4 Ways to Get to the New National Museum of African American History and Culture

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This weekend marks the official opening of the Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture, located on the National Mall at 1400 Constitution Ave. NW. But the museum's long-anticipated opening will bring with it road closures and large crowds. During the dedication ceremony Saturday morning, there will be no public or bus parking near the museum, meaning you'll need to explore other options.

Here are a few ways to get to the museum:

1. DC Circulator

The Circulator's National Mall route will provide special service on Saturday and Sunday for those attending the museum opening.

On Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., the bus will stop at:

  • Union Station (on E Street NE at Columbus Circle)
  • Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW
  • Independence Avenue at 6th Street SW
  • Independence Avenue at 12th Street SW

From 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Museum Loop will stop at:

  • Union Station (on E Street NE at Columbus Circle)
  • Madison Drive at 4th Street NW
  • Madison Drive at 7th Street NW
  • Madison Drive at 12th Street NW
  • Jefferson Drive at 12th Street SW
  • Jefferson Drive at 7th Street SW
  • 3rd Street NW near Madison Drive NW

On Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Museum Loop will service:

  • Union Station (on E Street NE at Columbus Circle)
  • Madison Drive at 4th Street NW
  • Madison Drive at 7th Street NW
  • Madison Drive at 12th Street NW
  • Jefferson Drive at 12th Street SW
  • Jefferson Drive at 7th Street SW
  • 3rd Street NW near Madison Drive NW

For maps of these modified routes, go here.

2. Metrorail -- But Pick Your Station Wisely, and Be Prepared

Try to avoid the stops closest to the museum, Smithsonian and Federal Triangle, which are likely to be very busy. Instead, consider walking from other nearby stations, such as Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Metro Center or McPherson Square.

While these are a 15- to 20-minute walk away, they may not be as crowded.

Just remember that Metro's Safety Surge #9 is underway, which affects Orange Line riders traveling from Northern Virginia.

3. Capital Bikeshare

With lots of locations around the D.C. area, Capital Bikeshare is another option.

Go here for a complete map of station locations. The closest bike bays to the museum are:

  • Jefferson Drive at 14th Street SW
  • Smithsonian/Jefferson Drive at 12th Street SW
  • 10th Street & Constitution Avenue NW
  • 17th Street & Independence Avenue SW
However, keep in mind that they may fill up fast.

4. Taxi, Uber or Lyft

Depending on where you're coming from, taking a taxi, an Uber or a Lyft will get you close to the museum -- just don&'t forget about traffic and road closures. Both Uber and Lyft offer credit toward your first ride if you've never used their services before.

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