Mar 222017

There are tons of obvious things for travelers and tourists to do in Washington DC. They will be wonderful and exciting and they will also be packed full of tourists and kind of boring after a trip or two. On your next trip to Washington DC instead of making a beeline to the usual hotspots consider a detour through some of these hidden gems in DC. Sometimes the most fun and interesting experiences in any city are off the beaten path, unknown locations full of potential and stories! Happy Exploring!

Hidden Gems in Washington DC

Secret Singing Gardens
Okay so the gardens don’t actually sing but they do play some awesome music! On your next trip to Washington DC this hidden gem is sure to ignite your inner sense of childlike wonder. Technically it’s called a “soundscape” but the combination of the music being piped through the underwater speakers, bouncing off the outdoor auditorium type seating creates the ultimate in musical experiences. Not only can you experience the awesome audio entertainment of the Lover’s Lane Pool, you can also explore all of the gardens! In spring and summer the gardens are truly magical experience! Check out the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens the next time you are in DC.

Karate Kid Style Zen
While we are on the topic of gardens we should mention that at the National Arboretum you can find our next hidden gem in Washington DC. There are a wide variety of bonsai trees on display at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. As you can image some of these bonsai trees are extremely old. They are like little works of art! For those of you who have ever attempted ownership of a bonsai tree you will be able to appreciate the amazing artistry behind these ancient trees. Not to mention the National Arboretum is a pretty awesome experience in and of itself!

Sneaky Log Cabins
The reason this log cabin is a hidden gem in Washington DC is because it is literally hidden. Tucked inside of the Mansion on O Street is the most gorgeously sneaky log cabin. We’re not talking about a roughing it kind of cabin, we’re talking the ultimate in glamping excursions. It comes completely packed with amenities and luxuries and you can do more than just check it out for looks…you can rent the cabin and spend the night! If you are looking for an awesome and unique overnight experience you can’t go wrong with this sneaky log cabin!

Oddball Museum
The DEA Museum is anything but ordinary. It is an awesome and unique museum choice among the hidden gems in Washington DC. The typical museum choices are not a bad plan of course, you’ll learn things, see some awesome pieces, but at the DEA museum you get to have an all-consuming experience that covers anything and everything Drug Enforcement Agency related! On top of all the awesome info and facts the museum recently had a makeover and it’s now open and ready to wow you!

Art is Every Where
There are some amazing feats of street art all around you in Washington DC. Instead of feeling cooped up with priceless, untouchable paintings in a museum, hit the streets and see what you can find! One of the most plainly hidden, hidden gems in Washington DC is the street and building art that can be found all over the city. There are numerous displays of creativity throughout the city and these hidden gems are sure to be a worthy prize for those willing to seek them out! Half the fun is in exploring the city while looking for these works of art that pop up in various locations!

We Didn’t Forget the Pets
If you are traveling with your furry friend and you want him/her to also have an epic time while exploring hidden gems in DC you may want to consider heading to Brookland to the Franciscan Monastery. Not only is the monastery huge and beautiful, once a year, in honor of Stain Francis of Assisi (the patron saint of animals), the monastery will bless your pets! Plan your trip accordingly and your furry little buddy can be part of the festival!

Traveling to Washington DC can be a wonderful and educational experience. Once you’ve hit all the typical tourist spots be sure to take a little time to journey into the city. There are so many hidden gems to explore and tons that are yet to be found! You won’t regret getting a glimpse of some of the city’s most unknown attractions. Half the fun of some of these places is the journey it takes to get there! You never know what you might discover along the way!

  84 Responses to “Hidden Gems in Washington DC”

  1. Ooh, these all sound like a lot of fun! I think I would have to hit the DEA museum and just wander around looking at street art. Great tips for getting a bit off the beaten path, thank you.

  2. These sound like such fun things to visit! I will need to remember them the next trip we take

  3. Thanks so much for sharing these! I’ve taken the family to DC a few times, but we haven’t seen everything it has to offer.

  4. My friend lived in Washington for about a year doing her doctorate and she swore it was the most interesting place she’s ever lived in. Looks like she wasn’t wrong!
    Katja xxx

  5. So many cool things to see and do in Washington DC! The cabin at the Mansion on O Street is neat. I have never heard of it before now.

  6. I have never visited D.C. I bet the gardens would be so beautiful though.

  7. I haven’t been to DC in years, but I remember the cherry blossoms being beautiful when I went. It was for a school trip so I didn’t have any choices on what to see, but the museums were great too.

