You may think you know Washington D.C, but until you’ve seen these 10 spots, you’re not even close!
Find out what lies beyond the White House and Lincoln Memorial and explore the nation's capital like never before with any of these 10 unique, sometimes hidden, and always breathtaking in some way or another, gems of D.C.
- National Postal Museum
Though you may not often think about it as a key component of American history, our Postal System in the U.S is quite an amazing thing! Stop by this mostly only locally known hot spot and educate yourself on the general history of early American communication, as well as see the evolution of mailboxes, advertisements, and mail-carrying transportation!
- Dumbarton Oaks
History and horticulture combine to make Dumbarton Oaks one of our absolute favorite hidden gems of D.C, a spot that not many tourists tend to stop at, or even hear about during a visit. This historic Georgetown estate served as the country home of Mildred and Robert Bliss, designed by Beatrix Farrand. The over 50 gorgeous acres hold gardens, a research library, and a home museum to visit.
- Naval Observatory
We honestly feel sorry for anyone who visits D.C and doesn’t stop at the Naval Observatory, this oftentimes overlooked Washington gem the home of the official timekeeper (the Masterclock) of the department of defense, all the recording measurements for earth's orientation (almanac and GPS) and the home of the vice president of the United States! Telescope viewings and tours are given each night after sunset, so plan accordingly next time you visit!
- Einstein Memorial
Of course, you could, and honestly should go visit the famous Lincoln Memorial, but what about another, more scientific country-loved icon, Einstein? The Einstein Memorial is a bronze statue located right outside the National Academy of Sciences that serves as a nice homage to one of the greatest minds of all time.
- Spanish Steps
More romantic and peaceful than anything else, the well-hidden Spanish Steps of Washington D.C are another must-see to top our list. These stairs were built in the early 20th century within the Kalorama neighborhood and serve as a fountain filled, secluded urban oasis, just a bit smaller than the original stairs they are modeled after in Rome. You can find this gem on S Street and Decatur NW!
- Maine Ave Fish Market
First of all, Washington D.C’s waterfront and wharf district are way too underrated. Secondly, the Maine Ave Fish Market is extremely under-appreciated by tourists, especially once you find out it is actually one of the oldest open-air fish markets in the entire country. Find the freshest catches and most scenic waterside views here in the Southwest Waterfront District, you can even find your next delicious D.C meal here!
- Technicolor Church
If you head down Delaware Avenue SW you will find a neighborhood transformed into an arts district, the abandon buildings of SW D.C undertaken by an art revitalization movement unlike any other. What will catch your eye the most, perhaps, is the large ATL artist Alex Brewer-based masterpiece known as the Technicolor Church? Talk about a vibrant gem!
- The Exorcist Steps
For those who appreciate cinema and all things spooky, you’ll love the hidden gem located near Prospect Street in Georgetown. This creepy spot is the actual location of the infamous stair scene from the 1973 horror classic The Exorcist. You can run up the stairs and see the house used in the film at 3600 Prospect NW, as well as learn all about the Georgetown alum Peter Blatty, who wrote the original novel. Just be warned, this spot is a bit scary after dark and a bit crowded near Halloween.
- Lincoln Cottage
Of course, when you are learning about Lincoln and his hotspots/ influence in D.C you will probably head to the White House, Memorial, and Ford's Theater. However, you should also head to the lesser-known Lincoln Cottage, the spot where Abe lived for a long period of time and developed the Emancipation Proclamation.
- Rock Creek Park Horse Stables
Locals love to share the knowledge about Rock Creek Park in D.C, but not many shares further information about the amazing opportunity deeper within the woods of the park, the Rock Creek Park Horse Stables. These well-hidden stables allow guests to take riding lessons, trail rides, and pony rides through the scenic spot, as well as catch rare glimpses of the historic Rock Creek Park Cemetery.
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