National Parks In & Around Washington, DC

Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC national parks are vast and varied, encompassing historical sites, mountain ranges and scenic trails. All are considered local treasures and give visitors insight into the area's rich history and how "this land was made for you and me."

Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
World War II Memorial at night, Washington, DC
Washington, DC's World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the United States armed forces
Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC
Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC
Catoctin Mountain Park in Maryland
Maryland's Catoctin Mountain Park, a perfect destination for hiking and camping. Credit: John Kinnaird.
Wild horses on Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland
Herds of wild horses roam free at Assateague Island National Seashore, spanning the Eastern Shore coastline of Maryland and Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia
Beautiful autumn color in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
World War II Memorial at night, Washington, DC
Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC
Catoctin Mountain Park in Maryland
Wild horses on Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland
Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia

Washington, DC

National parks in Washington, DC are some of the most recognizable in the country: the solitary obelisk of the Washington Monument, the neo-classical structures of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and the sombre spaces of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial and Korean War Veterans Memorial, all located around the National Mall.

Nature lovers will enjoy the 1,754-acre Rock Creek Park, whose shady biking, walking and running paths provide a tranquil oasis within the nation’s bustling capital.

Maryland

Maryland's national parks run the spectrum from Civil War battlefields to island seashores. Go hiking or camping amid the rolling landscape of Catoctin Mountain Park, or visit the windswept beaches of Assateague Island National Seashore, which spans both Maryland and Virginia and is one of the few places in the country where herds of wild horses roam free.

A favourite destination for families is Glen Echo Park, located near the border of Maryland and Washington and one of many sites along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. At Glen Echo, puppet shows, theatrical performances and an old-world carousel cater to young children, while dance events in the historic Spanish Ballroom are ideal for active adults.

At Fort McHenry, history lovers can witness the backdrop for the Battle of Baltimore, a pivotal moment during the War of 1812. The successful defense of the fort inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner," which later became the country’s national anthem.

Virginia

The Capital Region’s preferred destination for hiking is – without a doubt – Shenandoah National Park. Containing approximately 300 square miles of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah features over 500 miles of trails, including a 101-mile stretch of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which runs from Maine to Georgia. Visitors can also take in the park’s spectacular beauty and wildlife by car: the famous Skyline Drive traces the length of the park and provides gorgeous views from myriad overlooks.

Just across the Potomac from Washington, DC, Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of some of America's greatest heroes, including more than 300,000 veterans from every American conflict.

Planning a USA road trip? Discover more destinations and attractions to include on your itinerary.

Discover One of the Most Scenic and Diverse US National Park Regions

Experience the Capital Region’s beauty during explorations of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC national parks. Find everything you need to tour the historical cornerstone of the United States. Sign up now for travel information and exclusive offers!

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