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Tidal Basin

Tidal Basin: Our most recommended tours and activities

Washington DC Monuments by Night Bike Tour

1. Washington DC Monuments by Night Bike Tour

Bike to the major sights of Washington, D.C. on a guided tour after dark. Enjoy America’s capital city at night, when the air is cooler, the monuments are crowd-free, and the illuminated views are magnificent. As dusk sweeps the city and the memorials and monuments light up magnificently, your guide will take you through the National Mall and around the Tidal Basin near the Washington Monument, the war memorials, the Lincoln Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to learn about each of the sights, and also a few minutes to walk through the memorials and experience them on foot. This 4-mile ride is rated as easy, covering mostly flat terrain. All riders are provided with reflective vests and safety lights.

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Electric Vehicle Tour

2. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Electric Vehicle Tour

Test your night photography skills and see some jaw-dropping views while learning the history of the United States on this monuments tour at night. Hop into the electric-powered vehicle and learn about the monuments illuminated at night with your guide. Start at National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, before heading towards the Smithsonian complex. Your guide will regale you with the story behind the amazing museums at the largest museum complex in the world. Drive past two of the city's most famous monuments, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. Afterward, wander through the Franklin D Roosevelt and Martin Luthe King memorials and enjoy a stroll along the serene Tidal Basin at sunset.  Continue past the World War I and World War II Memorials before arriving at the Lincoln Memorial. Here, be amazed by the views of the Potomac River and the National Mall sparkling in the dark.  Be entertained by stories of the city’s history, statues, and famous buildings on your way to the White House. Take a monument here to capture what is possibly the most iconic American landmark, known worldwide.  Your tour will end by exploring Capitol Hill. Home to the world-famous dome of the United States Capitol, plus the United States Supreme Court Building and the Library of Congress. 

Washington DC: Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour

3. Washington DC: Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour

Explore the hottest sights in Washington DC in an eco-friendly way on this guided bike tour through the National Mall and along the Potomac Tidal Basin. Learn about the war and presidential memorials that you stop to see up close along the route.  Meet your guide at the Wharf DC and get set up with your high-quality bike and helmet. Set off on your family-friendly route to the Washington Monument, Vietnam Memorial, World War II Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. Engage with history as your guide tells you the store behind sights like the Jefferson Memorial. Get the chance to walk around and explore the each of the memorials. Return to the Wharf DC at the end of your biking experience.

Washington DC: Cherry Blossom Festival Tour by Bike

4. Washington DC: Cherry Blossom Festival Tour by Bike

The only official bike tour of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, this special ride showcases the famous cherry trees and amazing sea of pink and white blossoms surrounding the Potomac Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park. There is much to see and lots of ground to cover, so hop onboard for a leisurely yet efficient guided bike tour. Bring your camera on this exclusive seasonal experience, beginning at the end of March (weather permitting).

From New York City: 4-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & US Capitol

5. From New York City: 4-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & US Capitol

Visit the American and Canadian sides of Niagara Falls. Stop at an outlet mall for shopping, continue to the historic city of Brotherly love in Philadelphia and see the famous Liberty Bell and Independence Hall Square. You will also visit Washington DC, the US Capitol and visit the US Mint. Continue to Lancaster to learn about the Amish community. Day 1: New York - Finger Lakes - Niagara Falls Your morning departure from the Big Apple takes you north where you will pass the beautiful Delaware Gap to Watkins Glen State Park in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Walk through Watkins Glen Canyon to visit the beautiful waterfalls and then continue to Niagara Falls passing Seneca Lake, arriving in the late afternoon (Winter itinerary goes to Montour Falls instead of Watkins Glen State Park). Tour the American and Canadian sides of the Falls including the American Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Goat Island, and Sister Island. At night tour Niagara Falls where you will marvel at the colorful lighting of the waters. Overnight: Niagara Falls - Wyndham Super 8 Day 2: Niagara Falls - New Jersey As you depart the hotel, hear the thundering water of Niagara Falls. See the falls up close from Horseshoe Falls and experience the power of the current aboard the Maid of the Mist (May-October). From November through April you will tour the Power Vista Hydro-electric Station, and the Cave of the Winds. At noon depart south to New York State. On the way to New York, enjoy a shopping excursion at one of the large outlet malls along the way, where you can hunt for bargains at their brand name stores. Overnight New Jersey - La Quinta Inns & Suites  Day 3: New Jersey - Philadelphia - Washington DC Depart New Jersey to Pennsylvania and to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia. Arriving in the Historic area of Philadelphia you will visit the famous Liberty Bell, and Constitution square and Constitution Hall, one of the symbols of freedom in America. Stroll Elfreth’s Alley (the oldest inhabited street in America) then continue on a panoramic tour of Philadelphia that includes the financial district, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Historic Philadelphia and more. Departing Philadelphia, see the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue north to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Ride on an authentic Amish Buggy, visit an Amish market place of handmade arts and crafts and learn what it's like to live without the benefit of modern technology, electricity, running water or telephone service. Overnight at: Wyndham Garden, Washington DC. Day 4: Washington DC - New York  Start the day with a visit to Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded with famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the changing of the guards and the Kennedy family gravesite.  Next stop is Capitol Hill. See the US Capitol and the White House to understand the core of the US government. Continue to the Air and Space Museum before visiting the Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Korea and Vietnam Memorials.  In the late afternoon, depart north for an evening arrival in New York.

