Washington, D.C., or the District of Colombia was established by the Constitution of the United States to serve as the nation’s capital. Founded in 1790, the capital has been a dynamic city with many highs and lows in American history. President George Washington chose the location along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers after both Maryland and Virginia ceded land to this new “district,” distinguished from the rest of the states. A grid system was planned at which the center would be the Capitol building.

Today Washington, D.C. remains a culturally diverse and vibrant city. With over two hundred years as the nation’s capital, D.C. has developed as a layered and complex city with a distinctive character, an international center, and a town for locals as an amazing place to visit. Let’s stroll through the city with our walking tours and experiences.


Washington National Mall & Monuments Tour

Discover the full scope of U.S. history through Washington’s most iconic memorials and monuments along the National Mall, an open-air museum telling the fascinating story of how the nation was shaped. Expert tour guides will take you off the beaten path on a journey uncovering this captivating promenade piece by piece.

First, you will visit the Albert Einstein Memorial, where you will get an introduction to the National Mall from its origins to its significance today. Here your guide will show you the exact spot to pass the “echo test” where you will hear your voice echo-but you are the only one who can hear it that way!

Military boots and helmet pinned with a purple heart at base of Vietnam War Memorial

The next stop on the tour is the Vietnam Memorial – the most-visited site commemorating soldiers who served during the Vietnam War. The memorial features over 58,000 names carved on the wall, visually representing the lives lost in the conflict.

Widely featured in film and television since its completion in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial awaits you next. Your guide will fill you in on the legends surrounding the sculpture and the hall that houses it before you move on to the Memorial Reflection Pool, displaying beautiful reflections of the walkway.

This path will lead you to the Martin Luther King Memorial-the first memorial dedicated to an African American on the National Mall-along with the Korean War Memorial. Here you can see how nineteen statues form a platoon on patrol, one from each branch of the United States Army.

Finally, see the entire park with scenic views of the whole district as you ascend to the top of the Washington Monument, where there is no better place to take a moment and reflect on the significance of the National Mall. This three-hour tour will uncover secrets only an expert can find. See if you can spot the mistake in the Lincoln Memorial!


National Archives and US Capitol Tour

Experience the full story of U.S. democracy from the Founding Fathers to the present day. Start your day at the steps to the National Archives, where you will meet an expert guide and get a VIP-style entry to the building.

Washington Monument

The main attraction for visitors is seeing the Charters of Freedom: The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. You will get up close and personal in the Rotunda to observe these documents. Many guests do not take in the murals above, but your guide will tell you exactly why they should not be missed!

Moving along, you will visit the Public Vaults, which opened in 2004 and is an interactive exhibit that allows you to explore documents along with other records that are integral to American democracy as we know it today.

You will be delighted to see recent presidents as children, hear a recording from Theodore Roosevelt, and gain insight into the people behind the most important office in the world. Inside the vaults, you will see an original copy of the 1927 Magna Carta on your last stop at the National Archives. You will learn about its history and how it is revered for inspiring the American Revolution. You may be surprised to learn about its last-minute auction bid to secure its place here.

Travel outside to the Sculpture Garden and soak in the beauty at the National Gallery of Art. Your expert guide will point out interesting pieces as you walk along the scenic paths. Upon exit, you will see some of D.C.’s most important buildings such as the Smithsonian Castle, Hirshhorn Museum, and the National Air and Space Museum.

Exclusive access will allow you to admire the reflecting pool and memorials outside the U.S. Capitol next as you hear about their significance. Peek at the original House of Representatives and tour the crypt as you discover how the Capitol continues to make history today.


Potomac River and Georgetown Tour

Cruise along the Potomac River, also known as America’s River, where George Washington built his home. Enjoy a 45-minute scenic cruise to see D.C. from the water. Your expert guide will share stories of the history of the nation’s capital as you pass by the district’s key landmarks. The first point of interest is the Titanic Memorial, organized by U.S. women to honor the men who sacrificed their lives so that women and children could board the limited lifeboats during the ocean liner’s tragic sinking. Next, spot the most photographed and filmed statues in the country: the Lincoln Memorial.

