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.
Bon Air Park
Stop and smell the roses—thousands of them in 136 varieties—at this Arlington park.
Don’t miss: A demonstration shade garden with such plants as black cohosh that do well in home gardens. 850 N. Lexington St., Arlington; 703-228-6525.
Although the 50,000 daffodils have probably faded by now, Kathy Jentz says, something is always in bloom.
Don’t miss: The tropical flower collection and a summer-long butterfly exhibit, both in the conservatories. 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton; 301-962-1400.
Green Spring Gardens
“It’s one of the few public gardens that allow dogs on a leash,” Jentz says. “There’s an incredible Alpine-style rock garden— that’s rare in this area.”
Don’t miss: A big plant sale on May 18. 4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria; 703-642-5173.
Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens
Kenilworth is noted for water lotuses.
Don’t miss: “July,” Jentz says, “when tons of stuff is in bloom. But year-round, if you’re into birds or turtles, you can get great photos.” 1550 Anacostia Ave., NE; 202-692-6080.
“It’s one of the least publicly visited parks, in the middle of a residential area,” Jentz says. “It’s great for a quiet walk. It has flowering trees and azaleas.”
Don’t miss: It’s a popular spot for family portraits. 6910 Greentree Rd., Bethesda; 301-962-1455.
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
“They have a shady walk with native plants. On a hot day, it’s a nice place to go,” says Jentz.
Don’t miss: The soothing Korean Bell Garden. 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct., Vienna; 703-255-3631.
Seneca Creek State Park
Almost hidden within the 6,300-acre park is Schwartz Peony Garden, with thousands of heirloom plants.
Don’t miss: Mid- to late May, when the peonies are in full glory. 11950 Clopper Rd., Gaithersburg; 301-924-2127.
This article appears in the May 2019 issue of Washingtonian.