Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

After months of cold temperatures and bouts of winter precipitation, nothing quite beats the sight of a flower or tree in bloom. Bust out of your winter rut and head to one of these best places to see flowers in the DC area this spring today.

United States Botanic Garden
100 Maryland Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 225-8333

Price: free

From tulips to cacti to poinsettias, the U.S. Botanical Gardens features more than 26,000 different varieties of flowers and plants throughout the year. This spring, enjoy the sights and smells of roses, gardenia and oriental lillies in bloom in the outdoor gardens, catch the gorgeous view of the grounds and the U.S. Capitol from the Amphitheater or head to the Conservatory where you will find a wide variety of delicate flowers, a tropical rainforest and exotic plants. The Conservatory also features a collection of Hawaiian plants, a large orchid collection, rare and endangered flowers and plants and a children’s garden. The U.S. Botanical Gardens also features a butterfly garden, lawn terrace and a regional garden featuring plants and flowers that are most common in the mid-Atlantic area.

United States National Arboretum
3501 New York Ave. N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 245-2726

Price: free

With daffodils, wildflowers and magnolias, among many other plants and trees, set to bloom in March and April, this sprawling, 446-acre property really comes alive in the springtime. The U.S. National Arboretum features approximately 40 different plant collections and gardens including dogwoods, ferns, peonies and other perennials and annuals as well as the popular National Grove of State Trees. Tour the beautiful grounds on foot, by car or by the open-air public tram. The U.S. National Arboretum hosts a variety of events throughout the year including its annual Friends of the National Arboretum Garden Fair and Plant Sale, full moon hikes, and educational programs. The property also features an expansive herb garden, the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum and a gift shop.

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Hillwood Estate, Museum and Garden
4155 Linnean Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 686-8500

Price: free; donations encouraged ($15 adults/$12 senior citizens/$10 college students/$5 children age 6 to 18)

Known as the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, founder of the Post Cereal Company, the Hillwood Estate soon became known to house the most extensive collection of French and Russian art, Faberge eggs and a beautiful 25-acre garden and natural landscape. Admire boxwoods, rhododendrons and American holly trees as you tour the Friendship Walk, stop and smell the roses in the beautifully manicured rose garden or find a spot to meditate in the Japanese-style Garden. The property also features statues, fountains, waterfalls, and a central decorative pool plus a greenhouse, putting green and a lunar lawn. Stop by the Visitor’s Center to learn more about Marjorie Merriweather Post, the estate and the museum or enjoy a light lunch at the on-site cafe.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court
Vienna, VA 22182
(703) 255-3631

Price: $2.50 seniors age 55 and older/$5 adults age 18 to 54/$2.50 children age 7 to 17/free children under 6

Meander through walking paths and over rolling hills in this beautiful 95-acre property full of blooming plants, trees, gazebos and pavilion. A wide variety of flowers begin to bloom in March and April including flowering cherries, tulips, magnolias, lilacs, peonies and various flowering shrubs. The Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is also known for its butterfly garden, lakes, an extensive shade garden and picnic area. Visit the Atrium to see an indoor tropical garden in bloom or swing by the visitor’s center to learn more about different plants, purchase a souvenir from the gift shop or to view a variety of garden collections. The botanical garden hosts a variety of educational events and programs including a roving naturalist program, garden tours, organic gardening tips, pruning demonstrations and holiday-inspired workshops.

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Brookside Gardens
1800 Glenallan Ave.
Wheaton, MD 20902
(301) 962-1400

Price: free

This award-winning, 50-acre property is a great place to spend a beautiful spring day. The gardens are separated into multiple distinct areas including the aquatic, azalea, rose and rain garden plus a woodland area. Come see anemones, forsythia, redbud and purple-leaf plums in bloom, walk along the Heart Smart trails to get a little exercise or let the kids run free in the children’s garden. The property also features new and unusual plants in the Trial Garden, heavenly-scented flowers in the Fragrance Garden and series of distinct “rooms” and a beautiful gazebo in the Formal Gardens. Brookside Gardens offers a variety of fun programs for children and adults including guided tours, hands-on activities and story time in the gardens.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at