Rock Creek Cemetery

Photo of bronze female figure in Rock Creek Cemetery, credit Mr. T in DC

Rock Creek Cemetery

Imagine setting out a picnic near the graves of your ancestors. While anathema to citizens of the twenty-first century, to those living in the nineteenth a site like Rock Creek Church Yard and Cemetery beckoned both as a refuge from city life and a bucolic setting where deceased loved ones could be remembered with al fresco repasts and restful strolls.

Where is Rock Creek Cemetery?First established in 1719 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Rock Creek Cemetery was eventually expanded, landscaped following the aesthetic of the Rural Cemetery Movement, and opened to the public as a burial ground and park. Its natural rolling landscape and winding pathways beneath groves of trees make it one of the city’s most inviting spots. It is also one of the most historic, final resting place to prominent citizens of the District of Columbia.

Who is Buried in Rock Creek Cemetery?

Brewer and philanthropist Christian Heurich is buried in an ornate mausoleum. You will also encounter department store magnate Levi Leiter, writer Gore Vidal, and the indispensable Alice Roosevelt Longworth. The grave of the District official who lined the city’s streets with trees, Alexander Robey Shepherd, rises beneath specimens planted during his lifetime. Artful tombstones and breathtaking sculptures are abundant, most notable the evocative memorial to Henry and Marian Adams designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It alone is worth the visit.

"Our guide was very knowledgeable and had some great stories to share. She clearly had done her research! Could have spent the whole day learning about the place - rich in DC history. Also, taking a tour of a cemetery during Halloween season made it extra enjoyable. I’d do it again!" -  TripAdvisor reviewer

Explore more Washington, D.C. walks: Theodore Roosevelt Island and Rock Creek Park

Guides that may lead this tour: 
Portrait of Carolyn

CAROLYN attributes her devotion to walking tours to perambulations through her new hometown when she arrived to earn an M.F.A. in Acting from The Catholic University of America. She is the founder of Washington Walks.

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Saturday, November 2, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. 

Also available for private tour bookings. Please email for more information.

Approximately 2 hours
Reservations REQUIRED and limited to fifteen (15) participants on public tours.

$35 per person for public tours. 

Please email us for a private tour quote.

Embarks from Rock Creek Cemetery / St. Paul's Episcopal Church Rock Creek Parish visitor parking lot (enter using the gate located at 100 Allison Street, NW) -Closest Metrorail Station: Petworth
Questions? Answers here.

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