Did you know March 30 is Take a Walk in the Park Day? It is one of many lesser-known dog-friendly holidays that are celebrated throughout the year. Take a Walk in the Park Day is meant to promote enjoying nature, encouraging exercise, and celebrating our local and national parks. In honor of Take a Walk in the Park Day, I am going to do a review of one of my favorite dog-friendly places in Washington DC, the United States National Arboretum.
The United States National Arboretum was established by Congress in 1927 and is one of the largest arboretums in the country. The arboretum contains over 446 acres of gardens and parks to explore. The park is also a research institution and is run by the United States Department of Agriculture. It is located in Northeast Washington DC.
Dog-Friendly Tips for Visiting
The National Arboretum, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful places in Washington, and when I found out it was dog-friendly, I was pretty excited. It is not one of Washington’s well-known tourist attractions, but it is definitely one of the city’s best-kept secrets. It should not be missed if you live in the DC area or if you are visiting the city.
The park has plenty of space for parking despite having over 600,000 visitors every year. Though this might seem like a lot of people, it is only a small amount of the approximate 22 million people that visit Washington annually. It also is great to visit during the spring as there is a much larger selection of plants and trees that are at peak bloom.
The National Arboretum is a dog-friendly park, and you can take your dog almost anywhere across the 446 acres. The only places dogs are not allowed are in the Administration Building and the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.
The arboretum also asks you to make sure to clean up after your pet and not let them walk in the flower beds to preserve the beauty of the park. Dogs also must be leashed at all times.
The arboretum is huge, and it is easy to get lost in time walking amongst its trails with your pup, so make sure to bring water, so sure dog can stay hydrated. Also, make sure you wear comfortable and sturdy shoes since you will be doing a lot of walking and exploring as some of the trails can be a little rough.
I also find it is useful to bring some dog treats, in case your dog gets hungry, and if your dog is food motivated like Bonnie, it makes it a lot easier to take pictures!
Though I have lived in Washington DC part-time for over two years, I still have not been able to see everything at the National Arboretum! Here are just a couple of my favorite areas in the park.
National Capitol Columns
The National Capitol Columns is one of my favorite spots at the arboretum. The columns were made in the 19th century and are from the Capitol Building. When I first saw the site, it reminded me of the Parthenon in Greece. It is a wonderful piece of DC history to visit and a great place to take pictures of you and your pooch.
The Azalea Collection at the National Arboretum is one of my favorite places to explore with Bonnie. After coming from the National Capitol Columns, you can walk straight across through the grass and enter the main collection which is located on a hill known as Mount Hamilton.
Going through the Azalea collection is like walking through a forest, and while there are many azaleas, there are also many other types of plants.
Our favorite spot in the area is a little pond. It’s a great place to take a photo of your dog.
While the hill is pretty easy to climb, some of the stairs can be a little steep. So if you have a dachshund (like Bonnie) or another type of dog that should not do stairs, you may have to carry them up the hill, but the flowers and views are worth it!
Have you been to the National Arboretum? Would you like to visit it? Let me know in the comments below! As always if you like this post, please share with your friends!