Things to Do

Where to See Azaleas Blooming Right Now

Cherry blossoms are out, and azaleas are in.

Cherry blossoms are out, and azaleas are in. You can spot the brightly colored flower bushes all over the city, but the azaleas in these seven gardens are truly spectacular. Here’s a list for your next flower-inspired outing.


US National Arboretum

3501 New York Ave., NE

The National Arboretum’s azalea trail up Mount Hamilton. Photograph courtesy of the US National Arboretum.

The best location for azalea viewing is Mount Hamilton. Thousands of flowers on the hill bloom in late spring, and the show lasts for weeks. Visitors can walk up Mount Hamilton to one of the highest points in the city, about 240 feet above sea level, for a view of the US Capitol through the trees. There is also a courtyard below where you can sit and enjoy the bloom.


Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

4155 Linnean Avenue, NW

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens. Photography by Erik Kvalsvik.

Azaleas are currently “lighting up the paths” at the estate. Throughout the garden are purple, pink, and white bushes, with some orange sprinkled in there, too. Tulips and daffodils are also in bloom right now—check out the “yellow remedy” tulips in front of the greenhouse. Suggested donation of $10 for college students, $15 for seniors, and $18 for adults. Free for members.


Brookside Gardens

1800 Glenallan Ave, Wheaton

The azaleas at Brookside Gardens are at 25 percent bloom right now, but they are expected to reach peak in the next few weeks. Photograph courtesy of Brookside Gardens.

With more than 300 varieties of azaleas that bloom at different times, azalea season lasts until Memorial Day here. Brookside’s azalea garden is home to more than 2,000 flowers, including rhododendrons, witch-hazels, hollies, and Japanese andromedas. Don’t leave without stopping by the wild butterfly garden on the west side.


Tudor Place

1644 31st St., NW

Azaleas are currently blooming in Tudor Place’s north gardens, along the east lawn. Photograph courtesy of Tudor Place.

Pink and white azaleas are in bloom in front of the Lion Fountain at this Georgetown landmark. If you’re going only for the garden, you don’t need tickets in advance–just head to the visitor center and grab a garden map. Tours of the house are offered on the hour. Free for members; $10 for non-members.


US Botanic Garden and US Capitol

1st Street between Maryland Ave., and Independence Ave., SW

Rhododendron canescens outside the US Botanic Garden. Photograph courtesy of the United States Botanic Garden.

The Capitol grounds are home to some of the most beautiful gardens in the city, and the burning red azalea bush on First Street makes it a must-see during spring. The US Botanic Garden across the street also has azaleas blooming throughout its outdoor gardens.


Franciscan Monastery

1400 Quincy St., NE

From last week’s What’s Blooming at the Franciscan Monastery Gardens tour. Photograph courtesy of Franciscan Monastery.

Most tourists miss this peaceful landmark, with its 42 acres of gardens and full-sized replicas of shrines from Jerusalem. The monastery provides free tours of the gardens from April to September at 11 AM and noon, where visitors can learn about its history and architecture. The garden is open from 9 AM to 4:45 PM daily. If you have an extra few hours, volunteer in the vegetable garden.


Sligo Park Hills

Sligo Park Hills, Takoma Park, Md.

Go anywhere in Takoma Park and you’ll understand why it’s nicknamed “Azalea City.” Early resident Benjamin Y. Morrison was the first director of the US National Arboretum, and his hybrid azalea creation, the Glenn Dale azaleas, can be spotted all around the neighborhood. Walk from Sligo Creek to Piney Branch Road, and you can expect every house to have a pop of color.

Editorial Fellow

Keely recently graduated with her master’s in journalism from American University and has reported on local DC, national politics, and business. She has previously written for The Capitol Forum.