Awesome and overlooked day trip.
Imagine this: a mansion, brilliant garden, cafe, stories of intrigue - and a museum that hosts the largest collection of Russian imperial art outside of St. Petersburg. Yuh huh. Hillwood is probably the most overlooked museum in the area. It is privately owned (by the Post - cereal - family) and worth the price of the admission ticket. I know, Washingtonians ("Waaaaa - we are used to going to museums for free") - but, every now and then, we need to pay for stuff. It is especially gorgeous this time of year. My favorite is still Dumbarton Oaks - but Hillwood is a close second.
Citysearch Editorial Review.
Just on the edge of Rock Creek Park between Van Ness and Cleveland Park is this 25-acre estate and homage to Russian Imperial art founded by Marjorie Merriweather Post--heiress to the Post cereal empire. Amongst greenhouses, lawns, rose bushes and a Japanese garden, visit one of the largest collections of 18th and 19th century Russian art and objects (numbered at 16,000) outside of Russia itself. Wander through ornate rooms and libraries in this Georgian mansion, where walls are lined with painted portraits of Russian czars, and stop for a picnic on the green or make advance reservations for the Hillwood Cafe. It's like a day trip to Europe, but from the capital of the United States.