For a more cultured look at the city, take a trip to popular Dupont Circle to America’s first museum of modern art, the Phillips Collection. Opened in 1921 and housed in the former home of the collection’s founder, Duncan Phillips, the Phillips Collection combines the charm of an intimate, private art institution with awe-inspiring works found typically at larger, government-run galleries (think stumbling upon Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party” while having tea with a friend). 

With priceless modern and impressionist works from both American and European artists, the Phillips Collection houses an impressive permanent collection with several works from Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keefe, Renoir and van Gogh. The museum also includes works from contemporary, living artists to add to its diverse exhibits. Despite its size, the Phillips Collection seems to always be rotating new special exhibits to accentuate their impressive permanent collection.

Insider Tip: Visit the gallery on the first Thursday of every month for their entertaining, “Phillips After 5” event from 5:00 PM – 8:30 PM. With live jazz, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, as well as gallery lectures and films, this artisanal party attracts young, cultured patrons from around the city looking to enjoy the gallery in a more social atmosphere!

*Note: The Phillips Collection is closed on Mondays and holidays.