Out of town feel in the heart of DC: Hillwood Estate offers unique glimpse into the past of high society

Ever want to get out the D.C. area for the day, but don’t have the time? Well, what if you didn’t have to leave the city to find your oasis?

In today’s edition of “Matt About Town,” WTOP’s Matt Kaufax gets away from the hustle and bustle to explore a hidden Northwest D.C. gem with a ton of history behind it: The Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.

Built in the 1920s, the Hillwood mansion took on a life of its own when it was acquired by American businesswoman, philanthropist and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post in the mid-1950s.

Post was the heiress to the General Food Corporation empire and considered the wealthiest woman in America. She used that wealth to fund her expansive art collection.

She’s credited with transforming Hillwood, her home, into the attraction that guests can immerse themselves in today.

Whether you come for the main event of the mansion, which is filled with Russian imperial art, rare gems and jewelry, and even priceless Fabergé eggs; or if you come for any number of other attractions on the property, including, but not limited to special art exhibits, a Japanese garden, a botanical greenhouse and even a pet cemetery — you’ll find you don’t have to leave D.C. to feel like you’re hundreds of miles away in a far off land.

Between the porcelain, gold dining room place settings and elaborate tapestries in every room of the house, guests said it’s almost like stepping into your very own episode of Downton Abbey.

The museum, gardens and special exhibits are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Take a look at this exclusive video of Matt’s tour, which gives viewers new access to this hidden gem overlooking Rock Creek Park.

If you’ve got an idea for a feature story Matt should cover, reach out via the WTOP “contact us” page to submit your idea.

You can also contact Matt directly. His contact information is listed below. 

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Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

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