The Tidal Basin is a man-made lake that serves as both a visual centerpiece and as a means for flushing the Washington Channel, a harbor separated from the Potomac River by fill lands where East Potomac Park is situated near the National Mall area in Washington, DC. There are several monuments located near the Tidal Basin, including the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, George Mason Memorial, and the newly-built Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. The Tidal Basin is also the focal point of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival since there is a large concentration of the cherry trees planted around the lake.
I’ve walked around the Tidal Basin many times, especially during the Cherry Blossom Festival time (usually around end of March to early April of the year). There is usually a period of several days when the cherry blossom is at its peak. That’s the best time of the year to visit, though if you can, visiting during the weekdays is better with less crowd compared to the weekends. The National Park Service conducts Ranger-led tour around there, and there are usually events you can check out around there. One activity that I would recommend for photographers is to participate in a Washington Photo Safari’s tour. During the tour, you would be going around to spots around the Tidal Basin that are particularly nice for photo shoots, and you can also get instruction on how to improve your photography skills.
The photo below was taken in the morning during the peak bloom of the cherry blossom, right after I participated in the Washington Photo Safari’s tour. It was during the weekday so there were not many visitors out there, but it was nice to have these two ladies as part of the scene photographing the Tidal Basin, the cherry blossom around, and the Jefferson Memorial in the background.