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.
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