The National Arboretum is a nice place to go if you want to see dead flowers and get terribly lost. Both of these things happened to us. After a traffic-filled, forty minute drive through the city, we missed the tiny Arboretum sign telling us where to turn. We had to drive twenty minutes towards Bladensburg and got lost again on South Dakota Avenue. It was awesome. We finally turned around and found the arboretum entrance only to be greeted by overgrown grass, weeds and empty parking lots. The place is pretty spread out, so we had to drive from one flower collection to another. The azalea signs excited us, but we were disappointed when we found they were all dead.
Beautiful brown Azaleas
The only cool part was the Capitol Columns which were not even that great. Apparently, both Andrew Jackson and Dwight D. Eisenhower's inaugurations were held in front of these columns which were moved from the city and put in the Arboretum. There were two families with young kids who were enjoying themselves at the columns and reflection pool. We talked to the mother and she said she tries to bring her kids to the Arboretum a couple times each spring.
We were ready to leave when we stumbled upon a herb garden. It was mostly brick and there were only a few potted plants. We wish we visited the Botanical Gardens instead of the unkempt Arboretum. But our terrible adventure doesn't end there. We were only a little lost when we found ourselves at the arrivals terminal of National Airport. Mind you, the Arboretum is located in D.C., nowhere near the airport. We don't regret our trip to the Arboretum, because we can warn you all to not waste your time.
I thought it was great................ not.
I have more flowers in my backyard.
Location: 24th and R Sts., NE, Washington, DC
The National Arboretum is a large botanical garden in the city filled with many different species of trees and flowers. It was established in 1927 and is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Arboretum is so unique because it's a beautiful 446-acre park located only 2 miles from the Capitol. There has been controversy over the past year surrounding the arboretum's decision to remove their azalea and boxwood collections due to budget cuts. There are even a few organizations raising money to save the azaleas and boxwoods (http://savetheazaleas.org/). However, the arboretum has recently decided to suspend their decision to remove the flowers because of the chaos it created.
More Information: http://www.usna.usda.gov/index.html
Admission Price: FREE
Time: 8 am to 5 pm daily
Location: Washington, DC
Transportation: Metro accessible from Stadium Armory (Blue/Orange Line) and then Metrobus B-2