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“Amazing” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hillwood Museum & Gardens

Hillwood Museum & Gardens
Ranked #19 of 418 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Hillwood, the grand estate of Post Cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, sits on 25 acres overlooking Rock Creek Park in northwest Washington DC. Along with a world renowned collection of Russian and French decorative arts, Hillwood also features extensive gardens and special exhibitions.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2012

Lots of Russian items bought just after the Tzar fell.

Thank mdeeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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922 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Warren, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
1,076 reviews
655 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,577 helpful votes
“Stunning Mansion; Splendid French and Russian Antiques”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2012

Marjorie Merriweather Post lived in style, verified by her mansion/museum and gardens just minutes from downtown DC. She was a connoisseur of fine art and antiques, particularly from eighteenth century France and from the court of the Tsars of Russia. Her collections include splendid French furniture and tapestries, Imperial portraits and objets d'art from the Romanov Dynasty of Russia, a Sevres dinner service that belonged to Cardinal de Rohan, and two Imperial Faberge Easter eggs. The main hall and grand stairway showcases a splendid Imperial portrait of Empress Catherine the Great surrounded by dozens of other royal portraits and lit by an immense rock crystal chandelier. These and other treasures are displayed in her palatial home and reveal a woman of taste, a diplomatic hostess, grande dame, emancipated businesswoman, and philanthropist.

The grounds adjacent to Rock Creek Park are beautifully manicured and include formal parterre gardens, a Japanese garden, woodland paths, and a pet cemetery. A Dacha and Adirondack cabin are used for special exhibition and garages and carriage houses have been converted to a cafe. Visitors can explore the large greenhouses on the property and watch a film about Mrs. Post in the comfortable visitor center.

The museum accommodates only so many guests per day, so it's a good idea to call ahead for a reservation. Don't miss this jewel box of a museum! Come and spend a day and enjoy the Hillwood experience.

Visited December 2011
3 Thank redeco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
178 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 24, 2011

Visit in spring or hiloiday time to see this hiiden gem in DC's museum lineup. Full of goodies, including a huge Russian collection including Sevres, Faberge and more...make reservations well in advance.

Thank nursely
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“See what a cereal fortune will buy you...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2011

Hillwood was the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress to the Post cereal fortune. (Yes, there's a lot of money in Shredded Wheat.) The home that is now Hillwood was built in the 1920s, and Post bought it 1955 with the intention of turning it into the museum it is today. Several rooms are given over to Post's extensive collection Russian antiquities, while others - including the formal dining room, kitchen and bedrooms - have been preserved in their 1960s splendor.

I visited in December 2011. The self-guided tour starts with a short film in the visitors center. Admission includes the audio tour, which I highly recommend. The house was decorated for Christmas and the formal dining room was laid out just as it was for a dinner to celebrate the 1966 wedding of Post's daughter Dina Merrill and Cliff Robertson.

The Russian antiquities collection takes up several rooms on the ground floor. It's certainly impressive, and the collection includes two Faberge eggs. The upstairs features a few guest rooms and Post's bedroom which is a veritable assault of pink. Even my date said she thought it was way too much pink.

The gardens and grounds aren't terribly extensive, but are nicely laid out. The Lunar Lawn arcs around the back of the house and features a terrace with a view of the Washington Monument. The Japanese garden is nicely done. The greenhouses near the visitor center are worth a look, particularly if you like orchids.

The cafe is small and can get a little crowded inside if folks are getting things to-go, but there is ample outdoor seating. We just popped in for coffee and a cookie to go. Both were delicious.

All in all it was a good visit, even in early winter. I would definitely come back in the spring when the grounds are in full bloom.

Visited December 2011
1 Thank NoVA_Alex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Great trip!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2011

Brilliant and fabulous gardens. Must see on your trip to DC.

Thank anaussietourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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