Let's face it, sometimes the hustle and bustle of the city can get a bit…overwhelming. While most summer getaways take the form of weekend trips and full-on vacations but sometimes hopping in a car (or onto a train or plane) is not an option. But Brookland has a hidden gem; the Franciscan Monastery, boasts one of the best and most peaceful outdoor gardens in the District.
Solitary, serene and one of D.C.'s best-kept secrets, the monastery boasts 42 acres of garden space, with over 700 varieties of roses, thousands of tulips and several grottos. The grounds also contain a multitude of religious replicas, including a statue of St. Francis surrounded by a beautiful array of colorful flowers. That said, the main draw is the gardens, which have been around for over 80 years. The Oriental Garden, for example, features dogwood trees, blooming crepe myrtles and azaleas with several benches to sit and take it all in. The monastery offers tours and plant sales throughout the year and during the months of July and August you can take a tour and view a variety of summer annuals, lavender and roses. Take a small virtual tour after the jump and see if the scent of flowers doesn't seep through the computer screen.