Waste no time traveling to and from your hotel by choosing a location close to the National Arboretum where this tour begins: the Ivy City Motel
. You’ll also want to pack snacks and bring along something more substantial to eat for lunch (you can thank us later). Open daily, Mom’s Organic Market
is an excellent place to stock up on healthy, plant-based fuel, and Naked Lunch, located in the market, features fine house-made items to take out, including sandwiches, bowls, and burritos. When choosing snack items, keep your energy up by sticking with the tree theme and selecting things that grow on trees such as a banana, plus trail mix that includes raw nuts, coconut, and/or cashews.
Begin your tree travels with a little “forest bathing” (the practice of spending time in nature to de-stress and revive) at the National Arboretum
. A national treasure, it’s a 446-acre public research facility dedicated to preserving the environmental and economic importance of landscape and ornamental plants. Walk through the National Grove of State Trees (or “The Grove” for short), a patriotic plantation of trees—the first one planted in 1990—representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Plan to stay a while by bringing along your lunch so you can pause to enjoy it at one of the picnic tables provided (find them close to the entrance portal and the M Street parking lot). Transport yourself to the Far East with a visit to the exquisite National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
, located on the grounds of the Arboretum, and learn about growing your own food and composting with the Washington Youth Garden Field Trip.
After so much natural beauty, take in D.C.’s manmade majesty on an evening bike tour of “America’s Front Yard,” the National Mall
. Its many iconic sites—including the Lincoln Memorial
, the Washington Monument
, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial—are even more breathtaking after dark. Bike tour companies such as Unlimited Biking
will escort you through these sites, or get yourself rolling with Metro DC’s bikeshare service, Capital Bikeshare
, and tailor your own tour.