The United States National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.

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By John Cowgill

Walking through the trees, seeing flowers in bloom, seeing green bushes, it appears that you are in the forest, but you are not.  You are inside the United States National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.  You will not realize that you’re in the D.C. “urban jungle” as you stare at the evergreens and the bonsai trees and the azaleas and the roses. The city feels like a world away.

The arboretum features gardens of a variety of trees and different cultures to include the Japanese Woodland, the Asian and China Valleys, and the Korean Hillside. There are dogwoods, ferns, maples, and so many more trees to see.  Even when the flowers are not blooming, there is a variety of things to see.

National Arboretum

The Capitol Columns at the United States National Arboretum

The United States National Arboretum is open year round (closed on Christmas Day) from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  It is located at 3501 New York Ave., NE (U.S. Route 50), Washington, D.C.  Admission is free, and reservations are not required.  Many paths are paved or concrete, but there are some that are not which may be difficult for wheelchairs.  The arboretum covers 446 acres and has nine and a half miles of roads, so a car is recommended for those who cannot walk long distances.

If you need to get away without getting away, and you prefer not to see your wallet drained, the United States National Arboretum is a great place to do just that.

National Arboretum

A view of the field at the United States National Arboretum


John Cowgill ( loves to visit historic places to include lesser known sites.  He loves taking road trips, and he loves railroads.  You can also follow him on Facebook at ‘John Cowgill: Photographic Journeys’ and John Cowgill: DC Railroad Examiner.  You can also check out ‘John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad’ at


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