The Garden at Dumbarton Oaks
During Spring when the flowers are in bloom and Fall when the leaves are turning colors, a visit to Dunbarton Oaks is a delight. Take your camera. There will be plenty of photo opportunities. Take you children, too. There are plenty of places for them to play hide and seek.
The gardens include a rose garden, an English country garden, an Orangery, geometric gardens, and a series of terraces. They were designed by Beatrix Farrand.
Museum admission: $1. Gardens admission: $3 adults, $1 seniors.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Women's Travel
Take A Walking Tour Of Georgetown
You could spend a solid day walking around Georgetown looking at the beautiful houses, including the house of the late Katherine Graham, former publisher of the Washington Post. Visit Dumbarton Oaks and its gardens, take a walk through the old Oak Hill Cemetery on the directly across the street from where Senator and Mrs. Ted Kennedy lived when they were young and beautiful. See where the President and Mrs. Kennedy lived until they moved into the White House and where she lived when she became a widow. SEe the many historical churches in Georgetown as well as the synagogue.
Take the tour on your own and pick up a picnic lunch or stop at one of the many eateries in GTown. You will have a very enjoyable day.
Or take the tour by checking out the website below.Related to:
- Women's Travel
Georgetown's Main Streets - M & Wisconsin
The intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street is the commercial heart of Georgetown.
M Street connects Pennsylvania Avenue with the Key Bridge and Canal Road, and is the main shopping and entertainment district of Georgetown.
Wisconsin Avenue starts in Georgetown just north of the Potomac River, at an intersection with K Street under the Whitehurst Freeway. This street also has a wide variety of shopping and dining, but far fewer bars and large stores.
Georgetown's Old Stone House
Georgetown's Old Stone House was built in 1765, and it is the oldest known structure in the Washington DC city limits. The house was initially built by a cabinet maker named Christopher Layman, then was expanded in 1767 by Cassandra Chew. The was was purchased by the Federal Government in 1953 and about 85 percent of the structure is the original construction.
The Old Stone House has tours available Wednesday through Sunday, 12:00pm - 5:00pm. The bookstore is open every day from 12:00pm - 5:00pm. The peaceful garden out back is open for self-tours every day during daylight.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal - Georgetown
The C&O Canal is a 184.5 mile transportation route that was built from 1828 to 1850; the plans for the final 180 miles of canal to the Ohio River were abandoned due to the growth of railroads. It runs along the northern edge of the Potomac River from its starting point in Georgetown to Cumberland, Maryland. It operated until 1924, and was essential for nearby communities to ship coal, lumber, and crops to market. The canal had 74 locks to raise ships 605 feet from DC into the Appalachians.
While much of the canal has been drained and overgrown, the towpaths along its entire length are still in use. In 1938 the US government took over the canal in hopes of converting it to a park, but plans were delayed until it was finally declared a national park in 1971. Today the park contains 20,000 acres and some three million visitors bike and walk on the old towpath. Some sections of the canal have been restored and visitors can ride park service boats through the locks with a park ranger "skipper" on board.
The only two parts of the canal I have visited are around Mile 0 in Georgetown and the area of Miles 58-60 at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The Georgetown section is very quiet in the fall, despite bustling M Street just a block away; the only people I saw on this section of trail were a few joggers and some office workers on their lunch break. When I visited the Harpers Ferry section several years ago it was busy with lots of bicyclists.
Francis Scott Key - A One Time Georgetown Resident
Francis Scott Key was from Carroll County Maryland and spent a lot of time in Baltimore, but he lived a good number of years in Georgetown. Key and his family moved to Georgetown in 1803, and they purchased a house at the corner of M & 34th Streets. Here he had a law practice, and he even served in the Georgetown field artillery init in 1813. After the British burned Washington in 1814, Key traveled to Baltimore to help negotiate the release of American prisoners. While we know he wrote the Star Spangled Banner in during this trip to Baltimore, not much is written about his later life. Key returned to DC where his legal practice flourished, culminating with him becoming the city's district attorney from 1833 to 1841. During his time as a lawyer he helped negotiate with Indian tribes and and he even prosecuted the person who attempted to assassinate President Andrew Jackson.
Francis Scott Key's former home was demolished in 1947, but on this site is a small park called the Star Spangled Banner Monument with a bust of Key, some gardens, and a tall 1814 American flag flying. Adjacent to the park is Francis Scott Key Bridge which was built in 1923 to connect Rosslyn/Arlington with Georgetown. Also, George Washington University has a residence hall in Key's honor at the corner of 19th and F Streets.
The Georgetown Reservoir is part of the larger Washington Aqueduct, America's first public water system. This system, created from 1853 to 1863, still collects water far upriver at Great Falls and feeds the city through the original aqueduct system to Dalecarlia Reservoir then Georgetown Reservoir. The aqueduct's original reservoir is located just down Reservoir Road at Book Hill Park.
The Georgetown Reservoir still holds water for this system today. The reservoir was constructed from 1858 through the 1870s, and the Army Corps of Engineers built the distinctive Georgetown Castle Gatehouse sluice gate in 1901 (some sources say 1900, some 1901, and others 1902). The reservoir is designed to remove the sediment from the Potomac River water before it flows to the city's homes.
The reservoir attracts a large variety of birds including ring-necked ducks and gulls in winter, scaup, canvasback, coots, and grebes. Since the reservoir is surrounded by a chain link fence, the birds can only be observed from the nearby sidewalk.
