There is an enormous list of monuments, museums, and must-sees for anyone who visits Washington DC. The history of the United States, as well as today’s political arena, blend with art, science, and architecture. Most tourists spend a week on the National Mall and go home thinking they have seen everything in DC.
But they are missing some of the best-kept secrets!
Want to see some sights that tourists don’t know about? Here are five places to enjoy without the crowds:
- The DEA Museum: The Drug Enforcement Agency has a renovated museum that covers everything the DEA does to manage drugs, drug abuse, and illegal drug activities. You will see permanent exhibits on the history of opium dens, patent medicines that contained illegal ingredients; the connection between heroin and jazz; and the Colombian drug cartels. There are new exhibits, as well, such as “Illegal Drugs in America: A Modern History.” Don’t miss seeing the actual bundles of pot that fell from the sky over San Diego from a plane traveling from Mexico! Located in Pentagon City.
- The Adams Memorial: Rock Creek Cemetery is a fascinating place to explore; the list of “residents” is impressive. In Section E, find a superb example of funerary art that will cause you to stop and reflect on your own life. In 1885, when writer Henry Adams’ wife, Clover, committed suicide by drinking photography chemicals (cyanide), he commissioned Augustus Saint-Gaudens to cast a grave marker for Clover. The shrouded figure represents the Buddhist idea of nirvana where there is no joy or sorrow.
- President Lincoln’s Cottage: Only open since 2008, this is where Lincoln lived for 13 months during the Civil War, and where he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. The cottage is on the Armed Forces Retirement Home property (called the Soldiers’ Home in Lincoln’s time), so advance reservations and ID are required; the tour of the cottage is guided. There are also exhibits and collections, including Lincoln’s famous carpet slippers.
- Dumbarton Oaks is a research library and collection, administered by Harvard University. Located in Georgetown, it’s called “The Home of the Humanities.” The gardens are magnificent. Visit the “Lover’s Lane Pool” and listen to the soundscape that comes from an installation with bamboo pipes. This is a lovely getaway in a busy city.
- The Titanic Memorial was authorized by Congress in 1917 and completed in 1918…many years before Leonardo DiCaprio would assume the same pose as the memorial’s statue, in the film, “The Titanic.” Also known as the Women’s Titanic Memorial, because funds for the monument were raised by American women, each contributing one dollar, to reach the $25,000 cost. The memorial honors all the men on the ship who gave their lives so that women and children could be rescued in the life boats. Set in the quiet Washington Channel Park, it’s a touching tribute.
If you’d like to know more about the sights of Washington DC, and life at University of the Potomac, contact us today.