Visiting Washington DC: Congress Can Help with Tours

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As one of the many alumnae living in the National Capital Region, I am often asked “touristy” questions by sisters in other cities, states, and countries. I’ve lived in DC, MD, and Virginia on and off for a total of 18 years and there are still things I haven’t seen and places I haven’t visited. But I still have a few bits of advice that out-of-towners might find helpful.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to have a specific game plan for your vacations, you can line up quite a few tours before you even arrive by contacting your Senators or Representative. (Note: each Member of Congress has their own web page dedicated to tours.)

Image of Capitol Visitors Center by Matthew Bisanz
Capitol Visitors Center by Matthew Bisanz
  • United States Capitol — Many Congressional offices offer their own staff-led tours to constituent groups of up to 15 people, and most can assist you in reserving a general tour.
  • The White House — The White House assigns tour times according to their scheduling needs between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Fridays, and 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturdays (excluding federal holidays or unless otherwise noted). It is recommended that you submit your tour request at least eight weeks in advance of your requested date, and that you select multiple dates to visit.
  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing — The BEP grants special requests for tours made through the office of your local United States Senator or Representative. These tours take place Monday through Friday at 8:15 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. April through August, Congressional tours also run every 15 minutes from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
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