|#Joyful Journeyist & the Adventure of her LIFE!||
I'm gonna share a little secret with you. I sort of have a tree fetish. For as long as I can remember, I have found trees (at all stages of color and life) to be absolutely beautiful. I can spend hours just looking at them and admiring every little detail of their body. Whether it is an individual tree or a whole forest, I just have a deep appreciation for their natural beauty. Whenever I travel, I always research and seek out parks and gardens to visit in order to feed my soul. Besides my love of trees, I also love flowers, shrubs, outdoor sculptures, lush green lawns and park benches. If I am able to enjoy ALL of these things in one place, BONUS! If I can do it in a place that does not charge an admission fee, I feel like I won the lottery. The US National Arboretum is one such prize.
Washington, DC has one of the best (in my opinion) public transportation systems in the US. Most of the sights and museums the typical tourist wants to see are located along the metro or bus routes. They even have these great circulator buses that are $1 and run several routes in other areas away from the Smithsonian. Unfortunately, the National Arboretum is not easily accessible by public transportation and is so large that I highly recommend driving a car to best explore this beauty. It is located away from the center of DC (about a 15 minute drive NE from the Smithsonian castle). Parking is free and plentiful. It's an easy drive if you go after 9 am and return before 3 pm to avoid peak traffic time. I visited the park in the Spring, one of my favorite times of year for garden trips. The azaleas were in full bloom (they are definitely one of the highlights) and it was a gorgeous day out. Here is some of the lovely scenery I enjoyed:
While the azaleas and other plants made me stop in awe, the trees are definitely the stars here. The Arboretum is large and spread out so it is a great place to get some exercise with a view on a nice day. You can even bring a picnic and enjoy it in a few locations. It is open Friday - Monday from 8 am to 5 pm. If you enjoy nature at all, I highly recommend taking the time to visit this wonderful park. It is a great break from all the crowds of the museums along the mall and will refresh your soul.