VISIT

WHAT TO SEE

The US National Arboretum is a research institution, public garden and green oasis of 446-acres that sits on the shores of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC.  Annually, over 650,000 visitors enjoy connecting with nature, plants and science. Its science has resulted in important plant introductions resistant to disease and pests that benefit our nation’s plant nursery landscape.

Established in 1927, the Arboretum is administered by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) within the US Department of Agriculture. 

Arboretum Collections

In addition to the collections described below, the Arboretum contains striking collections of boxwoods, daffodils, daylilies, dogwoods, hollies, lilacs, magnolias and maples.  Its Grass Roots exhibits explore the science behind turfgrass.

National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

This tribute to the history and beauty of bonsai is home of hundreds of bonsai trees, some of which are centuries old. Currently closed to the public due to COVID-19.

Introduction Garden

This garden showcases some of the many cultivars introduced by the National Arboretum and contains a koi pond that is a long-time favorite with kids.

Capitol Columns

Originally part of the East Portico of the Capitol Building, these columns now create a captivating space overlooking a beautiful meadow.

National Herb Garden

The largest designed herb garden in the United States includes a traditional knot garden, a rose garden, and 10 beds organized by themes.

Fern Valley

Visitors can follow shaded paths through a woodland area filled with native plants from the eastern United States. Currently closed to the public due to COVID-19.

Washington Youth Garden

Our very own children and family-friendly garden grows a variety of food crops. Visit the WYG site for more information.

Asian Collections

These collections are home to a winter-blooming Camellia Collection and plants from China, Japan and Korea.

Gotelli Conifer Collection

A wide variety of dwarf and slow-growing conifers are interspersed with 31 of the Arboretum’s crapemyrtle cultivars.

Azalea Collections

With thousands of azalea plants, these collections are the reason the grounds were first opened to the public.

Friendship Garden

Surrounding Arbor House, where our office is located, this garden is low-maintenance and environmentally friendly.

PLAN YOUR VISIT

Pandemic Guidelines

Statement from the Agricultural Research Service: Policy on Mask Use and Social Distancing

“On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order requiring masks and social distancing in Federal buildings and on Federal lands. The new administration is currently developing a COVID-safety plan for the U.S. Department of Agriculture that will prioritize the health and safety of all federal employees and contractors, as well as visitors to federal facilities and land. While this safety plan is being developed, the U.S. National Arboretum will follow the advice of public health and science experts, by requiring all USNA visitors and employees to wear a mask, maintain social distance while on USNA property, and to take other related precautions recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Photography

Permit Required

Please note that the following may require a USNA photography permit: special occasion photography; individual and group portrait photography; commercial and promotional photography; and photography that includes subjects, props, models or anything more than the natural and cultural resources of the National Arboretum.

Address

R Street Entrance + GPS

2400 R St NE
Washington, DC 20002

New York Avenue Entrance + Mailing

3501 New York Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002

Days & Hours

Grounds

Monday – Sunday: 8 AM – 5 PM (only closed on December 25th)

Visitor Center

Closed due to COVID-19

National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Closed due to COVID-19

FONA Office

We are working remotely due to COVID19 but respond readily to calls and emails.

Accessibility

Use the Arboretum’s Gardens & Collections webpage for information about each collection’s accessibility.  The information will be found in the webpage for each collection.  You may want to start with the Capitol Columns and National Herb Garden pages.

Rules

Please follow these rules and guidelines during your visit:

WYG Demonstration Garden

Visit the Washington Youth Garden’s family-friendly demonstration garden where we teach garden-based science to children and their families. Currently closed to the public due to COVID-19.

Parking

Admission and parking are free at the National Arboretum! Please park in the multiple marked lots available throughout the Arboretum — please refrain from parking on the side of the road and in the grass.

Public Transportation

Bus & Rail

While there are no rail lines that take you directly to the Arboretum, there are bus stops nearby to link you to the Arboretum. Use the Metro’s Trip Planner to find your best route.

Train

Visiting from out of town? The National Arboretum is located near Union Station, DC’s central hub for MARC and Amtrak trains.  From there, take a ride share or bus to the Arboretum.

Bike

Bring your own bike or rent one! Capital Bikeshare has a bike hub outside the R Street Entrance for visitors to rent bikes from and cruise around the Arboretum.

Ride Share

Need a ride? Meet your rideshare driver at the R Street Entrance for easiest access into and out of the Arboretum.

Amenities

Restrooms & Water Fountains

Arbor House
M-Street Gate Parking Lot (open during warmer months)
Asia Valley Collections (open during warmer months)
Visitor Center (Closed due to COVID-19)

Vending Machines

Arbor House
Visitor Center (Closed due to COVID-19)

Picnicking

Grove of State Trees

Google Map

Click on “View larger map” to open Google Maps.

MOBILE APPS

Our Washington Youth Garden team recommends these 4 free apps to help you explore the Arboretum.

US National Arboretum

The National Arboretum’s official app includes a map of the grounds, information about the collections and plants, and self-guided tours.

Agents of Discovery

Connect to nature and your community through augmented reality experiences in public spaces and use sensory skills to investigate the plants in the National Arboretum! Great for families.

iNaturalist

Identify plants, fungi, and wildlife with image recognition technology connected to databases by the National Geographic Society and the California Academy of Sciences.

Merlin Bird ID

Identify any bird you see with either a picture or answers to 5 simple questions. Learn everything about its diet, habitat, and songs.

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