This 1816 neoclassical mansion was owned by Thomas Peter and Martha Custis Peter, the granddaughter of Martha Washington, and lived in by six generations of her family. Today the manor functions as a small museum, featuring family furnishings and artwork (including some from Mt Vernon), which give a good insight into American decorative arts. The grand, 5-acre gardens bloom with roses, lilies, poplar trees and exotic palms.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Georgetown attractions

1. Dumbarton Oaks Park

0.12 MILES

Next door to Dumbarton Oaks garden, Dumbarton Oaks Park was once part of the estate but is now a public woodland beloved by joggers and dog walkers…

2. Oak Hill Cemetery


This 24-acre, obelisk-studded cemetery contains winding walks and 19th-century gravestones set into the hillsides of Rock Creek. It’s a fantastic spot for…

3. Dumbarton Oaks


The mansion's 27 acres of enchanting formal gardens are straight out of a storybook. The springtime blooms – including heaps of cherry blossoms – are…

4. Mt Zion United Methodist Church

0.33 MILES

Founded in 1816, Mt Zion United Methodist Church is DC’s oldest black congregation. Its original site, on 27th St NW, was a stop on the Underground…

5. Dumbarton House

0.38 MILES

Often confused with Dumbarton Oaks (the mansion and gardens), Dumbarton House is a modest Federal-style historic home, constructed by a wealthy family in…

6. Mount Zion Cemetery

0.44 MILES

The crumbling graveyard dates from the early 1800s. It takes its name from Mt Zion United Methodist Church, which used to be located beside the site…

7. Old Stone House

0.44 MILES

Built in 1766 in what was then the British colony of Maryland, the capital's oldest surviving building has been a tavern, a brothel and a boardinghouse …

8. Female Union Band Society Cemetery

0.45 MILES

This cemetery was founded in 1842 by a society of free black women who pledged to help one another in sickness and in death. The graveyard originally was…