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“Worth visiting”

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
Ranked #89 of 465 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed 22 August 2014

We booked the half hour tour of the Frederick Douglass House in advance and it was well worth it. The area is not one tourists would generally visit but we drove out to it from our hotel in Arlington. We were greeted warmly at the visitor centre and everything we needed to know about the tour was explained. We made our way up the hill to the Cedar Hill house and had a great half hour tour with a Ranger guide - who was both knowledgeable and very amusing. She made a great trip an unforgettable one. Although a relatively short experience we were glad we had bothered to take the time out of our holiday to visit. This was an exceptional tour in the house of an exceptional man and we thoroughly recommend it. The only thing we weren't sure of was the safety of the Anacostia area - we were advised to drive there rather than take the Metro and walk. We remain unsure if this was necessary and can't give any advice on that. Others may be able to.

3  Thank rich13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"cedar hill"
in 16 reviews
"house tour"
in 14 reviews
"his life"
in 16 reviews
"visitor center"
in 24 reviews
"house sits"
in 7 reviews
"original artifacts"
in 7 reviews
"short film"
in 9 reviews
"park ranger"
in 9 reviews
"high hill"
in 3 reviews
"death mask"
in 3 reviews
"guided tour"
in 11 reviews
"fascinating man"
in 2 reviews
"park service guide"
in 2 reviews
"great resource"
in 2 reviews
"big museums"
in 2 reviews
"black history"
in 3 reviews
"introductory film"
in 3 reviews
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86 - 90 of 143 reviews

Reviewed 23 July 2014

We really appreciated that the Frederick Douglas house is filled with the original furnishings, just as it was when he died. Our tour guide was knowledgeable, and patiently answered questions asked by some of the schoolkids on the tour, who obviously knew almost nothing about Frederick Douglas. The house is on a high hill with a great view, and there is parking. The neighborhood in general is not good, so I would suggest coming by cab or your own car rather than Metro. The visitor center is small and and the film is a bit dated. The house itself is really the highlight. We are history buffs from the Midwest and are glad that we came.

3  Thank optimize
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2014

I always read about the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site on the list of things for locals to do in DC. Because I was in Anacostia for Yelp! 10-year anniversary party, I decided to visit other places in Anacostia. I'm glad I did.

I did some advanced work and reserved tickets online. Even though the tour itself is free, there was a $1.50 fee for reserving the tickets. I look at this as a donation to the National Park Service, so I was fine with it. I'm very glad I did reserve the tickets, because while they do except walk-ins, the tour was full when we arrived.

I've been to a lot of these old historic homes, and the best part about this one was massive amounts of air conditioning! I don't know how much of the house they needed to change, but having a cool environment made me allowed me to focus on what the tour guide was saying instead of being uncomfortably hot in a stifling old house.

As was explained to me, there are a lot of original artifacts in this house because of the caretakers. I enjoyed that because seeing "replicas" is not as fun or interesting to me. They had the tambourine that Frederick Douglass used at church in the 1880s – that is pretty cool.

The actual visitor center is rather negligible. They had a video, but apparently if you take the tour, you don't need to watch the video. We basically only stayed at this house for the tour, and then left. There is adequate parking.

Overall, I'm glad I went here, and it's an area of DC that I rarely venture into.

1  Thank jg325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2014

I have been to the Frederick Douglass House in S.E. Washington several times and I continue to see things there that I missed in previous visits. I love the film of his life that is shown in the visitor's center and bought it so that I could share it with my 3rd-5th graders at school. The gift shop has several interesting items to purchase. The location of the house is not in the best part of town, so make sure you have a GPS or very good directions. I am always taken in by the look of the house on the hill and all of the history that it holds. On one visit a long time ago, we were able to sit on the lawn and watch the fireworks on the 4th of July. I don't think you can do that now.

Thank Eileen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 June 2014

I have to be truthful the visit was disappointing. I took my teenager daughters by car service to this place because we are really impressed by the work of Frederick Douglass. The house and items are well preserved but none of the other buildings he used on the property are open, the visitor center is falling apart, the film is dated and the grounds are just mowed weeds. Little was said about the descendents. The saddest part is that I was unable to get a cab to come pick us up at this National Park in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol. I was told by a local it was because the area is crime infested and cabs don't like to come there. I called all the cab companies and waited 30-45 minutes. The ranger needed us to leave so he could shut the tall spiked iron gates in order to close. I was told we could walk a few blocks to the metro although it was highly risky or wait outside the gates to see if a cab would come. I would encourage visiting but only by bus or car (there is a parking lot) and for the National Park to raise awareness that this park needs more care.

4  Thank KC_travel_enthusiast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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