America’s capital is home to more than the White House and Lincoln Memorial. Check out these five historical sites on your next visit to Washington DC.
Mount Vernon Estate
Once the plantation of America’s first president, George Washington, Mount Vernon is one of America’s most historic homes. Located near Washington DC, on the banks of the Potomac River, the property is now a National Historic Landmark where visitors can look back at life in colonial America as well as learn about the country’s founding father.
Visiting Info: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Mount Vernon, VA 22121. The estate is open 365 days a year between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The Mount Vernon website also offers a virtual tour, which is worth checking out if you can’t make it to the real thing.
Originally built for stage performances in the early 1860s, this historic landmark was the site of one of America’s biggest national tragedies. On April 14, 1865, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theater, the first leader of the country to meet such fate. Today, you can visit the museum to see historic artifacts such as Lincoln’s blood-stained pillow, the pistol used in the shooting, and other mementos that belonged to President Lincoln.
Visiting Info: 511 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004. Tour times vary; check the Ford’s Theater website to book your tickets.
Old Stone House
To see a true depiction of America in the 18th century, the Old Stone House is the oldest unchanged building in the city. Built in 1765, the house is still 85 percent original and now features a museum showcasing what the homes would have looked like during the period.
Visiting Info: 3051 M St Northwest, Washington, DC 20007. The museum is open daily, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The Octagon Museum
Built between 1798 and 1800, the Octagon House has a unique place in America’s history. The house was originally owned by one of Virginia’s most wealthy plantation owners, but it was in 1814 that the home became an important historic landmark. After the original White House burned down, President Madison and his wife stayed in the home as a temporary official executive office. While the President eventually moved on to the White House we know today, the Octagon Museum covers a unique chapter in America’s past.
Visiting Info: 1799 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006.
Located on the grounds of the famous Arlington Cemetery, Arlington House was once the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The property was selected for the cemetery during the Civil War to keep Lee from returning to the capital, but today it is a museum showcasing life in the Civil War era, complete with slave quarters. Visitors can tour the rooms and see original furniture and other furnishings that were typical during the time.
Visiting Info: 321 Sherman Drive, Fort Myer, VA 22211. The museum is open seven days a week, barring public holidays. Opening times vary; visit the National Park Service website for more information.
Cover image by Phil Ostroff via Trover.com.