The Most Beautiful Natural Spots to Visit in DC for Arbor Day

Arbor Day is an annual observance that encourages people to plant and care for trees. It is celebrated in many countries around the world on different dates, depending on the local climate and planting season and is happening on Friday, April 28th in the US this year. The purpose of Arbor Day is to raise awareness about the importance of trees for the environment, human health, and well-being.

Arbor Day is often celebrated by planting trees in public parks, schools, and other community spaces, as well as by organizing tree planting events and educational activities about tree care and conservation. Many organizations and individuals also use Arbor Day as an opportunity to raise awareness about deforestation, climate change, and other environmental issues that affect the health and survival of trees and forests.

The benefits of trees are many and varied. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air, produce oxygen, reduce soil erosion, and provide habitats for wildlife. Trees also have aesthetic and psychological benefits, such as reducing stress and improving mental health. By celebrating Arbor Day and planting trees, we can contribute to a healthier and more sustainable environment for ourselves and future generations.

Despite DC being a metropolitan city, Arbor Day is still celebrated and recognized. DC has a variety of places where nature has been preserved and the plants thrive. Here are a few of the most beautiful natural spots in DC for you to visit for hikes, picnics, and getting sunshine this Arbor Day.

Rock Creek Park

If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the city, consider visiting Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. This urban park, established by Congress in 1890, spans 1,754 acres and offers a variety of recreational opportunities, from hiking and wildlife watching to learning about the area’s history. As one of the nation’s oldest national parks, it’s also a great spot to celebrate Arbor Day. You’ll find majestic trees thriving throughout the park. Administered by the National Park Service, Rock Creek Park is a true beauty in the heart of the city, with additional historic sites and parks to explore and learn about in the surrounding area. Read more about Rock Creek Park here.

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Look no further to celebrate Arbor Day than Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington, D.C. This 88.5-acre island was transformed by landscape architects in the 1930s into a “real forest” that mimics the natural forest that once covered the area. Today, visitors can enjoy miles of trails through wooded uplands and swampy bottomlands, all while honoring the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt, an avid outdoorsman and conservationist. The island is maintained by the National Park Service, and cars and bicycles are not permitted. Access is via footbridge from Arlington, Virginia, and the closest Washington Metro station is Rosslyn. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this diverse and beautiful natural area! For additional information, read more about the island here.

United States Botanic Garden

The United States Botanic Garden, located near Garfield Circle in Washington D.C., is a botanical garden supervised by Congress through the Architect of the Capitol. Visitors can enjoy a variety of plant collections, including rare and endangered species, as well as a variety of exhibits and programs. The garden serves as a living laboratory for scientists and educators studying plant life and conservation. The 27th annual joint orchid exhibit between the United States Botanic Garden and Smithsonian Gardens is “Discover the World of Orchids,” on display in the United States Botanic Garden Conservatory until the end of April, so this is the perfect time to visit to catch the orchids. The US Botanic Garden, as a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and learn more about the importance of plants in our daily lives. It is a great destination to celebrate Arbor Day and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. Learn more about the United States Botanic Garden here.

Bishop’s Garden

A beautiful and historic place to visit is the Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Originally designed as a private garden, the terraced landscape was inspired by medieval walled gardens and features sculpture and plants of historical interest, including native plants and plants of the Bible. Visitors can explore the garden, which is the most intensely cultivated of the 57-acre Cathedral Close, and enjoy the serene and peaceful atmosphere. The garden was completed in 1928 with donations from garden clubs across the country, and has since become a popular public space visited by thousands each year. Read more about Bishop’s Garden here and learn more about the other gardens of the Cathedral here.

National Arboretum

If you’re looking for something to do on Arbor Day, why not visit an arboretum, or botanical garden devoted to trees. The United States National Arboretum in northeast Washington, D.C. is the perfect place to check out! Established in 1927 by an act of Congress, this arboretum is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and boasts 451 acres with 9.5 miles of winding roadways. It’s free to visit and open every day of the year except for Christmas Day. The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum is a particular highlight, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except for federal holidays from November through February. Be aware that spring traffic restrictions will be in place, and it is recommended to visit on weekdays if you can to avoid crowds.. The Arboretum is also involved in extensive research and conservation efforts, and contains numerous gardens and plant collections, making it an educational and interesting destination for visitors of all ages. Check out the US National Arboretum website here for more details.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

The Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is a peaceful oasis within the city where you can enjoy nature. Located in the northeastern corner of Washington, D.C. and the Maryland state border, the gardens offer a variety of plants and wildlife that change with the seasons. Visitors can see beavers building their homes, turtles sleeping on logs, lotus blooms, and lilies on the water. Spring is a great time to visit, with osprey returning to their nests, lily pads rising to the surface of the water, and trees and flowers blooming all over the park. Whether you’re looking for a picnic spot or a quiet walk, the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens are a must-visit destination. To plan your trip, read useful information on the National Park Service page dedicated to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens here.

The Tidal Basin

Located in the heart of the city, the Tidal Basin is a beautiful body of water surrounded by iconic landmarks such as the Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. This body of water is a popular spot in the spring as it is surrounded by beautiful cherry blossom trees and is the location of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Although the festival is coming to an end, the Tidal Basin is still an incredible spot to enjoy the warm weather and experience some of the most iconic sites in the city. This historic body of water is not only a picturesque location, but also holds significant cultural and historical significance in the United States. It is the perfect place to go to experience nature in the heart of DC.

Golf Cart Tours DC

Take A Tour

Looking to take the pressure off of planning your trip? With so many sites to see, planning which monuments and memorials to visit can become overwhelming. We invite you to take one of our golf cart tours around the National Mall to see all of these iconic monuments and memorials in the nation’s capital. If you’re looking for a fun and educational way to explore the city’s iconic and historical sites and learn more about the history of the country, 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 and memorials like the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the US Capitol Building. Our tours allow you to explore and learn about sites that depict the interesting details of the nation’s capital with opportunities to customize your tour as well. Book your tour now!