The story of the “Stairs to Nowhere” will captivate you before seeing Teddy Roosevelt Island. Once neglected, this lush woodland features trails and guided nature walks.

Next, you will pass another influential president’s tribute with the Kennedy Center, a bustling space for the performing arts. Guests will be intrigued to see where the Watergate Scandal got its name as you pass the complex where the infamous incident took place.

The second part of your tour begins when you land at Georgetown Port. You will get an introduction to the oldest neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Hear how Washington himself redesigned the untamed wilderness here into a national monument.

Continue exploring Georgetown with fascinating stories from your guide providing you with behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Visit the oldest house in D.C. and how the Kennedy family is connected, including the church where JFK attended before he was assassinated.

Nail-biting tales await you when visiting Georgetown University. Hear a true story about an exorcism that inspired William Peter Blatty to write,” The Exorcist.” This tour will leave you with the desire to explore more on your own about the fascinating details of D.C.

Washington DC

Potomac Water Taxi

If you are looking to take in more sites and feeling adventurous, try the water taxi service – offering routes to Georgetown, Old Town Alexandria, and National Harbor. Enjoy the ride along the Potomac River while you sit back and relax.

Old Town Alexandria, situated on the Potomac River is a historical, yet quaint town filled with delightful shops and restaurants. You will also find the iconic George Washington National Masonic Memorial, built in the 1920s by more than two million American Freemasons. There is a magnificent 17-foot bronze statue of George Washington towering high over Alexandria in this impressive building.

Stroll along Old Town’s King Street mile for the largest collection of independent boutiques in the region. There is something to be discovered by all. See where George Washington worshipped: Christ Church. This church built more than 235 years ago, remains an active parish today with over 2,400 members. Steeped in historic charm, Old Town offers unforgettable meals in a beautiful and walkable setting. Choose a riverside view, a chef-driven restaurant, or global flavors at one of the many dining options that Old Town has to offer.

There is a wealth of historic architecture and attractions to enjoy in this fantastic city.


Signature Lunch Cruise

Hop aboard a lunch cruise and enjoy an afternoon of sunshine reflecting off the Potomac River. Treat yourself to an onboard historical tour of some of the most iconic landmarks in the country like Old Town Alexandria, the National Harbor, and the Washington Monument, as you sample creative dishes from the lunch buffet menu. Sip a cocktail, glass of wine, or beer from the well-stocked bar. Set two hours aside to feel the breeze, vibe to the music, and indulge in a freshly prepared entrée.


Are there walking tours in Washington DC?

The city has a wide variety of walking tours that allow you to explore its rich history, culture, and architecture. There are many types available such as historical tours, monument tours, and neighborhood tours.

Why should I do a guided walking tour rather than explore on my own?

Guided walking tours provide you with knowledgeable guides who are well-versed in the city’s history and can provide stories that you may not hear on your own. Expert tour guides will take you to unexpected places and hidden gems that you may never find without their help, and they can navigate through the city efficiently ensuring that you see all the most important sights. Tours often provide access to landmarks that are not available to the public, and you can also meet fellow travelers on your shared experience.

How long are DC walking tours?

The length of the tour depends upon what you are planning to see. Typically, they last between 2 to 4 hours. There are some specialized landmarks or cruise tours that may take a half or full day. When booking, you should consider this.

What should I bring on a DC walking tour?

It is a good idea to wear comfortable walking shoes as there can be quite a bit of walking. A light jacket or umbrella may come in handy as well as a hat and sunscreen on sunny days. Don’t forget your camera to capture the best of the city and a bottle of water to stay hydrated.

What walking tours does DC provide?

There are many options to choose from for a walking tour such as Mt Vernon Day Trip with VIP River Cruise & Lunch, National Mall Fully Guided Tour with Washington Monument Tickets, National Archives and US Capitol Tour, and Potomac River and Georgetown Tour to name a few.

Original Post Date: December 22, 2022