Let’s get the lowdown on how the cherry blossoms are coming along on the National Mall and around the Tidal Basin. We’ll do several of these at various times of day, weekdays and weekends as weather permits, as we approach peak bloom forecasted for April 8-12. If you miss this one, don't worry - more are on the way!
The route: From the Haupt Garden, we’ll walk west along the path in the Mall that runs parallel to Jefferson Drive, cross 14th St SW and veer left along the sidewalk in front of Washington Monument, cross Independence Ave SW in front of the Floral Library, and enter the path that runs along the shoreline of the Tidal Basin. We’ll walk clockwise around the shoreline of the Tidal Basin, past the Jefferson, FDR and MLK memorials to the Japanese Lantern and First Cherry Blossom Tree Planting. From there we’ll recross Independence Ave SW and walk north through the World War Two Memorial to Constitution Ave NW, where we’ll turn right and walk east. At 15th St NW we’ll turn right, walk south to Madison Dr NW, turn left, and walk towards the Capitol Building in the National Mall. At 12th St SW we’ll turn south and return to the Haupt Garden.
The route is a clockwise loop of about 4 miles of smiles and should take no more than an hour and a half. Since we’re scouting for the first blooms, we may depart from our route in pursuit as needed, but we’ll try to keep to the hour and a half duration.
Google route map: http://tinyurl.com/k3pxwgs
How to get there: (Metro recommended) From the Smithsonian Metro Station, walk east 0.1 miles on Independence Ave SW toward 12th St SW, turn left and walk north into the garden, through the wrought iron gates flanked by the Freer & Sackler Gallery and the National Museum of African Art. The Smithsonian Institution “Castle” will be immediately in front of you at 1000 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington DC 20004.
Where to meet: We'll meet in the Enid A. Haupt Garden just south of the Smithsonian Institution Castle.
What to bring: Water, comfy shoes, and your furry friend if desired. (Leashes, please. NB: service animals only inside the Smithsonian Visitor Center.) The forecast is sunny and 47 degrees, so consider the layered look.
Administrative stuff: There are public restrooms, drinking fountains and a snack bar in the Smithsonian Institution. As a reminder, this is a kids-free zone, no one under 18 years of age is permitted.
• Cherry Blossom Cam: http://tinyurl.com/bvvg3ha
• National Cherry Blossom Festival: http://tinyurl.com/h37fr
• Smithsonian Maps and Directions: http://tinyurl.com/lckwzd8