Let's enjoy a walk through the East Mall and Capitol Grounds!
Starting from Columbus Circle in front of Union Station, we'll walk south into Senate Park, where we'll pass the Senate Garage Fountain to arrive at the Summer House, a small brick rest stop built on the Capitol West Front Lawn during 1879-1881. Turning east to skirt the north face of the Capitol Building, we'll make a brief visit to the steps of the Supreme Court before continuing south and west towards the US Botanic Garden to take a break to see what's in bloom in the Garden's indoor displays. Along the way, we'll take a loop through nearby Bartholdi Park to see Bartholdi Fountain, which was restored and only returned to the park in May 2011.
Leaving the Botanic Garden, we'll walk west along Jefferson Drive to the grounds of the Smithsonian Institution Building. After a break to tour the nearby Enid Haupt and Mary Livingston Ripley Gardens, we'll turn north to cross the Capitol Mall and loop through the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden. Turning back east, we'll walk along Madison Drive towards the Capitol Building, with a brief detour to visit the Gallery of Art's east face fountain. Continuing east, we'll pass the Peace Memorial at Pennsylvania and 1st Street NW, turn north to visit the Japanese-American Memorial, and return along Louisiana Avenue NW to our start point at Union Station.
Total distance is 3.7 miles according to Google, but it is actually longer due to walking around at each attraction. Depending upon the stops along the way, the walk should take at least about two hours at an easy to moderate pace. The route is almost all paved and flat, but there are quite a few steps in places.
This is a repeat of a walk taken this May.
Where to meet: We'll meet in Columbus Circle across from the bus stops, at the foot of the Columbus Fountain.
How to get there: Metro is recommended, but if you must drive, the street address is 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington D.C. Your best bet for parking is probably parallel parking to the east of Union Station, in the area bounded by 2nd and 7th Streets NE (east/west) and D and G Streets NE (north/south).
What to bring: Water, comfy shoes and sunscreen are recommended. Only service animals are allowed in many of the areas we will visit.
Along the way and after the walk: There are restrooms and drinking fountains at the Botanic Gardens, the Smithsonian Institution Building, and Union Station. The Smithsonian Building also has a snack bar. After the walk, there is an extensive food court at Union Station for anyone who would enjoy lunch.
Bartholdi Fountain: http://www.aoc.gov/cc/grounds/art_arch/Bartholdi-Fountain.cfm
Christopher Columbus Memorial Fountain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_Fountain
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden: http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/sculptureinfo.shtm
National Japanese-American Memorial: http://tinyurl.com/8x8v698
Peace Memorial: http://www.aoc.gov/cc/grounds/art_arch/peace.cfm
Senate Garage Fountain: http://www.aoc.gov/cc/grounds/art_arch/sen_fount.cfm
Smithsonian Gardens: http://gardens.si.edu/our-gardens/index.html
The Summer House: http://www.aoc.gov/cc/grounds/art_arch/summer_house.cfm
US Botanic Garden: http://www.usbg.gov/