The Tidal Basin is an artificial inlet created in the late 19th century on the southwest side of Washington DC. Parts of the Potomac River were filled in to expand the area's parkland and to improve navigation. It also served as a swimming hole until the mid-1900's when water pollution became a concern. On the southeast bank of the Tidal Basin, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial was dedicated in 1943.
The Basin is connected to the Potomac River by a narrow channel of water, and spanned by the sculpture-laden Inlet Bridge. Surrounded by the famous blossoming cherry trees in the spring, the Basin offers a very pleasant pedestrian promenade and, in warmer weather, paddleboats can be rented at a boathouse on the east bank. The flower beds on this same side of the Basin are lovely during the tulip season.