Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC

4.9
#8 of 22 in Parks in Washington DC
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection is an institute in Washington, D.C., administered by the Trustees for Harvard University. It supports research and learning internationally in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies through fellowships and internships, meetings, and exhibitions. Located in residential Georgetown, Dumbarton Oaks welcomes researchers at all career stages who come to study its books, objects, images, and documents. It opens its doors to the public to visit its historic Gardens, designed by Beatrix Farrand; its Museum, with world-class collections of art; and its Music Room, for lectures and concerts. The institute disseminates knowledge through its own publications (such as the Dumbarton Oaks Papers and symposium volumes) as well as through the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (published by Harvard University Press). Dumbarton Oaks also makes accessible ever more of its resources freely online.

The founding donors, Robert Woods Bliss and Mildred Barnes Bliss, called upon future policy-makers “to remember that Dumbarton Oaks is conceived in a new pattern, where quality and not number shall determine the choice of its scholars; that it is the home of the Humanities, not a mere aggregation of books and objects of art; that the house itself and the gardens have their educational importance and that all are of humanistic value.” These ambitions continue to guide Dumbarton Oaks, but with close attention to ensuring that the Blisses’ “new pattern” retains its vitality through constant renewal.
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Dumbarton Oaks Reviews
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  • Dumbarton Oaks provides a quiet sanctuary from the noise and hussle of the city just a few blacks from the busiest part of Georgetown. Get out and walk among the gardens and gravesites of history. Spr...  more »
  • While visiting Georgetown this was a to do stop. The museum is filled with exquisite displays of prehistoric art. There is a small gift shop. Free admission. Parking is tight, and difficult to find li...  more »
  • Despite being closed the gardens, the quality of the indoor Museum is exceptional. A luxury. The pre-Columbian area into an extension of the great architect Philip Johnson is what most struck me. Small museum. Everything inside is seen in 1 hour. It is free.
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  • One of the most gloriously designed gardens in the United States! Closed until March 2018
  • Amazing, beautiful gardens with a great art museum inside. Worth it for the gardens alone, it's absolutely wonderful.
  • A lovely break from the materialistic bustle of Georgetown. Spring is a great time to see the many colors of the gardens and feel revitalized. The grounds are only open for a couple of hours so plan your visit well. It's a hike uphill from M St.
  • garden is a jewel in the heart of dc. details of the garden grounds show the care, attention, and love the owner and gardener put into the design / layout. next to half moon bay and the bay area beaches of SF, very easily the most beautiful place in nature I have visited. definitely worth the commute and $10 admission fee for me.
  • Amazing gardens, pond amphitheater, and plenty of walking will keep you busy and glad you came. The rose garden is magnificent.

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Most visitors to Washington, D.C., end up in the East End, the old downtown district containing most of the city's major cultural attractions. For a more authentic Washingtonian experience, consider staying at a smaller hotel just a little north or east of this busy area. Neighborhoods outside downtown offer less expensive accommodations and affordable street parking, as well as opportunities to meet more locals and fewer tourists. Alternatively, try a hotel in Georgetown, packed with high-end shops and Colonial architecture.
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