The White House
What is the first place you think of when you think of Washington D.C.? The White House, of course! This presidential home is a popular tourist destination for the entire world, officially named as the ‘most famous house in the U.S’. Not only do you get to experience an integral part of U.S history while here, but you also get to see an integral part of its present and its future. Walk through the same hallways the presidents of our past have as they made some of their toughest and most important decisions, something that could very well be happening during your current visit with President Donald Trump doing business somewhere throughout this building.
To be able to tour The White House you need a few things:
- Submit a tour request through your Member of Congress 21 days to 3 months in advance.
- Bring government-issued ID if you are above the age of 18. (Foreign Guests need to visit Embassy).
- Leave all bags and backpacks outside and be respectful of current happenings in White House while touring (no flashes or loud noises).
Self-guided tours happen on a first come first serve basis each Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 am to 11:30 am Friday and Saturday until 1:30 pm. These times depend on holidays, availability, and security issues at that time, of course. During the tour itself, you can see the East Wing Public Rooms freely, including the Blue, Red, Green, China, and State Dining Rooms. You will have a full view of The White House Rose Garden during a bit of the tour, something that is actually toured in of itself each spring for a couple of days. There is a White House Visitor Center you may want to start or finish your trip at, or you can take advantage of the stationed Secret Service Members in each room. They will answer any questions you may have about that area's history or architecture.
Some last-minute tips before your visit:
- Take the Metro or any other public transportation, there is no parking on site.
- Take a pre-restroom break at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion, it’s the only one nearby!
- Take plenty of photos, the photo ban was lifted in 2015! Just make sure your smartphone or compact camera has a lens measuring less than 3 inches.
- If you know someone on the inside, insist on the West Wing Tour. This feature is typically by invite only.