Discover the Lesser Known Museums of DC

Written by Samantha Nielsen, Institute on Economics and International Affairs 

Washington, DC is home to some of the United States’ most valuable collections of art and historic artifacts. So after visiting all of the Smithsonian museums and the national monuments what else is there to see? Fortunately there are hidden treasures all around the area such as historic homes, small art museums, and patriotic organizations. Below are some of the most highly recommended sites to put on your summer to do list:

Heurich House Museum
Where: 1307 New Hampshire Avenue, NW #300, Washington, DC 20036
When: Wednesday – Friday 11:30am-1:00pm; Saturday 11:00am-2:30pm; Sunday 1:00pm-2:30pm
Cost: $5.00 ($3.00 for National Trust members)

The Heurich House Museum is one of the most intact Victorian houses in the country. It was built in the late 1800’s by German immigrant, local brewer, and philanthropist Christian Heurich (pronounced Hi-Rick). It is also the city’s first fireproof home. Heurich was Washington’s second largest landowner and the largest private employer in the nation’s capital. As the world’s oldest brewer, he ran the Christian Heurich Brewing Company until his death at 102 years of age. A visit to the “Brewmaster’s Castle” will take you back to the late 19th century, when the Heurich family resided in Washington’s premiere residential neighborhood, Dupont Circle.

Daughters of the American Revolution Museum
: 1776 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
When: Monday – Friday 9:30am-4:00pm; Saturday 9:00am- 5:00pm; closed Sunday
Cost: Free

The Daughters of the American Revolution Museum is one of Washington’s finest American decorative arts museums. The collection features more than 30,000 examples of decorative and fine arts, including objects made or used in America prior to the Industrial Revolution. Furniture, silver, paintings, ceramics, and textiles are exhibited in 31 period rooms and two galleries. The period rooms represent a wide range of dates, locations, and functions. The main gallery includes a changing exhibit space as well as racks for the display of some of the museum’s collection of historic quilts.

Corcoran Gallery of Art
: 500 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
When: closed Monday – Tuesday; Wednesday 10:00am-5:00pm; Thursday 10:00am-9:00pm; Friday – Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm
Cost: Adults $10; Seniors (62+)/Students (with valid ID) $8; Children under 12 – free

The Corcoran Gallery of Art stands as a major center of American art, both historic and contemporary. Founded for the purpose of encouraging American genius, the Corcoran’s extensive collection of 18th, 19th, and 20th century American art represents this nation’s most significant artists. The Corcoran possesses a fine collection of European art as well and is committed to making the historic art in its collections along with the emerging art of our time accessible and understandable to the broadest possible audience.

Tudor Place
: 1644 31st St, NW, Washington, DC 20007
When: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00am-3:00pm; Sunday 12:00pm-3:00pm
Cost: Adults $8.00; Seniors (62+) & Military (with ID) $6.00; Students ages 7-18 (with ID): $3.00; Garden only (self-guided): $3.00; Children 0-6: free

A house of architectural distinction in the Georgetown neighborhood, Tudor Place was home to six generations of a prominent family of Martha Washington’s descendants. Their stories and those of the servants and enslaved workers who served them animate the site, along a collection of more than 15,000 decorative arts, archival, historic and archaeological artifacts, the largest Washington collection aside from Mount Vernon. On 5½ lushly landscaped acres in Georgetown, this urban estate hosted illustrious figures including the Marquis de Lafayette, General Robert E. Lee, President Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and Daniel Webster.



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