Since becoming one of the first federally managed parks in the United States in 1890, Rock Creek Park has been a green oasis in the heart of Washington DC. Covering an astounding 1,700 acres, Rock Creek is larger even than New York’s Central Park. Nature lovers exploring its grounds may catch a glimpse of some of its residents: the white-tailed deer; red foxes, or even coyote. Hikers enjoy more than 32 miles of trails, while cyclists can follow a paved path all the way to the Lincoln Memorial. Boasting a golf course, tennis courts, a horse center, and even a planetarium, Rock Creek certainly offers something for everyone!
Rock Creek Park, 3545 Williamsburg Lane NW, Washington, DC, USA +1 202 895 6000
Theodore Roosevelt Island Park is a fitting memorial to America’s 26th President, who was an avid outdoorsman known as The Great Conservationist. Located in the Potomac River, the island is a wilderness preserve containing several hiking trails that lead to a 17-foot bronze statue of Roosevelt himself, created by American sculptor Paul Manship. The tranquility of the park provides the perfect setting to escape the bustle of the city or contemplate quotations from Roosevelt’s writings, found inscribed on four granite monoliths surrounding his statue.
Located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington DC, Dumbarton Oaks is one of the city’s most significant historic landmarks. Beatrix Farrand, the first professional female landscape architect in the United States, designed the park in 1921. With the goal of creating the illusion of country life within the city, Farrand’s design includes formal gardens that transition to a more naturalistic landscape with constructed waterfalls and ponds.
Dumbarton Oaks Park, Washington, DC +1 202 895 6000
The striking National Capitol Columns monument is the highlight of the National Arboretum. Originally part of the Capitol building, the 22 Corinthian columns here are arranged in a way that recalls an ancient temple in Greece. The arboretum is a living museum that attracts visitors from all over the world, especially in the spring, when the popular Azalea Collection is in bloom. Also located on the grounds is The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, a collection of miniature trees rooted in the traditions of Japanese and Chinese culture.