As a resident of Arlington County, Virginia, I travel this road often for beauty and relaxation.
As a previous entry mentioned, it is a commuter route during the week.
So choose your time to ride wisely.
A 7:00 p.m. ride on a balmy summer weekend on the eastern half of the parkway from Route 50 (Roosevelt Bridge) to Mount Vernon is close to nirvana.
The flat and gently meandering road with its scenic landscape beauty and the Potomac river spanning out beside you, can put many troubles to rest.
This section also includes a ride-by of the Washington National Airport and a short trip down one of the main streets of Alexandria City.
The western portion from the Capital Beltway to the Roosevelt Bridge is a different exhilarating experience, elevated high above the Potomac with continuous forest blanketing you on both sides.
West-bound riders have the opportunity to stop at a couple of overlooks.
- Anonymous (9/7/11)
The map above shows Route 1 highlighted.
For God's sake don't go down Route 1!
(Unless you need food or fuel.)
The correct route is 400 GWMP/ South Washington St/ Mt Vernon Memorial Highway and it is beautiful, but mind your speed and stop at Ft. Hunt if you've got time.
Woodlawn Plantation and Gunston Hall are also very close to Mt. Vernon.
- Anonymous (3/13/10)
This route is only great for bikers anytime after 7PM on the weekdays and anytime on the weekend (if a major event is not going on in DC).
It's heavily used by commuters and can get pretty backed up.
- Mister Ecua (7/15/08)
From the National Park Service website: "The George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) preserves the natural scenery along the Potomac River.
It connects the historic sites from Mount Vernon, where Washington lived, past the nation's capital, which he founded, and to the Great Falls of the Potomac where the President demonstrated his skill as an engineer.
Developed as a memorial to George Washington, the Parkway may be used on any day to travel to exciting historical, natural, and recreational areas.
These places are all linked by this planned and landscaped road, the first section of which was completed in 1932 to commemorate the bicentennial of George Washington's birth.
Considered a commuter route by many local residents, the GWMP offers the traveler much more than convenience.
It is a route to scenic, historic and recreational settings offering respite from the urban pressures of metropolitan Washington.
It also protects the Potomac River shoreline and watershed.
The parkway provides a pleasant day from Mount Vernon to Great Falls, passing through the same lands George Washington frequently traveled by horse.
The Parkway links a group of parks that provide a variety of experiences to millions of people each year."
- Rider from Clifton, Virginia