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“Do not travel all the way to DC and miss this attraction. A must see”

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
Ranked #82 of 431 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Honoring the most famous African-American, this National Historic Site consists of Douglass' home and a visitor center and is dedicated to preserving his legacy of work on behalf of African Americans.
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Do not travel all the way to DC and miss this attraction. A must see”
Reviewed 8 August 2011

First thing I need to say, "please make reservations first." Standby reservations are usually not available to tour the insideof the house. The house is very large and most everthing is original. You can see the Capital from the house. I enjoyed it very much. Well worth the time. Great information given by the tour-guide.

Visited August 2011
3 Thank kao009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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129 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Vienna, Virginia
Level Contributor
250 reviews
141 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 453 helpful votes
“Let This Visit Inspire You To Learn More…”
Reviewed 16 July 2011

The Douglass House Top Ten:
1. The website: http://www.nps.gov/frdo/index.htm
2. You must take a guided tour to see the house (check website for times)
3. Tickets for guided tour are free; but there are a limited number of tickets per day (and apparently they do run out of tickets on occasion)
4. Tickets can be reserved for a $1.50 per ticket processing fee (see website) and are also available on site on a first come, first served walk-in basis
5. Guided tour of the house (which is nicely air conditioned) lasts approximately 30 minutes
6. A free 17 minute film (shown continuously) on the life of Frederick Douglass called ‘Fighter for Freedom’ is shown at the visitor center (this can also be viewed online at: http://www.havefunwithhistory.com/movies/frederickDouglas.html )
7. No ticket is needed to walk the grounds; there is quite a nice view of downtown D.C. from the top of the hill
8. Visitor center has bathrooms, a cold water fountain, and a very small gift shop
9. If you have anyone handicapped in your party, review the ‘accessibility’ page on their website—there are limitations (stairs that cannot be avoided)
10. Free parking on site

What I liked: The quotes on the wall inside the visitor center are well chosen. Frederick Douglass was a fascinating man. Touring the house shows you the side of the man when he was out of the limelight. Most of the furnishings in the house are the very ones owned by Douglass and his family. The tour guide told some sweet stories of Douglass’ home life, as shared with his family and distinguished visitors, in this place where he spent the last 18 years of his life.

What I disliked: I think those who only know about Frederick Douglass from a few school textbook paragraphs, won’t feel like they have a bigger sense of who the man was from visiting this home. I have had the pleasure of learning a lot about Frederick Douglass in the past year. He was one of the great men in the history of the US. The short film offered at the visitor center touches on only a little of his many accomplishments. The movie and house tour do not let you walk away with the sense of just how great a man Douglass was.

Visited July 2011
3 Thank spontaneoustrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bensalem, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
33 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Take the first tour Sunday morning”
Reviewed 2 June 2011

And you will have the guide's undivided attention because the tour group will be small at that day and time. Guides are well informed. Make your reservation online. Excellent history and home. The house is fully furnished with all the original furniture. His clothes are even laid out on the bed.

Visited May 2011
3 Thank gaylfeb1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2010

I believe this historic site near DC is a "must see" for your family. I am not sure if many people are aware of it but now that you do once you visit you will not regret it. We went with our three sons (ages 8,10, 11). . Before the tour, we watched a great film about Federick Douglass' life. The only thing is that it had already started so we missed the first part. Wish we had the opportunity to see it from the beginning which is our only complaint. We then were able to go early on the tour of his house on Cedar Hill. As I read somewhere, we saw one of the best views of DC from there. Inside the home, there were a lot of original items Douglass and his family used which was interesting. The tour guide was also very informative.
We left this site feeling very inspired. I am sure it is an experience our sons will never forget. Truly one of the best places to visit in DC.

1 Thank C4Life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great NPS staff”
Reviewed 3 February 2010

My daughter and I visited the Frederick Douglass site on January 30, 2010. The day turned out to be a poor choice as it snowed 4-6 inches, starting during our tour. I initially wanted to see the site because of its unique and beautiful view of downtown DC. Unfortunately for us, the weather completely obscured the view. However, the National Park Service staff made the entire trip worthwhile. They were friendly, accommodating and eager to share their knowledge of the history and special attributes of this historic site. We saw an interesting, if very dated, film on the life and times of Mr. Douglass. Then we took an interesting tour of his beautifully restored house. Our personable tour guide seemed sincerely interested in our comments and viewpoints. After the house tour, we noticed the weather had gotten increasingly severe. We decided to forego a walk around the grounds and a visit to the small book store and gift shop. In sum: A surprisingly fun and offbeat trip. Recommended.

2 Thank Joejulcats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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