Washington: Cherry Blossom Tour

6. Washington: Cherry Blossom Tour

Experience an engaging 4-hour tour of the beautified region, learning the powerful history behind the city’s renowned monuments and landmarks. Embedded along Washington, DC’s Potomac Tidal Basin is one of the city’s most beloved springtime sceneries. Each year, residents and tourists from around the world visit Washington, DC to get a glimpse of the stunning frenzy of blushing pink petals that redefine the Tidal Basin and National Mall’s formal landscape, elegantly welcoming the long-awaited warmth of spring. Get your eyes, ears, and cameras ready, and prepare yourself to be wowed.

From New York City: 5-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & White House

7. From New York City: 5-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & White House

Embark on a 5-day trip to Niagara Falls, Toronto, the 1000 Islands, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and the Amish Country in Lancaster from New York City. Witness the magnificent Niagara Falls, visit the Arlington National Cemetery, and enjoy the convenience of included accommodation and entry tickets. Day 1: NEW YORK – FINGER LAKES – NIAGARA FALLS Depart from the Big Apple heading north where you will pass the beautiful Delaware Water Gap to Watkins Glen State Park in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Walk through Watkins Glen Canyon to visit the beautiful waterfalls and then continue to Niagara Falls passing Seneca Lake, arriving in the late afternoon. Tour the US side of Niagara including the American Falls, Goat Island, and Luna Island. Experience the power of Niagara aboard the Maid of the Mist. At night, you can appreciate the colorful lighting of the waters. Stay at the Ramada by Wyndham. Day 2: NIAGARA FALLS – TORONTO – 1000 ISLANDS Start with the magnificent Horseshoe Falls view followed by the visit to the picturesque village of Niagara on The Lake. Continue to Toronto, the financial capital of Canada. Visit the HTO Park, Brookfield Place — home of the Hockey Hall of Fame — City Hall, and The Distillery Historic District. Towards the evening, depart Toronto east along the world-famous Lake Ontario for an evening arrival to the 1000 Islands area (in April, based on weather conditions the tour may return to Niagara Falls for overnight). Stay overnight at Gananoque – Comfort Inn (April, Niagara Falls – Ramada by Wyndham). Day 3: 1000 ISLANDS – NEW YORK Start the day with a cruise through the amazing 1000 Islands along the St. Laurence River. See the houses of the rich and famous built atop private islands — such as Boldt Castle and Heart Island. Enjoy a shopping excursion at one of the large outlet malls along the way. Arrive at your hotel in New Jersey at the La Quinta Inn and Suites. Day 4: NEW JERSEY – PHILADELPHIA – WASHINGTON DC Depart from New Jersey to Pennsylvania and to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia. Visit the famous Liberty Bell, Constitution square, and Congress Hall. Continue on a panoramic tour of Philadelphia that includes the financial district, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Historic Philadelphia, and more. See the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Enjoy an authentic Amish Buggy ride through the Amish farm country. In the late afternoon, depart east for an evening arrival in Washington DC where you will stay at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Alexandria. Day 5: WASHINGTON DC – NEW YORK Start the day with a visit to Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded by famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the Changing of the Guard, and the Kennedy family gravesite. The next stop is Capitol Hill. See the US Capitol and the White House to understand the core of the US government. Continue to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (while the Air and Space Museum is closed due to renovations) before visiting the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon, depart for an evening arrival in New York.

