Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC

4.7
#10 of 38 in Parks in Washington DC
Garden · Art Museum
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Dumbarton Oaks is a historic estate in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It was the residence and garden of wealthy U.S. diplomat Robert Woods Bliss (1875–1962) and his wife Mildred Barnes Bliss (1879–1969).

The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection was founded here by the Bliss couple, who gave the property to Harvard University in 1940.

The research institute that has emerged from this bequest is dedicated to supporting scholarship in the fields of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian studies, as well as garden design and landscape architecture, especially through its research fellowships, meetings, exhibitions, and publications.

Dumbarton Oaks also opens its garden and museum collections to the public, and hosts public lectures and a concert series.

Dumbarton Oaks is distinct from Dumbarton House, a Federal Style historic house museum also located in the Georgetown area.
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Dumbarton Oaks reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
325 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • So glad we went out here, so peaceful and gorgeous gardens. The cherry blossoms had just a few people around, which was nice. We got some of our best photos here! Other gardens were beautiful as... 
    So glad we went out here, so peaceful and gorgeous gardens. The cherry blossoms had just a few people around, which was nice. We got some of our best photos here! Other gardens were beautiful as...  more »
  • We had tickets for the garden. However, it was closed due to rain. The guard very kindly allowed us to tour the beautiful museum instead. 
    We had tickets for the garden. However, it was closed due to rain. The guard very kindly allowed us to tour the beautiful museum instead.  more »
Google
  • This is a fantastic and free museum, but there are a few things to be aware of when/if you go. I almost didn’t get in because I didn’t have my COVID card (I had to go through my deleted camera roll to find it) and each person needs an ID or some sort of identification (even kids). You also cannot bring in any water bottles so you have to leave them in the lobby. The museum isn’t huge, but you’ll easily spend 45 minutes here. You probably won’t be here for more than an hour. There is free parking at the front, and there was plenty of space available when I was there. The closest metro rail stop is a mile and a half away, so you need to take the bus here if you don’t drive. This is a really cool museum, and I would highly suggest going because of how unique it is. Don’t forget to explore Georgetown if you’re in the area and haven’t been. Tudor place is close and so is the old stone house
  • This is a great museum tucked out of the way in the hills above Georgetown. It is a small museum but the collection is extensive. They cover both Byzantine and Meso-American artifacts. The information provided in each case it does a great job explaining what the artifact is and why it is culturally relevant. The museum is free so you can't beat the price.

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