Completely unique among the nearly 400 units of the National Park System is Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Nestled on a few acres in the Northern Virginia suburbs, Wolf Trap is known by the locals as the best place around to hear good live music, and by musicians as one of the best places in the country to perform.
In addition to the world-renowned Filene Center (an outdoor amphitheater, and the largest stage), Wolf Trap boasts two other theaters: The Barns, for smaller performances with wonderful acoustics, and the Theatre-in-the-Woods, which produces plays for children.
While the park is known for music and theater, the 100+ acres also include some lovely walking trails and picnic spots.
If You Go
Make sure to include a performance in either the Filene Center in summer or The Barns in winter as part of your plans. The most popular shows sell out, but for many events–including most of the National Symphony summer concerts–lawn tickets can be purchased at the door.
If you want to visit the park without taking in a show, bear in mind that the park closes to non-ticket-holders a few hours before each performance.
--Laura Connors, NPCA