Washington DC: National Mall Night Bus Tour

8. Washington DC: National Mall Night Bus Tour

Admire the atmospheric landmarks of the capital from an open-top or glass-top bus as the sun sets on Washington, DC. Take a trip to the twilight zone with mesmerizing views of the city highlights at dusk. See the most famous monuments lit up, casting a glimmering glow over the city. Begin at the U.S. Navy Memorial, before heading through the half-light to capture views of the White House, the Korean War Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Each monument features special illuminations at night, with regular opportunities to hop off and see the spectacular sculpture work up close, along with countless photo opportunities. Marvel at the full shimmering skyline at the start and endpoint of your tour, which also includes views of the twinkling Tidal Basin and Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Night tours don’t get much more magical than this, and pair perfectly with a day tour the following day.

Washington DC: E-Bike Tour of the National Mall

9. Washington DC: E-Bike Tour of the National Mall

Ride through the entire National Mall and circle the Tidal Basin on this fun and informative E-bike tour. Start at the waterfront, and listen to a brief introduction about the E-bikes. Follow your knowledgeable guide past the Smithsonian Museums, and around to all the major sites including the U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and Korean War Veterans Memorial. Conclude the trip by riding around the Tidal Basin and touring the Martin Luther King Jr, FDR, and Jefferson Memorials. Hear about the history, lore, and latest happenings around the DC museums and find yourself in great self-spots and in front of picturesque views. Your guide will also stop and share some hidden gems along the way. See all the major monuments and memorials as well as treasures you might not find on your own. The riding is easy with pedal-assist bikes enabling you to see more and pedal less.

Washington DC: Sightseeing Pass with Attractions & Bus Tour

10. Washington DC: Sightseeing Pass with Attractions & Bus Tour

Tour through the landmarked capital and see The Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Pay homage to those who gave their service and lives at the National World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.   Try your hand at espionage at the International Spy Museum, ride the Spirit Cruise up the river to George Washington’s landmarked and historic Mount Vernon Farm. Stand in awe at the iconic landscape of Washington D.C. and witness the splendor of the revolutionaries who defined the United States.   Take advantage of D.C.’s immersive nature with Unlimited Biking bicycle rental or tour. Admire the visionary architecture of D.C. and take a selfie from the top of the Big Bus Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour, as you pass by the United States Capitol Building, the scenic National Mall, the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and the Washington National Cathedral. Attractions: • George Washington’s Mount Vernon • International Spy Museum (Limited capacity, entry subject to availability) • Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Classic Ticket or Night Tour • Potomac Riverboat One Day Water Taxi Walking & Bike Tours: • Unlimited Biking - Capital Sites Bike Tour • Unlimited Biking - Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour • Unlimited Biking - All day Bike Rental Special Discounts: • Buca di Beppo • Bounce Luggage Storage/

Available activities

  • Guided tours
  • Multi-day trips
  • Private tours
  • City cards
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What people are saying about Tidal Basin

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,786 reviews

Carl was a great tour guide/photographer who went above and beyond to make sure we saw the best views at every stop. Made our trip from Florida that much better. We loved the extra touch of warm blankets in the seat to cover up from the wind.

My family and I enjoyed the Washington DC monuments by moonlight electric vehicle tour very much. Very comfortable ride and minimal walking. Our guide, Peter, was very knowledgeable and we had a great time!

We had the most amazing, educational and moving Guided Night Bike Monuments Tour with our guide Joe. He was so kind, informative, witty, friendly and insightful. We highly recommend Joe as a tour guide.

Informative, friendly, fun tour of DC at night. Carl was an excellent guide with a wide array of knowledge areas. We had a blast!

Great explanation done by the driver. Lighting around FDR and MLK Memorials is very poor so be aware of where you are walking.