Things to Do

7 Places to See Stunning Magnolia Trees Around DC

Cherry blossoms aren't the only pink flowers putting on a show this month.

Photograph by m01229/Flickr.

Cherry blossoms eat up all the attention around DC every March. But it’s also worth seeking out the lesser-appreciated, equally gorgeous magnolia blossoms, which typically bloom around two weeks before the cherries do. Here are seven prime spots to see them.


The Smithsonian Castle

1050 Independence Ave., SW

There’s a vast collection of magnolias spread across the Smithsonian Castle grounds. The Enid A. Haupt Garden, located on the south side of the building, is lined with the trees. There are more in the Moongate and Fountain gardens, which are lined with red brick and also have reflective water elements. Learn more by taking a virtual walking tour of the blooms.


Stephenson (Grand Army of the Republic) Memorial

Intersection of Indiana Ave., Pennsylvania Ave., and Seventh St., NW

This memorial, which sits across from the Archives metro station, honors Civil War veterans—and is surrounded by magnolia trees.  


George Mason Memorial

 900 Ohio Dr., SW

Located near the Tidal Basin, this tribute to the founding father is a nice escape from the cherry blossom crowds. Not only will you find pink magnolias, but you can also see bright yellow hedges of forsythia.


Rawlins Park

1900 E St., NW

Rows of saucer magnolia trees line the flagstone plaza and fountain at this 1.5 acre Foggy Bottom park.


US National Arboretum

3501 New York Ave., NE

There are multiple species of magnolias here, such as galaxy magnolias, which boast dark pink flowers that bloom in later spring.   


Dumbarton Oaks

1703 32nd St., NW

See fragrant saucer magnolias along the Box Walk at the center of these Georgetown gardens. Other spring highlights include a hill of forsythias, and rows of purple-blossom plum trees. 


Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct., Vienna

These sprawling gardens are home to hundreds of plants and trees. Besides magnolias, there are flowers galore:, azaleas, daffodils, tulips, and more.

Tory Basile
Editorial Fellow