D.C. insiders know that the U.S. Botanic Garden provides a mini-retreat on Capitol Hill. Come here for a pleasant respite from D.C.’s must-see attractions. The facility consists of the Conservatory’s mostly indoor exhibits as well as surrounding outdoor gardens.
At the conservatory, stroll amid the garden court’s fountains and tall palms, the tropical rain forest’s ferns, hundred of orchids as well as desert and medicinal plants. The “corpse” flowers, a.k.a. titum arum, are star attractions when in bloom. Each plant has one tall stalk that produces a single flower tall stalk, the largest such type of flowering plant in the plant kingdom. And it also stinks. Therefore, the nickname. The Children’s Garden, newly renovated in 2017, features flowers beds to water, places to dig and metal sculptures in the shape of dandelions.
Outside the glass walls, the National Garden features walking paths that wind around a pond, a rose garden, butterfly garden and a First Ladies Garden. Bartholdi Park is graced with an intricate fountain as well as surrounding gardens.
NEARBY: You’re right next to the Capitol Building, and near the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building, which is one of the city’s most appealing hidden gems. If you’re hungry, the native-foods cafeteria at the Museum of the American Indian is nearby.
TRANSIT: The closest metro station is L’Enfant Plaza (blue, orange, green, yellow), which is just about five blocks southwest. Alternately, the Smithsonian stop (blue, orange) is just a little walk down the Mall. There is also an alphabet soup of buses stopping nearby, including the P1, P2, P6, P17, P19, W13, and 54.