Monday, October 17, 2011

Parks in Washington D.C

During the month of February, if you were so inclined, you could visit a different park in Washington every day, with two days off for good behaviour. To residents of the city, parks are a place to relax, work out, play with the kids, and appreciate a green space. So if you’re on a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday in the city, why not try a few, there are enough here to fill a week.

Parks for the family

The National Mall is at the centre of the city, and probably the most loved of all the parks. There’s lots of space to let off steam and picnic under the shady trees. This is the home of the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building; it’s also where concerts and events are held, there’s also an excellent old-fashioned carousel.

The Rock Creek Park extends for 12 miles along the Potomac River and is also home to the National Zoo. There are special children’s activities such as junior ranger programs, planetarium shows, talks on animals, and hikes, as well as places to picnic, roller blade and enjoy a bike ride. The park also caters for music lovers with regular concerts.

The Friendship ‘Turtle’ Park at 4500 Van Ness Street is a real adventure playground. Tunnels and climbing frames, swings and slides, are favourites with smaller children. The sports courts and the recreation centre are where the older members of the family like to hang out. You may think that Turtle Park is rather a strange name for a park in the city, but that’s because the park is also home to turtles!

Recreational Parks of all different kinds

A man-made inlet adjacent to the Potomac River, the Tidal Basin, is best in spring when the beautiful cherry trees are in bloom. The park is also home to the Jefferson Memorial and is a very pleasant place to rent a boat and enjoy a picnic with a view.

View of West Potomac Park (left)
Author is Carol M. Highsmith, Wikimedia Commons

West of the Tidal Basin and the Washington Monument is West Potomac Park. The park is where you can enjoy the Constitution Gardens; with over 50 acres of landscaped grounds and over 5,000 trees, its also home to the Reflecting Pool and many of the city’s monuments dedicated to war veterans and presidents.

Lafayette or Presidents Park is located across from the White House. This park is used as a site for many protests, as well as ranger programs; it also contains the statues of famous French war heroes. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see the President on an early morning run.

Finally, the Theodore Roosevelt Island Park, 91-acres of wilderness built in tribute to President Roosevelt. The president was a nature lover, and helped protect land for forests and national parks where local animal and plant life could survive, enjoy some of the parks many walking trails, as well as seeing a bronze statue of the leader himself.

These are just a handful of the parks in Washington D.C, take timeout on a motorhome rental or campervan hire road trip to relax and explore the beautiful parks of the city.

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