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“Rewarding Addition to Viewing the Monuments”

Hillwood Museum & Gardens
Ranked #20 of 431 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.
Greendale, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
40 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Rewarding Addition to Viewing the Monuments”
Reviewed October 10, 2012

My wife and I returned to the Washington, DC area after several years. Several new monuments had been erected since our last visit. We took an excellent walking tour conducted by Walk of the Town to view the monuments. However we wanted to see other things in addition to the monuments and the Smithsonian. After some searching, I became aware of the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens located in the northwest area of Washington, DC. It is readily accessible using the metro and about a 20 minute walk. (The walk can be replaced by about a $7.00 cab ride.)

The estate is that of Marjorie Merriweather Post whose father was the founder of the Postum Cereal Company which later became General Foods. The mansion offers a collection of Russian imperial art and an 18th-century French decorative art collection, 20+ acres of many varied and beautiful gardens, a cafe and a gift shop. Initially we had planned to spend about three hours at the estate. However we ultimately wound up spending the entire day. We took a guided tour of the gardens in the morning and a guided tour of the mansion in the afternoon. Between the guided tours, we enjoyed a relaxing and enjoyable lunch in the Hillwood cafe and took a self-guided tour of the greenhouses. The greenhouses include many varieties of orchids in addition to other plants. In addition to the guided tours, one can explore anything and everything completely on their own using a printed tour guide or with the assistance of complimentary audio guides.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Bucky64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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952 reviews from our community

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Arlington, VA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Don't miss the special exhibits”
Reviewed October 8, 2012

Visiting Hillwood delights and informs. Although you can tour it on your own, it's worth booking a guided tour. The guides are extremely knowledgeable, and you get a history lesson as you view the beautiful rooms, accessories, and collectibles. Special exhibits frequently offer extra viewing pleasure. Right now, October through December, there is an amazing and almost unbelievable exhibit called Pret-a-Papier. The artist, Isabelle de Borchgrave, has created beautiful clothing out of PAPER!! You won't believe your eyes. The designs are often modeled on clothing depicted in paintings that hang on the walls. You are allowed to take photos, so bring your camera!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Marcy U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
114 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Hidden treasure”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

Unbelievable collection of unexpected treasures, hidden in a leafy garden in a quiet neighborhood off the Rock Creek Park. It gets crowded on the weekends, especially when they have some special event - so plan accordingly. Well worth visiting, even if you don't live in Washington, DC - plan to spend a good few hours, and wear comfortable shoes.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Stefanek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Puget Sound
Level Contributor
116 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“First time to visit, but will be back”
Reviewed September 26, 2012

Despite living in Washington and then visiting many times after we moved away, this is the first time we went to Hillwood. It's an interesting and attractive place, with changing special exhibits. Nice grounds and gardens.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank CathyLen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Good Taste, Good Works, Lots of Money”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

If you like fine gardens, decorative arts and Russian icons, you'll be very happy over a visit to Hillwood. Marjorie Merriweather Post, heir of the Post cereal fortune, was a mover and shaker in Washington. She hosted everyone in her lovely home including many people involved in good works.

She loved fine antiques, furniture and paintings and porcelain. Then she left the home to Park Service which has lovingly restored it and converted it into a museum.

There is also a Russian dacha in the garden containing Mrs. Post's Russian arts collection. Because most pieces were purchased while her husband was ambassador in the 1930's when the Soviets were selling off wonderful stuff it is in itself is worth a visit if you are interested in Russian Icons.

Helpful?
Thank BaltiBabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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