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“Detailed restoration and excellent staff”
Review of Dumbarton House

Dumbarton House
Ranked #165 of 455 things to do in Washington DC
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Attraction details
Owner description: An AAM-accredited historic house museum and the national headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, Dumbarton House is a Federal period estate and museum collection offering a unique view of what life was like for early Washingtonians.
Reviewed 8 November 2012

Like many people, we mistakenly thought that Dumbarton House was associated with nearby Dumbarton Oaks. Dumbarton House is a much smaller property. We were able to park in a lovely neighborhood nearby (we didn't realize there was some onsite parking) and stroll to the house.

The staff was very friendly and answered questions knowledgeably. We opted for self-guided tour though later we passed by a guided tour and though perhaps we should have taken that route. Each room is decorated with items original to the home or time-appropriate pieces. There are laminated cards in each room describing the significance of the room and its contents. One thing I found slightly confusing was that each room had a stack of cards. I initially assumed they were duplicates, but then my friend read something from his card that wasn't on mine and I realized that there were multiple pages to locate, but no indication of how many cards you were hunting for. It would be nice if they gave a better indication of how many cards exist for each room (Perhaps a header that says "page one of two" for example). In addition to the cards there are informative signs scattered around. There were four people in our group, so we did not have too much trouble clustering in the doorway of a room to get to the signage or cards. Larger groups would want to scatter to look at different rooms.

I really don't know how "special" this particular building is... Meaning I don't know if it's the only home of it's type open to tours, or the most accurate restoration, or whatever, so I don't know where it should be on your list of things to see. The house only has about 8 rooms on display, and can be explored in 30-45 minutes (including reading). So, if you're in the area, it could be a nice site to add.

I personally, enjoy touring buildings that represent the area when I'm traveling. I liked learning about the research that is being done into things like wall coverings... I'd never thought about anything like that! So, overall, I enjoyed our visit to Dunbarton House, but I would only recommend it to someone already in the area, or who is very interested in touring old homes.

3  Thank Lauren B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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31 - 35 of 37 reviews

Reviewed 24 October 2012

I am biased on this as it is owned by the organization I was there with. We had our board meeting there. This was my first visit to the house and I was impressed. They are doing a marvelous job restoring the house. Loved the wallpaper story. They also have a very special display right now called Metamo'rphosis I. Five artists have made metalworks based on items from the house collection. They are beautiful. They will be auctioned off later to help support the house.

1  Thank Hedgeclipperz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2012

A little off the beaten path. Very nice but not over the top guided tour. A great neighborhood to explore and a lovely house to tour.

1  Thank jck123123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2012

An interesting historical site, but not much more.

1  Thank RobertTheRed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2007

If you want to catch a glimpse of Georgetown during its first years as a capital city, you can't miss this house. Beutifully furnished with Federal period decorative arts, this is a great stop on your tour of Georgetown!

1  Thank salex19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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