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National Zoo

Animals at National Zoo

6 Things to Do in Woodley Park

Head to this uptown neighborhood for lush green zones like Rock Creek Park, animals galore and great brunch spots.

Originally developed as streetcar suburb or escape from DC’s legendary heat, Woodley Park stars historic appeal, leafy attractions like the National Zoo and a host of cool restaurants and bars.


Go eye to eye with Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe, well, a jumbo wall mural showing the legendary starlet’s face, stares out at traffic and passersby from a building wall at Connecticut Avenue NW and Calvert Road NW. It was commissioned decades ago by the owner of a hair salon in the building to honor his partner’s birthday.


Get sweet on a cake pop at Baked by Yael

Have your cake on a stick, and eat it too, at this brightly decorated bakery near the Smithsonian National Zoo. Cakepops in flavors like gingerbread, lemon and red velvet may be the biggest draw, but the spot also sells other sweet and savory offerings like bagels and cookies. All products are kosher and nut free, and some treats are gluten-free as well.


Take a hike (or bike) in Rock Creek Park

Explore Rock Creek Park's 32 miles of urban hiking and biking trails on foot or via wheels rented from a Capital Bikeshare station (there’s one near the back entrance of the zoo). Bridges cross the narrow, rock-filled creek, and there are tennis courts, picnic areas and a nature center to explore.


Eat and drink up

Diners on the Open City patio in Woodley Park - Brunch spots in Washington, DC

Woodley Park houses diverse cuisine from a multitude of restaurants, many with outdoor spaces. Choices include Lebanese Taverna for garlicky Mediterranean fare and District Kitchen for Mid-Atlantic comfort food. In mild weather, check out Open City’s patio for brunch loved by locals or perch outside of Rose Ave Bakery with a one-of-a-kind brioche donut filled with black sesame, passionfruit, pandan coconut and other memorable flavors.


Explore the wild side of DC at the National Zoo

Lions at Smithsonian National Zoo

The National Zoo's lions (and lion statues!) are a landmark of the Woodley Park neighborhood, with the main entrance to the 163-acre attraction right on Connecticut Avenue. Like all Smithsonian museums, admission is free.


Bliss out at the Omni Shoreham Spa

Even if you aren’t staying at the historic Omni Shoreham Hotel overlooking Rock Creek Park, you can indulge in a massage or facial at the spot’s plush spa. Treatments include access to the hotel’s state-of-the-art health club and a jumbo outdoor pool.


Once you're done exploring Woodley Park, check out nearby Upper Northwest or discover your next adventure in one of the District's vibrant neighborhoods.

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