The Soundtrack for Cherry Blossoms

Download Slate’s free audio tour of the National Mall.

Click here to download Slate’s free audio tour of the National Mall from iTunes. *

Cherry blossoms

The National Park Service’s chief horticulturist says that today is expected to be the start of the peak bloom period for Washington’s fabled cherry blossoms. (The official Cherry Blossom Festival got under way on Saturday and runs through April 9.)

If you plan to be among the million-plus visitors expected to flock to the Mall and the Tidal Basin for this year’s display, consider bringing an iPod or other digital music player with you. And don’t forget to load it up with Slate’s free audio tour of Washington’s memorials.

The tour is narrated by Slate’s architecture critic Witold Rybczynski, and it covers all the major memorials along the Mall, including the two ensconced among the cherry trees (the Jefferson and FDR memorials). We also provide a printable map for easy navigation.

And if you won’t be able to visit our nation’s capital this spring, you can still take our audio tour. The version available from iTunes includes more that 90 photographs that comprise a virtual, narrated visit to the Mall.

*Note: You don’t need an iPod or other portable device to enjoy Slate podcasts. You can listen right on your computer. If clicking on the link doesn’t launch your media player, try right-clicking (Windows) or holding down the Control key while you click (Mac), and then “save” or “download” the audio file to your hard drive.