Tours in D.C. : Other Tours
Many sites in Washington D.C. require or recommend that you make reservations prior to your arrival. Below are some of Washington D.C.'s most popular attractions. Many of the attractions listed do not require reservations, or require reservations that constituents can make on their own. Due to the high demand, we recommend you contact attractions requiring reservations as soon as possible.
- White House Visitor Center: All tours are significantly enhanced if visitors stop by the White House Visitor Center located at the southeast corner of 15th and E Streets, before or after their tour. The Center is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and features many aspects of the White House, including its architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders, as well as a thirty-minute video. Allow between 20 minutes to one hour to explore the exhibits.
- Arlington National Cemetery: Arlington National Cemetery is open to the public at 8 a.m. 365 days a year. From April 1 to Sept. 30 the cemetery closes at 7 p.m.; the other six months it closes at 5 p.m. Visitors are able to visit many important and solemn sites, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Kennedy grave site.
- Library of Congress (LOC) Public Tours: The LOC offers public tours on a first-come, first-served basis every hour on the half-hour from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm Monday through Saturday (with no 3:30 pm tour on Saturdays).
- Bureau of Engraving & Printing (BEP) Public Tours: The BEP offers public tours on a first-come, first-served basis every 15 minutes from 9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m., and from 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. The Ticket Booth opens at 8:00 a.m. - Monday through Friday, and closes when all tickets have been distributed. Lines form early (some days as early as 5:30 a.m.) and tickets go quickly. Most days, especially during the first two weeks in April ~ Cherry Blossom/Spring Break, tickets are gone by 8:30 a.m.
- Washington Monument: The Washington Monument is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. except Christmas. In order to enter the monument tickets are required and are administered through the National Park Reservation Service. Reservations may be made between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. EST by calling (800) 967-2283. Those making advance reservations will be charged $1.50 service fee per ticket, plus a $.50 handling fee per order. Free tickets are distributed for that day's visit from the kiosk on the Washington Monument grounds at 15th Street and Jefferson Drive on a first-come first-served basis. Hours for the ticket kiosk are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but tickets run out early.
- Gallery Passes for the United States Senate: When the Senate is in session and the Capital Visitors Center is at capacity, Californians are still able to obtain passes to the Senate gallery. In order to obtain a gallery pass, simply visit the Senator's office at 112 Hart Senate Office Building, passes will be provided.
- The Smithsonian: The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum complex and research organization. Based near the United States Capitol, the Smithsonian is composed of 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo. The most popular museums include the National Air & Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of Natural History, and the National Portrait Gallery. All are extremely popular with children and adults of all ages.
Air & Space Museum: Located at the corner of Independence Ave. & 6th St., SW, the Air & Space Museum is free of admission, and is open every day, from 10 am until 5:30 pm (December 25th excluded).
Museum of American History: Located at the corner of Constitution Ave. & 14th St.,NW, the Museum of American History is free of admission, and is open every day, from 10 am until 5:30 pm (December 25th excluded).
Museum of Natural History: Located at the corner of Constitution Ave. & 10th St., NW, the Museum of Natural History is free of admission, and is open every day, from 10 am until 5:30 pm (December 25th excluded).
National Portrait Gallery: Located at the corner of Eighth & F Streets, NW, the National Portrait gallery is free of admission, and is open every day, from 11:30 am until 7:00 pm (December 25th excluded).
- National Gallery Art: The National Gallery of Art, one of the world's preeminent museums, was created for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution of Congress accepting the gift of financier, public servant, and art collector Andrew W. Mellon in 1937, the year of his death. The Gallery's collection of some 116,000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, and decorative arts traces the development of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. The Gallery and its Garden are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue, NW. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Both the Gallery and the Garden are closed on December 25 and January 1. Admission is free.
- National Archives: The National Archives was established in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt, but its major holdings date back to 1775. The Rotunda of the National Archives Building in downtown Washington, DC, displays the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. The Rotunda is located on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, and is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 am until 7 pm.
- Holocaust Museum: A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum stimulates leaders and citizens to confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity, and strengthen democracy. A public-private partnership, federal support guarantees the Museum's permanence, and donors nationwide make possible its educational activities and global outreach. Free timed passes for visiting the Permanent Exhibition - The Holocaust - are required March through August and can be obtained at the Museum on the day of your visit or in advance by contacting tickets.com. Also, each day from March through August, the Museum distributes on a first-come first-served basis a large but limited number of timed entry passes for use that same day. Even if you cannot get Permanent Exhibition passes between March and August for the day you want to come, we invite you to visit and take advantage of the Museum's many other learning opportunities.
- Mount Vernon, VA: Mount Vernon was the beloved home of George and Martha Washington from the time of their marriage in 1759 until General Washington's death in 1799. Twenty-three theater and gallery experiences -- many of them with interactive technology -- illuminate the detailed story of Washington's life, including his military and political careers. Admission varies from $6 to $15.
- Newseum: The Newseum is a highly interactive museum dedicated to chronicling five centuries of news history. Located at Pennsylvania Ave. & 6th St., NW, The Newseum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Tickets vary in price from $13 to $20.
- Spy Museum: The International Spy Museum is the first and only public museum in the United States solely dedicated to espionage and the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on this all-but-invisible profession. It features the largest collection of international spy-related artifacts ever placed on public display. The stories of individual spies, told through film, interactives, and state-of-the-art exhibits, provide a dynamic context to foster an understanding of espionage and its impact on current and historic events. Tickets vary in price based on the type of visit you choose, and can range in cost from $15 to $25.
- Night Time Monument Tours: The Monuments on the National Mall are timeless reminders of our country's heroes. While a variety of tours are available, one truly breathtaking type of tour is a Night Time Monument Tour. About.com has a particularly good run down of "Moonlight Tours" of Washington, DC.
- Voice of America: The Voice of America is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of 123 million people. Guided tours of VOA studios in Washington are available weekday afternoons.
- The Kennedy Center: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the nation's performing arts center and a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy. The tour highlights the historic events that led up to the establishment of a national cultural center, as well as an interactive exhibit on the life and presidency of John F. Kennedy. Tours of the Kennedy Center are offered daily, free of charge, and given by the Friends of the Kennedy Center volunteers.