Where? National Arboretum, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
How much? Free
Open/Closes: Due to Covid-19, hours of operation have been modified. Click here to see the most updated hours of operation.
Pets: Must be leashed and owner must clean up after dog. See rules here.
At a Glance
Kid friendly ✅ This place is huge. There is so much space to walk that your kids will burn energy pretty quickly. We specifically visited the Capitol Columns area, including the Herb Garden. This last one was super fun! The kids were very excited to see chilis, peppers and more. This garden has a lot of shade as well; much needed during the summer.
Stroller friendly ✅ There are multiple small parking spots close to the Capitol Columns. Theres a concrete trail that circles around the columns, and takes you to other areas. From there we made our way to the Herb Garden
Wheelchair accessible ✅ There are ramps that connect to the concrete trail in the area we visited.
Restroom❌We didn’t see restrooms close to where we were. But, as mention above, this place is huge. We didn’t explore it completely. Therefore, I might have missed
Social distancing ✅ Based on a weekend visit about two hours before closing time, uncrowded. Even if there was people, it’s so big that we barely encountered anyone. Also, make sure to check their website before visiting. There are many places that are closed.
My takeaway ✨ I suggest coming here during fall or winter. At the moment, the hours of operation are not ideal, at least for me. I can’t make it early enough to be there at a time of the day with comfortable temps. They close at 5:00 PM, so sunset walks are a no no here. If you visit now, bring plenty of water, an umbrella and be ready to walk. There’s absolutely no shade when walking along the Capitol Columns.
Last remarks 🚨 We didn’t circle the entire loop around the Capitol Columns. Therefore, we didn’t see them from the front, with the water fountain. We spent a lot of time in the Herb Garden and by the time we were done looking at all the herbs, it was time to close.
More details of Our Experience
The National Arboretum is located in Washington, D.C. Click on the map to get directions on Google Maps.
When you enter, you will see the first parking lot to your right. If you park there, you will walk a lot and on the road. There isn’t any walking trail connecting from there to the woods. Therefore, keep driving to the right to see if there’s parking available closer. If you put on your GPS Capitol Columns instead of National Arboretum, it’ll take you to where the columns are, and there are parking areas there. Can’t promise there will be availability, though. I think we were lucky!
If you are looking at the columns from the backside, the Herb Garden is located to the right. Keep walking on the concrete trail and you’ll get there.
The Herb Garden is lovely. There are tunnel-like passageways covered with plants, and many herbs, being the most prominent chili peppers!
Also, multiple benches under a shade to relax, take in the scenery, get a water break and just breath fresh air.
It’s a great place to get ideas of what you can grow at home and for kids to see plants in action!
This is the path that runs along the columns, and connect to the Herb Garden and other places.
I hope you have a great time visiting this beautiful place. Being in contact with nature is proven to make you feel better and happier. Let me know if you go how it goes and remember that the easiest way to stay posted and in touch is to follow me on insta, where I also share videos of the places in my stories/highlights!