River Farm Garden a Hidden Gem in Alexandria Virginia

Soothing Potomac River views, colorful gardens, and family-friendly spaces welcome visitors to peaceful River Farm, a hidden gem in Alexandria Virginia. Once part of George Washington's original farmland in Alexandria Virginia, it is now the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society.

Here, visitors can explore a variety of natural and formal gardens, a historic house, and a fun Children's Garden. Unique specimens at the garden include a former Champion Tree and a grove of trees planted during Washington's time.

Find more Gorgeous Gardens in Virginia and Washington DC.

Pick up a walking tour brochure when you arrive so you don't miss any of the interesting features of the gardens. Below are things to look for during your visit.

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. We will make a small commission from these links if you order something, at no additional cost to you.


The Meadow at River Farm Alexandria Virginia
The Meadow at River Farm Alexandria Virginia

Things to See at River Farm

Just before you reach the historic house, you'll find a decorative gate which spent 120 years at the northeast entrance to the White House. 28 Presidents, from James Monroe to FDR, passed through these gates during ceremonial exits and entries to the White House.

White House gate River Farm
White House gate River Farm

The historic house at River Farm is a popular venue for weddings, meetings, and private events. The farm also hosts public events including an excellent Spring Garden Market in April.

Historic House River Farm
Historic House River Farm

If the house is open during your visit, check out the beautiful interior of the first floor.

Front Entry River Farm
Front Entry River Farm

Next, head to the back porch to take in the beautiful views down to the Potomac River.

Potomac porch view River Farm
Potomac Porch View River Farm

The property incorporates a ha-ha wall to separate the meadow from the lawn without disrupting the view. George Washington used a similar approach at nearby Mount Vernon.

Ha-ha Wall River Farm
Ha-ha Wall River Farm

Stroll through the meadow and find a spot to soak up the views for a truly peaceful River Farm visit. 

Andre-Bluell Meadow River Farm
Andre-Bluell Meadow River Farm

The large black walnut trees date from the time of George Washington and may have been planted by his design.

Black Walnut tree River Farm
Black Walnut tree River Farm

Closer to the Potomac River, two benches offer idyllic spots for a picnic or quiet contemplation. The river views are lovely, but there is no direct access to the water's edge.

Potomac view River Farm
Potomac River View River Farm
Peaceful bench River Farm
Peaceful bench River Farm

Closer to the house, you'll find formal gardens and a rose arbor featuring a small statue of Pan.

Rose arbor River Farm
Rose Arbor River Farm
Pan scultpture River Farm
Pan Statue River Farm

If you have children in your group they will love the fun play spaces at the Children's Garden. There's a miniature “Little House on the Prairie Garden” with a mini-cabin kids can enter.

Childrens Gardens River Farm
Little House on the Prairie Garden River Farm

Other playful features include a wooden boat and a small platform and tunnel, with mini plantings to inspire budding gardens. A shady picnic area offers a nice family lunch spot.

Play spaces in the Children's Garden River Farm
Play spaces in the Children's Garden River Farm

As you walk back to the house, admire the huge Osage-orange tree next to the brick border wall. At one time it was the National Champion Tree and it is estimated to be more than 200 years old. 

Osage-orange tree River Farm
Osage-orange tree River Farm

Be sure to stop in the shop if it is open to browse the excellent collection of gardening books and gifts.

Shop at River Farm
Shop at River Farm

River Farm Location and Things to Do Nearby

River Farm is at 7931 E Boulevard Drive in Alexandria, right by the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Mount Vernon bike trail. Combine your visit with these nearby locations for a fun day trip close to Washington DC.

River Farm is open Monday to Friday, 9:00 – 4:00, and Saturday 9:00 – 1:00 (to 4:00 in fall/winter. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. Visit the AHS website for more information.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram for more fun travel in and from Northern Virginia.

Soothing Potomac River views and the colors of nature welcome visitors to peaceful River Farm, on George Washington's farmland in Alexandria Virginia.

Sharing is caring!