Gardens in National Mall

Constitution Gardens

Constitution Gardens is a bit of a locals’ secret. Quiet, shady and serene, it’s a reminder of the size of the Mall – how can such isolation exist amid so many tourists? Here’s the simple layout: a copse of trees se…
Gardens in Logan Circle, U Street & Columbia Heights

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

DC was built on a marsh, a beautiful, brackish, low-lying ripple of saw grass and steel-blue water, wind-coaxed and tide touched by the inflow of the Potomac from Chesapeake Bay. You’d never know all that now, of co…
Park in Northern Virginia

Theodore Roosevelt Island

This 91-acre wooded island, in the Potomac off Rosslyn, is a wilderness preserve honoring the conservation-minded 26th US president. A large memorial plaza and statue of Teddy dominate the island’s center, and trail…
Gardens in Logan Circle, U Street & Columbia Heights

United States National Arboretum

The greatest green space in Washington unfurls almost 450 acres of meadowland, sylvan theaters and a pastoral setting that feels somewhere between bucolic Americana countryside and a classical Greek ruralscape. High…
Gardens in National Mall

National Sculpture Garden

The National Gallery of Art’s 6-acre garden is studded with whimsical sculptures such as Roy Lichtenstein’s House, a giant Claes Oldenburg typewriter eraser and Louise Bourgeois’ leggy Spider. They are scattered aro…
Park in Logan Circle, U Street & Columbia Heights

Meridian Hill Park

This is an incredible bit of urban green space. The grounds are terraced like a hanging garden replete with waterfalls, sandstone terraces and assorted embellishments that feel almost Tuscan. The prettiest bits resi…
Gardens in White House Area & Foggy Bottom

Organization of American States

A forerunner to the UN, the OAS was founded in 1890 to promote cooperation among North and South American nations. Its main building at 17th St and Constitution Ave NW is a marble palazzo surrounded by the sculpture…
Park in Upper Northwest DC

Rock Creek Park

At 1700 acres, Rock Creek is twice the size of New York’s Central Park and feels much more wild. Even coyotes have settled into the wilderness (they’re not dangerous, by the way). Terrific trails for hiking, biking …
Gardens in National Mall

United States Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden is the Mall's overlooked gem. Built to resemble London’s Crystal Palace, the iron-and-glass greenhouse provides a beautiful setting to roam by orchids, ferns and cacti. When you're done with those…
Park in Washington, DC

Glen Echo Park

This beautiful park 9 miles northwest of downtown has a huge carousel (per ride $1.25, operating May through September) and children’s shows by the Puppet Company and Adventure Theatre MTC.