Best Spots to Witness the Fall Foliage in the DMV

If you’re traveling to DC or are in the DMV area during the fall, there are various places that you don’t want to miss this season to experience nature and witness the beautiful colors of the trees changing. The leaves start to change colors in the middle of October, so make sure to plan your trip in advance. Check out these destinations for the wonderful fall foliage in the nation’s capital!

Tidal Basin

The Tidal Basin is part of West Potomac Park in the nation’s capital. The Tidal Basin’s path features various monuments and memorials including the Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the FDR Memorial, the George Mason Memorial, the John Paul Jones Memorial, the Floral Library, the Japanese Pagoda, and the Japanese Lantern and site of the First Cherry Tree Planting. Although the Tidal Basin may be a famous spot to witness the Cherry Blossoms blooming in spring, it’s also a beautiful site to see the red, orange, and yellow leaves in the fall. For a customizable tour going through the decorated paths of fall foliage to learn about the memorials as well, check out our narrated golf cart tours.

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Another perfect place for a picnic or stroll through the fall foliage in the fresh air and crisp autumn weather is Theodore Roosevelt Island. From what was once overgrown farmland, landscape architects transformed Theodore Roosevelt Island into forests that mimic the natural forests that once covered the land. There are miles of trails through different terrains which are beautiful for both conservationists and those looking to casually enjoy nature. You can park in the lot on George Washington Parkway at the bridge to cross over on the footpath to the island. Enjoy the fall foliage in this 90 acre park on the trails or looking over the Georgetown Waterfront and Potomac river.

Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park is a beautiful spot in DC where people can take a break from the busy city to enjoy nature. It is a wonderful spot to witness the changing trees in the fall. With free admission, visitors can hike the trails, have a picnic, go for a jog, ride bikes, and have magnificent photo opportunities during daylight hours among the colorful scenery. The weather and scenery will be lovely for visitors to see the fall foliage in one of DC’s oldest and largest parks.


Georgetown is known to be a beautiful and historic neighborhood to visit for walking around, shopping, and to check out new restaurants, and this area is even more beautiful with all of the colors of fall. There are tons of ginkgo trees along the streets in Georgetown that turn a bright yellow color and are stunning to witness, and they shine through in photos as well. You can see the changing of the leaves on both the residential streets with the charming houses in the area and historical architecture as well as at the Georgetown Waterfront overlooking the river. There isn’t a better place to hang out or to conduct your annual fall photoshoot at than in Georgetown.

National Arboretum

Check out DC’s botanical garden devoted to trees, where you’ll be sure to see the delightful fall foliage. The United States National Arboretum is one of the largest and not super well known places to see the changing colors of fall in the DMV area. The arboretum is free and no tickets are needed to enter. It open from 8am to 5pm every day except Christmas. See the trees, shrubs, and flowers among the sandstone columns that were once a part of the U.S. Capitol building which will make for a beautiful sight or photo of the landscape and historical architecture this fall.

Seneca Creek State Park

Located in Montgomery County, Maryland, visit Seneca Creek State Park for a scenic picnic within the over six thousand acres of natural land, or take a walk along the fourteen miles of scenery that leads to the Potomac River. Enjoy the historic trails and forests, paths for biking and hiking where kids can play in the playground, and visitors can rent a boat or bring their own kayaks and canoes to explore the lake and view the foliage on the water’s edge

National Mall & Capitol Building

If you’re in DC, you definitely need to visit the National Mall. This national park features various must-see monuments and memorials like the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial, and the expanse is lined with trees blooming with beautiful fall colors. A great spot is the US Capitol where visitors can see the pathway lined with fall foliage that beautifully contrasts with the white of the monuments and Capitol’s architecture. If you’re looking for a fun and educational way to explore the city’s iconic and historical sites, check out one of our narrated golf cart tours.

These tours are a fun and stress-free way to visit all of the popular sites in DC without needing to create a plan or research on your own. Capitol Express Tours is a local business that will take you to see the iconic monuments and memorials within the city on ​​our narrated tour down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to the Capitol and through the heart of the National Mall where you can see various monumental landmarks, memorials, and other sites that show the interesting details of the nation’s capital among the beautiful fall foliage. Book your tour this autumn!