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DC's Hidden Gems for Tourists

Arlington, VA
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DC's Hidden Gems for Tourists

While I am local, I find this forum the be very informative. I often have guests in town and they have seen all the standard tourist sites (musuems and monuments). Next time they are in town I'd like to send them to some"hidden gems". Some of the places I can think of are:

Library of Congress - http://www.loc.gov/loc/visit/

Great rotating exhibits. Fantastic architecture.

National Building Museum - http://www.nbm.org/

One of my personal faves. Gotta get the tour !! The Museum was designed in the 1880s by Montgomery C. Meigs to house the Pension Bureau. The building's exterior dimensions are 400 feet by 200 feet, and 75 feet high to cornice level. The rotating exhibits are interesting and are related to architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning.

Botanical Gardens - http://www.usbg.gov/

Gravelly Point - …aol.com/washington/entertainment/venue.adp…

If you like planes you will love this place. This park sits on the Virginia side of the Potomac right at the end of the runway for National Airport. Every few minutes a plane SCREAMS overhead to land or take off (depending on which way the wind blows)

So, posters... what are you hidden gems for tourists???

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1. Re: DC's Hidden Gems for Tourists

Hiya Kvandy~

What about the congressional subway going from one of the Congressional Office Buildings to the Capitol. I haven't been on it in years, but as I remember, except for the times immediately before a vote, visitors are allowed to ride it too. To get in the buidling, just say you are visiting your congressman.

Do you have better details than my feeble old mind can remember...?

Also, for one of the cleanest public toilets I've found anywhere around the mall which is not in a museum, try the ground floor of the Lincoln Memorial, just to the left of the steps up.

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Lincoln Memorial
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2. Re: DC's Hidden Gems for Tourists

I would usually say Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown, but the musuem is currently closed - nice gardens, though, and they are still open...http://www.doaks.org/

Also, the Phillips Collection near Dupont Circle is missed by a lot of visitors:

http://www.phillipscollection.org/

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Arlington, VA
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3. Re: DC's Hidden Gems for Tourists

Some great suggestions. How about the rest of you locals -- what are you favorite hidden gems for tourists?

DC
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4. Re: DC's Hidden Gems for Tourists

Hiya Kvandy~

This may sound rather ghoulish, but I like walking around the Dumbarton Cemetary (I think that's the name) in Georgetown.

Some of the tombstones and mausoleums predate Washington DC itself. The carvings are amazing. I especially like it on an autumn day when there are piles of leaves rustling around my feet.

Then, if I am showing people around, I take them over to see the Exorcist Steps. Still, so many years after the movie, people still like to see the steps.

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5. Re: DC's Hidden Gems for Tourists

Hi! I love Dc and we spend about a week there every May! Stay in Crystal City. We love the 4 mile bike path, then biking out to Gravelly Point. We also like biking or walking the C&O Canal path to the falls. Eastern Market on a Saturday Morning is really cool too. They have a great flea market. I bought some wonderful pottery there. Hope this helps!!

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6. Re: DC's Hidden Gems for Tourists

Hey Devlin --

Where are the Exorcist steps? That sounds fun. Never knew they were in DC!

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7. Re: DC's Hidden Gems for Tourists

McCarthys5---The "Exorcist steps" are at the bottom of M Street by the Key Bridge, west of the intersection of Wisconsin and M. When I worked at Georgetown, I used to walk down them every once in a while. I noticed that unlike the movie, there is no house right next to them!

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8. Re: DC's Hidden Gems for Tourists

oops! I should have said that the steps are on M Street---not on the bottom of M Street!

DC
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9. Re: DC's Hidden Gems for Tourists

The steps are in the back of the gas station right where M Street meets Key Bridge. You have to walk to the back of the gas station and those are the stairs. As others' have said, there is no house next to the stairs at top as there was in the movie. They built a false facade to the house at top so that the priest could jump out the window and fall down the stairs.

Betcha they'll be a lot of people there tonight!

Boo!

Cheers,

Dev

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10. Re: DC's Hidden Gems for Tourists

I always take my guests for a drink on the rooftop of the Washington Hotel. Great views. Also, Tabard Inn on N Street.

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