Washington DC Architecture Walking Tours

Discover the history behind the brick and mortar on a walking tour of Washington DC

National Mall: Monuments & Memorials Walking Tour

 

Explore Washington's most iconic landmarks on a walking tour of the National Mall. Take in the towering Washington Monument, sobering Vietnam Wall and awe inspiring Lincoln Memorial while learning about the designers and politicians that helped shape this monumental core of the Capital. Hear stories of the history, heroes, and hopes of the United States on a stroll through the heart of Washington DC! Sights and stops include:

 

  • Washington Monument

  • The White House

  • National WWII Memorial

  • Vietnam Veteran's Memorial

  • Korean War Veterans Memorial

  • Lincoln Memorial

 

This tour meets at the Washington Lodge, just to the East of the Washington Monument. The tour takes about 2 hours and covers approximately 1 mile, ending at the Lincoln Memorial. Click here to see a map of the tour route!

National Mall Washington DC | DC Design Tours
 
Arts and Industries Building Washington DC | DC Design Tours

Castle to Capitol: 

Museums of the National Mall Walking Tour

 

On this walking tour, explore how the Smithsonian Institution has shaped the fabric of the National Mall since 1855. Washington's best-loved museums line the east side of the National Mall, between the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument. The Smithsonian Institution, nicknamed the "Nation's Attic," is one of the largest museum complexes in the world, with 19 museums and over 150 million items in the collection. Over 30 million people visit each year! Each unique building is an architectural landmark all its own. Sights and stops include:

 

  • Smithsonian Castle & Garden

  • James V. Forrestal Building (Dept of Energy)

  • Arts and Industries Building

  • Hirshhorn Museum

  • National Air and Space Museum

  • National Gallery of Art (from a distance)

  • National Museum of the American Indian

  • United States Botanic Garden

  • United States Capitol Building

 

This tour meets in front of the Smithsonian Castle at 1000 Jefferson Dr SW. The tour takes about 2 hours and covers approximately 1 mile, ending on the West lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Click here to see a map of the tour route!

 

Iconic Capitol Hill Walking Tour

 

This walking tour takes visitors through the political core of Washington DC! From the original L'Enfant city plan, to the tumultuous construction of the Capitol and Grounds, the rise of the magnificent Beaux Arts Library of Congress and imposing Supreme Court, and into the present day. Prolific designers like Thomas Jefferson, Robert Mills, Frederick law Olmstead, and Daniel Burnham will feature prominently. Controversy, chaos, and red tape abound! A tour not to be missed by architecture and history enthusiasts. Sights and stops include:

 

  • Union Station

  • U.S. Capitol Building

  • Capitol Grounds

  • Supreme Court Building

  • Library of Congress

  • Capitol Visitors Center

 

This tour meets in the Great Hall of Union Station under the big clock. The tour takes about 2 hours and covers approximately 1 mile, ending at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. Click here to see a map of the tour route!

US Capitol Building Washington DC | DC Design Tours
 
 

Dupont Circle & Embassy Row Walking Tour

 

Gilded Age opulent mansions and grand embassies line the streets of one of Washington DC's most fashionable neighborhoods, Dupont Circle. Walk along Embassy Row and see some of the city's most impressive properties, spanning the architectural gamut from Neo-classical to Beaux-Arts to Queen Anne and more. Hear the stories and scandals that helped shape the Nation behind the doors of the District's most extravagant homes. Sights and stops include:

 

  • Dupont Circle

  • Embassy of Indonesia (Walsh-McLean House)

  • The Cosmos Club

  • Society of the Cincinnati (Anderson Mansion)

  • Woodrow Wilson House

  • Spanish Steps

  • Edward Lind Morse Studio

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt House

  • The Phillip's Collection

and more!

 

This tour meets in the center of Dupont Circle at the base of the fountain, and wraps up in from of the Phillip's Collection at 21st and Q St, near the Dupont Circle metro station. The tour takes about 2 hours and covers approximately 2 miles. Check out this video featuring our guide, Carolyn, talking all about embassies, and click here for a map of the tour route!

 

Dupont Circle Washington DC | DC Design Tours

Historic Georgetown Walking Tour

 

 

Established fifty years before Washington DC, Georgetown began as a gritty port city on the banks of the Potomac River, described by Abigail Adams as a "dirty little hole". Despite its modest start, Georgetown is now home to palatial mansions, elegant cemeteries, stately churches, and a world class University. Explore the highlights and secrets of DC's most exclusive neighborhood while learning about Georgetown's transformation in this rags to riches tale. Sights and stops include:

 

  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

  • Old Stone House

  • Newton D. Baker House

  • Miss Lydia's English Seminary

  • Christ Episcopal Church

  • Pomander Walk

  • Volta Laboratory

  • Georgetown University

  • Exorcist Steps

  • Georgetown Waterfront

and more!

 

This tour meets outside the coffee shop Baked and Wired at 1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW. The tour takes 2-2.5 hours and covers approximately 2 miles, ending at the Georgetown Waterfront. Check out this video with guide Carolyn all about Georgetown and click here for a  map of the tour route!

