From important public spaces to mansions with formal gardens, Washington D.C. parks are a striking feature of the city.
You’ll find a number of the most significant parks within the Capitol Hill vicinity, including the National Mall, Constitution Gardens, and a series of memorial parks. Each plays a role in the cultural fabric of America and gives citizens the space to honour veterans, celebrate legacies, and have their voices heard.
Venture a little farther from the heartbeat of politics and you’ll discover the city’s renowned botanical beauty. Former private estates like Dumbarton Oaks and Hillwood Mansion are open for exploration.
Perhaps the most famous area of Washington D.C., the National Mall is a 3km stretch of public parkland that runs from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial. Among the well-kept lawns you’ll find the statuesque Washington Monument, the Vietnam Veterans memorial, and the World War II remembrance monument. From here, it’s a short walk to the White House and Smithsonian museums.
The US National Arboretum is a spectacular and vast botanical garden located a 3km drive from Capitol Hill. Spanning 180 hectares, the Arboretum’s collection of trees and plants from around the world, as well as public artworks, make this a fascinating place to explore on foot or by bike. Why not take a picnic lunch here?
Not only is Lincoln Park and Capitol Hill the largest public green space in the area, but it’s also home to two very important statues. To celebrate the abolition of slavery and importance of civil rights equality in the District of Columbia, a memorial to Abraham Lincoln and bronze statue of African American educator and activist Mary McLeod sit proudly on either side of the park.
Constitution Gardens provide a quiet place to take in the stately beauty of the Washington Monument and the view beyond to Capitol Hill. These scenic gardens were built for the 1976 US bicentennial. Enjoy meandering through the green space and over the footbridge to the island sitting in the middle of the small pond to enjoy a different perspective of the gardens. Find the Constitution Gardens between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the White House, just off the National Mall.
Once the opulent home of American socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post, Hillwood Mansion Museum and Gardens offer the opportunity to explore a sumptuously decorated home and equally ornate gardens. The grounds alone feature 10ha of flowering, formal gardens adjoining Rock Creek Park. Take time to explore the mansion and you’ll discover a treasure trove of 18th Century French decorating style and a bounty of artistic treasures.