  8. Great and informational post. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

  9. I have yet to visit Washington D.C. but will like to one day! I really love the street art!

  10. I’ve never been to Washington DC but it is definitely on my list of places to travel to. All these places seem really enjoyable, the Sneaky Log Cabin sounds like a fun place to stay.

  11. It has been a number of years since I last visited DC. I will have to save this post do I can visit these spots next time.

  12. It would be so much fun to visit Washington with the kids! These are pretty awesome! I’d love to visit someday soon.

  13. Oh my gosh I love that they will bless pets at the Monastery! That’s the coolest!

  14. Being from the D.C. area we take a lot of these things for granted. It really is a cool place to visit with so much to do and see!

  15. Very neat! I love posts like these that share more of the unknown and local gems in the city. You can’t get these from Lonely Planet or TripAdvisor

  16. I’ve always wanted to go here! I know I’d love that Oddball museum.

  17. The Sneaky Cabin sounds like a lot of fun! I’d definitely consider booking an overnight stay in it!

  18. I would love to travel to Washington DC! It’s a place I’ve actually always wanted to visit! If I ever get there I will have to check these all out!

  19. I haven’t yet visited DC, I have come pretty close when I visited Virginia, I will definitely bookmark this so when I visit I have an idea of places to go. These are actually my favorite types of posts to both read and write.

  20. Been to Washington DC but never heard of some of those listed. Now I have more reasons to revisit the country again. Glad I came over this post.

  21. I’ve wanted to go to DC for the longest time! Your post makes me want to visit even more.

  22. I would love to take the kids to these places. It’s always fun to learn where you can go when you visit a specific city or state. Thanks for this guide!

  23. It’s been a long time since I last visited Washington DC! It would be nice to go around and see all of these hidden gems!

  24. These are all great ideas! If we decide to travel there, this is the list to refer to! Thanks for this post!

  25. America its’ such a far away dream at the moment! I hope that we will visit one day!

  26. We have never been to Washington at all! (I’m in Canada) But it’s on our lists of places to go. It looks absolutely beautiful and sounds like there are tons of things to see and do!

  27. These look like a lot of fun things to do with kids. I want to travel more as a whole family now that my kids are older and can enjoy things like this.

  28. There is so much to do and see while in DC that I don’t know how anyone would ever be bored. Just going to all the different museums would keep you busy for ages. Get out and explore.

  29. You spiked my interest in that Sneaky Log Cabin. I think I should try that glamping thing too. I’m checking out their rates and see if we can include this in our itinerary the next time we travel to Washington DC.

  30. Looks like Washing DC is a fine place to visit… love the cherry blossoms! Thank you for sharing!

  31. I went to DC when I was first in college. I didn’t get to experience a lot of things there and I need to go back!

  32. Ahh I love the idea of bringing our dog along and having him blessed! That is such a fun idea! Thank you for this!

  33. We have never been to D.C. and would like to go. I’m making note of the DEA Museum, we’d both love that!

  34. Washington DC is one of my favorite cities to explore because there are so many hip and historical things going on. I would love to see the cherry blossom festival one year!

  35. I would love to plan a trip to Washington DC and yes the non-busy tourist areas would be much better. You know that Oddball Museum has my name written all over it too!

  36. Oh how fun do these all sound! I want to go to the sneaky log cabin! Who doesn’t love glamping!?

  37. These gardens sound absolutely magical! DC is on our bucket list of places to take our kids. I will have to make sure we check these out when we finally make it there.

  38. Having a trip to well known spots is great but finding the hidden gem is quite fascinating. I’ve never been in DC, but this post is certainly a great recommendation.

  39. I have never been to DC but I love your list. The sneaky log cabins especially!

  40. very interesting things in every city wish we could travel more. I have been there once but didn’t have much time.

  41. It’s been years since I visited Washington, DC! I want to go back sometime soon and visit the Singing Gardens at Dumbarten Oaks!

  42. Wow! This is another side of Washington, D.C. that I did not know about. I would LOVE to visit the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens to be able to see all of the gorgeous flowers, plants while listening to the music. It seems like it is a lovely place to visit.

  43. Washington DC is on our list of places to go! I kind a want to check out that secret cabin. That looks like it would be a lot of fun.

  44. I have never been to Washington DC. I would love to check all of these things out. I have it on my list of states to visit!

