Visiting Washington, DC is an amazing experience, but with so much to see and do, it can be hard to decide which attractions to visit. For those looking for ideas on must-see attractions, Steve from See DC Today recommends these hidden gems. Most are free or inexpensive and accessible by Metro, a short walk, or a cab/Uber from the downtown/central business district.
The Old Post Office Pavilion
1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW
The Old Post Office Pavilion is one of the oldest standing landmarks in Washington D.C., dating back to 1899. It fell on hard times in the second half of the 20th century and was finally leased out by the federal government as a luxury hotel. The stunning, Romanesque-style building boasts an incredible, 270-foot clock tower run by the National Park Service. Access the tower from the plaza beside 12th Street. The glass enclosed elevator affords a wonderful view of the hotel lobby floor on the way up, and a spectacular view of the downtown area and Virginia suburbs including Reagan National Airport and the Pentagon from the viewing platform at the top.
1600 21st Street
Established in 1921, the Phillips Collection is America’s first museum of modern art. Featuring Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pieces from renowned artists like Renoir, Monet, van Gogh and Cézanne, this museum is definitely a sight to behold. Don’t miss the exquisite sculpture garden either; it's truly breathtaking!
The Mansion on O St
2020 O St NW
You’ll want to add The Mansion on O Street to your list of landmarks if you’re looking for something a little more mysterious. A combination of 5 rowhouses on two acres - contains a museum, dining hall, hotel, and an event venue filled with thousands of antiques, art pieces, and a historical collection of Rock’n’roll memorabilia. There is maze of hidden rooms, secret doorways, and passages. The list of former guests and residents will amaze and amuse. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.
The Willard Hotel 1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW starting as a rowhouse in 1816.
The Willard Hotel has housed numerous presidents, foreign dignitaries, and celebrated guests. This hotel has a rich history and is at a prime location, right across from the White House. The lobby is well worth a walk through for its Old World charm and class. The Round Robin Bar is where Sen Henry Clay of Kentucky introduced the Mint Julep to Washington DC. Ask about President Grant in the lobby, and notice the historic plaques on the outer walls of the hotel. It's definitely one of Washington D.C.'s must see landmarks!
Washington National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave NW
The Washington National Cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks in the nation’s capital and a must-see for any visit to D.C. Built in the Neo-Gothic style, located at the highest point of the city, construction began in 1907, when the foundation stone was laid by Teddy Roosevelt. The Washington National Cathedral is the 2nd largest church building in the United States. It has witnessed the funerals of Presidents Dwight D Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, George H W Bush, and Gerald Ford as well as memorial services for several former presidents, and various other dignitaries. Woodrow Wilson is entombed here. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his last Sunday sermon here before being assassinated in Memphis a few days later. The architecture and masonry work are spectacular. The viewing platform, on a clear day, affords a view for many miles in any direction. Its beautiful stained glass windows, breathtaking interior architecture, and majestic domes make this an unforgettable experience!