Choosing Your Own Adventure in DC: The US Botanic Garden

I originally wanted to do a recap of all the museums I visited in Washington, D.C. before I concluded this series of posts on the blog. In the span of 2(ish) full days, I got to see the National Museum of Natural History, The Air and Space Museum, and the US Botanic Garden - all of which were fabulous, but like most museums, were too big be seen in their entirety.

From "The Tropics" room at the US Botanic Garden.

From "The Tropics" room at the US Botanic Garden.

The Smithsonian Institute has 19 free museums along the National Mall and throughout the city catering to literally any interest one could possibly have. From modern art, to African American history, to botany, to the history of aviation, it’s impossible to see everything in a single visit. 

This was at the National Museum of Natural History.

This was at the National Museum of Natural History.

So heading over to these sprawling galleries and exhibits becomes sort of a “choose your own adventure”, something a lot of really enthusiastic travelers might have to reconcile with once they get there. Once I did, I decided with my friends which ones seemed the most enjoyable, the least packed, and the easiest to get to depending on where we were during the day.

Out of the few we saw, my favorite by far was the U.S. Botanic Garden, so I wanted to share some shots I got in their breathtakingly gorgeous greenhouse and gardens. I really put my DSLR to work in this place.


One of the first things I saw as we walked in was a gigantic corpse lily. I remember hearing about the one that bloomed in New York last year, but it was REALLY cool to see it in person. It wasn’t blooming or stinky when I was there, but I’m pretty okay with that.


The room that the corpse flower was in was called “Garden Court” and the narrow fountains surrounded by tropical flowers, orange trees, and hanging plants looked exactly like the terrace gardens at Alhambra Palace in Granada.


Basically, I could've spent all day (or the rest of my life) in this room. It was so gorgeous.

This is called a 'rain lily' and quite possibly my new favorite flower.

This is called a 'rain lily' and quite possibly my new favorite flower.

Next was the "tropics" was also beautiful but I didn't stay long. Because of all the tropical vegetation, it was stiflingly hot in there, way too much to handle on an already sweltering 90 degree day.


Next was the Orchid room...


Then I got to see some really oddly shaped cacti and succulents in the "World Deserts" room.


Almost stole one of these lemons from the "Mediterranean" room.


Also wanted to leave you with a picture of this really pretty lily pond, though I honestly could not tell you which part of the building it was in. I guess you'll have to go find it for yourself!


I had a lot of fun taking photos here at the US Botanic Garden, but honestly they didn't remotely do it justice. I didn't include a picture from every single room, but believe me there is SO much to see. If you're a fan of nature, make sure you carve out at least an hour or two to walk around and see their expansive collection of gorgeous plants.

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