Hidden in the southeast part of D.C., the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens are one of the most unique experiences I have had while living here. My DC partner in crime, Cacia, and I had been talking about making a trip here soon. However, we moved our visit up when we discovered that the annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival was on July 15 this year! While the park was very crowded, it was a very worthwhile experience.
The closest metro stop is at Deanwood on the orange line, although for the Lotus Festival, a shuttle was provided from Minnesota Avenue. You should not come to this park alone if you are taking public transportation, as the neighborhood has some safety issues. There was some parking, but not nearly enough for the Festival. We took the shuttle from Minnesota, but then walked to Deanwood and felt safe enough together.
The lotus flowers looked awesome and are best described in pictures.
To see the flowers, there are lots of walkways throughout the park. While the park is not huge, it seems like the flowers go on forever. While there were mostly the pink flowers, we found a few exceptions throughout the park.
While the Festival is called the Lotus and Water Lily Festival, an employee at the gift shop told us that the event is scheduled around the lotus bloom, and the water lilies usually bloom in mid June, a bit earlier in the season. We found this to be true as we walked through the park, but we still found a few water lilies.
Aside from the beautiful flowers, the Festival also has dance groups, vendors, and 2 food trucks to allow you to make this an all day experience. While the aquatic park is probably beautiful at other times of the year, I would highly recommend attending the festival! There were so many activities and seeing the bloom was an awesome experience.
This park has another large perk- it is dog friendly! What could be more fun than bringing your dog to an aquatic garden?! The Anacostia Riverwalk trail is directly next to this park, and the trail goes on for many miles and was particularly nice near the park. Unfortunately, the area’s crime rate spills over on this beautiful trail so be careful.
I really enjoyed my trip to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and you should check it out too on your next visit to the District! Next week I am looking forward to sharing my trip to Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida. Make sure to follow my blog so you don’t miss any updates as I continue my National Parks adventure!