11 Totally Awesome Places to See Tulips in Maryland, DC, and Virginia (updated for 2020)
If you want to welcome Spring with a day trip to see (or pick), tulips, these 11 places are awesome for seeing tulips in Maryland, DC, and Virginia!
This day was a perfect day.
When you are in the middle of parenting little kids, perfect days don’t happen very often. Great days, yes. Perfect days? That is a pretty high bar.
And yet, this was a perfect day. The sky was that perfect shade of blue, punctuated by a few white, puffy clouds. As we got out of the car, the sun bathed our cheeks in warmth and a gentle breeze beckoned us to the fields.
We emerged from the covered ticketing area to one of the happiest scenes I had seen all year. Fields covered with tulips as far as the eye could see (or at least to the road.. which seemed like it was pretty far away). My daughter and I each picked out a wicker basket and then set off to fill the baskets with the most gorgeous tulips you have ever seen. She was very serious about the tulips she picked, taking care to clip them just right. We stopped for a few minutes to try on the assortment of wooden shoes scattered about a platform. We had a blast walking up and down the rows of tulips, amazed at each new discovery, each new color.
After about an hour of tulip picking, we enjoyed a picnic lunch under the shade trees at the corner of the fields. Then, my 3-year old let loose on the ginormous jumping pillow– which she had all to herself. She was in heaven.
So was I.
It was the perfect day.
Related: Check out the Kid Friendly Maryland comprehensive resource for parents: Things To Do In Maryland With Kids!
1. Brookside Gardens
Brookside Gardens in Montgomery County, MD is an enchanting garden year round. There are plenty of annual events, like the summer butterfly show or the holiday train and lights extravaganza, that will be sure to delight kids and parents a like.
April is my favorite time of year to visit because that is when their tulips are in full bloom. The tulips are in peak bloom for about 2 weeks every April and they are glorious! The largest concentration of tulips are in the areas near the Conservatory and the Children’s Garden.
Admission to Brookside Gardens is free and if you are visiting with kids, you will definitely want to make a day of it and visit Wheaton Regional Park as well (Brookside Gardens is inside Wheaton Regional Park).
The gardens are located at:
1800 Glenallan Ave
Wheaton, MD 20902
*Note: If you decide to visit the Wheaton Regional Park in conjunction with your visit to Brookside Gardens, the address for the playground area is actually a few miles away (by road). You might need to Google ‘Wheaton Regional Park Adventure Playground’ to get the correct address.
The gardens are open from sunrise to sunset. For more information, click here for their website: http://www.montgomeryparks.org/parks-and-trails/brookside-gardens/
2. Rawlings Conservatory
If you have ever visited the Maryland Zoo, you have undoubtedly driven past the Rawlings Conservatory and made a mental note to visit at some point. Well, April would be the perfect time to visit so you can catch their annual Spring Flower Display.
There are numerous reasons to visit the Conservatory during this annual celebration of Spring but the thousands of tulips that are planted outside the Conservatory are probably my favorite reason to visit.
The Conservatory is located inside Druids Hill Park (pretty much right next to the Maryland Zoo). The address is:
3100 Swann Dr
Baltimore, Md. 21217
For more information, visit their website:
3. Sherwood Gardens
Sherwood Gardens is small but absolutely delightful. The caretakers of this 6-acre private park (it is located within a residential community) in Baltimore plant over 80,000 tulip bulbs every year. When the tulips are in full bloom the garden is absolutely gorgeous (best tip? Time your visit for the end of peak bloom and you might catch the azaleas in bloom as well!).
Sherwood Gardens would be the perfect place for an afternoon picnic. Just lay out the blanket and let your kids run around. The gardens are free. There are no fences surrounding the park and visitors will need to find street parking.
The gardens are located at:
Baltimore, MD 21218
For more information, please see their website: http://guilfordassociation.org/sherwood/
4. Ladew Topiary Gardens
I had heard about the Ladew Topiary Gardens but nothing could have prepared me for how magical the gardens are.
The topiaries are pretty amazing, but the secret gardens, fountains, koi ponds, and other delightful features are what make this garden so special. They also have lovely tulips in April through early May.
If you time it right, you could catch the end of the tulips at the same time as other parts of the gardens come to life (like the azaleas). We did and it was so much fun!
