Parks to Visit


Rock Creek Park is part of the National Park Service system. For visitor tips, we recommend the Washington Post’s Guide to Rock Creek Park.

NPS Photo.

C&O Canal Towpath. NPS Photo.

C&O Canal offers 184.5 miles of adventure!, quoting its website. There’s lots of good visitor and event info on the C&O Association website.

Dumbarton Oaks Park. Read Adrian Higgins’ great story about it in the Washington Post.

Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, VA. Spectacular drifts of Virginia blue bells bloom in mid-to-late April.

Carlyle House Historic Park in Alexandria, VA. Historic garden in Old Town Alexandria. 

Rippon Lodge Historic Site in Woodbridge, VA. Has 42 acres of grounds with old-growth trees, such as elms. Early 20th century decorative garden. Free access to grounds, small charge for tours of 1747 house.

Winkler Botanical Preserve in Alexandria, VA. Pleasant stroll in the woods around a pond with native plantings. Educational center for school groups.

Farther Afield


The 175-acre State Arboretum of Virginia is part of Blandy Experimental Farm, a 700-acre research field station for the University of Virginia. The Arboretum grounds are open dawn to dusk, 365 days a year, at no charge. Located in the northern Shenandoah Valley, between Winchester and Middleburg.