Spring in the gardens


There's something new in every season

Hints and Tips

Please note: For your safety during this time, our policies have changed. Please consult our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for our most up-to-date visitation information.

Allow plenty of time: Hillwood guests average close to three hours per visit. Arrive early to allow ample time to enjoy everything Hillwood has to offer.

Visit Tuesday through Friday: Weekdays tend to be less busy than weekends. 

Dress for comfort: Wear comfortable walking shoes and appropriate clothing for the seasons, so you may enjoy all the breathtaking outdoor spaces.

Bring bug spray: You may wish to use bug spray while enjoying the gardens.

Photo shoots are not permitted without prior arrangements: We allow informal, vacation-style photography only. Please review our full photography policy for more information. 

Please leave your pets at home: With the exceptions of service dogs and specially designated mornings for Hillwood members only, dogs are not permitted on the property. We cannot allow entrance to vehicles with pets inside. 

Touring options: Download Hillwood's dynamic mobile audio tour and bring headphones to make the most of your self-guided visit. Audio guides are currently not available. Guided mansion and garden tours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to docent availability. Due to limited docent availability because of COVID, tours are not guaranteed. When offered, garden tours will be scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and mansion tours will be scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with an additional tour at 3:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Each tour is approximately one hour long. Please inquire at the visitor center regarding tour availability the day of your visit.

Reserve in advance: Reservations are not required, but you can save time at check in by registering in advance. Make your arrangements online or call the Visitor Information Office at 202.686.5807, Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Picnicking: Visitors may bring food and non-alcoholic beverages for informal picnics, or purchase food, beverages, beer, and wine at Merriweather Café. Please note that special events, lawn furniture, music, sports, decorations, balloons, coolers and outside alcohol are not permitted. 

Bicyclists are welcome: A bicycle rack is available near the visitor center.

Please don't smoke: Hillwood is a smoke-free campus. All forms of smoking, including electronic cigarettes, are prohibited. 

Selfie sticks: Please note, the use of selfie sticks is prohibited inside all interior spaces of Hillwood. You may enjoy using your selfie sticks in the gardens, but please be mindful of other visitors nearby.

Take a seat: Benches and chairs are located throughout the estate and in the mansion for visitor use. Take your time and rest often. 

Every season is beautiful at Hillwood: Spring and fall seasons are popular, but the gardens have much to offer during summer and winter.

In the mansion:

  • All ages are welcome in the mansion and gardens. When accompanying young children, please hold hands and stay together. 
  • Please leave large bags, coats, and water bottles in your vehicle. Or, check them in the complimentary coat check in the mansion.
  • Please note: Strollers must be left parked outside of the mansion.
  • Please stay behind the ropes and do not touch the objects.

In the gardens:

  • Watch your step. Some of the natural stone paths are uneven.
  • Please stay on designated paths.
  • Please do not pick or gather flowers or plants.
  • Please do not walk on or use the putting green.

In the exhibition spaces (Adirondack building and dacha):

  • Please note: Strollers must be left parked outside the buildings.