While we all know of the popular monuments, museums and memorials that make Washington DC so famous, there are many less famous points of interest worth discovering. When you’re getting ready to visit our nation’s capital, here are a few of the city’s hidden gems you should consider including on your itinerary.
This once abandoned Baptist church in Southwest DC was transformed into a work of art in 2014 by Atlanta artist Alex Hense Brewer. Now an eye-catching, colorful and vibrant icon in what was a dwindling DC neighborhood, the Technicolor Church is located at 700 Delaware Avenue and is truly a site to see. Make sure to bring your camera! Since its completion, the neighborhood has evolved into a hub for artists with a new art museum in the works just across the street from the church.
This hidden gem is considered by many to be the top spot for plane watching in the USA. Located on the edge of the Potomac River, Gravelly Point is easily accessible. You’ll find you’re not the only one hanging out to watch in wonder as the planes fly directly overhead every 3 to 5 minutes.
Located within Dumbarton Oaks Gardens, this really cool pond is not only pretty, but it also plays music! There are speakers mounted on acrylic pipes that stick out of the water and through them visitors can hear the melodies of bird songs, wind, bamboo percussion instruments and other sounds that have been recorded from within the gardens. An amphitheater surrounded by lush foliage makes the experience one-of-a-kind.
Bet you never heard of this DC museum. Most folks haven’t; but truth be told, it’s not only one of the most unique concepts when it comes to museums, but it’s also totally cool. Here, you’ll learn all about the history of drugs, drug addictions and drug law enforcement in the United States. There are hosts of intriguing exhibits, displays and interactive stations as well as educational programs. Learn about the Columbian cartels, the bundles of pot that were dropped over San Diego and much more.
Located at the top of a hill in Georgetown’s Oak Hill Cemetery, this Gothic Revival chapel looks like something out of a storybook, especially if you visit on a foggy day. Sometimes referred to as a miniature Gothic gem, it was built in 1850 by James Renwick.
Built in the early 1880s, the Summerhouse was designed by architect Frederick Law Olmsted. It was created to offer a quiet place for visitors to the capitol to rest and enjoy a refreshing drink of water. Its construction of red brick is shaped in the form of an open hexagon and it has a unique basket-weave design to it. A beautiful and relaxing spot, this hidden DC gem is worth a view while you’re in the area. Be sure to check out the fountain in the center, which is where guests could get a drink of water piped in from a spring.
Bet you didn’t know there was an Albert Einstein Memorial in Washington DC! Don’t worry though, because you’re not alone. It’s often overlooked in the shadow of all the other striking memorials and monuments in the city. It’s located in a grove of trees on the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences, which is very close to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A 21-foot bronze statue of the famed physicist sits amongst holly and elms trees and at the base features a sky map of the universe with 2,700 stainless steel markers that create a celestial map. Be sure to get pictures; it’s a must-see.