Gravelly Point is located just across the river from downtown DC, and offers very easy bicycle access via the nearby 14th Street bridges. Because it is located at the north end of Reagan National Airport's main runway, this parking location also offers dramatic plan spotting opportunities. Unfortunately, it also has the same drawbacks as other close in lots. First, the lot is only accessible from the northbound parkway. So, if you are coming from the north, you will need to turn around in the airport (which is not really that bad). Second, this is also a popular boat launch, so the lot fills up very quickly on nice weekends. Finally, there is a three hour parking limit, which I suspect is in place to prevent commuter parking. I have not heard of the limit being enforced on weekends or afternoons.
1. Mount Vernon Trail: Follow the bike trail north along the river.
2. Cross 14th St Bridge: After passing under the Railroad, Metrorail, and 14th Street Bridge Spans, look for the side trail on the left. This will take you up to and over the 14th Bridge
3. Basin Dr: Cross over to the sidewalk side of Basin Drive, and then follow it counter-clockwise around the Tidal Basin
4. Wallenberg Place: Bear right at a traffic light to continue north on Raoul Wallenberg. The National Mall is one block north of this location.