15 Best Gardens in the Washington, DC Capital Region

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    Flowers and Gardens in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia

    Smithsonian in DC
    ••• Smithsonian Castle and Haupt Garden. SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

    The Washington, DC area has many beautiful public gardens with a wide variety of plants, trees and flowers. These places offer seasonal displays and special programs to delight everyone from the casual visitor to the serious gardener.  Each destination has something unique to see. Bring a camera and capture some of the region's most colorful displays. Enjoy your exploration of the top gardens in the Washington, DC area.

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    U.S. Botanic Garden

    U.S. Botanic Garden
    ••• Murat Taner / Getty Images

    While visiting the National Mall, don't miss the U.S. Botanic Garden, located next to the Capitol Building, See plants from all around the world. A large part of these gardens are located indoors in the Conservatory, providing a great activity for hot, cold or rainy weather. The gardens include azaleas, lilies, orchids, an exotic jungle and a tropical rain forest, and more. Read more about the U.S. Botanic Garden

    Address: 245 First St., SW Washington, DC. (202) 225-8333. 
    Closest Metro Stations: Federal Center SW. L'Enfant Plaza, Capitol South
    Free Admission

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    National Arboretum

    United States National Arboretum
    ••• Courtesy of National Arboretum

    Explore 446 acres of trees, shrubs, and plants that are cultivated for scientific and educational purposes. The Arboretum includes several major plant collections, including azaleas, cherries, hollies, rhododendrons, ferns and wildflowers. With its location in NE Washington, DC, the gardens are one of the most overlooked attractions in the city. If you love gardens, be sure to plan several hours to explore the site and take part in special programs. Read more about the National Arboretum

    Address: 3501 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. (202) 245-2726.
    Closest Metro Stations: Minnesota Ave, Deanwood, Rhode Island, Union Station
    Free Admission

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    Enid A. Haupt Garden (Smithsonian Castle)

    Smithsonian Castle and Haupt Garden
    ••• Photo: Dane A. Penland / Smithsonian

    The Enid A. Haupt Garden is a four acre garden that is one of several Smithsonian Gardens. The Parterre, the centerpiece of the garden, features a changing palette of colors, shapes, and textures to complement the architecture of the adjacent Smithsonian Castle. There is also a Fountain Garden modeled after a 13th-century Moorish palace and fortress in Granada, Spain and the Moongate Garden inspired by the gardens and architecture of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China. 

    Address: Between the Smithsonian Castle and Independence Avenue NW Washington DC
    Closest Metro Station: Smithsonian
    Website: www.gardens.si.edu
    Free Admission

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    White House Gardens

    Garden with a government building in the background, White House, Washington DC, USA
    ••• KAREN BLEIER / Getty Images

    The grounds of the White House are beautifully landscaped with a variety of trees, shrubs and flowers. The gardens are open to the public two weekends a year (in April and October) for a special tour. The gardens have been redesigned and expanded throughout America’s history. Read more about the White House Gardens

    Address: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington DC
    Closest Metro Stations: Farragut West, McPherson Square, Federal Triangle, Metro Center
    Free Admission

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    Hillwood Museum & Gardens

    Hillwood Museum & Gardens
    ••• Courtesy of Hillwood Museum and Gardens

    The gardens of the mansion of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the heir to the Post cereal fortune, contain more than 3,500 varieties of plants and trees. Hillwood features a restored Japanese garden with a waterfall and bridge, a rose garden, and greenhouses containing more than 5,000 orchids. Read more about Hillwood Museum and Gardens

    Address: 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. (202) 686-8500
    Closest Metro Station: Cleveland Park
    Admission Fee

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    Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

    Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
    ••• © Rachel Cooper

    Tucked away in Southeast Washington DC along the east bank of the Anacostia River, the 12-acre garden features exotic waterlilies, native plants and small animals such as frogs, toads, turtles, fish, minnows, and sunfish. This is an interesting place to explore and a great way to enjoy the outdoors. 

    Address: 1900 Anacostia Avenue and Douglas Avenue, NE Washington, DC. (202) 426-6905.
    Closest Metro Station: Deanwood
    Website: www.nps.gov/keaq/index.htm
    Free Admission

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  • 08 of 16

    Washington National Cathedral Gardens

    Washington National Cathedral
    ••• © Rachel Cooper

    Located atop the highest point of the city, the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral include a variety of gardens. The Cathedral's small herb garden features rosemary, thyme, and mint. The Bishop's Garden is a beautiful setting with magnolias, orchids and exquisite flowers. The Little Garden is designed to look like a medieval herb garden surrounded by hedges of old English boxwood. Read more about the gardens at National Cathedral.

