Despite greeting millions of tourists every year, Washington D.C. still holds a few surprises. One such gem, hidden in plain sight, is the glorious East Potomac Park, jutting out from the grounds of the Jefferson Memorial, straight down to the merge of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.
Built in 1931, the course at East Potomac Park claims to be the oldest continually operating mini-golf in the nation. As a result, the greens at East Potomac bear more resemblance to a WPA project than one of those places where you hit a Day-Glo ball in the dark or whack it into Godzilla’s mouth. This entertaining little spot also has the distinction of being the only outdoor mini-golf course in the entire District of Columbia.
Part of the network of sites overseen by the National Park Service, East Potomac Park has three regular golf courses in addition to its miniature version, a Tennis Center, as well as an Aquatic Center – all open to the public. After a round of mini golf, cross the parking lot to the Club House and the Potomac Grille for a burger (open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and try a few cool-down putts on the putting green.
Just one major, difficult-to-follow rule is clearly posted, and applies to visitors of any age: no “competitive putting”… which appears to mean no wagering on the outcome of what has been a theoretically innocent sport since its inception.
Know Before You Go
Follow Ohio Drive, SW towards East Basin Drive, SW and the Jefferson Memorial. Turn left under the Route 1 / 14th Street overpass and follow Ohio Drive into East Potomac Park.Follow Ohio Drive for about a mile, and you'll see the Mini Golf and parking on your right.