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. www.congressionalcemetery.org) 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. www.nationalshrine.com) 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
museum.org) 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. www.nps.gov/frdo) 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. www.nsa.gov/
about/cryptologic_heritage/museum) 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.