    Address: Wisconsin & Massachusetts Avenues, NW Washington, DC.
    Closest Metro Stations: Cleveland Park, Woodley Park-Zoo
    Free Admission

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    Dumbarton Oaks

    Dumbarton Oaks
    ••• Photo by Karl Gercens / Courtesy of Dumbarton Oaks

    Located in residential Georgetown, the 19th-century mansion boasts a lovely ten-acre garden with roses, wisteria-covered arbors, cherry trees, and magnolias. The estate houses an unusual collection of Byzantine and re-Columbian art and historical artifacts. Garden tours are offered daily at 2:15 p.m. (except Mondays). 

    Address: R and 31st Sts. NW Washington, DC.
    Closest Metro Station: Woodley Park (1.3 miles)
    Website: www.doaks.org
    Free Admission

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    Tudor Place Historic House and Garden

    Tudor Place Garden
    ••• DC Gardens / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    The estate, originally owned by Martha Custis Peter, the granddaughter of Martha Washington, includes a 5 1/2 acre early-19th century style garden with a Bowling Green, Tennis Lawn, Flower Knot, Boxwood Ellipse, Japanese Tea House and Tulip Poplar. Docent-led house tours and self-guided garden tours are available. Read more about Tudor Place.

    Address: 1644 31st Street NW Washington, DC. 
    Closest Metro: Foggy Bottom (1.2 miles)
    Admission Fee

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    Brookside Gardens

    Brookside Gardens
    ••• Courtesy of Brookside Gardens

    Located in  Wheaton Regional Park, Montgomery County's award-winning 50-acre garden features formal and informal gardens and two indoor conservatories. During the summer, Brookside Gardens houses a spectacular live butterfly show (fee charged). Read more about Brookside Gardens.

    Address: 1400 Glenallen Ave., Wheaton, MD. (301) 946-9071. 
    Free Admission

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    Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

    Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
    ••• Photo by Tom Sovall / Courtesy of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

    The 95-acre gardens feature walking trails, lakes, cherry trees, irises, peonies, an extensive shade garden, native wildflowers, gazebos, birds, and butterflies. There's an indoor atrium, picnic areas, and educational facilities. 

    Address: 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna, VA. (703) 255-3631. 
    Website: www.novaparks.com/parks/meadowlark-botanical-gardens
    Admission Fee

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    Franciscan Monastery

    Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America
    ••• DC Gardens / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is a historical landmark and an oasis of peace in the middle of Washington, DC. It is a house of worship and an architectural marvel with beautifully landscaped gardens. Guided garden tours are offered every Saturday during the summer months.

    Address: 1400 Quincy St. NE. Washington DC (202) 526-6800.
    Website: www.myfranciscan.org
    Closest Metro Station: Brookland
    Free Admission

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    River Farm

    River Farm DC
    ••• Photo by Jim Sohn / Courtesy of River Farm

    This is the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society, a 25-acre garden located between Old Town Alexandria and Mt. Vernon, overlooking the Potomac River. River Farm was one of George Washington's original properties. 

    Address: 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, VA. (703) 768-5700. 
    Website: www.ahs.org/about-river-farm
    Free Admission

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    Green Spring Gardens Park

    Green Spring Gardens
    ••• Courtesy of Green Spring Gardens

    The gardens, operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority, feature 20 different themed gardens, a horticulture center and a nature trail that leads through the woods to two ponds. Visitors will enjoy seeing a wide variety of trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, annuals, bulbs, and vegetables.

    Address: 4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria, VA (703) 642-5173. 
    Website: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring
    Free Admission

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    Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

    Formal Garden
    ••• RASimon / Getty Images

    George Washington's former home reflects his love of trees with its wooded landscape and beautiful flowers. Many of the trees on view at the estate were planted by Washington himself, including the white ash, American holly, English mulberry, flowering dogwood, hemlock, tulip poplar, and yellow buckeye. Read more about Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

    Address: George Washington Parkway, Mount Vernon, VA.
    Admission Fee