Five Hidden Gems of DC
Check out these spots in the District before the semester is over
Every AU student knows about the big places in D.C. that everyone needs to go to like the National Mall, C & O Canal and Smithsonian Museums, but what about the places that only longtime residents know about? Hidden gems are all around the city— here are five worth checking out.
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
If fancy houses and Russian culture interest you, then this is the place for you. Only a short walk from the Van Ness Metro station, it was once the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, owner of the General Foods corporation and one of the District’s biggest socialites during the first half of the 20th century.
The Mansion contains an enormous collection of Russian and French art, and the dining room and theater room are both stunning in their grandeur. Outside, numerous gardens surround the estate, including the Japanese Garden, a peaceful oasis of ponds, waterfalls, stepping stones and cherry trees. Open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Admission to Hillwood is $10 with student I.D. It is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 4155 Linnean Ave., NW
Metro: Red line, Van Ness-UDC station
A unique Capitol Hill destination that is thankfully free from politics, the eastern market has been open for business since 1873 and is one of the oldest buildings in D.C. The outdoor portion of the market has everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to old campaign pins and comic books. Inside, people are busy ordering fresh meats, fish and baked goods from local vendors.
Eastern Market is also a great place to people watch as it attracts locals and tourists alike. The outside market is open from 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, and the inside market is open Tuesday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The market is closed on Mondays.
Where: 225 7th St., SE
Metro: Orange, Blue or Silver line, Eastern Market station
This elusive island is worth checking out if you a nature lover or trail runner. The island serves as a memorial to its namesake, with a statue of Teddy at the center. It is a fitting place to honor a man who cared so deeply about the environment. It’s a little bit of a trek to get to the island;make sureto walkto the pathleadingto the islandfrom the Rosslyn metro stop. The island is open year-round 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Where: George Washington Memorial Parkway northbound lanes between Roosevelt Bridge and Key Bridge, Arlington, VA
Metro: Orange, Silver or Blue line, Rosslyn station
Most people don’t know that for a good part of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, he didn’t live in the White House. Due to security concerns during the Civil War, Lincoln lived in this elegant cottage in Northwest D.C..
President Lincoln’s Cottage is a fascinating place for history buffs and ordinary visitors alike. It was here that President Lincoln developed the Emancipation Proclamation. The cost of entry is only $15. The visitor center is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sundays. Cottage Tours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. It is strongly recommended that you purchase a ticket in advance because it is the only way to guarantee a spot on a tour.
Where: 140 Rock Creek Church Rd., NW
Metro: Green or Yellow line, Georgia Avenue-Petworth station
Get your creativity on at this one-of-a-kind museum. The museum is only a small part of what makes up the Mansion on O Street; there’s a luxury hotel, club and conference room.
The Museum has trap doors, secret passageways, a collection of 20,000 books, signed guitars and other memorabilia. It’s a unique experience beyond any other in D.C. A variety of different tours are offered at the mansion, the cheapest option is $15 it is offered daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m depending on availability.
Where: 2020 O St., NW
Metro: Red line, Dupont Circle station