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“Picnic spot in the garden”
Review of Dumbarton House

Dumbarton House
Ranked #175 of 466 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 April 2013

We wanted to find a spot for a picnic that was less crowded than dumbarton oaks. The grounds are open dawn to dusk, but it doesn't seem like many people know about it. We spread out a blanket on the grass under some shady trees and had the place pretty much to ourselves for a few hours.

2  Thank Mike_E_M44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"federal style"
in 4 reviews
"historical home"
in 2 reviews
"period pieces"
in 2 reviews
"tudor place"
in 2 reviews
"decorative arts"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful gardens"
in 2 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 8 reviews
in 3 reviews
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29 - 33 of 39 reviews

Reviewed 14 March 2013 via mobile

This was a great location to have a corporate dinner for about 75-100. The room was cramped with waiters etc but it's a great location and had excellent service!

Thank Lfferg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2013

This nicely restored Federal period home has some original furnishings. It currently focuses on the period 1804-1813 when first register of the Treasury Joseph Nourse & family lived there.

One is able to tour the open rooms at one's own pace in a self-guided manner. A very friendly and helpful docent was available.

2  Thank rdjatmn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2012

The tour was not given by the regular docent, who called in sick, but by the Gift Shop attendant who was very knowledgeable and friendly. It didn't hurt that she gave my Mother and I a discount for that fact!

The attraction is steeped in history: It was owned by George Washington and was kept in the family until the 1980s. Much of the original furniture and other artifacts were kept in the house.

The ground you should visit during the spring, summer or fall; were a bit bare during the winter. The 1919 Pierce-Arrow car outside is spectacular.

3  Thank AwkwardTron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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