Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue , NE
Anacostia Park lines the east side of the Anacostia River. Its many fields are frequented by both neighborhood residents and sports leagues from around the region. The park has basketball and tennis courts, a skating pavilion, track, golf course, and marinas. With all these attractions and such a wonderful setting, the popularity of the park is easy to understand. Be sure to visit the Urban Treehouse. The wooden deck is a scale map of the United States with a special highlight for the Rockies - they are real rocks!
Battery Kemble Park
Chain Bridge Road and Macarthur Blvd , NW
Battery Kemble Park is popular for runners, sledders, and those looking to enjoy a quiet afternoon in a neighborhood park. This park has rolling hills and several trails tucked within a park that borders the impressive homes of the Palisades neighborhood. In addition, the Civil War battery remains a visible destination within the park.
16th and Colorado Avenue , NW
The Carter Barron Amphitheatre stages summer concerts, dances, and plays in its wooded park each summer. Performances span all styles and genres. One of Carter Barron's most popular event is a free Shakespeare production by the Shakespeare Theater. The park includes shaded picnic tables, but its main attraction is definitely the stage.
M Street and Maine Avenue , SW
The DC waterfront lines the west side of the Anacostia River and includes some notable hot spots including Hains Point, Tidal Basin, Washington Channel, Buzzards Point, and the Maine Avenue Waterfront. The waterfront is good place to stroll, boat, or buy seafood. The waterfront also serves as a good winter birding spot to look for gulls and waterfowl. This area is changing because it is currently the target of city redevelopment plans.
1703 32nd Street , NW
Tucked away off the main streets of Georgetown, Dumbarton Oaks is a great place to enjoy an afternoon outside or explore ancient treasures indoors. Wandering among the gardens, you might stumble upon an excellent mosaic or a quiet round patio surrounded by tall trees. Its museum is known for its Byzantine and Pre-Colombian collection, including one of best Incan feathered tunics in the world.
East Potomac Park
Anacostia and Potomac Rivers , SW
East Potomac Park is wonderful. There you can see Washington families getting together for barbecues, reunions, or maybe some rounds on the public golf and mini-golf courses. The park is lined with cherry trees that are gorgeous in the early Spring. At the entrance to the park is a lush flower garden, and the FDR and Jefferson memorials are nearby in West Potomac Park. Check points of interest to learn about the park's highlight, the Awakening.
Fort Dupont Park
Randle Circle , SE
Fort Dupont is a spacious national park wonderful in any season. In the winter, its rolling hills are perfect for sledding. Its indoor ice hockey arena is open almost all year. Popular today, the arena also has an interesting history as home to the first African-American hockey team in the country. Fort Dupont also offers plenty of warmer activities. The activity center, trails, and picnic areas are relaxing ways to enjoy an afternoon outside. Fort Dupont also hosts jazz and gospel concerts on its summer stage every year. This amazing park does not feel like it is in the middle of a city.
Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens
Anacostia Avenue , NE
DC's Aquatic Gardens is the only National Park Service location dedicated exclusively to aquatic plants. These gardens line the east side of the Anacostia River. They have been designated as an historical site and have a rich history in both the public and private sectors. The park sponsors a variety of educational programs and welcomes visitors looking for a quiet place to unwind. To view the plants at their brightest, visit during the beginning of summer. In August, the lotuses
drop their petals and the fabulous seed pods look like shower heads. This is a sight not to be missed.
Meridian Hill Park / Malcom X Park
15th - 16th Streets, W - Euclid Streets , NW
Meridian Park has several main attractions. It was the first national park for the performing arts and continues to host occasional performances. Every warm Sunday, an African drum circle plays throughout the afternoon. The park also has one of the best views of DC from the west side of the city. Unlike some larger parks in DC, this park feels like a part of the city. The architecture is more impressive than the grass. Most impressive are the Italian gardens. This is a stunning place to observe or enjoy as you relax.
U.S. National Arboretum
3501 New York Avenue or 24th & R Streets , NE
The National Arboretum comprises many different gardens organized by genus or thematically. Wander among azaleas, or boxwoods or into the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. Learn about trees from around the country in the National Grove of State Trees. Be sure to visit the National Capitol Columns - originally part of the Capitol building, these Corinthian columns provide a unique and serene setting within the Arboretum. The Arboretum has lots to offer, so don't expect to see everything in one visit.
Washington Parks and People
2437 15th St , NW
Washington Parks and People is a citywide organization that revitalizes the District's parks that have been neglected. The group has focused on Meridian Hill / Malcom X Park and Watts Branch Park, but they also work with a variety of other groups and area parks. Washington Parks is a strong resource both to learn about city parks and to begin restoring a park in any neighborhood.