This gem is the country’s only textile museum. Galleries spread over two floors hold exquisite fabrics and carpets. Exhibits revolve around a theme – say Asian textiles depicting dragons or Kuba cloth from the Democratic Republic of the Congo – and rotate a few times a year. Bonus: the museum shares space with George Washington University's Washingtonia trove of historic maps, drawings and ephemera.

The museum is old (founded in 1925) but the building is new (opened in early 2015). The collection also includes rare kimonos, pre-Columbian weaving, American quilts and Ottoman embroidery. Accompanying wall commentary explains how the textiles mirror the social, spiritual, economic and aesthetic values of the societies that made them.