Readers’ pick: National Mall
Location: 4155 Linnean Ave. NW
Walk along the cherry blossom trees, pansies and tulips with your significant other for your next spring date.
The Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, a roughly 15-minute Metro ride from campus, is set on 25 acres of land that include a rose and European-style garden, a greenhouse and a Japanese-style garden. As the weather warms up, some of the gardens are in full bloom, making it a picture-perfect outdoor date spot.
Start off your day with a picnic basket of your favorite snacks at the “motor court” – the back entrance to the Hillwood Estate mansion that features a stone statue surrounded by blooming azaleas, dogwoods and distinctive purple-leaf plum foliage. After your picnic, stroll through a garden of pink, red, coral, white and yellow roses that commemorate Marjorie Post – the original designer of the gardens in the 1950s.
Next, pass through the estate’s Japanese garden featuring pagodas, stone lanterns and statues of “storied significance,” like two stone foo dogs said to ward off evil spirits. Share memories of your childhood pets as you wander through the dog cemetery, where Post wanted to remember and celebrate her beloved four-legged friends.
Post’s favorite flower was the orchid, and she fostered her love for the colorful gems with a single greenhouse that later expanded into four greenhouses. Today, the space is home to more than 2,000 types of orchids.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, planning your outside date in advance is necessary. Visitors are required to reserve tickets to secure a time to browse the gardens, greenhouse and, if you wish to take your date inside, select a time to tour the Hillwood Mansion.
Reserving tickets is free, but the museum sets “donation requests” of $10 for college students to keep the grounds and mansion afloat.
Bring your camera and partner to capture the sights of spring in D.C. at the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens.