Washington DC is known to have one of the best bike share programs in the nation in Capital Bike Share. With the first 30 minutes of each ride being free, renting a bike is a great way to not only get in some exercise, but also hit many of the monuments and sights in one day. Here’s a quick itinerary to help plan your day.
Start your day by biking around the White House. With a bike, it’s easy to see both the front and backsides, as well as get out quick to your next destination. Be careful though, the sidewalks around here are always packed, and the surrounding streets are busy as well.
From the front of the White House, head down the side walk and across the street to the visible Washington Monument. From the back gate the monument is only about half a mile away. You can take a loop around the Monument’s plaza, then head down the Cherry Blossom lined sidewalk towards the Reflection Pool and Lincoln Memorial.
After visiting these two sights, continue to ride your bike around the Tidal Basin past the Vietnam Memorial until you hit the newly Christened Martin Luther King jr. Memorial. Biking in this area is frowned upon, but if the crowds aren’t too large, you can walk your bike through the memorial instead of locking it up.
After MLK, hop back on your bike, continuing down around the Tidal Basin to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. You can ride your bike through this one, but it’s nice to walk through and read the quotes from the 4 different eras. After FDR, ride your bike along the inner part of the Tidal Basin (making sure not to fall in!) until you dead in with the bus loop. From here, if you continue around the loop, you can add on a small loop that takes you to a biking haven known as Haines Point. From here you get a great look across the Potomac into Virginia, and can watch planes land at Ronald Regan Airport (while eating the pinic you packed on grass).
The loop will return you back to the Tidal Basin, where you can visit the Thomas Jefferson Memorial en route to the Smithsonian Museums around the mall. Each of the museums lining the mall are free and open to the public, and offer a wide array of art and culture. The mall is nearly two miles long, and after criss-crossing back and forth to each museum, visitors find themselves facing the Capital Building.
Enjoy your ride, and make sure to hop off that bike long enough to take in each monument!