Ladew Topiary Gardens is located at:
3535 Jarrettsville Pike
Monkton, MD 21111
The gardens open for the season on April 1st and are open daily 10AM-5PM. For more information check out their website: http://www.ladewgardens.com/
5. Hillwood Estates and Gardens
Another not so hidden, hidden gem situated deep in the heart of Washington D.C, the Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens was the home (and final resting place) of Marjorie Merriweather Post. At 25 acres, the gardens themselves are rather large for an urban sanctuary, but they are every bit as lovely as the rest of the gardens on this list.
In April, check out the Lunar Lawn and Rose Garden for what has been described as a ‘river of tulips.’
The address for the Hillwood Gardens is:
4155 Linnean Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
The gardens are open 10AM-5PM Tuesday through Sunday. There is a suggested donation for adults and kids, but children 6 and under are free.
For more information about the Hillwood Estate and Gardens, check out their website:
6. Dumbarton Oaks
The cherry blossoms and magnolias are just the beginning of the floral feast for your eyes at the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens. If you would like a nice diversion in April, stop by this magical garden and take in the tulips in full bloom as well! The tulips can primarily be found in the fountain terrace area of the garden.
Dumbarton Oaks is located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington DC. The address is:
1703 32nd St NW
Washington, DC 20007
For more information on Dumbarton Oaks, which is also known for its museum, check out their website:
7. The Tulip Library
This little known area near the Tidal Basin in DC is home to 90 beds and 100 varieties of tulips every April through early May. The Tulip Library was started as part of Lady Bird Johnson’s Beautification Project.
For more information about the Tulip Library, click here:
8. Marriott Wardman Park
The Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, which is located very close to the National Zoo, plants around 50,000 tulips every year. Visitors (I don’t think you need to be a guest of the hotel) can check out the tulips and 15-acre garden in April.
The address for the hotel is:
2660 Woodley Rd NW
Washington, DC 20008
The hotel website strangely does not have much information about the tulips. However, if you are interested in reserving a room, here is their website:
9. Burnside Farms
Burnside Farms in Haymarket, VA is only open for flower picking about 2-3 months a year but during those times, thousands of flower lovers flock to their gorgeous pick your own fields. In the summer, the farms are very well known for Sunflower fields.
In April the Festival of Spring, which is aptly called ‘Holland in Haymarket,’ welcomes the warm weather with one of the most gorgeous tulip fields on the East coast. Burnside Farms in April is the perfect place to get your dose of tulip (and daffodil) delight. Grab a wicker basket and fill it up with many different varieties of colorful tulips.
Tulips cost $1/stem to pick. Activities for Festival of Spring include dozens of dutch wooden shoes you and your kids can try on, as well as a jumping pillow and other play structures.
The tulip field location changes from year to year. Check the Burnside Farms website for the most up-to-date information:
10. Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
Plan a day trip to Richmond, VA and be amazed! Voted one of the best botanical gardens in the United States, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is really impressive. The Conservatory stands in the middle of the garden and it totally aweome all by itself.
You will want to plan a visit to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in April to see ‘A Million Blooms,’ their celebration of everything that blooms in the Spring.
One of the signature blooms at the beginning of the season is tulips and wow, there are so many of them! Many of the tulips are located in the Fountain Garden area, right in front of the glass Conservatory.
If you make the trip for tulips, stay for the rest of the 50-acre garden, which includes a super fun Children’s Garden and numerous themed gardens replete with fountains, whimsical statues, and many, many varieties of absolutely gorgeous flowers.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is located at:
1800 Lakeside Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23228
For more information, visit their website:
11. Bonus! Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens may not be located in Maryland, Virginia, or DC, but that should not stop you from visiting because it is the top rated botanical garden in the United States. Located in Kennett Square, PA (just outside of Philadelphia), Longwood Gardens is absolutely amazing!
As part of their Spring blooms event, Longwood Gardens plants around 100,000 tulips along their flower garden walk. The tulips are planted in batches by color and the effect is stunning.
If you want to see the tulips you will have to plan a little though. Longwood Gardens sells timed entry tickets during peak bloom and tickets sell out fast.
The address for Longwood Gardens is:
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348
For more information and to snag tickets, check out their website: https://longwoodgardens.org/