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Thanks to a 1926 act of Congress that protected much of Anacostia Park’s forested areas, DC residents can enjoy a visit to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens today. Since the gardens are part of the National Park System, there’s no entrance fee, either.

If you visit during July and August you’ll find the lotus and waterlilies are in bloom, which Yelp reviewers say is the best time to view the aquatic gardens in their full glory. The garden’s 37 acres are centered on three primary ponds, which are surrounded by some of the tidal wetlands that DC was historically known for, so you’ll be able to split your time between carefully cultivated gardens and wild wetlands. Insider tip: during the hottest summer days it can be a good idea to plan your visit for the morning hours, when you’ll be a little cooler and the flowers will be at their best.

Swan

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