Located about a 30 minute drive outside of D.C. (15/20 minutes from Arlington, VA), the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens are a welcome retreat from the city, and a great activity for the whole family, for couples, or for travelers. Admission for adults is only $5 for the day, and kids under a certain age are free. Sadly, there is no public transit to these gardens so a car is necessary. However, if you really want to go and you don’t have a car, the Silver Line Metro going from D.C. to Reston just opened, and will take you by Tyson’s Corner, and you could perhaps take a cab from there.
The Meadowlark Botanical Gardens are located on a huge complex, featuring many garden areas. I went with some kiddos, and they were tired of walking before we were able to see the whole park, however, that just means I will have to go back! Upon entering the gardens, you will find a cute “fairy garden”, complete with miniature fairies and their houses. From there, we walked into the park, and made a left turn leading us to a lovely lake with a bridge, passing by many flower beds along the way. There were some gorgeous lilies along this path, and eventually we stumbled onto the kid’s garden, which was a hit for the little ones. They had flowers and plants for the kids to smell, and they had a few areas to play and sit (and finally touch things). If we would have turned right and gone down into the other side of the park we would have seen the Korean Garden, with a large Korean bell on display, but I will have to wait until next time to check out that side of the park.
There were even more walking trails leading farther into the woods and though I am not sure how far they go, you could easily spend a good portion of the day at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, even without walking the trails. On the complex there is a little shop, but it is mostly a gift shop, and there is no food for sale here. However, there is a designated picnic area by the parking lot. The kids love a good picnic, so we brought some sandwiches.
Lately, I have been into flower photography, so this was the perfect playground for me. However, the little ones didn’t have as much patience for the flower photo taking procedure as I may have liked, but I did end up with a few lovely shots, and I am really looking forward to going back to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens! Have a look for yourself:
So what do you think? Would you visit? Have you visited?