Yesterday was the 101st birthday of the National Parks! Based on my explorations so far, I have to say that they are looking pretty good for their age. In honor of their birthday, I will be filling my weekend with National Parks visits, but first, here is a visit I made last week!
The National Park service has so many sites to see in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area that sometimes it is just easiest to combine trips together! This blog will feature both Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and the LBJ Memorial Grove on the Potomac.
Over the course of the summer, I saw two venues at Wolf Trap, the Filene Center and the Barns. The Filene Center is a big outdoor amphitheater, and the Barns is literally the inside of a barn. I preferred the Filene Center since it was outdoors, and you can even sit on the lawn, although that still requires a paying ticket. It also has tiered seating versus everyone being on the same level, which makes the view much better. The Barns is much more intimate and indoors in setting and probably seats 200 people. Before one show, we tried to go for a walk in the woods, but the options are limited. However, there is a nice walk from the parking lot to the Filene.
Did you know that Wolf Trap is the only national park dedicated solely to the performing arts? Wolf Trap features many different kinds of events, and I had the opportunity to experience quite a few this summer including Chick Corea Elektric Band & Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (Jazz and bluegrass), Pilobolus Maximus (Modern dance and movement), and The Juniper Tree & Bastianello (Opera double bill). There were also pop artists, children’s shows, and more throughout the summer. There is really something for everyone at Wolf Trap.
While Wolf Trap in and of itself is pretty cool, one of my favorite parts is stopping for a meal before getting to Wolf Trap. The fast-food-casual Vietnamese restaurant Roll Play is seriously awesome, serving up delicious and cheap spring rolls and unique sodas. It is worth a visit if you are in Tysons Corner, and it is walking distance from the Greensboro and Tysons Corner metro (Silver Line).
Getting to and from Wolf Trap really does require a car, unless you attend a Friday or Saturday performance. My friend Lindsay picked me up from the Spring Hill metro (Silver line) for my first visit, but I had to Uber home since the metro closed far earlier than the Sunday night show we attended. Wolf Trap does have a stop with the Fairfax Connector bus, but it is $5 each way. You can only access this bus from West Falls Church (Orange), and shows can run later than the metro making it not as useful some days. It’s $3.85 in non-peak fare to go to either stop, but getting from the stop to Wolf Trap is just hard and a little expensive. Luckily, parking is free if you have a car!
If you do choose to take a car to Wolf Trap, the LBJ Memorial Grove is an easy place to stop off and have a picnic before going to a show. Located in Washington, D.C. but on the border with Virginia, the LBJ Memorial Grove is a small city park with a walking trail and a few picnic tables. Since it is located on the Potomac, it is a great park to stop by and visit on your way to a site in Virginia. Due to its location, there were many people dropping in kayaks from this park, and there is plenty of free parking. Like many of the sites in D.C., this is yet another park where you can look out and see the Washington Monument.
I hope you enjoyed learning about these two parks! I wish I had more pictures from Wolf Trap, but my last blog entitled Theodore Roosevelt Island had a ton of pictures if you are just here for the scenery.
I am not sure what the next few weeks blogs will hold yet. Next week, I will be taking you to two D.C. memorials, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial and the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality House. Otherwise, we are experiencing a cool summer in D.C., and this weekend the highs are only in the low 80s and high 70s! We have discussed going to Harper’s Ferry or Great Falls, but nothing is firm yet. However, I plan to have fun!
Feel free to post comments or questions below, and thanks for reading!