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Mapping 15 of D.C.'s Most Underrated Museums and Galleries

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If you want to skip the National Mall and journey to the hidden gems in Washington, D.C., here is a map of every underrated museum and gallery in the city. From the National Building Museum to Blind Whino, these are the top 15 spots that you may or may not know of, but should. These museums and galleries range in focus from contemporary art to spy and crime history to social issues to beautiful architecture. If you feel this map is incomplete, feel free to let us know in the comments.

[UPDATE 3/22/2016: The National Museum of Crime & Punishment was removed from this list. The museum closed indefinitely September 30, 2016. In its place on this map, Curbed has added The Sewall Belmont House & Museum.]

· Washington, D.C.'s 18 Most Underrated Hotels, Mapped [Curbed DC]
· Thirteen Underrated Parks and Green Spaces in D.C. [Curbed DC]
· Curbed Maps archive [Curbed DC]

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1. The Heurich House

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1307 New Hampshire Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 429-1894
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Referred to as the Brewmaster's Castle, the Heurich House is known for beer-focused events, such as Oktoberfest. Every month, the museum hosts "History & Hops," which features a beer tasting, a local brewer, and a tour of the 1890s mansion.

2. The Octagon House

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1799 New York Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 626-7439
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In Foggy Bottom, you can find this architecture and design museum. The house was built between 1798 and 1800 by the architect of the U.S. Capitol, Dr. William Thornton. It now serves as the home of the American Institute of Architects and features architects who have had some of the longest-lasting influence.

3. The Phillips Collection

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1600 21st St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 387-2151
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Only a couple blocks away from the Dupont Circle Metro station is the nation's first museum of modern art. The approximately 3,000 works in the collection feature artists like Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, and Matisse.

4. Hillyer Art Space

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9 Hillyer Ct NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 338-0680
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This cozy Dupont Circle art gallery is hidden in an alley behind The Phillips Collection. The space is composed of three separate rooms, but still offers a wide variety of contemporary artworks. According to the Hillyer Art Space website, the gallery is focused on under-represented artists who have never had a major solo exhibition within the last three years.

5. Blind Whino

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700 Delaware Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20024

Inside this early 1900s Victorian church, guests can find murals and dynamic contemporary art. Located in the southwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., it's one of the city's most hidden gems when it comes to architecture and artworks.

6. African American Civil War Museum

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1925 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 667-2667
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209,145 African-American soldiers and sailors fought in Civil War. At the African American Civil War Museum, these individuals are remembered through photography, newspaper articles, replicas of uniforms, and a memorial.

7. Dumbarton Oaks

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1703 32nd St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

This Georgetown estate offers a museum with a Byzantine Collection and Pre-Columbian Collection. Each collection contains historic artifacts from the Byzantine Empire and from the Mesoamerica/Andes, respectively. The house, itself, serves as a museum, being designed in 1927 with tapestries, furniture, and artworks dating back to the fifteenth centuries.

8. International Spy Museum

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800 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 393-7798
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If you love movies from the James Bond or Bourne series, the International Spy Museum should be your next tourist destination. The Spy Museum allows guests to decrypt secret audio conversations, interrogate suspected agents, and escape from a replica of a high-security compound.

9. National Building Museum

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401 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 272-2448
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The National Building Museum is dedicated to highlighting innovation in architecture and design. Exhibitions include large-scale photography of D.C. landmarks under restoration and urban planning that prepares against natural disasters. Every year, the museum also hosts expansive interactive exhibitions, which have included a ball pit and a maze.

10. Anacostia Community Museum

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1901 Fort Pl SE
Washington, D.C. 20020
(202) 633-4820
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In Anacostia, tourists can learn about how social issues can impact urban communities. Exhibitions have focused on the popularity of African-American baseball teams in segregated D.C. fields, on the original inhabitation by Native Americans in D.C., and on how the Civil War affected Washington, D.C.

11. The Mansion on O Street

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2020 O St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 496-2020
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While it might seem strange that a hotel could be considered a tourist-worthy attraction, the Mansion on O Street really is a sight to be seen. Throughout the three connected row houses and 100 guest rooms, there are themed rooms, a myriad amount of artworks, secret doors, and guitars signed by celebrities like Eric Clapton.

12. National Geographic Museum

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1145 17th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 857-7588
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For those who love animals, traveling, and photography, the National Geographic Museum should be on one's Washington, D.C. tourist bucket list. This museum is fairly small, so don't expect your visit to take more than an hour or two. Regardless, it's a good outlet for learning about subjects like animals and dinosaurs, the ocean, and various cultures around the world.

13. Nat'l. Museum of Women in the Arts

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1250 New York Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 783-5000
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Since 1987, this museum has been totally dedicated to celebrating the women who have influenced the art world. From Frida Kahlo to Mary Cassatt, the National Museum of Women in the Arts ensures that women artists are never forgotten or under-acknowledged. The museum's collection has more than 4,500 artworks.

14. National Arboretum

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3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 245-2726
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Take a walk on the wild side by stepping away from the city life in Washington, D.C. and journeying through one of the city's most beautiful gardens. As a "living museum," the National Arboretum features more than just trees and flowers. It also offers a look at the original columns of the old East Portico of the U.S. Capitol.