 
Georgetown Washington DC | DC Design Tours

White House & Pennsylvania Avenue Walking Tour

 

Pennsylvania Avenue has been host to inaugurations, protests and celebrations throughout our Nation's history. But the development of this grand boulevard, connecting the Capitol to the White House, is fraught with conflict and intrigue. Visit the White House grounds, walk Pennsylvania Ave, and learn how downtown Washington went from Murder Bay to America's Main Street. Sights and stops include:

 

  • The White House

  • Eisenhower Executive Office Building

  • Blair House (President's Guest House)

  • The Willard Hotel

  • Old Post Tower

  • J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building

  • U.S. Navy Memorial

  • National Archives

and more!

 

This tour meets in front of the White House in Lafayette Square at the
General Rochambeau Statue, 701 Jackson Pl NW. 
The tour takes about 2 hours and covers approximately 2 miles, ending near the National Archives at Pennsylvania Ave and 7th St. Click here to see a map of the tour route!

Pennsylvania Avenue Washington DC | DC Design Tours
 

Columbia Heights & Adams Morgan Walking Tour

 

Venture into some of Washington's most diverse residential areas in this off the beaten path tour of the Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan neighborhoods. From DC socialites to civil rights activists, Northwest Washington has been host to castles, embassies, temples, protests, and almost the Lincoln Memorial! Sights and stops include: 

 

  • Meridian Hill Park

  • Josephine Butler Parks Center

  • Warder Mansion

  • Spanish Cultural Center

  • Scottish Rite of the District of Columbia

  • Unification Church

  • Lanier Firehouse

  • Adams Morgan Main Street

and more!

 

This tour meets at the bottom of the fountain in Meridian Hill Park near 1559  W St NW. The tour takes about 2 hours and covers approximately 2 miles, ending near the intersection of 18th street and Kalorama Rd NW.

Click here to see a map of the tour route!

 

Meridan Hill Park Washington DC | DC Design Tours
 
 
Arlington National Cemetery Washington DC | DC Design Tours

Arlington National Cemetery Walking Tour

 

Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of over 400,000 servicemen and servicewomen.  With a commanding view of Washington DC, Arlington preserves the history of the United States' past. Every war is represented here, from the American Revolution to the present day. Two Presidents, thirteen Supreme Court justices, senators, congressmen, war heroes, and thousands of others are interred among the rolling hills, stone monuments, trees, flowers, and modest grave markers. Take a guided walk through the cemetery to hear the famous and little known stories contained within this hallowed ground. Sights and stops include:

  • Kennedy Grave-sights

  • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

  • Changing of the Guard Ceremony

  • USS Maine Mast Memorial

  • Space Shuttle Memorials

  • Arlington Mansion

  • Pentagon (from a distance)

  • President William Howard Taft Monument

  • Tomb of Robert Todd Lincoln

 

This tour meets outside the Arlington National Cemetery Visitors Center at 1 Memorial Ave, Fort Myer, VA 22211. The tour takes about 2.5 hours and covers approximately 2.5 miles, ending back at the Visitors Center. The Arlington National Cemetery tour is offered on special occasions, such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and as a private tour option year round. Please get in touch to request this tour.

 

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms | DC Design Tours

Cherry Blossom Tidal Basin Walking Tour

 

Every year Washington's iconic cherry blossom trees draw thousands of visitors to the Tidal Basin. Nestled among three spectacular memorials, the trees reach usually reach peak bloom in early April, when a breathtaking event takes place! Join a special Cherry Blossom Tidal Basin tour for an opportunity to see the memorials and cherry blossoms in their full splendor. Hear about the design of the memorials, visit a few hidden gems along the Tidal Basin, and learn all about the bloom! Sights and stops include:

  • Tidal Basin

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

  • Pentagon (from a distance)

  • Potomac River

  • Jefferson Memorial

 

This tour meets outside the Martin Luther King Memorial Bookstore at 121 West Basin Dr SW. The tour takes about 1.5 hours and covers approximately 1 mile, ending at the Jefferson Memorial. The Cherry Blossom tour is offered seasonally during the bloom, usually mid-March to mid-April. Please get in touch to request this tour privately or outside of blooming season.

 

 
National WWII Memorial Washington DC | DC Design Tours

Private Tours

 

Book your private Washington DC tour for an extra personal experience in the Nation's Capital. Choose from any of our tour offerings to be conducted privately. Private tours can be arranged as walking or driving tours for individuals, families, conferences, companies, school groups, and more!

 

Private walking tours for small groups of up to eight people can be booked online. For larger groups or driving tours, please get in touch directly at dcdesigntours@gmail.com or 240-229-6795 to schedule.

 

PRICING

Public tours are $35 per adult and $20 for children (age 5-15), with special discounts for military personnel and veterans. Children under 5 are free. The public tour schedule can be found here. Private family tours (up to 8 people) are $200 and can be booked automatically here. For larger private tour or driving tour requests, please contact us directly for rate and scheduling information. We look forward to touring with you!

We also provide gift cards for our tours!  Gift cards are the perfect present for an adventurous urban explorer, and can be purchased to join public or book private tours. A private tour gift card is good for up to eight people. Get your gift card here, or contact us to learn more. 

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