George Washington. This how we get the name Washington, District of Columbia or simply Washington, D.C.
So I have my Travel Guide and all the other materials to plan an adventure in Washington, D.C. Get some snacks and something to drink. This will be fun.
The United States National Arboretum was established in 1927 by an act of Congress. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. Situated on 446 acres, it has 9.5 miles of winding roadways. There are several gardens in the Arboretum. I'll give a few examples.
The Youth Garden is planted and maintained by interested students from grades 3, 4, and 5. Each student is given a plot to work. They plant flowers as well as vegetables. A butterfly garden and cutting garden are a part of the area and help teach about the interaction between plants and animals.
The Grove of Great American Trees has a tree from each state on display. A small handful of states have an official tree that does not grow well in Washington, D.C. There is a plaque representing the official tree and another tree is chosen as a substitute to represent that state. It is in this grove that we learn that the official tree of Washington, D.C. is the scarlet oak.
The National Herb Garden is worth a look. It contains annual, perennial, and woody herbal plants. It is the largest designed herb garden in the United States. More than 50 varieties of peppers, ranging from hot, like habaneros, to mild, like sweet peppers, all grow in a single bed. When the peppers are fruiting it is very colorful.
Great Falls Park has nature activities for just about everyone. The Great Falls are the first ting to see. There are several observation areas. Photographers have all kinds of scenery in this 800 acre park. It is located along the Potomac River so as you can imagine, canoes and kayaks are one way to explore. Bikers and horseback riders will find trails, as will hikers. The rock walls that edge the water make great places for rock climbers to practice their skills.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park looks like fun. You can tour by foot, bike, or mule-drawn boat. There are even areas on the 13 mile trail where you can roller blade. Within this park is the home of Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross.
The National Cathedral is something to see. It is the 6th largest cathedral in the world. It is the home of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, but the National Cathedral is a house of worship honoring all faiths around the world. It is an architectural beauty with over 200 stained glass windows along with gargoyles, sculpture, woodcarvings, and mosaics. There are several small chapels and the main chapel we see when there are weddings or funerals of national importance that are held there. There are gardens and paths on the grounds that provide opportunities for meditation and just enjoying the serenity of nature.
The National Mall is a tree lined open space with a body of water in the center. It is a central point leading to many of the Smithsonian Museums and national monuments and memorials. It is a good place for a rest to enjoy nature. A picnic is always nice.
The National Zoo has more than 400 species of animals. And admission is FREE. It is open every day except Christmas Day. You'll get a good workout with all the walking involved and the kids will love it.
I purposely stayed away from mentioning Monuments and Memorials. There are too many and I would feel as if I slighted some if I mentioned any. The best I can do is say that if there are special things you want to see, plan ahead. I found it helpful to take a guided tour to hit the most popular ones. Then I could decide which I wanted to spend more time seeing.
Speaking of tours, there are the normal tours on buses. But there are also Duck Tours that drive you through the city and then drive you right onto the Potomac River to get the view from the water. These are original WWII amphibious vehicles. There are also Segway Tours and Bike Tours.
There are so many things to see and do in Washington, D.C. It takes a bunch of trips to even scratch the surface but it is worth it. Just looking at the historical monuments leaves you with a feeling of awe. If someone were to ask me what is the one place to go for a good adventure, I would tell them to go to Washington, D.C. Check out the links below for some help to find things that you would like to explore in Washington, D.C. Then go see those things and more. When you come back, tell me all about it. I'm going to spend the day at the International Spy Museum. After a good night's sleep, I'll being visiting the war memorials to pay my respects. And Arlington National Cemetery is a must.
Washington, D.C. Official Site
White House Official Site
Washington, D.C. Homepage
National Register of Historic Places
Arlington National Cemetery
Offbeat Tourist Attractions