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Best Tours in Washington DC

, 14 Options Found

Free Tours by Foot offers visitors to DC a fun, interactive and eco-friendly way to explore the capital. With a number of tours on offer, the company provides knowledgeable tour guides to show you around the best sites. The interesting aspect of these tours is that they are free, visitors are not obligated to pay anything at all. If you like the tour and your guide, then you pay accordingly. The most popular tours include the All-In-One tour which will take you around all the major monuments over a period of four hours from the Washington Monument to the Tidal Basin. Other tours of interest include the Lincoln Assassination, Historic Georgetown as well as the entertaining Secrets and Scandals and Ghosts of Georgetown.

Whether you want to explore the national monuments during the day, or go on a ghostly tour by night, Washington Walks has a tour to fit your needs and desires. The company offers two-hour tours Thursdays through Sundays, though the start time of each tour changes often. Spook the kids by taking them on a tour that explores Washington DC's most haunted sites, or go for on a walk that teaches you about one of the many neighborhoods in the Washington DC area. Whatever tour you choose, you'll be sure to walk away with a head full of fascinating stories and a spring in your step.

City Segway Tours offers visitors a chance to explore the city in a whole new way. While walking can be tiring, zipping around on a Segway can be a fun experience. Each tour is operated and guided by professionals, who will first train you on using the Segway and then you'll start your tour. You'll get your own vehicle, as well as a safety helmet and head set, so you can hear your guide sans interruption. They offer a variety of tours, the most popular being the National Mall Segway Tour, where you'll find all the major monuments and sights like the White House, The Lincoln Memorial, The Capitol Building, Washington Monument as well as Smithsonian Castle. Other tours include the Segway Experience Tour and the Monuments and Memorials Tour as well as Private Tour options. They do have some restrictions, so it's a good idea to confirm before hand.

Franciscan Monastery, a century-old monastery is one of Washington DC's hidden delights. The garden, set on a hillside and reached by winding paths, is full of big trees and places to sit quietly among the flowers and small outdoor shrines. The public is allowed to view the upper church's full-scale replicas of Holy Land shrines. In the lower church, visitors will find a replica of the Roman catacombs, which can only be seen on scheduled tours. Guided tours last about 45 minutes.

Follow a DC Metro Food Tours guide on a culinary expedition through the many flavors of Washington DC. This tour establishment offers a wide variety of food tours that are sure to engage your taste buds - and your brain. Whether you opt for the Capital Hill culinary experience - where you can sample all different kinds of foods - or you stick to one particular type of food on the Little Ethiopian food tour, you are sure to come away from your tour with full belly, a happy heart, and maybe a tired pair of feet. Each tour generally lasts three and a half hours. During that time, you will walk to four or five different restaurants to sample their delicious offerings.

From beneath the 90-foot (30-meter) portico, lies an expanse of sloping lawn along the Potomac River as it flows past Mount Vernon. This 17th-century plantation house was once home to the first President of the United States, George Washington. The property was originally owned by Washington's father, Augustine, and George replaced a smaller, more modest home with Mount Vernon when he came into the property, beginning in 1758. Today, costumed guides narrate the history of the elegant mansion and of the surrounding buildings, which have been preserved to reflect the days when the first president resided here. The state also features tours around the 500-acre (200-hectare) estate, including its surrounding buildings, and historic exhibits that recreate farming techniques and colonial games. Awash in elegant semblances of Palladian architecture, Mount Vernon is a treasured centerpiece of history and culture.

Also known as "America's attic," for its spectacular collection of nearly 154 million artifacts, the Smithsonian Institution is one of the the world's largest museum complexes and research organizations. The administrative office of the esteemed institution is housed in a magnificent red sandstone 'castle', that also houses a visitor information area and research chambers. Within this building is also the final resting place of the Smithsonian Institution's founder, James Smithson, with his tomb being preserved in the crypt in the north entrance. Apart from the main building, the institution features as many as 17 museums and galleries within its sprawling complex that represent exhibits across the myriad fields of science, history, zoology, and art. Some of the most notable Smithsonian landmarks include the Natural History Museum and the African American Museum.

This tour operator offers an unusual and memorable way to see D.C. by land and water, without changing vehicle. Passengers board authentic, fully restored 1942 Ducks, amphibious military personnel carriers. The land tour begins at Union Station and includes the National Mall, the monuments and the Smithsonian museums before the Duck splashes into the Potomac River. A scenic river cruise follows, with the 90-minute tour ending at Gravely Point beneath the flight path of landing planes at National Airport.

The paper currency for the US is printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Kids and adults will love visiting this “money factory.” The guided tour lasts around 40 minutes and is on a first come first served basis. Summer evening tours require tickets, which are handed out at the Visitor Center. Visitors can see a display with a million one dollar bills and view dollars at every stage of production. The bureau runs 24 hours a day and prints $450 million daily.

The monumental cornerstone of the United States presidency, the White House is the formal abode and headquarters of the President of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, this gleaming neoclassical structure was originally referred to as the Presidential Mansion, before Theodore Roosevelt lovingly bestowed upon it the moniker of 'White House' - a name that would go on to signify not only the physical structure, but the entire collective unit that comprised of the President and his advisers. While John Adams was the first incumbent of this official home, several leaders that followed added their own elements to its interiors, the most noteworthy being the comprehensive redecoration carried out by former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of erstwhile President John F. Kennedy. Today, the central building of the White House comprises of the Executive Residence, while the rest of this colossal structure consists of a total of 132 rooms, a tennis court, a putting green, 35 bathrooms, a cinema and a bowling alley named after Harry S. Truman.

If you are looking for a spooky time during your visit to the United States' capital, look no further than DC Ghost Tours. The tour company specializes in the hauntings of Lafayette Park and Capital Hill, and revels in scarring and engaging their audience with stories of murder, intrigue, and the paranormal. The tours generally last 90 minutes and are predominantly outside, so bring a jacket for those cooler evenings. Be sure not to wander too far off from the group... or you might find yourself face-to-face with one of Washington DC's infamous ghosts.

The award-winning Old Town Trolley Tours covers more major capital sites than any other. The attractions include the National Mall, Georgetown, the National Cathedral, and Arlington National Cemetery. The trolleys travel in a continuous loop. Riders can join the tour at any of 19 stops. Stay aboard the entire two hours and listen to an informative narrative, or hop off for a closer look at an attraction. Trolleys roll by every 30 minutes, so you can simply re-board and continue the tour.

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