local ambassador favorite

The Tidal Basin

9810 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

All Day


outdoor-adventures, run

Tucked away parallel to the banks of the Potomac River is a paved, 1.5 loop pathway around the iconic DC tidal basin. 

Known best to be the home of the iconic cherry blossom trees (almost 4,000 of them!), this 1.5 loop trail winds around the body of water known as the Tidal Basin. This is a great stroller-friendly path for kids of all ages that has great views of the Washington Monument, the Arlington skyline, and has many memorials dotted around its path. You’ll be sure to see lots of geese and ducks swimming and waddling around depending on the time of year!

You are able to start walking on the Tidal Basin from Maine Avenue SW or Ohio Drive SW. From those two roads, there is a small path that leads down to the water level of the Tidal Basin (you’ll see signs for the paddle boats!). You can either start walking to the left or right! The cherry blossom trees provide great shade from the early spring to late fall, but always remember sunscreen and a hat for a long day exploring around the city!

To the left, you will be walking toward the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Take a moment to sit on the steps and gaze at the Washington Monument! Once you pass the Jefferson Memorial, you continue on the paved path over a small bridge and back down to the water level of the Tidal Basin. This section runs parallel to West Potomac Park if you want to stop and run around in the lush green grass! You may even see a few intramural softball or kickball teams playing! Continue walking on the path, you may need to duck under some cherry blossom branches, until you reach the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial. You’ll end the loop by crossing over the Kutz Bridge which gives a beautiful view of the Jefferson Memorial and planes taking off from Ronald Reagan International airport. If you decide to head to the right, you’ll see these landmarks in opposite order :)

Things to note: Depending on the tides, the pathway could be subject to flooding. There are no rails that line the pathway next to the Tidal Basin’s body of water, be sure to keep an eye on the little ones! And please do not break off any branches or blooms from the cherry blossoms, no matter how beautiful! Bathrooms are located on the West Potomac Park side of the Tidal Basin, next to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial


Restrooms Good for All Ages Green Space Stroller-friendly
Thoughtfully captured by:
Mary Webb Banning
Mary Webb joined the Happyly team as the Head of Ambassador Community and Content Growth in January 2022! As a native of coastal Virginia, going to college in mountains of Tennessee and spending multiple summers in Wyoming working on a ranch, she loves being out in nature. She was immediately drawn to Happyly because of the importance of experiencing time outdoors for both mental wellness and the opportunity to learn about the connection between humans and nature. As the head of the Ambassador Community and Content Growth, she will act as a point of contact for all interested Ambassadors and work to expand both the 100+ Ambassador team and the content they create to stretch across the US and beyond.
More activities by Mary Webb
A scenic bike ride to Tybee Island!
Meander along the Noland Trail to spend an hour or two walking, exploring, and looking for turtles and other native wildlife.

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