You’ve seen the Smithsonian’s Museums, what next?

As a visitor to DC or as an Exhibition Design student, the first places we think of when planning visits to museums are Smithsonian institutions. This blog post is to help  you find about other opportunities to visit exhibitions in the DC area.

National Geographic Museum

Location: 1145 17th Street, NW                            Hours: Open Daily 10 a.m.—6 p.m.


Adult $11.00

Members/Seniors/Students/Military $9.00

Children 5-12 $7.00                                             Children under 5 Free


With two changing exhibit spaces, this museum is always offering new exciting exhibits for those interested in a broad range of subjects. Instead of overwhelming you with dozens of less focused exhibitions, this museum really hits on target and leaves you happy mentally stimulated in an afternoon. If you’ve always liked their magazines or enjoy learning for the sake of learning this is the place for you.

International Spy Museum

Location: 800 F Street, NW                       Hours: 9am – 7pm *May change

General Admission:

Adults (ages 12+) $20.95

Senior (ages 65+), Military, Law Enforcement $15.95

Youths (ages 7-11) $14.95                     Children age 6 & under Free


This highly interactive museum focuses on the history, technology, people and organizations of international espionage. The museum houses the largest collection of artifacts on the subject in addition to artifacts from popular culture such as James Bond. In addition to  the museum, they also offer espionage related tours of DC and group events.

Additional places to visit: Newseum, Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the The Crime Museum.

Historical Houses with Museum Collections and Outdoor Gardens

Dumbarton Oaks

Location: 1703 32nd Street, NW

Museum Hours: Tu-Su, 2pm – 5pm   Museum Admission: Free

Garden Hours: Tu-Su, 2pm – 6pm*  General Admission: $8.00*            Seniors, students children: $5.00*

*11/1- 3/14 Free admission, closed by 5pm.


A place of tranquility, the gardens of Dumbarton Oaks make you feel as if you’re hundreds of miles away from the city. The grounds are worth a visit per season and the cherry blossoms in the spring are, in this author’s opinion, better than those on the national mall. Their research library and is Harvard affiliated and well worth a lengthy visit and the architecture perfect for viewing their Byzantine and Pre-Columbian collection.

Additional places to visit: The Tudor Place, Hillwood Museum & Gardens and Mt. Vernon.

Libraries with Exhibitions

Folger Shakespeare Library

Location: 201 East Capitol Street, SE

Hours: M-Sa, 10am-5pm                                   Su, 12pm-5pm

Admission: FREE

* Designed by architect Paul Phillippe Cret, the architecture of the Shakespeare library is a sight in itself. White marble scenes from Shakespeare’s plays combined with a Tudor interior and Art Deco windows. The collection famously contains copies for Shakespeare’s First Folio as well as manuscripts by Mark Twain and Walt Whitman.The library regularly puts up exhibitions and hosts lectures and theatrical events.

Additional places to visit: Library of Congress.

Art Museums and Galleries.

The Phillips Collection

Location: 1600 21st Street, NW

Hours: Tu-Sa, 10am – 5pm                                             Su, 11am – 6pm.

Admission: Adults $12.00                                            Seniors and Students $10.00

  America’s first museum of modern art, the Phillips Collection houses work by impressionist and modern artists housed in the founder, Duncan Phillips’, home. The collection also contains the work of Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and El Greco and others.

Additional places to visit: Foundry Gallery and The Kreeger Museum


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