  45. I want to learn more about the sneaky log cabins in DC. Are they really called that? It sounds like a fun thing to do.

  46. I’ve never been to Washington DC before, but my husband has. I would love to visit someday!

  47. This is great to know! If I come to DC it’ll definitely be with my pup! We have a “blessing of the animals” at my stepfather’s church once a year, too!

  48. I haven’t been to Washington DC but I have heard there is so much to do with the family. I would love to go on a road trip sometime. I am all for hidden gems 🙂

  49. It has been so long since I have been to DC. I don’t know if any of these were around when I was up there. I would really love to go back some day and see all these great things.

  50. This is a great list. If I ever go to DC, I’ll have to remember to come back here and look it over again.

  51. I cannot wait to take my kids to DC. I love that you listed a lot of attractions that many might ow know about.

  52. I just spoke to my husband the other day and I told him I wanted to take a trip there for a few days. Thanks for sharing things we can do.

  53. DC isn’t far, but I haven’t been there in years! Thanks for the reminder to head there again. My kids would love these places.

  54. Ohhh great list! A visit to the DC area is on our summer fun list!

  55. Oh my gosh, I have toured DC a bunch of times and never knew about these hidden gems. Now I need to go back and explore all of these!

  56. These are things I have never considered checking out in Washington, D.C. I would be truly excited to check out the hidden cabin for sure.

  57. I have been wanting to go to Washington DC for quite a while. One of these days I will get there. I am slowly checking things off my bucket list.

  58. These look like some fantastic places to visit! We’ve never been to Washington DC but looks like there are some places off the beat and path that would suit us!

  59. Washington D. C. is a place I would love to visit some day. There is so much to do there and some amazingly gorgeous places to see. The art museums are what I would love to visit. Thanks for sharing these gems in Washington D. C..

  60. Next time I head to D.C, I am going to have to check some of these out. I haven’t seen soe of these.

  61. You’re right. Main attractions are not always as cool. The little ones matter too. Lovely spots you mentioned. Would be nice to go see.

  62. So many cities have hidden treasures like street art. It really makes me want to go exploring next time I visit. I’m fascinated by this D.C. list.

  63. I’m hoping to go to DC this fall, it’s absolutely gorgeous and I love the history! Hoping to tour the White House when I’m there!

  64. We live in Charlottesville VA and love making day trips to DC! I am so going to be using your list, especially this spring.

  65. Oh I wish they had something like the Singing Gardens near Denver. It sounds like such a great place to zen out!

  66. Washington DC sounds like a great place to visit. I haven’t been there before but I hope to visit someday. The secret singing gardens sound so much fun.

  67. The DEA museum sounds very interesting, especially since I just finished binge watching Breaking Bad not too long ago. I didn’t realize there was so many cool things to check out in DC, other than the most obvious of course.

  68. I have always wanted to visit Washington DC. I will have to remember these ideas when I make it there.

  69. You had me at the cherry blossoms. They’re one of my fav things about spring.

  70. The musical garden sounds awesome. I’ve never even heard of anything like it. I bet it’s relaxing and beautiful too.

  71. Wow I need to check out the secret singing Gardens when we go out there! What a great compilation you made for us here thank you so much for all of this information!

  72. Thank you for these lovely suggestions. Secret Singing Gardens sounds so cool. I would love to check this out!

  73. The secret Singing Garden and the street art sound amazing! Great suggestions

  74. We can bring pets? Hooray! I’m looking for places where I find pets are welcome. 🙂

  75. I love this so much! We were just in Washington DC and cannot wait to go back and check out some of these!

  76. I haven’t been to Washington and this looks like a great place. I like how you right, very easy to understand. Thanks

  77. I love to see the gardens one day. I am a nature-lover.

  78. Thanks so much for this! We want to go to DC soon and this list is really great.

  79. Right! This spell F-U-N! This is indeed a hidden gem I’d love to go too 🙂

  80. I live here and I’ve not heard of the Sneaky Log Cabin. It sounds interesting for sure, I’m going to look that up.

  81. Ooooo so many places in DC I had no idea were even there!!!! I will have to check some of them out next D.C. Trip!

  82. I haven’t taken my kids to Washington DC yet but it will be coming up soon! I will have to keep these places in mind! I really like that these places are not always well-advertised so that is always so much fun to check these out!

  83. I have been to DC a bunch of times but never did any of these, so truly hidden gems. Adding them to my list when we visit next.

    xx, Kusum |