The Top DC Parks You Should Visit This Spring
Spring is the perfect time to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of the city and explore nature. The DC area does not disappoint when it comes to parks and outdoor spaces. Check out this list of the must-see parks in Washington, DC.
Meridian Hill Park
Meridian Hill Park is a 12-acre space inside Rock Creek Park and is home to one of the longest cascading fountains in North America. Bring your leashed pet and go for a walk around the park. Some of the sights you'll see along the way are fountains, 4 memorials, and famous statues. One is of President James Buchanan, and the other is of Joan of Arc. Come out to join in the weekly drum circle or jazzercise routine. In the winter months, you can go sledding in the park.
This historic park is meant to celebrate the abolition of slavery in Washington, DC. Park-goers can view the Emancipation statue and the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial. Lincoln Park is the largest park on Capitol Hill. Many visitors to the area bring their dogs for a walk, read books, or enjoy one of the two playgrounds.
Rock Creek Park
If you love nature, this is the park for you. Rock Creek Park contains 32 miles of hiking trails for walking, biking, and of course, hiking. You can picnic and play tennis. If you're a bit more adventurous, you can take a horse for a ride around the park. Children can participate in the Ranger programs held by the Rock Creek Park rangers. If water sports are more your thing, you can rent one of their kayaks or small sailboats.
Dumbarton Oaks Park
This park is actually part of the Dumbarton Oaks Museum. But, it’s one of the most spectacular gardens in DC. The greenhouse often called the orangery, is original to the house. It was built in 1810 and houses many plants and trees. The Green Garden offers panoramic views of the entire estate. If you visit this park, make sure you take a trip to Lover’s Lane Pool or the Rose Garden. On your way, stop by the fountains and Beech Terrace. You could spend an entire day wandering through the gardens here.
US National Arboretum
The National Arboretum may be one of the most extensive gardens in the DC area. Some portions of the park run along the Anacostia River. You’ll find many plant species here, including azaleas, dogwoods, conifers, boxwoods, and herbs. The Arboretum is home to an Asian collection of plants, as well as a Fern Valley. There is a youth garden, for aspiring horticulturalists. They also offer tours and events throughout the week.
Watkins Regional Park
This park has the most activities of any other on the list. The perfect family-friendly day trip, come out and ride the carousel or mini train. Bring a tent and go camping for the night. The campsites also have picnic shelters, fire pits, and grills. Head over to the petting zoo and give the barnyard animals some love. As if that wasn’t enough, the park also has a giant playground for the kids.
Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens
Escape the big city at Kenilworth Park. You can hike the many trails that meander through the flowers. Cross the boardwalk and explore the ponds. Sit along the East bank of the Anacostia River and watch for birds and other wildlife. Join a Ranger program and journey through the marshlands in search of frogs and fish. With so much nature all around, you’ll forget you’re in DC.
This 13-acre park was established in the 1950s by Marjorie Post. Her old home and gardens are open every day of the week except Monday for tours. You can take a stroll through the cutting garden. Enjoy the sights of the French parterre (European style garden), lunar lawn, and a putting green. Step up on the terrace, and you’ll find views of the Washington Monument.
Do you have a favorite park that didn’t make the list? Leave a comment below, and we’ll add it to the list.