Visiting the White House in DCRoad Trip Stops . Washington DC . Washington DC
Visiting the White House in DC
The first time I visited Washington DC, I was able to visit the White House up close and personal. I was with a group of friends, and we were able to get a tour. I was a young teenager at the time, and we were staying in Baltimore, Maryland.
It’s been a few decades since then, so I’ve forgotten much of the tour. I remember George Bush Sr. was in office at the time. And I remember seeing the presidential helicopter land in the yard and watching him get off of it.
I remember being fascinated by how different the décor was in the White House compared to what I grew up with. The size of the rooms was astonishing to me.
That said, I think I would have appreciated it more had I toured it as an adult. When we’re young we take a lot for granted. I wasn’t really into history as a young teenager. Maybe I should schedule a tour for one of our future road trips so that my son has the same opportunity I did.
I think he would find it super cool to get to tour it. This picture was taken with my son standing right next to me. It was the sixth day of our Washington DC road trip, and we were walking DC on our self-guided tour just to see what we see. This was the closest he’s been to the White House.
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About Visiting the White House in DC
It takes some planning in advance to get to tour the White House. You would need to contact your member of Congress (you can find them here). It is required that you submit your request up to 3 months in advance and no less than 21 days prior to your visit.
International visitors would need to contact their home country’s embassy in Washington DC in order to schedule a tour.
Tours do fill up quickly so you would want to submit your request as early as possible. Of course, they are first come, first served. All tours of the White House are free of charge but can be cancelled last minute based on White House official business.
The White House is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC. The Visitor’s Office information line is (202) 456-7041. Self-guided tours run from 7:30am to 11:30am Tuesday through Thursday and 7:30am to 1:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Video recording devices and flash photography is not allowed inside. Smart phones and compact cameras are allowed. There are no restrooms available to the public at the White House.
Touring the White House, you will get to see the public rooms in the East Wing. This includes the following:
- Blue Room
- Red Room
- Green Room
- State Dining Room
- China Room
- White House Rose Garden
Members of the Secret Service are posted in each room. They will answer any questions you have about the architecture and history of each room.
The second time I visited the White House was at night during my business trip when I took this photo from Lafayette Park. There were protests going on at the time, so I didn’t get too close.
My third time visiting was with my son, as I mentioned above. We didn’t get very close that day either because we were walking all over that day. We stopped for a moment to acknowledge what it was and then we continued on.
I do, of course, recommend you make this one of your road trip stops if you happen to be travelling through DC. In fact, I think you should schedule a tour if you know you’re going to be in the area. I think all American citizens should do it at least once in their lifetime.
Have you been there? I’d love to hear what you thought of it. Do you remember what you learned?
Please drop a few lines in the comments box below and let me know how your visit went.
In the meantime, safe travels!
P.S. If you happen to use travel journals, be sure to check out the travel journal I created for my future Washington DC Road Trips.
Written by Kris M.
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