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“Lovely secluded gardens on a historic property” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks
1703 32nd Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20007
12023396410
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Ranked #50 of 484 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Activities: Group tours/walking tour, City walk sightseeing
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Dumbarton Oaks is an institute of Harvard University dedicated to supporting scholarship internationally in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies through fellowships, meetings, exhibitions, and publications. It opens its doors to the public to visit its historic Gardens, designed by Beatrix Farrand; its Museum, with world-class collections of art; and its Music Room, for lectures and concerts.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
261 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
“Lovely secluded gardens on a historic property”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

Dumbarton Oaks is a delightful little park/gardens with a small museum on the property. It is in a very moneyed neighborhood of Washington DC. It is definitely off the beaten path but a favorite for locals looking for a lovely place to stroll.

Visited July 2013
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162 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tysons Corner, Virginia
Level Contributor
164 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Fall Colors”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

Such beautiful fall colors in the heart of the capital city. Well maintained garden and paths, breathtaking views and friendly staff directing you to the right places. After the garden visit make sure to visit the museum, where you can easily spend minimum an hour touring. There is too much to see in both outdoor and indoor. Fee is between March 15 to Oct 31 for the gardens. Museum is always free.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
69 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Interesting Place to Visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

It has a beautiful garden as well as an eclectic museum. It is tucked away in an elegant neighborhood full of mansions and traditional townhouses. Worth the trip.

Visited June 2013
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“A Hidden Gem!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

Dumbarton Oaks is one of the most unusual and special places in Washington DC. It has spectacular gardens as well as a world-class Pre-Columbian Collection, Byzantine Collection and a Renaissance Music Room that takes one's breath away! The museum is free (although there is a fee for the gardens). It is located in upper Georgetown. It is now owned by Harvard University and also houses a research center. It should not be missed. I would not suggest the museum for young children, although people of any age will enjoy the gardens.

Visited October 2013
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Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
772 reviews
342 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 433 helpful votes
“EXCELLENT TOUR OF EXTENSIVE, VARIED AND BEAUTIFUL GARDENS”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

Four of us visited the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks yesterday. It was a highly enjoyable experience. The admission was a mere $5 each and the guided tour lasted at least 45 minutes. The docent did a wonderful job of taking us through the property and showing us the areas to explore on our own. We were told the remarkable history of the place, a work of labor of the owners, the Bliss family working with remarkable landscape architects including Beatrix Farrand. There are at least a dozen different garden areas on the property and because of the many seasons represented one should come here often beginning at the end of March.

Today Dumbarton Oaks is an institute of Harvard University dedicated to supporting scholarship internationally in Byzantine, Garden Landscape, and Pre-Columbian relics. Once you are done touring the gardens go around to the 32nd street entrance and visit the extensive and well described Pre-Columbian and Byzantine collection assembled by the Bliss family and Robert Woods Bliss in particular. The Blisses once owned about 25-30 acres at the current site but sold or donated land that now consists of the Danish Embassy and an adjacent park for hiking. We highly recommend that you visit this site. After you are done, you can walk the adjacent beautiful Georgetown neighborhoods and enjoy the unique architecture of many of the homes.

TWO TIPS: There is a nice gift shop at Dumbarton Oaks that is worth the visit! And parking can be tight. If you go during the week in off-peak seasons parking is pretty accessible on 32nd street in front of the inside Byzantine/ Pre-Columbian museum. We had no trouble parking yesterday and parking was free for two hours.
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Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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