Best things to do in DC: An Art Aficionado’s Guide to must-see Galleries

Description:

There are so many possible tourist activities in Washington that it may seem a little overwhelming to try to create an agenda, especially if you only have a few days. Better, perhaps, to focus your itinerary on one particular activity type, so as to make the most of your exposure to it. If art is your thing, then DC won’t disappoint you. From huge museums to locally owned galleries, the Nation’s Capital offers an abundance of opportunities for visual stimulation. There are a few “biggies” in the DC museum that are absolutely not to be missed; they are interspersed here with some smaller, more specialized galleries, so as to give a sense of variety.

Author: Torie Castiello


Day 1 - Washington DC


Start your day with a bang by checking out the National Gallery of Art. It’s the mother of all of DC’s art galleries, and boasts a breathtaking assortment of works ranging from pre-medieval painting to modern sculpture. You can lose yourself in the exquisite permanent collections, or check out the traveling exhibitions, which change every several months. Leave yourself at least half a day to take in all that it has to offer, and tour the gardens surrounding it (weather permitting). Then make your way over to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture garden for your modern art fix. Matisse, Giacometti, Calder, Warhol – they’re all here, and presented with a refreshing lack of pretention. The Freer and Sackler Galleries are better known for their Asian and Near Eastern art collection, but they also boast an impressive collection of American works, including James McNeil Whistler’s famous Peacock Gallery. If you’re looking to soak up as much of DC’s arts scene as possible, you’ll probably want to stay in a hotel that’s visually appealing as well. Hotel Monaco, a boutique hotel located in the landmark Tariff Building, has style to spare. The hotel’s Poste Restaurant has decent food and a great happy hour scene. Head back there for dinner and to recharge your batteries for another art-tastic day.


1

National Gallery of Art

user rating

Location:

Constitution Avenue Northwest
On National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets
Washington DC, DC 20565

Phone:

+1 202 737 4215


2

Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden

Location:

Independence Avenue and 7th Street South West
Independence Ave. at 7th St. SW (on the south side of the Mall)
Washington DC, DC 20576

Phone:

+1 202 633 1000 / +1 202 357 1729


3

Freer Gallery of Art

Location:

1050 Independence Avenue
Jefferson Dr. SW at 12th St. SW (on the south side of the Mall)
Washington DC, DC 20576

Phone:

+1 202 633 4880


4

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Location:

1050 Independence Ave. SW
Southwest
Washington DC, DC 20553

Phone:

+1 202 633 4880


5

Poste

user rating

Location:

555 8th Street NW
In the Hotel Monaco
Washington DC, DC 20073

Phone:

1 202 783 6060


6

Hotel Monaco

user rating

Location:

7th Street Downtown
East of 16th Street NW
Washington DC, DC 20004

Phone:

+1 202 628 7177


Day 2 - Washington DC


Head over to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, a stone’s throw from the White House. The Corcoran is not only a gallery, but a fine arts school as well. So it produces up-and-coming artists as well as showcasing more established ones. And if you’re a member of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Reciprocal Program, your admission here is free. Afterwards, check out the National Museum of Women in the Arts Since making its collections public in 1987, NMWA has made a mission of showcasing and celebrating the achievements of women in the arts, spanning nearly 500 years. The works provide a fascinating insight into the lives female artists lived throughout the centuries, including the obstacles they faced. Finally, wind your way up to The Kreeger Museum . Located in a leafy and quiet residential neighborhood, the Kreeger Museum possesses a dazzling array of works from the 19th and 20th centuries. It is with no exaggeration that this lovely gallery defines itself as “the jewel on Foxhall”. One minor drawback: the Museum isn’t Metro accessible; you’ll probably want to drive, as even the nearest bus stop is about half a mile away. If you have time and aren't too tired, stop by Dumbarton Oaks and then walk over to the charming upstairs wine bar at Bistrot Lepic for dinner.


1

Corcoran Gallery of Art

Location:

500 17th St. NW
Between E St. and New York Ave
Washington DC, DC 20240

Phone:

+1 202 639 1700


2

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Location:

1250 New York Ave. NW
At 13th St
Washington DC, DC 20533

Phone:

+1 202 783 5000 / +1 800 222 7270


3

Kreeger Museum

user rating

Location:

2401 Foxhall Road North West
Washington DC, DC 20007

Phone:

+1 202 338 3552


4

Dumbarton Oaks

Location:

3101 R Street Northwest
Washington DC, DC 20007

Phone:

+1 202 342 3200


5

Bistrot Lepic & Wine Bar

user rating

Location:

1736 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington DC, DC 20007

Phone:

1 202 333 0111


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