If you’re looking for summer road trips that will take you through some of the most captivating parts of Washington DC, look no further. We’ve put together a list of 11 drives that are sure to please. Whether you’re looking for stunning mountain views or picturesque coastal small towns, we’ve got you covered. So get behind the wheel and start exploring these scenic drives near DC.
What Are The 11 Scenic Drives in DC That You Must Take This Summer?
- Lady Bird Johnson Park
- Hains Point
- Rock Creek Park
- Theodore Roosevelt Island
- Potomac Overlook Regional Park
- Georgetown Waterfront Park
- Smithsonian National Zoological Park
- Gravelly Point
- Crystal City Water Park
- Spanish Steps
- Kenwood Cherry Blossoms
11. Kenwood Cherry Blossoms
One of the best scenic drives near DC is to visit the Kenwood Cherry Blossoms. The blossoms are beautiful and the drive is serene. This is a great way to spend a day and take pictures. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom during the springtime and boast vivid colors.
Plus, you can also take advantage of the longer days and warmer weather to explore nearby hiking trails or have a picnic lunch. Plan accordingly since the blossoms usually peak around April. They are worth the drive and you will not be disappointed.
10. Spanish Steps
When looking for scenic drives near DC, there is no better option than a trip to the Spanish Steps. These spectacular steps are set amidst forests and rolling green hills, making it an ideal destination for anyone who loves to explore nature.
Whether you are interested in taking a drive or want to do a bit of hiking or camping, the Spanish Steps are sure to deliver. With plenty of natural beauty and winding roads, this area offers something for everyone.
So if you’re looking for a fun day trip or need somewhere to unwind and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life, make sure to put the Spanish Steps near DC on your itinerary.
9. Crystal City Water Park
If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, then I highly recommend a visit to Crystal City Water Park. This park is located just a short drive from the heart of Washington DC, making it a fantastic destination for those looking to enjoy some time by the water without having to travel too far.
Set against a backdrop of lush green hills and forest trails, this water park offers visitors plenty of opportunities to take in some spectacular views and get an adrenaline fix on high-adrenaline water slides or relaxing float down tranquil rivers.
Whether you’re looking for an action-packed day full of thrills or a quiet afternoon spent lounging in the sun, Crystal City Water Park has something for everyone.
8. Gravelly Point
Take a scenic drive to Gravelly Point and enjoy the incredible monuments and the Potomac River. This short drive is perfect for those who want to enjoy the beauty of the area without spending all day in the car.
The route takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of DC, including the National Mall and Arlington National Cemetery. You’ll also get to see the river and the cityscape. The trip takes about an hour, depending on traffic, so it’s ideal for a quick getaway. And best of all, it’s free.
7. Smithsonian National Zoological Park
The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is one of the most rewarding drives near Washington, DC. This sprawling zoo offers miles of majestic views, featuring rolling park grounds and the lush forests beyond.
Whether you’re interested in taking it slow and enjoying the peaceful surroundings, or want to put your foot on the gas and enjoy a bit of a thrill, there’s something for everyone.
Whether you choose to just take a ride, explore some of the hiking trails or go fishing, you’ll find that Smithsonian National Zoological Park has something to offer everyone who comes to experience its stunning scenery.
6. Georgetown Waterfront Park
If you’re looking for a drive near the bustling city of Washington, DC, look no further than Georgetown Waterfront Park. Located right along the Potomac River, this beautiful park is ideal for an afternoon outing that will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the city and into a magical wonderland.
Georgetown Waterfront Park is a perfect spot for getting lost in nature and escaping from the hectic pace of everyday life. With its river vistas, charming gardens, and serene ponds, this park has something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether you want to spend some time simply relaxing under a shady tree or are feeling more adventurous and want to go for a refreshing hike or bike ride, there’s truly no better place to disconnect from it all than here at Georgetown Waterfront Park.
5. Potomac Overlook Regional Park
Nestled atop a hill in Arlington, Virginia, Potomac Overlook Regional Park provides breathtaking views of the nation’s capital. The park is a popular spot for picnics, hikes, and bird watching, but one of its best-kept secrets is the drive through the park.
It is perfect for a leisurely Sunday afternoon, and the scenery makes this an ideal skyline drive.
4. Theodore Roosevelt Island
For a scenic trip that’s a little off the beaten path, head to Theodore Roosevelt Island. This serene spot in the middle of the Potomac River is accessible only by bridge, making it feel like a world away from the hustle and bustle of DC. Once you’ve crossed the bridge, follow the winding roads through the island’s forests and wetlands.
Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as you make your way to the center of the island. From here, you’ll have sweeping views of the river and nearby monuments. Then, continue around the island before heading back to the city.
3. Rock Creek Park
Whether you’re looking for some peace and quiet amidst nature or want to take in some beautiful sights, there’s something for everyone if you head north to Rock Creek Park.
The best way to experience all that the park has to offer is to set out on a relaxing day out. The roads stretch along tree-lined paths, allowing visitors to fully appreciate all that this area has to offer.
The island is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, deer, and foxes. Plus, if you need to stretch your legs, visitors also enjoy hiking trails, picnicking areas, and a monument to Theodore Roosevelt.
2. Hains Point
There are plenty of scenic drives near DC, but one of the best is through Hains Point. It takes you past the Tidal Basin, with its beautiful blossoming cherry trees, and right along the Potomac River. You’ll also get a great view of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial.
The whole journey takes less than an hour, but it’s a great way to enjoy the beauty of DC without having to deal with city traffic. If you’re looking for somewhere that’s close to DC, Hains Point is worth checking out. You can even take a trail to the iconic Mount Vernon.
1. Lady Bird Johnson Park
There is nothing quite like riding through Lady Bird Johnson Park to get in touch with the natural beauty of the great outdoors. Located just a short distance from DC, this sprawling park offers countless miles of roads that wind through rolling hills, lush meadows, and pristine forests.
Whether you are looking for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city or simply want to enjoy a relaxing stroll under the open sky, Lady Bird Johnson Park has everything you need for an invigorating outdoor adventure.
So next time you are feeling cooped up and in need of some fresh air, be sure to take a scenic drive through this beautiful park and let nature refresh your mind, body, and soul.
[Also read 5 AMAZING Road Trips To Make From Washington, DC]
DC benefits from excellent infrastructure, with the likes of George Washington Memorial Parkway, Route 50, and Blue Ridge Parkway all making D.C. perfectly accessible. With these access points, you can visit the famous Shenandoah Valley, see the sights of Northern Virginia, detour through the Virginia byways, or have an unforgettable trip to the Chesapeake Bay.
Long Bridge Park
This quaint park is located just outside of Washington, DC, and offers miles of roads along forested roads and pathways. This park boasts stunning views of the Potomac River and plenty of opportunities to stop and explore along the way.
Shenandoah River Outfitters
Located just a short drive from Washington, DC, this piece of nature offers an abundance of outdoor activities to suit all interests. Whether you’re looking for a gentle hike through valleys or a heart-pounding whitewater rafting expedition, you’ll find it at Shenandoah River Outfitters.
[Also read 16 Outdoor Activities Every Washingtonian MUST Try]
We’ve listed 11 of the most scenic drives near DC. Read on to find the answers to some related questions.
What is the most famous highway in the US?
The most famous highway in the United States is probably the one that runs from Chicago to Los Angeles. This highway, also known as Route 66, is one of the most iconic roads in the country.
What is the most scenic drive in the US?
The most scenic drive in the United States has to be the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. This winding, two-lane highway cuts through the heart of the park, offering breathtaking views of rugged peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and sweeping panoramas of nature at its finest.
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