15. The Sewall-Belmont House & Museum

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144 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20002-5608
(202) 546-1210
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This easy-to-miss gem is located in a 200-year-old house near the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress. Dedicated to women's suffrage, this museum focuses mainly on the early 1900s, but offers high points like Nina Allender political cartoons. The property serves as the headquarters of the National Woman's Party. This museum is only open on Fridays and Saturdays.

1. The Heurich House

1307 New Hampshire Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Referred to as the Brewmaster's Castle, the Heurich House is known for beer-focused events, such as Oktoberfest. Every month, the museum hosts "History & Hops," which features a beer tasting, a local brewer, and a tour of the 1890s mansion.

1307 New Hampshire Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

2. The Octagon House

1799 New York Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20008

In Foggy Bottom, you can find this architecture and design museum. The house was built between 1798 and 1800 by the architect of the U.S. Capitol, Dr. William Thornton. It now serves as the home of the American Institute of Architects and features architects who have had some of the longest-lasting influence.

1799 New York Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

3. The Phillips Collection

1600 21st St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Only a couple blocks away from the Dupont Circle Metro station is the nation's first museum of modern art. The approximately 3,000 works in the collection feature artists like Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, and Matisse.

1600 21st St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

4. Hillyer Art Space

9 Hillyer Ct NW, Washington, D.C. 20008

This cozy Dupont Circle art gallery is hidden in an alley behind The Phillips Collection. The space is composed of three separate rooms, but still offers a wide variety of contemporary artworks. According to the Hillyer Art Space website, the gallery is focused on under-represented artists who have never had a major solo exhibition within the last three years.

9 Hillyer Ct NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

5. Blind Whino

700 Delaware Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20024

Inside this early 1900s Victorian church, guests can find murals and dynamic contemporary art. Located in the southwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., it's one of the city's most hidden gems when it comes to architecture and artworks.

700 Delaware Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20024

6. African American Civil War Museum

1925 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

209,145 African-American soldiers and sailors fought in Civil War. At the African American Civil War Museum, these individuals are remembered through photography, newspaper articles, replicas of uniforms, and a memorial.

1925 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

7. Dumbarton Oaks

1703 32nd St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

This Georgetown estate offers a museum with a Byzantine Collection and Pre-Columbian Collection. Each collection contains historic artifacts from the Byzantine Empire and from the Mesoamerica/Andes, respectively. The house, itself, serves as a museum, being designed in 1927 with tapestries, furniture, and artworks dating back to the fifteenth centuries.

1703 32nd St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

8. International Spy Museum

800 F St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

If you love movies from the James Bond or Bourne series, the International Spy Museum should be your next tourist destination. The Spy Museum allows guests to decrypt secret audio conversations, interrogate suspected agents, and escape from a replica of a high-security compound.

800 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

9. National Building Museum

401 F St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

The National Building Museum is dedicated to highlighting innovation in architecture and design. Exhibitions include large-scale photography of D.C. landmarks under restoration and urban planning that prepares against natural disasters. Every year, the museum also hosts expansive interactive exhibitions, which have included a ball pit and a maze.

401 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

10. Anacostia Community Museum

1901 Fort Pl SE, Washington, D.C. 20020

In Anacostia, tourists can learn about how social issues can impact urban communities. Exhibitions have focused on the popularity of African-American baseball teams in segregated D.C. fields, on the original inhabitation by Native Americans in D.C., and on how the Civil War affected Washington, D.C.

1901 Fort Pl SE
Washington, D.C. 20020

11. The Mansion on O Street

2020 O St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

While it might seem strange that a hotel could be considered a tourist-worthy attraction, the Mansion on O Street really is a sight to be seen. Throughout the three connected row houses and 100 guest rooms, there are themed rooms, a myriad amount of artworks, secret doors, and guitars signed by celebrities like Eric Clapton.

2020 O St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

12. National Geographic Museum

1145 17th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

For those who love animals, traveling, and photography, the National Geographic Museum should be on one's Washington, D.C. tourist bucket list. This museum is fairly small, so don't expect your visit to take more than an hour or two. Regardless, it's a good outlet for learning about subjects like animals and dinosaurs, the ocean, and various cultures around the world.

1145 17th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

13. Nat'l. Museum of Women in the Arts

1250 New York Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Since 1987, this museum has been totally dedicated to celebrating the women who have influenced the art world. From Frida Kahlo to Mary Cassatt, the National Museum of Women in the Arts ensures that women artists are never forgotten or under-acknowledged. The museum's collection has more than 4,500 artworks.

1250 New York Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

14. National Arboretum

3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

Take a walk on the wild side by stepping away from the city life in Washington, D.C. and journeying through one of the city's most beautiful gardens. As a "living museum," the National Arboretum features more than just trees and flowers. It also offers a look at the original columns of the old East Portico of the U.S. Capitol.

3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

15. The Sewall-Belmont House & Museum

144 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-5608

This easy-to-miss gem is located in a 200-year-old house near the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress. Dedicated to women's suffrage, this museum focuses mainly on the early 1900s, but offers high points like Nina Allender political cartoons. The property serves as the headquarters of the National Woman's Party. This museum is only open on Fridays and Saturdays.

144 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20002-5608