One deceptive thing about D.C. is that it looks like a small place, but it’s surprising how much walking you do when you're here. Walking in and between the museums, monuments, and other landmarks, you’ll be exhausted if you don’t pace yourself. So here’s a bit of advice from a local: Take lots of breaks.
One of my favorite spots to rest for a few minutes or eat a bite is Bartholdi Park, located in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, across the street from the Botanic Garden. Most visitors spend their time in the Botanic Garden; few cross the street to this little park. Bartholdi Park was developed as a demonstration garden where folks could learn about and get planting ideas for landscaping their home gardens. For most visitors, it’s less about seeing how plants grow than making use of the benches, tables, and chairs that the park has to offer—not to mention wonderful views of the Capitol and the glass conservatory of the Botanic Garden.
A small fountain sits in the center of the garden and helps to drown out the noise from the traffic going up and down Independence Avenue. You won’t even feel like you’re in the heart of the tourist area.
A bit of history trivia: The beautiful fountain was created by Frederik Auguste Bartholdi (the park bears his name) who went on to gain fame as the architect of the Statue of Liberty.