If there’s one thing that DC has an abundance of, it’s parks and lush green spaces. Although we often focus on things like the White House, Lincoln Memorial and of course the National Mall, there are plenty of great parks to enjoy, for all the adventurous types visiting DC. Come visit in the spring or fall to make the most of the parks and what they each have to offer.
Even if you’re a resident and haven’t yet been to some of the magnificent natural hotspots in the city, you should check these parks out:
Located centrally in the Capitol Hill area, Stanton Park runs between 4th and 6th Streets NE and still holds a lot of history for those who are coming to the capital for some culture and learning as well as an experience of the great outdoors. The park itself is named after Edwin M Stanton, who was the US Secretary of War during the Civil War. Here you’ll find more historical gems like the statue for War Major General Nathanael Greene in the middle of the park, but there’s also fun for the whole family as there’s a playground for the kids and the ideal dog zone in the Eastern half of the park.
Rock Creek Park
By far the biggest park in the city is Rock Creek Park. Often thought of as DC’s version of Central Park, this green space is much more vast than its NY counterpart. In fact, this park stretches for over 2,000 acres and is full of trails for any keen bikers or hikers. Located in the northwestern quadrant of the city, the park actually stretches into the Montgomery County district of Maryland, it’s that big! There are plenty of recreational options besides hiking or biking here, with a horse center, tennis, golf and boat center for those looking to get active or get around the park easily. Rock Creek Park also houses the oldest building in DC, the Old Stone House, and also the last water powered mill still standing in the park at Pierce Mill.
Great Falls Park
Although not technically in DC itself, the Great Falls Park is just a 15 minute drive from the city and offers breath-taking views of the US capital city. Nestled in Northern Fairfax County, Virginia, the Great Falls features fantastic views of the Potomac, and is home to 6 different trails within the park’s grounds. There’s plenty of observation points and the chance to snap plenty of photographic scenery along the way. Be sure you’re wearing proper hiking shoes if visiting this park, as most of the trails are lined with rocks.
These are just 3 of the great parks you should visit if you’re taking the time to come to DC, but as you probably know there are plenty of great cultural and historical places to visit as well. Why not take one of Gray Line’s Hop On, Hop Off Tours to explore the sights you’re interested in, and all at your own leisure? This tour will allow you to see a different perspective of DC, allowing for great photo opportunities atop the double decker buses. You will be learning your way around the city in no time.