One of the largest arboretums in the country, this federally owned 446-acre tract situated on the gentle slopes of Mount Hamilton provides a tranquil respite from the warehouses and thoroughfares of surrounding northeast Washington. Established by Congress in 1927, the arboretum opened to the public in 1947, when some 15,000 azaleas were in bloom. Today its hills and valleys are covered in evergreens, wildflowers and such flowering trees and shrubs as rhododendrons and dogwoods, as well as azaleas, whose spectacular blossoms traditionally attract numerous visitors. The arboretum is designed to be toured by car. Nine miles of paved roads lead past the various gardens, collections and designated parking areas along the route.
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