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Beyond the Blooms: Activities Near the Tidal Basin
So you’ve seen the cherry blossoms—now what? Here’s a list of sights and activities near the Tidal Basin to help fill your time. By Emily Leaman
Comments () | Published March 4, 2010
In Bloom: Cherry Blossom Hotel Packages
Cherry Picnicking: Spread a Blanket Under the Blossoms
Beat the Crowds: Where Else to See Blooms Around Washington
> > See our full Guide to the Cherry Blossoms

Visit the monuments on the National Mall.
The Tidal Basin is just a stone’s throw from some of DC’s best-known sights: the Washington Monument, the National World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Take time to walk the Mall, where most of these sights are located.

If a self-guided tour isn’t your bag, try DC by Foot, a free guided walking tour of the same sights. A team of knowledgeable guides spices up the tour with bite-size history lessons and doses of comedy. The group meets at the northeast corner of the intersection of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue, Northwest—you’ll spot the guide easily by his or her powder-blue polo shirt. Starting March 15, tours run at 6 PM Wednesday through Friday, 10 AM and 2 PM on Saturday, and 2 only on Sunday. Although the tour is free, guides gladly accept tips at the end.

Climb on Einstein.
Wander across Constitution Avenue near 21st Street, Northwest, to see one of Washington’s lesser-known statues: the Albert Einstein Memorial. On the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences, a 7,000-pound bronze statue of Einstein sits on a set of white granite steps reading a larger-than-life manuscript scrawled with Einsteinian equations. This statue is a favorite of children, who are often found climbing on old Al like a jungle gym.

Rent a bike or paddle boat.
You can cover a lot of ground in Washington on a bike; it’s one of the best ways to see a lot of sights in a short period of time. Better Bikes makes it easy to get around on two wheels. Make arrangements in advance with the bicycle-delivery service, and it will drop off a bike at your hotel or any destination in the Washington area; Better Bikes will even pick it up when you’re done. Mountain bikes ($38 a day), hybrids ($48), children’s bikes, and buggies are available. Also included in the rental fee are helmets, locks, and a local trail map.

If you want to stay in the Tidal Basin area but still want to work out your legs, rent a paddle boat from Tidal Basin Paddle Boats. This popular warm-weather activity costs $10 an hour for a two-person boat, $18 for a four-seater. 

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 03/04/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Articles