About Our Favorite Parks
This article is a part of Washingtonian’s feature: Our Favorite Parks. Our editors and staff pulled together the best regional parks where you can take a walk, have a picnic, play with the kids, and enjoy the great outdoors.
For Buttermilk Pancakes and Bonsai
Start the morning with fluffy pancakes at Ari’s Diner (2003 Fenwick St., NE; 202-290-1827) or a crab or smoked-fish omelet for Sunday brunch at the Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse (1356 Okie St., NE; 202-529-3300), then stroll through the azaleas and dogwoods, take a selfie at the Capitol Columns, and marvel at the bonsai trees at the nearby National Arboretum (3501 New York Ave., NE; 202-245-4523).
For Woodpeckers and Wine
You’ll spot woodpeckers throughout Sky Meadows State Park in Virginia (11012 Edmonds Ln., Delaplane; 540-592-3556), especially in the old-growth trees on Corporal Morgan trail. Other trails—22 miles in all—range from steep wooded climbs to easy valley jaunts. Afterward, go winetasting at a nearby vineyard such as Delaplane Cellars (2187 Winchester Rd., Delaplane; 540-592-7210).
For Drums and Drinks
Time a visit to Meridian Hill Park (16th St. between W and Euclid sts., NW)—also known as Malcolm X Park—around 3 on a Sunday to witness a 40-year-old tradition: a drum circle. Dance—or just sway (we won’t judge)—and take in the lively scene. Then have a drink on the rooftop terrace of Jack Rose Dining Saloon (2007 18th St., NW; 202-588-7388).
For Blazes and Bordeaux
Take your pick from seven blazed loop trails or three short paths to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain in Dickerson, Maryland. The trails, ranging from a quarter of a mile to seven miles, all reach the 1,282-foot peak, which looks out over farmland and forested foothills. Later, savor Bordeaux-style wines at nearby Sugarloaf Winery (18125 Comus Rd., Dickerson; 301-605-0130), which has both indoor and outdoor tasting areas and large patios to sit and sip.
This article appears in the May 2019 issue of Washingtonian.