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Advice for viewing the cherry blossoms

Wednesday - 3/20/2013, 9:44am  ET

Metro train (WTOP Photo/Adam Tuss)
You may find it easier to take Metro than to drive. (WTOP File Photo)

WASHINGTON - A visit to the cherry blossom trees along the tidal basin is an annual tradition for many, but there are ways you can avoid some of the hassles associated with the gridlock that comes with all that beauty.

Here are a couple of tips:

  • The parking lot at the Tidal Basin is off-limits during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

  • If you are driving or taking Metro, head to see the blossoms during off-peak times. Avoid the area between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

  • The Smithsonian Metro station on the Orange and Blue Lines is the closest, but it's only an extra 10-minute walk if you use the L'Enfant Plaza Station on the Blue, Yellow and Green lines. Exit at 7th Street and Maryland Avenue.

  • Metro recommends that if you don't have a SmarTrip card, buy a $14 Metrorail One-Day Pass.

  • Metro has curtailed its weekend track maintenance during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

  • If you want to drive, Hains Point is lined with cherry trees. You can park there and get a neat view of the airport as well.

  • The National Park Service has free bike racks near the Jefferson Memorial, and Capital Bikeshare also has racks nearby.

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