Everybody knows all about the big name monuments and the famous museums, but there’s more to Washington, D.C. than that. D.C. is a city full of treasures, hidden gems, and important spots tourists never see. If you’re looking to explore the less-traveled paths of our nation’s capital, check out our suggestions for your next vacation.

The Phillips Collection

David Smith, "Untitled." Image credit: Phillips Collection website. David Smith, "Untitled." Image credit: Phillips Collection website.
This tiny gallery of Post-Impressionist and modern art is hidden in the charming historic neighborhood of Dupont Circle. It’s not near any of the other galleries or art museums, so it’s often overlooked in a larger touring schedule. But art lovers will enjoy the fine selection and unique pieces located in this renowned gallery.

Frederick Douglass’ House

Image credit: National Park Service. Image credit: National Park Service.
This is one of those historic sites that most people miss unless they’re residents or natives of D.C. Because it’s located in the Southeast quadrant of the city, most tourists don’t make it that far, but it’s worth the trek. See where one of the leaders in the abolitionist movement in America lived and take a guided tour of his home.

Dumbarton Oaks Museum

Image credit: Dumbarton Oaks website. Image credit: Dumbarton Oaks website.
Part museum, part research library, Dumbarton Oaks is located a bit east of Georgetown University. They have amazing collections of Byzantine and pre-Columbian artwork, plus some gorgeous manicured gardens outside. Devote an hour or two to exploring their impressive holdings and leave feeling enlightened. As a special bonus, admission is totally free!

President Lincoln’s Cottage

Image credit: President Lincoln Cottage Facebook page. Image credit: President Lincoln Cottage Facebook page.
You’ve hit up the Lincoln Memorial, now it’s time to visit the President’s escape from the stresses of the Civil War. The Lincoln Cottage, bordering the Petworth neighborhood of Northeast DC, has been lovingly preserved and is now open as a museum. Take a guided tour of this impressive Gothic Revival house and see Lincoln from a whole new perspective.

Old Stone House

Image credit: National Park Service. Image credit: National Park Service.
The oldest unaltered building in the entire city, the Old Stone House in Georgetown dates back to the pre-Revolutionary War era. Built in 1765, the building has been carefully preserved throughout the centuries and has been classified as a national historic site. A visit here is a great complement to places like Mount Vernon when it comes to learning about colonial history in D.C.

Save on Admission to Other Favorites

So the next time you’re trying to find something a little unconventional to through in your Washington, D.C. vacation itinerary, consider checking out one or more of these places. They’re cultural, historical, and totally unique. And if you want to include visits to these sites alongside visits to some of the most popular D.C. attractions, pick up a Washington DC Explorer Pass® and save money on admission to some of the top tours, museums, cruises, and more. Washington DC Explorer Pass