Off the beaten path in Washington DC

Mar 12th, 2013, 09:33 AM
  #1  
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Off the beaten path in Washington DC

I live about an hour and a half from DC and have been several times. We are spending this Friday-Sunday in DC and I'm looking for something new or different that I haven't been to before.

The main reason that we are going is to check out the new MLK memorial and just to spend a weekend away.

We have visited most of the Smithsonian museums, the Newseum and the Spy Museum. I've been wanted to tour the Pentagon, but I've waited too late to reserve a spot. We have also already hit the major monuments and Arlington Cemetary.

I'm looking for little known spots that a lot of visitors overlook. I welcome your thoughts!
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Mar 12th, 2013, 09:40 AM
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If you have not been to the FDR memorial, it is near the MLK Memorial and it is nice also.

http://www.nps.gov/frde/index.htm
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Mar 12th, 2013, 09:40 AM
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Not "little known" but a lot of visitors overlook it
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Mar 12th, 2013, 09:53 AM
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Yep - I have seen the FDR Memorial. I find that one quite interesting, it's very different than a lot of the other memorials on the Mall.

Thanks
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Mar 12th, 2013, 10:20 AM
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Have you taken the short drive up to the Great Falls of the Potomac and checked out the locks and hiked along the tow path?
emalloy is online now  
Mar 12th, 2013, 10:46 AM
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Among the Smithsonians:

American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery
Freer and Sackler Galleries
Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly
Postal Museum

In DC:

Women's Museum of the Arts
National Bullding Museum
Corcoran Gallery
Phillips Collection
Texitle Museum
National Museum of Health & Medicine (Walter Reed)
Eastern Market
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
Dumbarton Oaks
National Cathedral
Library of Congress
Folger Shakespearean Library
Theodore Roosevelt Island
Woodrow Wilson House
President Lincoln's Summer Cottage
National Geographic Museum


In Alexandria:

Torpedo Factory
Christ Church
Carlisle House
Woodlawn Plantation/Pope Leighy House
Alexandria National Cemetery
Masonic National Temple
obxgirl is online now  
Mar 12th, 2013, 11:02 AM
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You can still take a self tour of the Pentagon 911 Memorail as it is outside.

I highly recommend going about an hour or 2 before dusk to understand the meaning behind the design of the Memorial as it relates to the plane that hit the Pentagon and position of each individual Memorial.

Dusk brings another view as the lights of the Memorial come on. The memories will stay with you. The website is helpful.

http://www.pentagonmemorial.net/


Also rec the US Bureau of Engraving. Fascinating tour of our our paper money is made and you will see TONS of money.

http://www.moneyfactory.gov/wdctourtickets.html
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Mar 12th, 2013, 11:09 AM
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good list for DC by obxgirl although don't really think most are "little known spots."
One correction in her list is that The National Museum of Health and Medicine is not in DC. It's in Silver Spring, MD.
I would also add the Renwick and the Kreeger Museum on Foxhall Rd. NW.
The Hillwood Museum and Gardens are nice.
Right outside DC (I believe its considered in Alexandria) is the Frank Lloyd Wright Pope-Leighey House.

In Dupont Circle there are many nice little art galleries to explore.

Have a fun weekend!
yestravel is offline  
Mar 12th, 2013, 11:31 AM
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I agree my list isn't "little known" spots but they are places that often don't make the 1st, 2nd or even 3rd time visitor's list.

Agree about Renwick and Kreeger. I love the Renwick and I really like the Kreeger.

>>Right outside DC (I believe its considered in Alexandria) is the Frank Lloyd Wright Pope-Leighey House.<<

Included on my list with Woodlawn Plantation and it is Aleandria, south of Old Town on Route 1 headed towards Fort Belvoir. Speaking of which co-located near Woodlawn/P-L House is Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill, associated with Mount Vernon but has, I think, a separate entrance fee.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 11:47 AM
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oops, sorry I missed it on your list....
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Mar 12th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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Some great ideas.....

I have been to the Pope-Leighey house, I'm a bit of a FLW nut, so I visit all the houses that I can. This one is a bit different than a lot of his houses, built for the everyman, it is very small and has some great features like the wall that completely opens onto the patio.

I have done the Great Falls on the Potomac, and it was a lot of fun. It is going to be a bit rainy this weekend as well...

Someone mentioned a torpedo factory - that definately tweaked my interest - can't say that I have visited one of those before!

There are some others that you guys mentioned as well - I'll have to do a little research. Thanks!
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Mar 12th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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The first three here require a car, which I assume you'll be driving.

The Frederick Douglas House and museum is a real gem - often overlooked, even by locals. It also has the best views of DC. Afterwards, walk some of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail - gorgeous.

The National Arboretum is another great place - anytime of year but particularly in spring. Bring a picnic (the best spot for one is riverside at the bottom of Hickory Hill (near the Asian collection).

In high summer, The Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens are magical...

Eastern Market om weekends, particularly in the morning.

The Art Museum of the Americas is small but a real wowser. Always has GREAT exhibits. http://museum.oas.org/ Close enough to be combined with WWII memorial, reflecting pool, or Constitution Gardens pond (another good picnic spot).
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Mar 12th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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Just looked up the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria. It looks very cool, but a little disappointed that they don't actually make torpedos!
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Mar 12th, 2013, 12:32 PM
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<<>>

Torpedo Factory now houses artists studios.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 01:09 PM
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>><<>>

Then possibly at the US Navy Museum at the Washington Navy Yard to your list. In addition to seeing the museum you can tour a retired destroyer.
obxgirl is online now  
Mar 12th, 2013, 01:15 PM
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The Anderson House:
http://societyofthecincinnati.org/an..._house/history

Another vote for the Textile Museum. Also, it's hardly unknown, but what about the zoo?

It's probably too late, since they're popular, but you could check for space on a tour of the Diplomatic Rooms at the State Department:
https://diplomaticrooms.state.gov/home.aspx
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Mar 12th, 2013, 01:21 PM
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My top four off the beaten path spots are:
Dumbarton Oaks, in (upper) Georgetown: there is a small museum, but the gardens are the real attraction, gorgeous in any season. http://www.doaks.org

Hillwood, also mentioned above: this is a must-do, for the house and its splendid contents and the beautiful gardens. http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

Tudor Place, around the corner from Dumbarton Oaks: an historic 19th century house in Georgetown. http://www.tudorplace.org/the-house.html

The Lincoln Cottage: Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln summered here when he was President. IME, almost no one knows about it, but it's a real gem. It's on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. http://lincolncottage.org
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Mar 12th, 2013, 02:31 PM
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The Diplomatic Rooms were the highlight of our first trip to D.C.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 09:11 PM
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The Government Printing Office bookstore is more interesting than you might think; on occasion there are exhibits to tour as well. It's only open on Federal workdays, though.

The National Shrine in NE is the largest Catholic church in the Americas and is quite beautiful to tour.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 10:44 PM
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I have been to the National Shrine. I don't believe it's as beautiful as some other large churches, including St. Patrick's in New York. But, it is more fascinating. Different ethnic Catholic groups sponsored different altars and side shrines and it is unlike any other Catholic Church I have been to. Click my name for a report if you are interested.

I regret that we did not get to Ford Theatre on our trip last summer. Schedule got too busy. I felt like it was a moment that changed America and should not be forgotten. Next trip...

And the Martin Luther King JR Monument is indeed well worth seeing. We went as it was just beginning to be dusk and it was lovely light and very moving.
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