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“Extravagance with Every View”

Hillwood Museum & Gardens
Ranked #17 of 461 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Hillwood, the grand estate of Post Cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, sits on 25 acres overlooking Rock Creek Park in northwest Washington DC. Along with a world renowned collection of Russian and French decorative arts, Hillwood also features extensive gardens and special exhibitions.
Reviewed 24 July 2014

I had read much about Hillwood and wanted to view the extensive collections that Marjorie Merryweather Post had accumulated. What I found was more than I ever imagined and left thinking what an extravagant life this woman must have had.

We entered the gated property after a guard greeted us and instructed us to the location for parking. Upon entering the facility, we paid for a family of four to visit and tour -- cost of $40.

Our first stop was a short video telling about Hillwood and the life of Ms. Post. Then were given a tour map as well as a set of headphones and mp3 player that offered a self-guided tour throughout.

When we walked up to the property, we entered at the back entrance of the estate. When we entered, we were simply stunned. The walls were lined with oil paintings of Russian elite, including the oversized portrait of Catherine the Great.

The home itself was staggering. The butler's pantry alone was larger than most kitchens. The dining room was especially striking, with the table set from Ms. Post's china. The table, which was actually made for Maro Lago, featured an inset that was unbelievable. It was also huge!

The collections were priceless -- from the Russian art to the China settings to the Faberge items. Everywhere we turned there was something rare -- and Expensive. One little hall with curios featured carvings out of ivory and jade. There is no telling how much money was in this one place.

Down the stairs was a room which featured a retractable movie screen. Upstairs was Ms. Post's bedroom suite and more.

Outside, the gardens were simply spectacular. Exquisitely sculpted, the gardens were in full bloom. Amazing color, amazing variety, a treat for any person who loves flowers.

Our youngest child did not want to go to this site. When it was time to leave, he was the last person who was ready to go. He really enjoyed the history and the voice tour.

If you visit Washington, D.C. and have the time, this is a site that must be considered. It is near the National Cathedral and the Zoo on the North side of town.

5  Thank Patty F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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539 - 543 of 1,048 reviews

Reviewed 22 July 2014

The Garden was in full bloom and a wonderful reprieve from the sounds of the city. The mansion was lovely. There is a great self guided tour for both the gardens, buildings and the mansion.
Worth the visit.

1  Thank Travelwestport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2014

We enjoyed our trip, which occurred during their French celebration of Bastille Day - with mimes on the grounds and a special program, a Cartier exhibit, including the clothes she wore with the displayed jewels. Faberge eggs were beautiful - Yes, you can walk from the Metro, but it is hilly, and uphill is no fun for us older folk.

4  Thank Margaret915
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2014

A truly unique experience, hidden in a beautiful residential neighborhood near the heart of Washington, DC. We went in early spring, before much was in bloom, but the gardens and setting were still breathtaking. The house is not only filled with French and Russian treasures, but provides a glimpse into the life and time of Mrs. Post. It's a little tricky to find, but worth the effort.

1  Thank thedcdiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014

Everything about Hillwood was exceptional. I only wish we could have stayed longer. We were able to be guided by a docent who was friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Mrs Post's collection is amazing and the story of her life is interesting. If there isn't one already, a movie needs to be made about her. We didn't have time to see much of the grounds but what we did see was beautiful. The restaurant is also very good. We also saw the Cartier Jewelry Collection which is on display until the end of the year.

2  Thank just-suze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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