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Outdoors

Top Rated Attractions in Washington DC

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National Mall

Part of the original design for the federal city, this massive park stretches from the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial and around the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial. It has played host to many momentous, world-changing events throughout history including the 1963 March on Washington, the Million Man March and several presidential inaugurations. Today, the National Mall serves as a place for reflection, a memorial to American heroes, a symbol of freedom and a forum for the exercise of democracy. The Smithsonian museums, the Vietnam Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and the iconic Washington Monument are some of the most well-known of the National Mall's many iconic sites. Certainly, any visit to Washington DC should start with a tour of the United States National Mall, aptly named "America's front yard."

United States National Arboretum

Best known for its vast collection of azaleas, (a popular porch-flower), this 446-acre (180-hectare) garden park has much else to offer. Fountains, pools and open space separate a series of focused gardens at the United States National Arboretum. The National Bonsai Collection, a gift from Japan, is a fascinating exhibit of tiny trees. Other notable sections are the aquatic garden (filled with lotuses of many varieties) and the National Herb Garden.

United States Botanic Garden

The gorgeous United States Botanic Garden presents botanical variety, from the desert to the tropics, along a series of calm and gently meandering paths. A particular waterfall and garden display the flora of the dinosaur age. Seasonal displays include Christmas greens and poinsettias in December and January, chrysanthemums in autumn, and blooming flowers at Easter. Additionally, within the beautiful expanse of the United States Botanic Garden (USBG), the National Garden was inaugurated in October 2006 and includes the carefully designed Butterfly Garden.

Rock Creek Park

The Rock Creek Park contains a beautiful wild forest and serves as an oasis for city residents and tourists. Founded in 1890, the Rock Creek Park is a stunning haven for both people and wildlife. It features a multitude of attractions within which include picnic areas, winding trails and bike paths, a nature center, a public golf course, tennis courts, and stables. Rock Creek Parkway runs alongside the meandering creek. During winter, the park transforms into a popular spot for sledding and other outdoor winter activities.

Dumbarton Oaks

From El Greco's "The Visitation" to Byzantine and pre-Columbian artworks, jewelry and mosaics, Dumbarton Oaks is filled with elegant treasures. Built in 1801, the estate achieved its height of glory in the wealthy 1920s when it served as the high-society showpiece of Robert Bliss and his heiress wife, Mildred. The gardens occupy 10 acres above Georgetown and include terraced lawns, winding footpaths and elaborate fountains.

Meridian Hill Park

Meridian Hill Park in Washington showcases a rich tapestry of European park styles, seamlessly blending elements of French Baroque and Renaissance designs. The park's enchanting landscape is adorned with waterfalls, pools and meandering pathways, with the Cascading Waterfall standing out as a prominent and picturesque feature. Throughout the year, cultural events and gatherings enhance the park's vibrant atmosphere, making it a cherished destination for both locals and tourists. Adjacent to this verdant oasis lies the historic Adams-Morgan neighborhood, renowned for its diverse culinary scene and eclectic array of shops, offering visitors a delightful blend of natural beauty and cultural exploration.

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