Parks in Washington DC: 5 Relaxing Spots to Go by Car

Would you like to see lotus blossoms in the heart of the USA, have a coffee overlooking the Capitol, or spend a great weekend with your family outdoors? Then make your way to the parks of Washington DC.

Despite the large number of architectural structures, the city creators have allocated enough space for parks and alleys. Washington parks are separate small towns in the city, where it’s interesting to walk, have a picnic, have fun and just relax from the everyday bustle.

Rent a car from Enterprise at DCA Airport and you’ll have easy access to all parks. Each of them has something unique, offering interesting sights and activities for both adults and children. Let’s take a look at the Washington parks you should include on your must-visit travel list…

Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park is the first place you should go on your rental car because it will give you an overall impression of the city. As stated on the official site of the park, it’s ‘the pearl of the US capital and will allow you to find peace and harmony through the beauty of nature’. 

Rock Creek Park was established in 1890. Here you can find all kinds of leisure activities for children and adults. There’s a horse riding school in the park. Sports lovers organize horse rides, jogging, hiking, and cycling here. 

Rock Creek has also football, kayaking and canoeing opportunities. For supporters of a more peaceful pastime, there’s a planetarium and a nature center, where you can learn many interesting facts about the animal kingdom of Rock Creek. The park also houses an outdoor summer theater, which hosts various performances.


United States Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden in Washington DC is one of the largest landscaping sites in all of North America. The date of foundation is 1850. It was established next to the Capitol. This place is very popular, which is evidenced by its great attendance. During the year about 750,000 people visit this garden.

The most interesting part in the US Botanical Garden is the greenhouse complex, which was opened in 1994. Its area is 85,000 feet. In total, over 60,000 various plants grow in the park, among which you’ll find even 165-years-old representatives. The greenhouse is divided into large rooms. They are selected according to climatic zones.

You can get into the wonderful world of plants completely for free of charge. Besides, there’s free parking space to leave your car rental vehicle nearby.

President’s Park

This is a huge park with the area of ​​332 thousand square meters. It serves as a walking place for locals and travelers coming there. Located around the White House, the park includes Lafayette Square and Ellipse Park.

Lafayette Square belongs to the category of public parks. This place has seen different times. Formerly, it was a slave market, a cemetery, a hippodrome, a zoo and even a soldier’s camp. Not only by Washingtonians love this place, but also by all guests of the capital. 

Here you can take a photo against the backdrop of the White House. Also, celebrations and various political protests take place right there.

Another significant park within President’s Park is Ellipse Park, located south of the White House. Now this place is used for walks and public celebrations. It’s also home to Zero Milestone and the National Christmas Tree.

Cleveland Park

Cleveland Park is one of the elite neighborhoods in northwest Washington. Finding it in your rental car will be easy as you will immediately see the differences between this area and the rest of the city. This is a great place to take a break from the bustle of the capital, take a leisurely stroll, look into cozy cafes, or just sit on the green lawns.

One of the area’s main attractions is the National Zoological Park, which borders Rock Creek Park. So, if deciding to get away from the noise of Washington DC, you can get lost in the shady alleys of these parks for the whole day.

For travelers, Cleveland Park is also interesting for the old residential buildings of the 20s – 30s of the 20th century, including apartment buildings and magnificent private mansions. 

Smithsonian National Zoological Park

The National Zoological Park was originally created to contain and preserve endangered species of the continent’s animal world. Currently, the zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institution. On the area of 66 hectares you can find over 3,600 fauna representatives of 475 different species. A third of them are on the verge of extinction. The zoo provides the most natural conditions for animals, which allows you to see them in almost real habitat.

Visitors have the opportunity to observe the animals feeding. On the territory of the zoo there are food points and parking lots.


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