Elliot Carter's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »
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The temple from the visitor's center.
Kensington, Maryland

Washington, D.C. Mormon Temple

The tallest Mormon temple in the world soars above the Beltway.
39.0158, -77.0645
The House of the Temple.
Washington, D.C.

House of the Temple

This imposing Masonic temple a mile from the White House was the first public library in Washington, D.C.
38.9137, -77.0360
The front of the memorial.
Washington, D.C.

Benjamin Grenup Monument

This grisly headstone doesn’t seem to be resting in peace.
38.9220, -77.0062
The house used to be an alleyway.
Alexandria, Virginia

Hollensbury Spite House

The narrowest house in America is seven feet of pure spite.
38.8073, -77.0451
Woodrow Wilson Bridge
Fort Washington, Maryland

Woodrow Wilson Bridge

This rare triple-jurisdiction drawbridge passes through Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
38.7934, -77.0317
The original hot dog stand, shuttered in 2006
Arlington, Virginia

Pentagon Hot Dog Stand

Rumor has it the hot dog stand was targeted by two Russian nuclear missiles.
38.8710, -77.0560
National Building Museum
Washington, D.C.

National Building Museum

Fittingly, America's museum of architecture is itself a magnificently designed old building.
38.8978, -77.0175
The Washington Hilton, known by some as the "Hinckley Hilton."
Washington, D.C.

Hinckley Hilton President's Walk

A hidden passageway now marks the site of an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan that some say broke a 140-year-old curse.
38.9165, -77.0449
A discreet entrance to the White House.
Washington, D.C.

Secret Entrance to the White House

The winding route passes through an enclosed alleyway, two tunnels, and leads to the White House basement.
38.9001, -77.0346
Down periscope.
Washington, D.C.

USS Balao Conning Tower

Part of a WWII submarine is lurking outside the Washington Navy Yard parking lot.
38.8730, -76.9987
Washington, D.C.

Old Stone House

The oldest building in the District of Columbia was preserved because of a mistaken connection to George Washington.
38.9057, -77.0603
Recolored photo of George White's 1991 cornerstone.
Washington, D.C.

Missing Capitol Building Cornerstone

A promising candidate for the lost rock laid by George Washington was unearthed, but the hunt is still on.
38.8893, -77.0088
A clone of the clone of the Newton apple tree, present day.
Washington, D.C.

NIST Newton Apple Tree

A clone of a cloned tree that was so important it allegedly had its own guards.
38.9419, -77.0656
Washington, D.C.

Alferd Packer Cannibal Plaque

A brass plaque dedicated to a convicted cannibal hangs in the National Press Club, and that's not even the craziest part of the story.
38.8970, -77.0312
Nike Missile Site W-92.
Gaithersburg, Maryland

Nike Missile Site W-92

Three abandoned missile silos are hiding in plain sight behind a suburban development in Maryland.
39.1169, -77.2196
Nice parking job.
Washington, D.C.

Navy Yard Railroad Gun

One of the largest artillery pieces in the world sits in a Washington D.C. parking lot.
38.8724, -76.9962
Washington's Titanic Memorial
Washington, D.C.

Titanic Memorial

This lonely waterfront memorial to the men of the Titanic was erected by the "Women of America."
38.8720, -77.0193
Machu Picchu.
Aguas Calientes, Peru

Machu Picchu: The Lost City of The Inca

The intricate stonework of Machu Picchu serves as a testament to Incan engineers.
-13.1631, -72.5450
The annual Blessing of the Fleets ceremony.
Washington, D.C.

The Blessing of the Fleets Ceremony

The fountains of the U.S. Navy Memorial are annually salted with water from the Seven Seas as part of a nautical ritual.
38.8944, -77.0225
The model was relocated from the Smithsonian in 2010.
Washington, D.C.

USS Missouri Model Ship

The U.S. Navy’s preposterously detailed mini battleship took 77,000 hours to complete.
38.8731, -76.9953
The stone has been worn down a bit over the years.
Washington, D.C.

District of Columbia Center Point

A little marble compass above George Washington's (empty) tomb in the Capitol marks where D.C.'s four quadrants intersect.
38.8898, -77.0090
Ruins of the kitchen outbuilding
Arlington, Virginia

Abingdon Plantation Ruins

The remains of a historic plantation nestled in between a parking lot and the rental car return at Reagan National Airport.
38.8514, -77.0444
Washington, D.C.

Washington Aqueduct Emergency Pumping Station

These abandoned waterworks are crumbling into the Potomac River.
38.9331, -77.1174
Catacombs of Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.

Catacombs of Washington, D.C.

Franciscan monks created a facsimile of the Holy Land for North Americans who couldn’t afford the trip overseas.
38.9376, -76.9846