WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The National Cherry Blossom Festival is underway and runs through April 14, with peak blooming taking place between April 3-6.
Enjoying the cherry blossoms is a D.C. tradition, and there are many options for traveling downtown this month.
Carefully planning your trip to the tidal basin can be the difference between fighting for parking and enjoying the pretty pink flowers.
Public parking is limited in downtown D.C. and street parking has restrictions. If you park in a public lot or garage, expect to walk a good distance to get to the tidal basin.
The parking lot at Hains Point is free and convenient to festival-goers, but it only has 320 spaces and it fills up quickly during peak times. A $1 per person shuttle will run from Hains Point parking lot to the tidal basin on weekends through April 15.
Officials urge people attending the festival to use Metro to get downtown. The Smithsonian Metro station is the most frequently used station by tourists. So if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, try using L’Enfant Plaza, Arlington Cemetery or Foggy Bottom stations.
A one-day Metro pass can be purchased for $14, which provides unlimited travel for the day on which it’s purchased.
The National Park Service has set up extra bike racks at Independence Avenue and 15th Street SW near the tidal basin. Cyclists who have their own locks can use the racks for free.
New this year, the Capital BikeShare is offering a five-day membership for $15. It also will provide a staff location at 12th Street and Independence Avenue from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on festival weekends.
The paddle boats are always a fun way to see the cherry blossoms. Tidal Basin Paddle Boats are house at 1501 Maine Avenue SW and can be rented.
Pedicab stands, offering rides from cyclists who double as licensed D.C. tour guides, will be set up along the National Mall.
Taxis require a minimum fare of $3 and charge $2.16 per mile. Each additional passenger is $1, with a max passenger fee of $3, and children younger than 6 ride free.
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