Glen Echo Park

Glen Echo Park

Quick Facts

Glen Echo Park


(520) 645-0401

Map Directions

Things To Do



Glen Echo Park is a wonderful park located on the Potomac palisades near Bethesda, Maryland. Originally a Chautauqua retreat, then an amusement park, this National Park now presents vibrant arts and cultural programs

Glen Echo Park began in 1891 as a National Chautauqua Assembly "to promote liberal and practical education." By 1911, it transformed into DC's premier amusement park until it closed in 1968. Since 1971, the National Park Service has owned and operated the site with the help of the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture and offers year-round cultural and recreational activities.

Activities include classes in ballroom dance, pottery, painting, photography, art glass, music, silversmithing and textiles. Puppet shows, dance and theater performances, and live music are also popular with visitors. A centerpiece of the park is the historic the antique hand-carved and hand-painted Dentzel carousel, saved by community effort. It operates four days a week from May through September. The Gallery and Bookshop features park artists in its exhibits. Ranger-guided historic tours tell the story of the park.

Map of Glen Echo

Latitude, Longitude: 38.967603, -77.139534



  • Historic Sites

    Glen Echo Park is a unique National Park. This land was saved for its natural beauty as a buffer along the Potomac palisades.

    Visitors may guided tour or watch a film and learn the about the history of Glen Echo Park or take class in pottery, painting, photography, dance or glass art, music, silver smithing or textiles. There are also puppet shows and theater performances. A popular activity is taking a ride on the historic Dentzel Carousel.

    Glen Echo Park is special place where art and culture is offered and is host to a number of resident artists and arts organizations, a thriving social dance program, a restored 1921 Dentzel Carousel, an environmental education program for children and numerous classes in many art forms.

  • Picnicking

    There are a number of picnic tables in the park.


The grounds of Glen Echo Park are open daily from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. (the next day). The park is closed on Thanksgiving Day and December 25. Dentzel Carousel is open May through September.



By Car From the Capital Beltway From Maryland, take the Capital Beltway (I-495) to exit 40 (Cabin John/Clara Barton Parkway). From Virginia, take the Capital Beltway (I-495) to exit 41 East (Clara Barton/Cabin John Parkway, towards Washington).

In both cases, stay in the leftmost lane of the Parkway and travel 2.5 miles. Take the exit from the Parkway marked MacArthur Boulevard/Glen Echo. Note: this is a left exit. Travel slowly on the exit and follow the sign to MacArthur Boulevard. Turn left onto MacArthur Boulevard. Go two blocks to Oxford Road (just past the Glen Echo shopping center) and turn left into the Glen Echo Park parking lot.

By Car From Downtown Washington, D.C. Follow Massachusetts Avenue in the Northwest direction to its end at Goldsboro Road (Maryland Route 614) in Bethesda, Maryland. Turn left on Goldsboro Road and follow it to its end at MacArthur Boulevard. Turn right on MacArthur Boulevard and take the first left at Oxford Road into the parking lot.

Public Transportation

Take Montgomery County Ride-On bus #29 operating daily from the Friendship Heights metro station on the Red Line. For information on rates and schedules visit

Phone Numbers


(520) 645-0401