DC Scavenger: Discover the Tidal Basin with These Fun Clues!


Spring is just around the corner, and here in DC, that means the beautiful cherry trees that have come to symbolize our nation’s capital are about to be in full bloom! There’s no better time to wander around the Tidal Basin and experience the blossoms’ stunning glory at its peak.

In this third guest blog post of her DC Scavenger series, local author JoAnn Hill takes us on an active pursuit throughout the Tidal Basin. This highly visited area is mostly known for its majestic memorials, including the Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and FDR Memorial. Each year, it also famously hosts the world-renowned Cherry Blossom Festival, a springtime staple and cherished celebration of beauty and nature. Along your scavenger hunt adventure, explore the Tidal Basin’s most cherished sites while surrounded by the abundant bursts of pink and white blossoms.

JoAnn Hill is the author of Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure and DC Scavenger, which goes beyond the typical guidebook; it’s an interactive treasure map spanning 17 distinct neighborhoods throughout the District. If you think you know everything there is to know about DC ― even the most weird, wonderful, and obscure parts of it ― get ready to embark on an adventurous discovery of DC’s most treasured gems.

Below are four of 15 clues featured in the Tidal Basin chapter of DC Scavenger. (Note that the photos show the general location, not the answer to the clue!)  Check out JoAnn’s book to solve and discover even more clues and sites around the Tidal Basin and throughout the entire city!


Tidal Basin Clue #1
First memorial here’s for Tommy J
Three’s the magic number, please don’t stray
In his left hand, this declared us free,
Nineteen feet tall, the third prez stands strongly.


Tidal Basin Clue #2
Follow the path to this Japanese gift
Assembling it was a heavy lift.
It came in five crates, no clues to its shape
Near FDR, a fixture of this landscape.


Tidal Basin Clue #3
The First Lady next to this UN seal
Her husband laid down the promised New Deal
Including a First Lady is quite unique
She was smart and bold, opposite of meek.


Tidal Basin Clue #4
Stroll over to this memorial king,
There are four to solve, so do your thing!
Greatest civil rights leader of the land
Look for this scroll for the clue at hand.

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JoAnnHill, author of DC Scavenger and Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure, has affectionately called Washington, DC, home for over 20 years. She has written extensively about DC living, its food, and her world travels on her blog dcglobejotters.org and other mediums and publications. Through her writing and research, she shares stories and tips that inspire the insatiably curious traveler. When she’s not writing and exploring, you will find her teaching yoga, barre, and group fitness classes, indulging in DC’s culinary and theater scenes, and spending as much time outside as possible being active. JoAnn is the co-founder of Capitol Teachers, a full-service tutoring company servicing the greater DC area. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband Thalamus and dog Jackson.







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