My favorite place to get away from it all during the work week is Constitution Gardens. For downtown workers it’s a short walk (about 10 minutes from the White House). To avoid the tourists, I like to walk down 19th Street, where the entrance to the park can be found right across Constitution Ave. The park area contains a large man-made lake, a memorial and several walkways and (mostly empty) park benches.
The memorial island in the middle of the lake has stones bearing the names and signatures of the fifty-six men who signed the Declaration of Independence. Continues after the jump.
The park is an ideal spot for a lunchtime picnic. The National Park Service operates a snack shop in the park – perfect for an ice cream on a warm afternoon.
This is one of the few areas of the Mall with trees other than elms and with an understory, making it a migrant trap. Some of the birds and waterfowl that can be found here include mallards, Canada geese, bufflehead, warblers, orioles and sparrows.
Enjoy a respite from the tourist-heavy areas of the Mall, and give Constitution Gardens a try.