USA series: Georgetown, Washington DC

Tudor Place from the backyard

Tudor Place from the backyard

Today Alex and I will take a break from Washington DC’s many museums to visit Georgetown.

Georgetown is a picturesque neighbourhood of Washington DC.

As part of our trip to Georgetown we will visit Tudor Place and take a guided tour of the historic house and garden.

Having stayed up until 4:00am watching the Elimination Final of the Australian Rules football between Richmond and Carlton, where our mutually agreeable team Richmond was unfortunately defeated, we get off to a late start and don’t get into our first cab of the day until 12:30pm… oops!

12:30pm
Our taxi ride to Georgetown main street, simply called “M Street” costs USD$12 including a $2 tip for the talkative Indian taxi driver.

Georgetown, Washington DC according to Wikipedia:

“Georgetown is a historic neighborhood, commercial, and entertainment district located in northwest Washington DC, situated along the Potomac River.

The primary commercial corridors of Georgetown are the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue & M Street, which contain high-end shops, bars, restaurants, and the Georgetown Park enclosed shopping mall, as well as the Washington Harbour waterfront restaurants at K Street, NW, between 30th and 31st Streets.

John F Kennedy lived in Georgetown in the 1950s as both a Congressman and a Senator.

Several movies have been filmed in Georgetown, including 1973 horror film The Exorcist, which was set in the neighborhood and partially filmed there. In the movie’s climactic scene, the protagonist is hurled down the 75-step staircase at the end of 36th Street NW, which connects Prospect Street with M Street below. The staircase has come to be known as the “Exorcist steps”.

M Street is lined with eateries and all sorts of boutique shops.  We wander along M Street, grabbing some lunch along the way at Mr Smith’s. 

Georgetown high street

Georgetown high street

Also on M Street is the Old Stone House, built in 1765, this cottage is the oldest original structure in Washington, D.C.

Stone House

Stone House

We can’t just wander bye without taking a look inside. 

Stone House interior

Stone House interior

On reaching 31st Street we turn right.  31st Street will lead us to the entrance for Tudor Place.  Unfortunately we have about 6 blocks to walk before we reach Tudor Place, all uphill.  Arrrgh.. the pace is slow given I am stupidly wearing jeans in 32 degree celsius temperature.

Just as well the walk is pleasant with 31st Street being chock full of charming houses, many proudly flying the American flag.

Patriotic Georgetown home owners

Patriotic Georgetown home owners

Georgetown's beautiful homes

Georgetown’s beautiful homes

Tudor Place according to Wikipedia:

“Tudor Place is a Federal-style mansion in Washington DC that was originally the home of Thomas Peter and his wife, Martha Parke Custis Peter, a granddaughter of Martha Washington.  Step-grandfather George Washington left her the $8,000 in his will that was used to purchase the property in 1805.  The property, comprising one city block on the crest of Georgetown Heights, had an excellent view of the Potomac River.”

And the Tudor Place version:

“A model of Federal-period architecture in the nation’s capital and a center of early Washington society, Tudor Place was home from 1805 to 1983 to six generations of Martha Washington’s descendants. Their stories and those of the servants and enslaved workers who served them animate the site, with collections including more than 15,000 decorative arts items, archival, historic and archaeological artifacts, and a Washington Collection larger than any outside Mount Vernon.”

3:00pm
We reach Tudor House with time enough to wander the gardens on our own before returning to the house in time for our tour of the house’s interior.

Quaint pond

Quaint pond

Tudor Place gardens

Tudor Place gardens

Our tour of the interior of Tudor House costs USD$10 (each) and takes about an hour.

Tudor Place front

Tudor Place front

Nina, our tour guide hosts sits us down briefly to commence what is an excellent and informative tour.

Nina really brings the lives of the home owners to life with anecdotes and stories associated with pieces displayed throughout Tudor Place. 

Some of the areas we are guided through include the foyer, reception rooms, kitchen, dining room and several bedrooms on the second level.  It is all very fascinating especially given the home owners are descendants of George Washington. 

Even Alex thought the tour was good which is saying something.

4:30pm
We make our way back down hilly 31st Street and re-enter the high street.

We pass many more shops in search of a café and finally discover an excellent and popular cafe (with excellent chocolate eclairs) called “Paul” located on Wisconsin Avenue.

6:00pm
With our caffeine fix kicking in we head further down Wisconsin Avenue towards Washington Harbour.  We reach the Washington Harbour and catch our first real look at the Potomac River.

Pomotac River, Georgetown

Pomotac River, Georgetown

There is not a lot going on here (other than for kids) and agree we don’t feel the need to hang around.   I think we actually spend longer trying to find a taxi but eventually mange to hail one.

8:30pm
With our day at Georgetown behind us we head back to the hotel to spend a quite night in our junior suite and manage to catch the late news.

To our surprise the news includes a report that two people were stabbed at Washington Harbour at about 7:00pm, not long after we left the area. And we thought there wasn’t much going on at Washington Harbour.

Tomorrow is our last day in Washington DC before we head to the bright lights of Sin City… otherwise known as Las Vegas![showmyads]

For previous USA series post see Washington Smithsonian Museums and the Capitol Building
For next USA series post see Washington DC to Las Vegas