This lush 40-acre park hugs the Potomac River at Alexandria’s southeastern tip. While it’s beloved by joggers, bikers, and fishermen, the real attraction is its lighthouse, first lit in 1856. The white clapboard building (you can’t go inside) is one of the oldest remaining river lighthouses in the country and is a popular spot for photographs—particularly at sunrise.
This 38-acre manmade lake in Prince George’s County was created between 1989 and 1993 when Metro needed sand and gravel to elevate portions of the rail line. The lake has blossomed into a habitat for orioles, geese, turtles, trout, and other wildlife. A 1.4-mile paved loop trail includes gazebos and benches to stop and gaze out onto the tranquility of the wetlands and reflections on the water. If there were ever a place to hold hands when walking and stop for a kiss, this is it.
Adjacent to the country’s first federal sanctuary for bald eagles, this state park boasts a mix of forest, ponds, and fields that make it great for walking and viewing wildlife. Take the one-mile trail that runs along the shore of Belmont Bay and crosses the wetlands on a series of boardwalks. Overlooks offer panoramic views of some of the region’s most gorgeous scenery, along with chances to spot bald eagles, swans, herons, frogs, turtles, and aquatic creatures.
This article appears in the May 2019 issue of Washingtonian.