Grave sites for local notables such as J. Edgar Hoover and John Philip Sousa make Congressional Cemetery worth a visit. (Benjamin C. Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Take it from a local, these less-crowded spots are more than deserving of your time and attention.

Congressional Cemetery (1801 E St. SE. 202-543-0539. This 35-plus acre spot is the final resting place for such luminaries as J. Edgar Hoover and John Philip Sousa. Free.

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (400 Michigan Ave. NE. 202-526-8300. Expect a sore neck — seriously. It’s hard not to stare upward in awe of the basilica’s lofty architecture and art. Free.

Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens (4155 Linnean Ave. NW. 202-686-5807. www.hillwood
) Stroll through the ornate rooms of the former mansion of late Post cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. Highlights include a pair of Faberge eggs and a serene Japanese garden. $15 adults, $10 seniors and students, $5 ages 6-18, free for age 5 and younger.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (1411 W St. SE. 202-426-5961. See such personal effects as Douglass’s walking sticks and the pencils he chewed on while in deep thought. Free.

National Cryptologic Museum (9900 Colony Seven Rd., Fort Meade. 301-688-5849.
) Run by the National Security Agency, this museum contains all sorts of code-cracking and message encrypting artifacts, including machines used by Nazis in World War II. Free.

Kris Coronado