7th St. and Independence Ave. SW
HOURS: Museum daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.,
plaza daily 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.,
sculpture garden daily 7:30 a.m.-dusk;
closed Christmas Day
Kudos to architect Gordon Bunshaft for the distinctive look of this midcentury modern doughnut-shaped museum, an unidentified picture of which hangs in nearly every full-service Marriott bathroom—at least the ones in Williamsburg, Virginia, St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Chicago, and Sydney.
In addition to its distinctive shape and interior courtyard, the Hirshhorn has an equally impressive interior, a natural light-filled space containing a mind-bending collection of contemporary works that include mobiles from Alexander Calder, sculptures by Matisse, and paintings and silk screens by De Kooning, Warhol, and Miró.
If you don’t have time to tour the inside, at least walk through the museum’s sunken Sculpture Garden as you make your way down the Mall. This space features the works of more than 70 artists; pieces include Rodin’s Burghers of Calais and Horse and Rider by Marino Marini. The Hirshhorn also hosts art classes for children and youths; these artist-led mini courses on Saturday are among the most popular children’s activities in the city.