My favorite place in DC
It is a hot, humid, summer day in Washington DC. Located across the mall and next to the capital building lies the National Botanic Gardens. "During the late 18th century, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison shared the dream of a national botanic garden and were instrumental in establishing one on the National Mall in 1820." (USBG History)
Inside it is calm and peaceful in the main gallery of the garden. I sit nestled between drooping banana leaves, creeping striped maranta with delicate purple flowers, and ancient monstera vines have taken over an artificial tree and make it appear to be alive.
To my right is the children’s garden, recently opened and a fantastic place to explore. There is a sensory garden, a place to dig in the dirt, and and jungle gym, lol pun intended. When you visit, don't forget to take the stairs to the upper-story for a spectacular view of the garden from a different perspective.
I can honestly say I've never driven to visit the museums on the mall. It will cost you at least $25 just to park your car....so trust me and catch the metro (or Uber) and pick up one of the many local bikeshare options to cruise the town. Seriously, bicycle is the best way to see DC.