Tidal Basin

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Tidal Basin: Tours & Tickets


Tidal Basin: Our most recommended tours and activities

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

1. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

See the most popular monuments of the U. S. capital illuminated at night on a 2.5-hour trolley tour! The route follows streets that have been traveled by presidents and make stops at the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, and the World War II Memorial A professional tour guide will entertain and inform you with stories about the Capitol’s colorful past. You’ll hear tales about the curse of the Hope Diamond and the restless spirits who make the city their home. You’ll also hear about the Medal of Honor winner whose leg was amputated. He donated the leg to a museum and would frequently go to the museum to visit it! Trolley stops:  • FDR Memorial  • Lincoln Memorial  • Vietnam Veteran Memorial  • Korean War Memorial  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial  • World War II Memorial Washington turns into a very different place after dark, and with the Monuments, by Moonlight tour you’ll see the city in just the right light!

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 the Smithsonian Metro station, 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

Bike the Sites® the along the National Mall and along the Potomac Tidal Basin. You will learn about the major presidential and war memorials and have a few minutes to explore each up close on this 3 hour guided bike tour. This bike tour is perfect for families! See the Washington Monument, Vietnam Memorial, World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and more. This tour also gives you the chance to walk around and explore the memorials in depth. There is a lot to see, but you'll get through it all in this leisurely yet efficient tour. This tour is rated as easy and covers approximately 4 miles of flat terrain.

Washington DC: National Mall Night Bus Tour

4. Washington DC: National Mall Night Bus Tour

Admire the atmospheric landmarks of the capital as the sun sets on Washington, DC. Take a trip to the twilight zone with mesmerizing views of the city highlights at dusk. As night falls, all the most famous monuments are lit up, casting a glimmering glow over the city and offering countless photo opportunities. 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. The full shimmering skyline can be seen 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 Monuments by Night Bike Tour

5. Washington DC Monuments by Night Bike Tour

Enjoy America’s capital city at night, when the air is cooler, the monuments are crowd-free, and the illuminated views are magnificent. You’ll bike to the major sights of Washington, D.C. on this 3-hour tour. As dusk sweeps the city and the memorials and monuments are 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: E-Bike Tour of the National Mall

6. 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. Then, head out to begin your 9-10 mile tour. 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 tour is extensive and the riding is easy with pedal-assist bikes enabling you to see more and pedal less.

Georgetown: DC Monuments River Cruise to Old Town Alexandria

7. Georgetown: DC Monuments River Cruise to Old Town Alexandria

Avoid the traffic and see Washington, D.C., from the Potomac River. Once you arrive at the Georgetown Waterfront, simply hop on to the boat, sit back, and relax on this 45-minute ride as you witness the district's historic landmarks and monuments. Before you know it, you'll arrive in Old Town Alexandria, a historic town full of quaint cafes, restaurants, and shops. As you relax on your cruise, listen to an informative narrated story about Washington, D.C.'s history and many iconic sights, all the while cruising past top attractions including the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, and many more. Marvel at the architectural details of the various landmarks on an afternoon cruise, or see them lit up at night. Make the most of your day: either choose a one-way water taxi cruise and return to Georgetown on your own, or choose a convenient round-trip water taxi cruise while still having time to explore Old Town Alexandria. In either case, you will be able to visit Old Town's historic streets and alleyways, quaint cafes, and high-end boutiques, making the most of your trip to Washington, D.C.

Washington DC: Sightseeing Pass with Attractions & Bus Tour

8. 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 an Urban Adventure walking tour or a Bike and Roll DC bicycle rental. 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 • Spirit of Mount Vernon Cruise • Spirit Cruises One Day Water Taxi Unlimited Pass Walking & Bike Tours: • Urban Adventures - Museum of American History Through Music • Urban Adventures - Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Tour • Urban Adventures - Smithsonian American Art Adventure • Bike and Roll DC - 3 hour Bike Rental Special Discounts: • Buca di Beppo - $15 toward lunch or dinner • Bounce Luggage Storage

Washington: Cherry Blossom Tour

9. 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.

5-Day Tour of America from New York City

10. 5-Day Tour of America from New York City

A full 5-day excursion to see Niagara Falls and the Thousand Islands. 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 capital, and the US Mint. Continue to Lancaster to learn about the Amish community. Day 1: New York – Finger Lakes – Niagara Falls In the morning, you'll depart from the Big Apple and head north. 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. Board the Maid of the Mist and tour the U.S. side of the falls, including the American Falls, Goat Island, and Luna Island. At night, get the chance to appreciate the colorful lighting of the waters. Overnight: Radisson Grand Island. Day 2: Niagara Falls – Toronto – 1000 Islands Start the day with views of Horseshoe Falls followed by a visit to the picturesque village of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Then, continue to Toronto, the financial capital of Canada. Visit the HTO Park, Brookfield Place, city hall, and The Distillery Historic District. Towards the evening, take off from Toronto along the world-famous Lake Ontario for an evening arrival to the 1000 Islands area (in April, based on weather conditions, you may return to Niagara Falls for overnight). Overnight: Gananoque at Comfort Inn (April: Ramada by Wyndham at Niagra Falls). 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.  After lunch, head to New York. Enjoy a shopping excursion at one of the large outlet malls along the way and find some bargains in the brand-name stores. Arrive at your hotel in New Jersey in the evening. Overnight: La Quinta Inn and Suites, Fairfield. Day 4: New Jersey – Philadelphia – Washington DC Depart New Jersey to the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. Upon arriving, visit the historic area of Philadelphia, visit the famous Liberty Bell and both Constitution Square and Constitution Hall, some of the symbols of freedom in America. Then embark on a panoramic tour that includes Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Elfreth’s Alley (the oldest inhabited street in America), and more. Departing Philadelphia, see the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue north to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Start your visit with a ride on an authentic Amish Buggy through the Amish farm country and learn how they live without the benefit of modern technology, no electricity, running water, telephone service, or appliances. After the ride, visit the Amish marketplace where you can shop for handmade arts and crafts. Overnight: Holiday Inn Express and Suites DC. Day 5: Washington DC – New York Start the day with a visit to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded by famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the changing of the guards, 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 Air and Space Museum before visiting the Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon depart for an evening arrival in New York.

Frequently asked questions about Tidal Basin

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How can I visit Tidal Basin?

Possible ways to visit the Tidal Basin:

Entrance to Tidal Basin is free, and you do not need a ticket or pre-booking to visit.

Other Sightseeing Options in Tidal Basin

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What people are saying about Tidal Basin

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,299 reviews

Kevin was literally the best guide we could have asked for! He was full of all the facts and super fun at the same time. I wish he could be my best friend! He even gave us some tips for the rest of our trip on what else we should see and do. Would definitely recommend to everyone and anyone! (Just be sure to empty your bladder ahead of time, toilets are scarce on the tour…… NOT Kevin’s fault!!)

Our guide was fun to ride with. She knew a lot about the history and pointed out some unique things like the blue rooster. One of our guests was elderly and she took such good care of us. She made sure to have us hop out and take pictures as well and helped. Dana was her name I think. Amazing!!! Would highly recommend.

Great informative tour. Josh was an excellent guide really enthusiastic and knowledgable. It was a cold and very wet evening and he kept us entertained for the evening

This was the best guided tour I have ever done in DC! I highly recommend

Night tour was beautiful with hop off stops for a quick visit