Washington, DC, is often a tourist destination for its wealth of free museums, monuments, and sites of national historic significance. But beyond the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, few think of it as a place to visit gardens and other outdoor spaces. In fact, it has those in abundance with year-round interest. Different from other cities, Washington, DC, has a wealth of “secret” public garden spaces, some of which are adjacent to museums and monuments. It also boasts several very fine estate gardens and a very active farm to table restaurant scene. Most garden shops are located in the suburbs, but there are a few as well as a seasonal outdoor markets.

In a long weekend, with careful planning, DC can be a fantastic destination for anyone interested in U.S. history, art, and garden-related travel, which are often intertwined. DC Gardens, a website dedicated to showing what is of interest each month throughout the year in sixteen public gardens is a good place to start planning what to see in a short weekend trip no matter when it is.

Click on the images below for a guide to some of Washington DC’s inspiring garden locales:

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