencia.