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History Lover's Guide to Washington DC

History Lover's Guide to Washington DC

For United States history buffs, there’s no better bang for your buck than a visit to Washington DC. In the country’s capital, memorials to past conflicts and triumphs stand alongside working political hubs like Congress and the White House. Here are the top six places to get your American history fix in DC. The US Capitol Building Crowning Capitol Hill, the home of the US Senate and the House of Representatives is almost always buzzing with legislative activity. Free tours can be booked online in advance. Same-day passes are often limited, so it’s smart to plan ahead. The National Mall This open-air park extends from the US Capitol on the eastern end to the Lincoln Memorial and is visible across the city thanks to the towering Washington Monument. Discover the best photo ops on a small-group National Mall walking tour, and don’t miss seeing the monuments and memorials lit up at night. The White House The most famous address in America is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, home to every president since John Adams. For US residents, White House tours can only be arranged through the visitor’s state representative. For foreign travelers to the US, a White House tour can be requested through the visitor’s embassy in Washington DC. With or without a reserved tour, the White House’s South Lawn can often be seen on bus and walking tours. National Archives See John Hancock’s original signature on the Declaration of Independence, plus other historic documents like the Bill of Rights and US Constitution in these climate-controlled archives. Many guided tours include reserved access, for a smoother visit without the wait. National Museum of American History Located on the National Mall, this free museum showcases American history and culture through artifacts like the original Star-Spangled Banner (the flag that inspired the country’s national anthem) and Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz film. Book a private tour for deeper insight into highlights of the museum’s nearly 2 million objects. Arlington National Cemetery Across the Potomac River but connected to central DC with a Metro stop, this hallowed burial ground is the final resting place of soldiers from armed conflicts dating back to the Civil War. The peaceful landscape is huge, so guided tours provide an efficient way to locate prominent grave sites like John F. Kennedy’s Eternal Flame, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Iwo Jima Memorial.

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18 Tours and Activities | All Washington DC Tours

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DC At Dusk Guided Night Tour

DC At Dusk Guided Night Tour

star-4.5
2175
Ride a luxury mini-coach past major landmarks on this night bus tour of Washington DC. Gaze at floodlit memorials and monuments, such as the magnificent Lincoln Memorial and the glow of the Jefferson Memorial reflected in the Tidal Basin. After this sightseeing tour, you’ll understand why the nation’s capital is considered one of the world’s most beautiful cities at night.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$58.00
From
$58.00
Taking safety measures

Best of DC Tour - With Access to US Capitol & National Archives Buildings
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Best of DC Tour - With Access to US Capitol & National Archives Buildings

star-4.5
1052
Beat the long entrance lines and experience some of the most popular attractions in Washington, DC like an insider on this full-day sightseeing tour. Enjoy priority entry into the United States Capitol, the home of Congress. Then visit the National Archives Building, where the original Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution are on display. In between, see the city’s most famous landmarks and monuments, like the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and more.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$109.00
From
$109.00
Taking safety measures

African-American History Tour with Reserved Museum Entry
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

African-American History Tour with Reserved Museum Entry

star-4.5
202
Immerse yourself in the history of African-American culture in the United States during this half-day history excursion in the Nation’s Capital. Follow the path of the first African-Americans at Jamestown through the Civil Rights movement, checking out key sites like the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, the vibrant U Street corridor, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the MLK Memorial, plus much more. Due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian institutions are closed.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$91.44
Price varies by group size
From
$91.44
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Washington DC in One Day: Guided Sightseeing Tour

Washington DC in One Day: Guided Sightseeing Tour

star-4.5
821
Experience the sights and sounds of Washington, DC in one day on this guided walking and riding sightseeing tour around the nation’s capital. Visit the city’s historic, iconic landmarks and monuments, like the White House, the United States Capitol, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. See and learn about the memorials of famous American leaders who helped shape the United States, like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Luther King, Jr., to name a few. Includes a seasonal Potomac River cruise.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$79.00
From
$79.00
Taking safety measures

Big Bus Washington DC Open Top Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Big Bus Washington DC Open Top Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

star-3.5
1836
Discover the most popular sights in Washington, DC on this relaxing hop-on hop-off bus tour. Drive past many of the top attractions in the nation’s capital — including the White House, the Washington Monument, the National Mall, historic Georgetown, and Arlington National Cemetery, and choose where you want to get off and explore in more detail. Select a 1- or 2-day pass, then hop on at any of the stops on two different routes and get to know the city with an audio commentary. The 2-day Deluxe option includes a Night Tour.
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  • 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$44.10
From
$44.10
Taking safety measures

Washington DC Sightseeing Trolley Tour with 1 Stop

Washington DC Sightseeing Trolley Tour with 1 Stop

star-4
1462
Depart from the Washington DC Welcome Center and take a 90 minute Washington DC trolley tour to explore the nation’s capital. The route encompasses the city’s top attractions, including the White House, Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$49.00
From
$49.00
Taking safety measures

Washington DC Sightseeing Tour plus Seasonal Boat Cruise of the Potomac River

Washington DC Sightseeing Tour plus Seasonal Boat Cruise of the Potomac River

star-4.5
308
Explore the famous landmarks and monuments of Washington DC on this guided 6-hour walking and riding sightseeing tour. Hop aboard a deluxe motor coach and enjoy an educational and entertaining narrated history of the nation’s capital. Stop at the White House and the United States Capitol, plus the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and much more. The full-day tour features more than 30 sites with stops to at least 12 sites. It’s a great way to see many of DC’s popular attractions.
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  • 6 hours
From
$94.00
From
$94.00

