Summer is a great time for DC residents to explore new places around town since the most well-known spots are inundated with tourists. And on a nice day, might I suggest Roosevelt Island in the Potomac River. The small island is accessible only from the northbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway (there’s a big ole sign right before the turnoff). You could also take Metro and get off at Rosslyn, but it would be a decent walk.
The island is flat with a couple of trails, one of which goes around the entire perimeter. There are a few nice places to stop, and you can see Georgetown from one vantage point. And there’s a fair amount of wildlife to be seen. If you’re looking for solitude, this isn’t the place to go. It’s a popular spot with runners and people walking their dogs. But it’s the perfect thing to do if you only have a few hours and want to be outside. In the center of the island is an impressive statue of Teddy himself with several fountains.
There’s a not-too-large parking lot for the island, and if it’s a nice afternoon on a weekend, you will probably have to wait to park. But people are constantly coming and going, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. Bikes aren’t allowed onto the island itself, but there’s a bike rack right before the footbridge to go to the island.
If you like tours, you’re in luck, as ranger tours are offered. Also good to note, there’s, strangely enough, bathrooms with European-style toilets.