Instead of visiting the more mainstream National Gallery of Art, visit the Corcoran Gallery of Art
Home to an impressive collection of European and contemporary art, the Corcoran is one of the largest private museums in the District. The beautiful 1897 Beaux-Arts-style building houses a brilliant Harlem Renaissance exhibit collected from the Corcoran’s own school of design. Afterward, relax in Rawlins Park – its flowing pond full of goldfish makes it one of D.C.’s most charming retreats.
Adults – $10, students and seniors (62+) – $8, free for children under 12
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday through Sunday. Open until 9 p.m. Thursday.
500 17th St. NW
Didn’t plan for a White House tour? Instead, see another kind of residence: Dumbarton House
For all those history buffs, take a breather from dining and shopping in Georgetown and check out this historic federal house, constructed in 1798. It has been improved, renovated and added on to in stages since it was purchased by Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss in 1920. Take a humorous tour and leave with some fun facts. Did you know that residents used to pass around the chamber pot after a formal meal so gentlemen could take a group pee?
Adults – $5, children and students free
Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
2715 Q St. NW
Instead of exploring the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, check out the National Geographic Museum
With rotating hands-on exhibits, this museum is perfect for younger siblings. Check out the new “Animal Grossology” exhibit and explore the digestive tract of a cow. Enjoy the companion exhibit, “Weird But True,” featuring the wackiest and totally true facts about the animal world.
Adults – $8, students, military and seniors – $6, children ages 5 to 12 – $4
Entrance to photography exhibitions is free
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, last entry at 5:30 p.m.
1145 17th St., NW
Metro – Farragut North
Instead of taking a stroll along the National Mall, take a walking tour of Embassy Row
If you’re looking for a more international experience, beyond the patriotism of the National Mall, look no further than Embassy Row. You can travel the globe in a matter of minutes. Just stroll north along Massachusetts Avenue from Dupont Circle and explore the elegant mansions that house over 50 embassies. Don’t miss the four-acre British Embassy, called “the queen of the row.” This is a perfect way to remember that you’re in an international city.
Massachusetts Avenue –
Metro – Dupont Circle
Already seen the Lincoln Memorial? Drop by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, or the newest addition, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
Located on the Tidal Basin’s west bank, the FDR memorial is made up of four red-granite rooms that narrate Roosevelt’s presidency through the Great Depression to his infamous New Deal plan and World War II. The best view is at night, when the reflected marble shimmers in the still Tidal Basin.
Metro – Smithsonian
Instead of visiting the Washington Monument, which is closed due to earthquake damage, check out the array of memorials throughout Arlington National Cemetery, especially the Iwo Jima Memorial.
The grounds are home to many hidden memorial treasures. At the end of Memorial drive, the first site you’ll see is the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. Explore the graveyard a bit more and you will also find the Confederate Monument, the Challenger Memorial and the Nurses Memorial. The Iwo Jima Memorial, located at the cemetery’s northern end, displays the iconic raising of the flag over Mt. Suribachi.
Metro – Arlington Cemetery
This article appeared in the October 13, 2011 issue of the Hatchet.