Whether you’re starting to read all these, I’m speculating you’re taking a vacation to Washington, DC, and would like to know where to go to keep your skateboarding skills sharp. If you live in or around the D.C. area and search for places to skate, there are plenty of options! Skateparks and other spots of interest in the Washington DC area can be found all over the city, including these ten best skate parks in Washington DC.
1. East Potomac Park, National Mall
East Potomac Park is a fantastic place for skating and a great place to enjoy a sunny day. There seem to be no public places within the park, though numerous features (such as ramps and stairways) can be used. You’ll love spending time here with Capitol Hill and The Jefferson Memorial views, even when not shredding.
2. Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling
There are many public skate parks to choose from, but JBAB has to be one of our favorites. Not only is it a multi-sport complex, which means you can also try softball, tennis, and basketball at the park, but it also features an impressive 35-foot drop. However, skaters should note that not all their ramps are suitable for BMX and other extreme sports (but you’ll have fun trying). It costs $7 to use some of their facilities, so it might be more affordable to go with a friend if you don’t have a Department of Defense card. Another great plus: no car needed!
3. Theodore R. McKeldin Square
Located at 20 McKeldin Square, McKeldin Square is a long-time favorite for young skaters. The park comprises two levels and has several boxes, ledges, rails, and stairs. There’s even a mini quarter pipe right off of Baltimore Avenue that you can use to warm up before hitting some of your bigger tricks. The only drawback is that there are several benches or shaded areas now, so bring plenty of brine if you fully intend to sprint here on hot summer days. But other than that, McKeldin is a great place to get your thrills.
4. Kennedy Center Esplanade
The Esplanade is nestled right between The Kennedy Center and The Watergate. This small park is perfect for a quick picnic or to catch some rays. However, if you plan on skating at night, beware: there are not a lot of lights here, so it could be dangerous if you don’t have a light source of your own. Alternatively, you can pop over to 16th street during the winter months and hang out under those trees with your board! (But has there been word on whether or not there will be lights.)
5. Fort Dupont Park
This park has a top-ranked 4.5-acre skate park that, despite its popularity, is rarely crowded—perhaps because it’s not conveniently located near any major transportation hubs. They have actual, purpose-built ramps and grind rails and stairs, but they also have a great half-pipe and bowl. The flow course is also fantastic—they have different levels of difficulty, so you can practice at your own pace (great for when you’re first learning!). They even offer lessons every Sunday!
6. Fort Reno Park
If you’re looking for a full-fledged indoor park, Fort Reno Park is your place. When you’re trying to find a place to sit out and about with lights, this isn’t the place to go. The outdoor section features one bank wall, one mini ramp, and a flat ledge—and there are several other ramps scattered throughout. There’s also no ceiling on these spaces to protect skaters from rain and bad weather. Remember that skateboards are not allowed at Fort Reno Park or anywhere else in Rock Creek Park because they’re considered vehicles.
7. Franklin Park, Ward 7
Established in 1982, Franklin Park is one of two skateboard venues in Ward 7. While kids at Franklin Park may prefer outdoor activities, they are known to host occasional skating events on holidays such as Independence Day and Memorial Day. The facilities include a half-pipe and quarter-pipe. Sizes vary by section, but most pipes at Franklin Park are 25 feet long and 4 1/2 feet wide. Franklin Park is located on 34th Place Northeast between Benning Road and Arkansas Avenue near Eastern High School; for information about time or dates, call 202-727-4351
8. Gravelly Point Recreation Area, Arlington, VA
This hidden gem is a must-see for all skateboarders. Next to Reagan National Airport, Gravelly Point boasts smooth and rugged terrain. Even though it’s located just across from a major metropolitan airport, one can’t help but feel transported to another world when skating here. Gravesy Point has some of D.C.’s most creative terrain; there are super long banks that cater to those who like racing and tight turns and obstacles perfect for street skating and freestyle tricks. Skateboarding at Gravelly Point Rec Area is open from sunrise to sunset year-round, so plan accordingly before you arrive for your session!
9. Tregaron Conservancy, Maryland (near BWI Airport)
Located on 14 acres, Tregaron Conservancy offers a relatively large area for skaters to ride. The skating surface has various obstacles such as rails and rails (not to mention some stairs) for skaters to get their adrenaline pumping. Then there are public places, bars, and benches to rest and hold your breath. Tregaron Conservancy is an excellent place for skaters of all levels and skill sets.
10. Rock Creek Park, Glover Archbold Park, and Capital Crescent Trail
While Rock Creek Park is technically not a skate park, it’s a great place to learn new tricks and stay out of trouble. This park has many wide-open spaces and fewer crowds than many other popular parks. Glover Archbold Park features a bowl perfect for beginners or those who are still perfecting their skills on flat surfaces. And Capital Crescent Trail is an excellent place to practice tricks with few obstacles and plenty of space to keep your board under control.
So that’s a look at some of my top picks for where to go for your time off in Washington, D.C. If you find yourself with a bit of spare time and a few bucks, these are great options for having fun without breaking your bank account.
Whether you prefer to experience the culture, relax at a luxurious hotel or spend some time on an exciting adventure through our Nation’s capital, there is something here for everyone! It’s also important to remember that although we all want to save money. At the same time, we travel; it is also important not to skimp too much on safety precautions or quality services. Doing so can quickly put your life and well-being at risk and leave you with memorable regrets rather than beautiful memories!