Now that you've decided to come see the cherry blossoms, perhaps it would be just a bit responsible to come up with some sort of plan to actually see some blossoms.
As Connie from Pennsylvania wrote and asked:
"Would you please "guesstimate" how much time I should budget for wandering and looking at the blossoms along the tidal basin and mall? I am trying to plan out our sightseeing schedule."
Good question, Connie. For those of us that live here, we don't put much thought into it. One day, when we have a chance, we hop down to the Tidal Basin, see the blossoms, and go on about our lives. Having to budget time for the blossoms is somewhat foreign to us and worthy of a bit of consideration.
So, the answer comes down to how much you want to see and how to do it. I've laid out some options for bikes and Segways in a previous post, so I'll skip that and lay out two walking tours:
For both, they involve taking advantage of the secret passageway between the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Auditors Building, the big red brick building with a steeple on Independence and 14th (don't worry, it's not important). Neither walk's distance includes the walk to the Metro (.3 milies). If you're driving, the walks don't include the 2 mile walk to the nearest parking. Don't be fooled by the parking spaces on the map; the Park Service closes it during the Cherry Blossom Festival.
The long walk is two miles and will take you past the Park Service's Tulip Library, the future sight of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the FDR Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), and finishes by the Holocaust Memorial Museum. There are some great views here. I'm particularly fond of the view of the Jefferson from FDR and the view of the Tidal Basin from the BEP. You will also go within short walking distances of the World War II, DC WWI, and George Mason Memorials if you are interested in any of those. I would plan on an hour and a half to two hours for this one and some tired legs.
If that doesn't appeal to you, obviously you can take any portion of it. I've mapped out a small sample loop that is about .7 miles. This should just take about 45 minutes. It starts and ends by the Holocaust Museum and will take in the Tulip Library, the Boat Dock, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. If you really want to burn out your legs, feel free to rent a paddle boat (or peddle boat, as they insist on calling it). A more inefficient form of tranisit could not be imagined.