Washington, D.C. Outdoor Activities

Washington, D.C. Outdoor ActivitiesTo be sure, there's history at nearly every turn in Washington, DC. Regal buildings, classic designs and memorials stand alongside unmistakeable icons of our nation like the White House and the Capitol Building. But in addition to all of these spectacular structures, the city's natural beauty frames it with its lush greenery and picturesque scenes that were in place long before most of this history even began to take place. Those are the places that nature lovers who visit DC will most likely remember the most, and if you want to find your own place to appreciate the area's natural amenities and outdoor beauty, here are some great places to explore.

Theodore Roosevelt Island Park
Theodore Roosevelt was one of our nation's most beloved Presidents, but he also was an avid outdoorsman and one of the first advocates of conservation. To honor his passion and concern for the outdoors, the Theodore Roosevelt Island Park was established to not only recognize the efforts of this very public figure, but to also provide a natural setting that Teddy himself would have been proud of. A statue of him with two fountains surrounded by columns rightfully acknowledges his efforts to preserve our natural resources. The park itself is 91 acres of natural beauty that is accessible by footbridge from the parking lot, off the north-bound land of the George Washington Memorial.

Address: Roosevelt Island, Washington, DC - MAP
Phone: (703) 289-2500
Web: www.nps.gov

Great Falls Park
Great Falls Park offers an excellent chance for nature lovers to not only experience the allure of the Potomac River, but to also get away from all the stress of the everyday grind and enjoy some truly serene moments in the great outdoors. The park is open from dawn until dusk and offers amazing views with plenty of chances to see wildlife like waterfowl. The park is situated 14 miles northwest of Washington, DC along the Potomac River in suburban Fairfax County, Virginia. The river's beauty winds through several types of natural scenery that makes for something truly captivating nearly everywhere you look.

Address: Washington, District of Columbia, US - MAP
Phone: (703) 285-2966
Web: www.nps.gov

C & O Canal Boat Rides
C & O Canal Boat Rides offers outdoor enthusiasts a chance to get closer to nature while learning some interesting history about the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. It begins as a history lesson in the 1870s when these waterways were used for trade, and that era is highlighted as you pass several historic buildings as the tour progresses. Beautiful foliage and even some trails can be seen from the boat, as the 1 hour canal boat ride is both an historic and visually appealing experience sure to delight visitors who are out to learn as much as they can about this area of the country.

Address: 1057 Thomas Jefferson Street, Washington, DC - MAP
Phone: (757) 898-3400
Web: www.nps.gov

Anacostia Park
Anacostia Park was once called Uniontown, where freed slaves settled and began a new life. If your life is in need of a little time away from it all, then Anacostia Park is the perfect destination. Come and enjoy such great outdoor activities as basketball, tennis, hiking, boating, or even a round of golf. There are picnic tables and concession stands available for you to plan the perfect day out.

Address: Farilawn Ave, Washington, DC 20019 - MAP
Phone: (202) 472-3884
Web: www.nps.gov

The United States Botanic Garden
The United States Botanic Garden is a haven for not only nature lovers but for anyone who wants to find solace in its exceptional surroundings. The garden is a facility that features controlled climates so that some of the plants that are kept there can thrive as they would in their natural environments. Since the 1800s, this Garden has been gathering different types of plants and flowers from all over the world, not only for conservation efforts but to also explore their medicinal and cultural benefits. After you see all of this in the Garden's conservatory, stroll through Bartholdi Park to breathe in the fragrant flower beds and marvel at the fountain designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who designed the Statue of Liberty. Check back regularly as the Garden often stages special exhibits and outdoor concerts.

Address: 100 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024 - MAP
Phone: (202) 225-8333
Web: www.usbg.gov

National Zoological Park
It's one thing to walk through nature and enjoy its serenity. It's quite another to walk through the National Zoological Park and see it all in motion. This National Zoo is part of the Smithsonian and is the home of over 5,000 animals, many of which are endangered species. Throughout the 163-acre zoo, the animals are carefully housed in environments that emulate their natural habitats. The combination of the recreated natural habitats and their famous inhabitants make the zoo something quite special for any nature lover.

Address: 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 - MAP
Phone: (202) 673-4800
Web: www.nationalzoo.si.edu