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“I returned to enjoy the forsythia.”
Review of Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks
Ranked #59 of 457 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed March 31, 2011

Dumbarton Oaks enjoys a long history. The garden was developed by Mildred Bliss and Beatrix Farrand. I returned in March to enjoy the breathtaking display of forsythia in bloom. The magnolias were not ready to pop, but should have within a few days. Don't miss it.

Thank peloplatino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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249 - 253 of 277 reviews

Reviewed October 8, 2010

I highly recommended the beautiful gardens and museum. We enjoyed the beautiful area and museum!

Thank HappyamI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2009

We went to the Dumbarton Oaks gardens at the end of May, and took the docent-lead tour at 2:15. The place was an unkempt mess. Lawns weren't mown. Flowers weren't dead-headed. A large display that was supposed to be under water had no water. Fountains were a dirty mess. Very little was in bloom even though it should have been a great time of year to go. Etc. Etc. Etc. Very, very disappointing. It looked like nobody had any interest in maintaining the place.

5  Thank WoodyInMass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2007

I try to visit Dumbarton Oaks a few times a year, because honestly, the beauty and peace you encounter here are a rarity in this world. Not having much of a green thumb, I can appreciate the talent and hard work that went into transforming this hilly site into lush terraced gardens. Each different space feels like a world onto itself, but they all connect and work off of each other. The Orangerie, which you encounter first, is my favorite spot when all the trees are blooming and giving off their sweet scents- nothing like it! The terrace right outside of this space offers views over the entire property. I also love the patio created by the clipped rows of trees with the Provencal fountain- it's like being in the middle of France. Forsythia Hill is a riot of color when the wild bushes are in bloom, and it's said that American spies would meet there Soviet handlers here during the Cold War- there's an isolated bench at the bottom of the hill. There's a lot more to the garden, but you get the idea- so go visit! The museum is interesting too, but the gardens are the real draw for me.

5  Thank Tablo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Houston, TX
Reviewed April 4, 2006

April 4, 2006
I have just returned from Washington, DC and visiting friends in McLean, VA. Visiting DC to see the Cherry trees in bloom was the #1 thing to do. It was GREAT! But even better, believe it or not, was visiting Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Georgetown. I had no idea what a wonderful surprise I was in for. There are 16 acres at Dumbarton and the gardens are absolutely awesome. While I was there the trees were in full bloom; Crabapple trees, pear trees, Japanese Magnolia, Cherry Trees and many more I couldn't even name! The air was filled with blossoms and color. As the sunshine was shinning down through the blossoms and the breeze gently blew through the heavily loaded trees some of the petals would float to the ground. I was spellbound!
While I was walking the grounds moving from garden to garden I was aware of how lucky I was to be there in time to see the trees in bloom yet too early to find the tulips blooming, the buds full but not ready to open. The rose bushes, all 1000 of them, filling out with their new growth but not ready to make buds quite yet, and the wisteria was just beginning to open a very few blossoms at the very top where the sunshine was brightest. I believe anytime visitors go to Dumbarton there will be a feast for their eyes with these works of art - the Gardens of Dumbarton Oaks.
I enjoyed every minute of my visit and wish I could travel from Houston, TX back to Georgetown again next month to see the new palette of color.

7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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