Parkways were still a new idea when this one was designed in the 1930s. In addition to calling for a scenic road, Congress protected a diverse array of sites along it as a "park and playground" near the nation's capital. Visit each of these sites to get a full taste of the parkway idea.
There is no visitor center on the parkway. Information, brochures, maps, and National Park Passport stamps are available at parkway headquarters and at visitor centers at Arlington House, Glen Echo Park, and Great Falls Park.
Arlington Memorial Bridge and Avenue
Arlington Memorial Bridge and Avenue provide a ceremonial entrance to Washington, DC from Virginia. Designed to be an "Avenue of Heroes," it is lined with monuments and memorials to such diverse figures as Admiral Byrd, the Seabees, Valor, and Sacrifice.
Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve
Dyke Marsh is one of the largest remaining freshwater tidal wetlands in the Washington metropolitan area. Its 485 acres of tidal marsh, floodplain, and swamp forest can be explored by boat or on foot.
Fort Hunt Park
Spanish American War-era batteries and grassy picnic areas occupy land with a complex story. Fort Hunt Park has been a plantation, a fort, a recreation area, a top secret intelligence center, then a recreation area again.
Fort Marcy and its counterpart, Fort Ethan Allen, were hastily planned and built to protect the Chain Bridge approach to Washington, DC during the Civil War. Its earthworks are among the best preserved defenses from that era. Today it is part of a wildlife corridor around the nation's capital.
Jones Point Park
Jones Point Park is located on the Potomac River, just south of Old Town Alexandria. It was a critical piece of the city of Alexandria's history as one of the largest centers for shipping, manufacturing, and transportation in the nation. Its lighthouse, built in 1855, is the last remaining riverine lighthouse in Virginia.
Lady Bird Johnson Park
In 1968 Columbia Island was renamed Lady Bird Johnson Park to honor a woman who worked to transform the American landscape and preserve its natural beauty. Graceful plantings and picturesque views recall her conviction that beauty can make the world less grim and tense.
The 50 bells of the Netherlands Carillon hang in an open steel tower, a symbol of Dutch regard for American aid during and after World War II. The carillon's peaceful setting, with its floral libraries and sculpted lions, is the perfect place to listen to the music of the bells.
Turkey Run Park
Turkey Run Park preserves a vertical slice of the Potomac Gorge ecosystem. A unique combination of flora and fauna makes a home in the park's riverbanks, flood terraces, upland forest, streams, and underground seeps.
US Marine Corps War Memorial
Based on an iconic image of the second flag-raising on the island of Iwo Jima during World War II, the US Marine Corps War Memorial is dedicated to "the Marine dead of all wars and their comrades of other services who fell fighting beside them."
Women In Military Service For America Memorial
This is the only major national memorial to honor the some 3 million uniformed women who have served in the nation's defense. Located at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery, the memorial and its 33,000 sq. ft. education facility chronicles the history and showcases individual stories of service women. To learn more about the Memorial, its programs and activities, membership eligibility and how to join, visit its website at www.womensmemorial.org or call 800-222-2294/703-533-1155.
Last updated: July 9, 2021