Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

Washington, DC

Escaped slave, abolitionist, author and statesman Frederick Douglass occupied this beautifully sited hilltop house from 1878 until his death in 1895. Original furnishings, books, photographs and other personal belongings paint a compelling portrait of both the private and public life of this great man. Keep an eye out for his wire-rim eyeglasses on his roll-top desk. Visits into the home – aka Cedar Hill – are by guided tour only.

Tour times are 9am, 12:15pm, 1:15pm, 3pm and 3:30pm (plus 4pm from April to October). It's best to reserve a ticket online (for a $1.50 fee, at at least a day in advance, though unreserved tickets are available at the site's visitor center on a first-come basis.

The B2 bus runs from the Metro station to a stop right in front of Cedar Hill. However, you can't catch the return bus from the house. Instead, walk three blocks north to Good Hope Rd and get the B2 bus to the Metro there.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Washington, DC attractions

1. Anacostia Community Museum

0.64 MILES

This Smithsonian museum has good rotating exhibitions on the experience of diverse and underserved communities in the USA. They typically focus on art …

2. 11th Street Bridge Park

0.69 MILES

It won't come to fruition until late 2019 or so, but keep an eye on the space at 11th St SE and the Anacostia River. The city is converting the piers from…

3. Yards Park

1.15 MILES

The riverside green space is just down the road from the Nationals' stadium. There are shaded tables by the water, a wooden boardwalk, fountains you can…

4. Marine Barracks

1.22 MILES

The ‘Eighth and Eye Marines’ are on largely ceremonial duty at the nation’s oldest Marine Corps post. Most famously, this is the home barracks of the…

5. Congressional Cemetery

1.35 MILES

Yes, that is a dachshund snuffling around J Edgar Hoover's tombstone, while a black lab lopes over the final resting place of composer John Philip Sousa…

6. The Fridge

1.38 MILES

First you have to find the Fridge, a friendly gallery specializing in street art. Follow the murals into the alley across 8th St from Ambar restaurant…


1.49 MILES

The Town Hall Education, Arts and Recreation Campus (THEARC) has been a cornerstone for community redevelopment in River East and Far Southeast. A…

8. Fort Lesley J McNair

1.64 MILES

The army post at Fort McNair was established in 1791. The British burned it in 1814. The Lincoln-assassination conspirators were hanged here in 1865…