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“Little-visited attraction”

U.S. National Arboretum
Ranked #35 of 443 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Established in 1927 by an Act of the United States Congress, this national treasure contains 446 acres of fabulous flora and fauna and is especially known for its Asian, azalea and conifer collections.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
199 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Little-visited attraction”
Reviewed April 17, 2013

The National Arboretum is not all that easy to get to. It's way out on New York Avenue. You need a car to get there. However, it's worth the trip. The real jewel here is the bonsai tree collection. It's magnificent. One negative: they (the federal government, of course) prohibit ball playing, frisbee throwing, basically anything fun, on the vast grassy areas at the Arboretum. I really don't understand why this should be the case. Allowing people to actually have fun at the Arboretum might even enhance utilization of this nice, wide-open space.

Visited April 2013
Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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508 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
District Height
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great gathering place”
Reviewed April 14, 2013

I love the Arboretum,. but we used to come for an Easter egg hunt, but was informed on our last visit that we could not partake in this event anymore. The part has no area for activities of this nature. I understand it is a park for plants and agriculture, but we need an area in the park for the children to also have fun as they learn.

Visited May 2012
Thank Leslie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
99 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Only go at the RIGHT time of year”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Don't bother going here in winter or early spring, as there isn't much to see. We visited the park the first week of April, so early spring (DC is having a very cold spring this year, so flowers/tree leaves are coming out very late). To be honest, there wasn't much to see. Trees were still bare, hardly any flowers (seemed to be only daffodils), a few cherry blossom and tulip magnolia blossom trees, but that's it. Lots and lots of bare trees and hardly any flowers. I am POSITIVE that this is a beautiful place, but when you visit at the wrong time of year, there just isn't much to see. The Capitol Columns are very cool, but again, the fountains weren't turned on yet, so that too, looked desolate.

This is a HUGE place and we only got to explore some of it. Had it been, say, July instead of early April, I'm sure we would've stayed here the whole day. The bonsai trees were really cool.

Also, this is located in a high crime area! There is no nearby metro stop. You can get here via bus + metro but...just DON'T. Only come here if you have a car. (Yes, your vehicle will be safe in the free parking lot. This is a true oasis in one of DC's bad neighborhoods).

Visited April 2013
1 Thank OwlYaDoing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
131 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 315 helpful votes
“Peaceful Spot in downtown Washington DC”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Great spot for a walk, run or just exploring with grounds. Truly a special place right in DC. Besides the beautiful collection of trees, shrubs and flowers be sure to see a spectacular view of the monuments from the highest vantage point in DC. Literally. You are above the Washington Monument, Capitol, etc and the vistas are stunning. "Hidden" on the grounds are the old colmns from the renovation of the US Capitol. Certain times of the year they have night tours. The tours are fun and give a completely different prespective of the grounds. Sign up early as they fillup fast!

There are very limited services here but you can bring your own picnic. It is not on a Metro line so a car is needed however it is worth the effort! Enjoy this secret spot in DC.

Visited March 2013
Thank brooksz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McKinney, Texas
Level Contributor
73 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Wonderful Park and Gardens”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

When I lived in DC back in the 1960s I frequented this place on a monthly basis. The many trails and gardens are wonderful I took pictures of the azaleas when they came out each year. The Bonsai exhibit is priceless. But he best part is the azaleas. Don't miss this massive display.

Visited December 2012
Thank Joestuffsda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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