Potomac River - "The Nation's River"
The Potomac River runs 383 miles from the West Virginia-Maryland border to the Chesapeake Bay south of Washington DC. Some of the major cities along the river include Harper's Ferry, WV, Washington, DC, Arlington, VA, and Alexandria, VA. The river forms part of the borders between Maryland and Washington, D.C. to the north and West Virginia and Virginia to the south. At the mouth of the Potomac, the river is 11 miles wide, between Point Lookout, Maryland and Smith Point, Virginia.
Numerous famous Americans were born and lived along the Potomac. Two of the most famous are George Washington and Robert E. Lee. Of course, every President and Congressman has also resided along the river while serving in Washington DC!
Various methods have been used to navigate the river. The Patowmack Canal was envisioned and partially funded by George Washington to connect the area Georgetown with Cumberland, Maryland. Started in 1785, its five short canals were not completed until 1802, and they ceased operations in 1830. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal operated along the opposite bank of the Potomac in Maryland from 1850 to 1924 and it also connected Cumberland to Washington, D.C.
Today numerous parks line the Potomac. The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park runs is 184.5 miles along the north side of the river. Also in Maryland, south of DC, you will find Oxon Hill Farm, Fort Foot National Park, Fort Washington Park, Piscataway National Park, and Point Lookout State Park. In Washington DC you will find Georgetown Waterfront Park, Theodore Roosevelt Island, Lady Bird Johnson Park, West Potomac Park, and East Potomac Park including Hains Point. In Virginia, you'll find Harpers Ferry National Park, Balls Bluff Battlefield, Great Falls Park, Jones Point Park, Fort Hunt National Park, Mount Vernon, Leesylvania State Park, and George Washington's Birthplace National Park.
Book Hill Park - Wisconsin Ave
Book Hill Park is located at Reservoir Road and Wisconsin Avenue, NW, behind the Georgetown Public Library. This was the site of the original Georgetown reservoir that served this part of the city from 1859 to 1932. Not too long ago the park was a mess of overgrown brush and lacking amenities, but local community members have been organizing and cleaning the place up. In 2005 the remaining sections of the original 1871 fence were restored, and the signs were placed. Numerous flowers and trees have been planted on the hillside including thousands of daffodils and several cherry trees donated by the Japanese Embassy.
There is a set of stone steps leading to the top of the park. At the top there are numerous benches with views down Wisconsin Avenue, of the towers at Georgetown University, and across the Potomac to Rosslyn.
You would normally be able to enter the park from the library, but a recent fire damaged the building and access is restricted by a fence.
This resevoir was part of the larger Washington Aqueduct, America's first public water system. This system, created from 1853 to 1863, still collects water far upriver at Great Falls and feeds the city through the original aqueduct system. Just down Reservoir Road from Book Hill Park is the newer and larger Georgetown Reservoir which holds water from this system today.
The plaque on the fence reads:
"National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century
Site of the Original
Stone Wall and Iron Fence
Placed by the
District of Columbia State Society
Walk or Take A Barge Along the C & O Canal
This is a beautiful walk which you can begin in Georgetown. It is 184.5 miles long ending in Cumberland, Maryland. You can also take a mule drawn barge ride with guides dressed in colonial costume.
Some of the walk is wheelchair accessible. You can find this information on their website.
Don't walk by yourself and be sure to check the website for important information.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Women's Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park is Washington DC's largest natural area and is managed by the National Park Service. This park was founded in 1890 and consists of 1755 acres of woodlands, sports fields, trails, and a scenic steep-banked creek. Recent excavations have revealed that Native Americans had camp sites here that were used from 2500 BC to AD 1400. Rock Creek Park was home to several of the forts that formed the defensive ring around Washington DC during the Civil War, and these defensive lines were tested in 1864 in the Battle of Fort Stevens. Later the area that is now the park housed several mansions and mills along the creek.
Today the park is home to a wide variety of attractions and activities. Carter Barron Amphitheater offers concerts and Shakespearean theater during the summer. Rock Creek Park has a variety of paved bicycle paths, 30 picnic areas,15 soft-surface and 10 hard-surface tennis courts, 13 miles of dirt and gravel bridle trails, an 18-hole public course, the only planetarium in the national park system, and the Thompson Boat center that rents bicycles, kayaks, canoes, small sailboats and rowing shells. The park has coyote, fox, raccoons, owls, and deer.
VISIT AN UPSCALE GROCERY & WINE STORE
The Dean & Deluca store is interesting to visit. Their produce section is exceptional. In the back is an extensive wine selection. Many unusual food items for sale.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
- Road Trip
Kayak on the Potomac
A great way to see D.C. is from the Potomac! You can see monuments from the water.... and get a great workout while touring! A fun activity for locals as well...Related to:
CRUISE THE STREETS OF GEORGETOWN
Drive, Bike or Walk the streets of Georgetown just to see what you can see. Wonderful architecture and colors abound. Something interesting just down the block............Related to:
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
More Dumbarton Oaks Photo Ops
There are so many photo ops in Dumbarton Oaks. You wont know where to begin when selecting the ones that you want to put on VT.Related to:
- Women's Travel
801 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington DC, District of Columbia, 20037-2304, United States
Got a question about Georgetown? Get an answer from our Location locals and frequent travelers
Have you been to Georgetown? Write about Georgetown to help travelers.