Unlike white jeans after Labor Day, the great outdoors isn’t likely to go out of style anytime soon.
In fact, even as the last days of summer hang in the balance, the year’s most dreamy weather is yet to come. Your job? To make sure you’re ready to make the most of it—today and tomorrow.
Read on to immerse yourself in the city’s outdoor scene like never before.
Best For Getting Your Sweat On
Not ready to reactivate that gym membership just yet? No problem.
As it turns out, DC earns its reputation as one of America’s fittest cities by doing (some) of the hard work for you and offering up a slew of spots that bring the gym outdoors.
#1 The Exorcist Steps: For a cardio workout so good it may scare you, head over to these famously steep Georgetown steps, a DC landmark, and fitness destination all in one step.
#2 The Mount Vernon Trail: Take in quintessential city views while running or biking your way to George Washington’s historic Mount Vernon Estate.
#3 The Key Bridge Boathouse: No matter your fitness level, canoeing or kayaking is a great way to make room for entertainment and exercise—all from the same boat.
Best For Pets
We know just how important your pets are to you. That’s why we think they should have a park to call their own, a place to frolic, run, and with any luck, to meet some furry friends along the way.
Discover the city’s most playful spots for treating your pet to an unforgettable day right here.
#1: Langdon Dog Park
Size: 11,350 square feet
#2: Kingsman Field Dog Park
Size: 11,750 square feet
#3: Swampoodle Dog Park and Playground
Size: 5,000 square feet
#4: Lansburgh Dog Park
Size: 11,000 square feet
#5: S Street Dog Park
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle
Size: 7,500 square feet
Best For Families
Sometimes, family time is best spent with a change of scenery on the horizon. Read on for some inspiration for the places to go and sights to see—all outdoors, all family-friendly, and all sure to please.
#1 US National Arboretum: With a sprawling 450 acres that’s home to a fascinating variety of plant, tree, and flower collections, this is a must-see stop for anyone who prefers the floral things in life.
#2 Yards Park: An urban open-air oasis made for kids and adults alike, Yards Park serves up riverfront views, benches, a boardwalk, and fountains for cooling off on hot summer days.
#3 Mount Vernon: A history lesson, scenic destination, and countryside escape all in one, Mount Vernon is the year-round answer to your outdoor aspirations.
With its rich history and urban setting, DC is already known as a city of contrasts. Add its impressive assortment of scenic, verdant spaces into the mix, and you have a city that’s as visually captivating as it is convenient.
Read on to discover the open-air destinations that hide in plain sight—and that make DC the city that feels like your home away from home.
#1 Meridian Hill Park: Nestled just off of bustling 16th Street, Meridian Hill Park evokes a similar look and feel to that of lavish European gardens with its Italian Renaissance-style fountain and ornate sculptures.
#2 Dumbarton Oaks: A historic Georgetown estate fit for a king, this opulent residence is home to extensive collections of art and gardens plucked straight out of a fairytale.
#3 Great Falls Park: One of the most awe-inspiring places in the entire DMV region, Great Falls Park features 76 feet of falls that cascade along the rocks for a mesmerizing view.