Smithsonian Complex, National Mall
Located between Constitution and Independence avenues, the Enid A. Haupt Garden provides Smithsonian visitors a welcoming (and free) rest spot to escape from the teeming National Mall.
On the roofs of the underground Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the National Museum of African Art and the S. Dillon Ripley Center, the Haupt Garden is pieced into three sections across four acres.
The Fountain Garden, modeled after a 13th-century Moorish palace, leads visitors around a large fountain – shocking, I know. The garden is designed to be geometrically symmetrical, like most Islamic gardens. The Moongate Garden features a granite, circular pool. The Parterre, the centerpiece of the garden, is neatly manicured and feels straight out of Victorian England.
While the garden is beautiful to look at, it’s not the place to lounge or throw a frisbee. Instead, enjoy its symmetry and solitude. Or just go to enjoy the flowers and the natural wonders they attract, like the blue and white butterflies that zigzag from bed to bed.
Readers’ pick: Rock Creek Park