Tuesday, May 10, 2011

National Arboretum

Our Opinions on the Arboretum
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.

Capitol Columns

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.
- Natalie

Driving sucked.
- Haley

I have more flowers in my backyard.
- Mishta

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
Our Rating: ★☆


  1. At the beginning of summer is a good time go. A couple of years ago I participated in their Youth Garden program, and we planted fruits, vegetables, and herbs. It was really nice and I had a lot of fun. Everything was delicious! :3
    (The program just started again, so you should check it out and participate on a Saturday.)

  2. Also, the koi fish are really funny to watch. You should have tried feeding them. One of the fish food dispensers is broken so you can get free fish food to feed 'em with. :3

  3. Thanks for your advice! We definitely should've checked out the koi fish! The three of us would've really enjoyed that!