Ranked as one of the greenest cities in the nation, Washington, DC offers a dense urban canopy and plenty of accompanying, vibrant gardens. Our advice? Take a break from your computer and get exploring.
Old Stone House Gardens
The historic 1765 Old Stone House, nestled on the bustling M Street in Georgetown, is the oldest DC structure on its original foundation; it also offers an impressive backyard garden. Step away from the city and into a nature oasis by merely exiting M Street through the gate. The biodiverse gardens include various flowers that attract pollinators – plenty of bees, finches, and butterflies call Old Stone House home. And who can resist the chipmunks? The scene only becomes more vibrant in fall.
National Bonsai and Penjing Gardens
Japanese Bonsai and its precursor, Chinese Penjing, are a unique form of shrubbery rooted in cultural traditions and representations. This museum houses vibrant and colorful vegetation in its outdoor gardens, most popular in springtime during cherry blossom season, and it also includes a quaint indoor pavilion for reflection. The plants are unique and traditional – there is, for example, a Japanese white pine that is approaching 400 years old!
National Botanic Garden
Each room within the indoor Botanic Garden’s conservatory represents a different habitat/ecosystem, and the flora that accompanies it. There’s a desert with cacti, a tropical rainforest in a 93 foot mezzanine to allow trees to grow, a rare and endangered species chamber, and so on. The accompanying outdoor gardens range from a vibrant rose garden to a First Ladies’ aquatic plant oasis.
This historic Georgetown estate wows visitors with its glorious outdoor gardens and indoor museum, which houses rare books and artifacts from ancient civilizations like the Maya and Inca. The Byzantine-inspired gardens feature unique architecture coupled with 50 acres of lush vegetation. Over 15 themed gardens feature all types of flora from an Apple Orchard to a hillside consumed by forsythias.
Dumbarton Oaks, 1703 32nd St NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 339 6401
Smithsonian Butterfly Pavilion
Inside the walls of the Natural History Museum, a biodiverse greenhouse sits amid an exhibit about natural selection. For $6, you can enter the luscious greenhouse, which houses over 50 species of live butterflies. The colorful insects swoop through the head, pollinate the vibrant flowers, and may land on your shoulder without you noticing.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.