Welcome to Rock Creek Park, the large urban park setting that bisects most of the area within Northwest Washington D.C. This park was first established in 1890 by an Act of Congress, then designed by famous architectural brothers Frederick and John Olmsted. This entire ‘urban oasis’ usually takes a little over 3 hours to sightsee, though many just enjoy coming here to picnic, people watch, relax, or exercise. Considered to be one of the best hidden gems in our nation’s capitol city, this really is the perfect place to ‘reflect and soothe your spirits', with trees, wildlife, local history, hiking trails, tennis, golf, and ranger-led programs all at your fingertips, not to mention the onsite Planetarium and Amphitheater.
Within the 1700 acres of park land here you will find such historical aspects as Fort Stevens, the Old Stone House, the Francis Scott Key Memorial Park, and even other parks such as the Montrose and Meridian Hill Park. Learn all about the local Civil War and Slavery history, as well as history about the first American Indians to settle here, the grist mill successes in the immediate area, and all the different stages of farming and agriculture, from tobacco to flour.
Aside from the amazing history within the park, be sure to save plenty of time to explore all the great eco-options, from hiking and biking the trails to skywatching at the only planetarium in the National Park Service system, the Rock Creek Park Planetarium. Enjoy high-tech Spitz software within that makes up the only free planetarium in Washington D.C, then head over and see what may be happening at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre closeby. If you have a group full of particularly young students you will also definitely want to check out the really fun and educational Junior Ranger Camp Rock Creek Park provides.