Meridian Hill Park
Washington DC 20008
- Mon: 6am-9pm
- Tue: 6am-9pm
- Wed: 6am-9pm
- Thu: 6am-9pm
- Fri: 6am-9pm
- Sat: 6am-9pm
- Sun: 6am-9pm
A formal 12-acre park situated between the Columbia Heights and U Street neighborhoods, Meridian Hill Park is home to the longest cascading fountain in North America. Officially part of the Rock Creek Park and maintained by the National Park Service, in recent years the park has experienced a revitalization. On warm afternoons it is a popular site for picnics, pickup soccer, yoga or taking a stroll and snapping photos beside the fountains. The park, also called Malcolm X Park by locals, is best known for its lively Sunday drum circle, which has been meeting weekly (weather depending) since the 1960s.
Parking and public transportation at Meridian Hill Park
Limited street parking can typically be found in the blocks surrounding the park. The closest Metrorail stations are Columbia Heights and U Street (green/yellow lines.) Both are roughly a half-mile, 10-15 minute walk from the park. The park is a 20 minute walk from the Dupont Circle and Woodley Park/Zoo metro stations (red line) and Metro buses run regularly along 14th and 16th streets NW. The closest Capital Bikeshare location is at the northeast corner of the park at Euclid and 15th streets NW.
Best and worst times to go to Meridian Hill Park
There is no bad time to visit the park. For a quiet afternoon visit the park during the day midweek. The park is at its most lively during the spring and fall at Sunday drum circle. In addition to the music of the drummers the park provides a peaceful energy for all ages and a space for those practicing acro-yoga, playing pickup soccer or chess, spinning hula hoops or enjoying an afternoon picnic.
Admission to Meridian Hill Park
There is no cost to visit the park. Meridian Hill Park is open daily during daylight hours. For special events, such as weddings, there is a $200 park use fee. The park encompasses the entire block between 15th and 16th streets NW and is bordered to the north by Euclid St. NW and to the south by Florida Ave NW.
Must see/do at Meridian Hill Park
Come see the park come alive during the Sunday drum circle. Drummers typically begin gathering at the upper level of the park to the west of the Joan of Arc statue around 3 p.m. and play until 8 p.m. While the drummers provide the music the park is also filled with dancers, picnickers and others enjoying the energy of the park. Anyone is welcome to join in the beat and a variety of musical instruments are welcomed. The drum circle is unlike any other DC experience and showcases the region's diversity at its best.
Other places to visit near Meridian Hill Park
The park is situated between the Columbia Heights and U Street neighborhoods and numerous shops, bars and restaurants. It is also a 20-25 minute walk to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.
Insider tip for visitors to Meridian Hill Park
While the upper levels of the park can get crowded on weekends, typically quiet places to picnic and relax can be found among the trees on the lower levels of the park, even during the height of drum circle. Also, be aware, use the restroom before visiting the park. There are only two restrooms at the park, which can be found at the northeast corner of the upper level of the park.
Author's bio: Jennifer E. Cooper is a writer and sometimes artist who has lived in Washington, D.C. for more than a decade. She is currently writing a book about her 3,000-mile walk across the United States.