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“The Frederick Douglass house is worth the trip to Anacostia!”

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
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African American History Tour
Ranked #83 of 455 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed 14 August 2013 via mobile

Entry is free but you must have a ticket to get in from the NPS. The FD house has been very well maintained and looks like it did while he was alive. His furniture, books, paintings, dishes, personal belongings etc. are on display. The park ranger did an excellent job in telling us the story of Frederick Douglass' life and accomplishments. Worth the trip to Anacostia in DC!

1  Thank Texas5mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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98 - 102 of 139 reviews

Reviewed 28 July 2013

This is a very busy historic site. Well worth the advance planning, but do reserve the tickets at least a day ahead - that is the only way to guarantee a tour. People are turned away everyday because of full tours.

Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2013

We came to the Frederick Douglass house on a Saturday afternoon and were a little overwhelmed at first by a couple tour bus crowds occupying the visitor's center. Once the crowds filtered out, however, we were able to enjoy our experience there a little more. The film presented in the visitor's center was good and worth viewing. Once in the main house, our tour guide (Lisa) was fabulous and clearly had a passion for the history behind the place. The tour was "short and sweet" compared to other historical tours we've done in the past. The guide kept us moving through the different rooms and we didn't feel like we were standing around forever. The children in our tour group had been showing signs of impatience as we waited on the house porch to begin the tour, but once we started moving the kiddos were fine and didn't seem bored on the tour. In sum, this historical site accomplished its goal- we didn't have much prior knowledge about Frederick Douglass before coming here, but left with a new respect and appreciation for his extraordinary life and character.

If you have a chance, follow the driveway around to the back of the house, to see some more of the grounds and a reconstruction of the Growlery (Douglass' more scholarly version of today's "man cave.") Also, our tour guide pointed out that copies of Douglass' autobiography sell for only $1.50 inside the visitor's center bookshop if you want to read about his life in his own words.

As for the Anacostia neighborhood having a reputation for being "rough"- I work in the neighborhood and I actually find it quite beautiful, with tree-lined streets and lots of historic homes. It's not the war zone that first-time visitors to Southeast DC might be lead to expect. I recommend the Frederick Douglass house in its own right, but also for visitors who are looking to go off the tourist trail and see a part of DC they might not see otherwise. I will surely be returning here with out-of-town guests who come to visit us in DC!

5  Thank julia7178
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2013

My family and I had the privilege of seeing an actor perform a reenactment of Frederick Douglass singing and delivering one of his famous speeches. His performance added such warmth and depth to the visit. I literally had goose bumps during his performance. ( From my understanding the actor is only there a few times a year.) The tour guides were knowledgeable and kind. The home and its grounds are well-maintained. This is definitely going down in my memory as one of the best experiences in DC. ( The Frederick Douglass home is off the beaten path, but it is worth the visit. ) It is perhaps beneficial to have some background knowledge about Douglass before doing the tour. Probably not a good site for very young children; 7 yrs + should be fine.

Thank MarLay71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2013 via mobile

The tour of the Frederick Douglass House was great and it's FREE. Our tour guide Tegan was very nice and knowledgable of the history of the house. The view of the city from the front of the house is just beautiful. I highly reccomend this tour.

Thank Christi J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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