With its tranquility and unique history, Dumbarton Oaks Park is a great place for a stroll, a picnic, or nature study. A map and guide to Dumbarton Oaks Park is available at the Lovers’ Lane entrance. There is also a two-minute, historical overview, cell phone ‘tour’ available at this entrance; simply call the number listed on the post. Please note that the Park is open daily, dawn to dusk, and dogs are required to be on leash at all times.
There are several ways to access Dumbarton Oaks Park. Many or most people take a short stroll downhill along an asphalted pedestrian-only lane, Lovers’ Lane, which descends from R Street NW in Georgetown. Lovers’ Lane is located approximately 200 feet east of R Street and 31st Street NW. Lovers’ Lane separates Dumbarton Oaks estate from Montrose Park and is signposted by a green-on-white wooden plaque reading, “Dumbarton Oaks Park, Open Dawn to Dusk.” The lane descends one-fourth of a mile to the Park entrance at the bottom of the hill. Free, street parking is available on R Street NW.
From Massachusetts Avenue NW by the Italian Embassy, take the dirt path immediately north of the bridge across Rock Creek, then proceed gently downhill as the path follows Rock Creek before curving into the ‘Dumbarton Run’ tributary stream valley. In one-third of a mile from Massachusetts Avenue, this unpaved portion of Lovers’ Lane comes to a four-way junction. To the left is a trail leading down to Rock Creek and the paved multi-use trail paralleling the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway and lower section of Beach Drive NW; straight ahead is the paved section of Lovers’ Lane leading up to R Street NW, and to the right is the entrance to Dumbarton Oaks Park. Please note that the Massachusetts Avenue NW entrance to the Park is the best way to access Dumbarton Oaks Park for those who do not want to climb hills. Parking for this entrance is available on Whitehaven Street NW.
From Wisconsin Avenue NW, enter eastbound Whitehaven Street NW (only one block long), located north of the Safeway grocery store and just south of the Holiday Inn. On Whitehaven Street NW, walk past the British School and Georgetown University buildings, then, turn right onto the dirt path entitled “Dumbarton Oaks Trail” and continue downhill until you enter Dumbarton Oaks Park. This entrance is unmarked when you enter the Park.
To view the park area, click on the Rock Creek Park map at left and then zoom in on Dumbarton Oaks Park. Enjoy your visit!