Mount Vernon and Old Town Alexandria Day Trip from Washington DC

Mount Vernon and Old Town Alexandria Day Trip from Washington DC

star-4
266
Explore some of the most famous landmark locations around Washington, DC on this guided, half-day sightseeing tour. Travel to Mount Vernon, George Washington's popular plantation in Virginia and one of the nation’s most beloved historic sites. Learn about his life and tour his home of more than 40 years. Then enjoy a guided bus trip around Old Town Alexandria. See the many historic 17th- and 18th-century homes, hear colorful stories about this founding father and discover little known facts about all the monuments, statues and buildings in the area.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$81.17
From
$81.17
Taking safety measures

Gastronomic Georgetown Food Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Gastronomic Georgetown Food Tour

star-4.5
56
Come hungry for food and for knowledge on this historical and culinary tour of Georgetown, whose roots predate Washington DC. Learn about Georgetown's 250 years of history, from its origins as a working class port city to its current status as a trendy college neighborhood, and stop to sample a broad selection of some of the best food the neighborhood has to offer. Tastings can range from tacos to Korean tapas to French cuisine paired with wine, and all tastings are included in the price.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$81.51
From
$81.51
Taking safety measures

Smithsonian Museum of American History Guided Tour - Private Tour

Smithsonian Museum of American History Guided Tour - Private Tour

star-5
16
Get an in-depth look at the National Museum of American History on this 2.5-hour private tour. With a dedicated guide, visit the museum's highlights that features personalized attention and a flexible itinerary.
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  • 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$79.50
Price varies by group size
From
$79.50
Price varies by group size

U Street: Food, History, and Street Art Tour

U Street: Food, History, and Street Art Tour

star-5
135
Get a taste of Washington DC's historic U Street neighborhood on this guided culinary walking tour. Discover the history and culture of these streets, formerly known as ‘Black Broadway,’ while stopping at multiple local restaurants to sample the foods that make these neighborhoods unique. A portion of every ticket price goes to feed district residents in need.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$103.64
From
$103.64
Taking safety measures

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Guided Small Group Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Guided Small Group Tour

star-5
18
Take one giant leap into the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, on a 2 hour small group tour that covers the early history of flight, and the modern-day life of an astronaut. This group is limited to 8 people, and explores a collection that includes everything from space suits, to moon rocks, and a model of the International Space Station.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$79.50
Price varies by group size
From
$79.50
Price varies by group size

War Memorials and Arlington National Cemetery Tour

War Memorials and Arlington National Cemetery Tour

star-3.5
161
Visit Arlington National Cemetery and explore some of the most famous memorials around Washington, DC on this sightseeing tour. At Arlington National, witness the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns, then stop at famous landmark locations like the Marine Corps War Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and more. Additionally, see the Lincoln Memorial, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and many more—even the White House, the United States Capitol and the National Mall.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$71.74
From
$71.74
Taking safety measures

Washington DC Capital Sites Bike Tour

Washington DC Capital Sites Bike Tour

star-5
127
Washington DC is full of historical sites and while it’s easy to explore on foot or by bus, this 2-wheel tour option gives travelers access to some of the city’s most popular landmarks. Check out the Lincoln Memorial, White House, Supreme Court and the Capitol on this Capital Sites Bike Tour. Your friendly guide shares plenty of history, facts, and city knowledge on this easy bike ride through the nation’s capital.
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  • 3 hours
From
$46.00
From
$46.00

Smithsonian Air & Space & American History Museum Guided Tour - Private Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Smithsonian Air & Space & American History Museum Guided Tour - Private Tour

star-5
15
Enjoy personalized attention on this 5-hour combo tour that includes the Museum of American History and the National Air and Space Museum. Combine America's past and future, narrated by your dedicated guide.
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  • 5 hours to 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$143.10
Price varies by group size
From
$143.10
Price varies by group size

Washington DC National Mall and Museums Pedicab Tour

Washington DC National Mall and Museums Pedicab Tour

star-4
5
Explore Washington DC's must-see sights on a fun pedicab ride. Your informative guide will pedal you past some of the capital city's must-see sights. See the U.S. Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument at the National Mall. Pass by the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Chinatown, the National Archives Building and the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. Play some trivia games with your guide and small group of fellow travelers for the chance to win a prize.
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  • 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$100.69
From
$100.69
Taking safety measures

Private History of Old Town Alexandria Walking Tour

Private History of Old Town Alexandria Walking Tour

star-5
5
Explore some of the most famous landmark locations around Old Town Alexandria, Virginia on this 90-minute Civil War-era walking tour. See the many historic 17th- and 18th-century homes, hear colorful stories about its founding father and discover little known facts about all the monuments, statues and buildings in the area. Visit the historic mansion and gardens of the Carlyle House; Christ Church, where George Washington worshipped; the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop, now preserved as a museum and more. Any necessary entrance fees are included.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$149.00
per group
From
$149.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Water Taxi from Wharf or National Harbor

Water Taxi from Wharf or National Harbor

star-4
66
See the famous monuments of Washington, DC from an entirely new perspective on this narrated sightseeing cruise. Hop aboard a riverboat and enjoy the breathtaking view of our nation’s capital on an afternoon or evening excursion. Travel along the Potomac River to see the plethora of famous monuments and landmarks, with stunning reflective views of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Washington Monument, Arlington Memorial Bridge, and more. This is a truly unique look at the iconic monuments of Washington, DC.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$21.00
From
$21.00
Taking safety measures