From a smash-hit musical to museum exhibits to related relics, “Hamilton” lovers can get the full fan experience in DC.
Don't throw away your shot to experience Broadway’s award-winning Hamilton: An American Musical as it returns to the Kennedy Center Aug. 2—Oct. 9. Hamilton left an indelible mark on the nation’s capital, where he’s been immortalized at the Treasury Building and as the president general of the Society of the Cincinnati. Whether you want to continue your adventures after attending Hamilton at the Kennedy Center or you just want to celebrate the founder of our national banking system, we’ve got some great ideas for you.
Catch ‘Hamilton’ at the Kennedy Center
A shining example of musical theater at its finest, Hamilton has reached the pinnacle of performing arts thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s imaginative interpretation of Alexander Hamilton’s life story. The production set itself apart from other Broadway musicals thanks to an innovative score – containing songs heavily influenced by hip-hop – and its recasting of America’s Founding Fathers with a diverse cast. You can bet Hamilton is the hottest ticket in town. Visit the Kennedy Center’s website for more ticketing information.
See the First Postage Stamps to Feature Hamilton
Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum is home to the original 1870 postage stamps that were the first to picture Hamilton. The Ceracchi bust of Hamilton appeared on the 30¢ stamp from 1870 until 1890. Hamilton’s portrait did not appear on postage again until 1956. Among the Hamilton collection are also special stamps known as “officials,” issued for use by executive departments of the Federal government, as well as an 1870s beer tax stamp.
Glimpse the Founding Documents and Hamilton’s Handwriting
The National Archives Museum is the nation's record keeper, including the founding documents. Among these documents is the U.S. Constitution, signed by 39 delegates including New York Delegate Alexander Hamilton’s signature on the right side of the last page.
Get to Know Hamilton the Soldier
Well before they dueled, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were members of the same esteemed guild, the Society of the Cincinnati, which is devoted to preserving “the ideals and fellowship of officers of the Continental Army.” Hamilton bested Burr, however, when he was named the second president general of the group, succeeding George Washington. The Society endures today in a free-to-visit mansion along Embassy Row in Dupont Circle. Take part in a tour to view a portrait of Hamilton, completed posthumously and donated by his family, and discover the history of the Society with items and portraits of people that Hamilton would have either known or been aware of, including a mural of the founding of the Society in May of 1783 that occupies a whole wall of one room. Anderson House is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
Interact with Washington’s 'Right-Hand Man' at Mount Vernon
Step into the shoes – well, boots – of General George Washington in Be Washington: It’s Your Turn to Lead, a digital first-person experience featuring Chris Jackson, who first starred as Washington in Hamilton. The narrative features scenes with Hamilton stepping into the “right-hand man” role, advising Washington at pivotal moments in history, such as the French neutrality crisis. Further explore Washington's role and views on the themes in the musical with the Hamilton The Musical tour, offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m. through October.
Go Back in Time in Old Town Alexandria
Once belonging to the new Federal City, Old Town Alexandria conjures up feelings of the past with its Colonial history, English street names and gas lanterns. Explore the past among this historic waterfront hot spot oozing with charm. Tour Gadsby’s Tavern Museum which tells tales of the bar’s heyday, when it entertained Hamilton’s fellow statesmen Madison, Jefferson, Washington, Burr and Lafayette. A few blocks away, the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum explores centuries of history in Washington’s hometown. Be in the room (and city) where it happened!
Say 'Hi' to Hamilton at the National Gallery of Art
Come face-to-face with Alexander Hamilton's portrait at the National Gallery of Art, located on the main floor of the West Building. Listen as art historian Heidi Applegate examines works of art featuring Hamilton and his family in the 2018 lecture, Picturing Alexander Hamilton.
Honor Hamilton at the Treasury Building
If he had been tapped as the Secretary of the Treasury today, Hamilton would’ve operated out of the Treasury Building – which is featured on the back of the $10 bill. You can still catch Hamilton standing tall outside as his statue graces the plaza of the south wing of the building.
Stroll, Sip and Stay in Homage to Hamilton
Head out on the ultimate walking tour for fans of the musical offered by Tours By Locals. Expect to visit the Washington Monument as a nod to Eliza Hamilton, further explore the heroes of the American Revolution and perhaps even stop at the National Archives where the U.S. Constitution is on display. Refuel after the tour with a Hamilton Mule at The Hamilton restaurant and bar, and unwind at the Hamilton Hotel.
Experience Eliza Hamilton’s DC
While Alexander Hamilton never settled into the District, Eliza Hamilton was no stranger to the city. She moved to DC as a widow and lived at a house on H Street, owned by Britannia Wellington (Peter) Kennon of Tudor Place, until her death at age 97. Eliza frequented Capitol Hill and befriended neighbor Dolley Madison, who joined Eliza in advocating and raising funds for the Washington Monument. Mementos of Eliza's life still linger around Tudor Place with a piece of needlework, which she gave to Britannia, as well as an engraved portrait that historically hung in the drawing room, on view during guided tours of the historic house in the upstairs bedroom.
Tap into DC’s Thriving Theater Scene
Hamilton isn’t the only production in town that you should plan to see. The nation’s capital offers a full array of world-class performing arts and original plays. Don’t take our word for it, playwright, director and actor Psalmayene 24 has all the details in the above video. Theaters in DC produce everything from Broadway-bound world premieres, such as Dear Evan Hansen and Mean Girls, to edgy comedies, Shakespeare interpretations and homegrown productions. Check out the latest performances during your time in the city, and look for discounted tickets via todaytix.com.
Looking for more fun things to do? Experience the presidential side of Washington, DC by becoming your own explorer-in-chief.
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