Satyr statute welcomes visitor to Hillwood Gardens, Washington, DC.

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Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

Top choice in Upper Northwest DC

The former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post of Post cereal fame, this lavishly decorated 1920s mansion showcases her extraordinary collections of Russian imperial art (icons, paintings, jewelry, Fabergé eggs) and French 18th-century decorative artwork (Sèvres porcelain, Louis XVI furniture). Wandering through the mansion is fascinating – the state-of-the-art 1950s kitchen, modern staff quarters and opulent, objet-laden entertaining and living areas give a wonderful insight into her privileged life and role as a notable society hostess.

As a bonus, the 25-acre estate incorporates some lovely gardens, which include Post’s dog cemetery, a greenhouse and a museum shop. The on-site cafe serves light fare, such as sandwiches, salads and soups. It's worth joining a free one-hour guided tour of the mansion – held at 11:30am and 1:30pm Tuesday through Thursday with an extra 3:30pm tour Friday through Sunday – to hear stories about Post's lifestyle. Alternatively, take advantage of the downloadable audio guide. The estate is a mile walk from the Van Ness-UDC Metro station.