Washington, DC
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Washington, DC Culture & History

Washington DC: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

1. Washington DC: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Visit iconic and historic landmarks in Washington, DC, and enjoy sweeping views from open-top buses. Take advantage of the freedom to explore and hop on and hop off at any stop on two routes around the city. The Red Loop, the official tour of the National Mall, visits historic sites, monuments, and landmarks including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol, and much more. The Blue Loop transports you across the Potomac to visit the venerable Arlington Cemetery, and then through colonial-style homes and streets (plus plenty of shops and restaurants) of the beautiful Georgetown neighborhood. See the iconic sights of DC including: • The White House • Washington Monument • Lincoln Memorial • US Capitol • Jefferson Memorial • National Cathedral • Arlington Cemetery

Washington, DC: Capitol Hill and Library of Congress Tour

2. Washington, DC: Capitol Hill and Library of Congress Tour

Immerse yourself in the political center of Washington, DC with a guided walking tour, including entry tickets to the Library of Congress and Capitol Building. Feast your eyes on the Supreme Court building and Capitol Hill and learn about the country's legislative and judicial branches. Begin your tour at the top of "the Hill" and hear fascinating anecdotes and trivia from your local guide about the country's extensive law and legal system. Originally named Jenkins Hill, understand how this area quickly expanded to become the epicenter of American government and politics. Then it's time to visit the Library of Congress, the national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the country. Proceed to the Capitol Building to marvel at its neoclassical style and iconic architecture, while your guide details its rich history. Before concluding your tour, walk by the Supreme Court building, known as "The Marble Palace", and the surrounding Congressional office buildings.

Washington DC:Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey

3. Washington DC:Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey

Cruise on the Potomac River and see the sights of Washington DC from a luxury boat, The Odyssey. Board the boat and enjoy a personal greeting. Smile for the ship's photographer to capture the memory, then embark on an elegant dining cruise along the Washington DC shoreline. After being seated at your private table, tuck into your gourmet brunch or 3-course dinner consisting of creative meals prepared fresh daily by the on-board executive chef. After your meal or relax on any of the 3 climate-controlled decks as you watch the monuments glide by. Sample Dinner Menu Starters (choice of one): Caesar Salad Buttermilk Caesar Dressing | Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese | Herb Croutons | Italian Parsley Lobster Soup Brioche Croutons | Scallions Main Course (choice of one): Jumbo Forest Mushroom Ravioli Spanish Red Lentils & Sage | Arugula | Shallots | Toasted Walnuts | Basil Pesto Oven Roasted Frenched Chicken Breast with Rosemary & Thyme Warm Yukon Gold Potato Salad with Scallions | Haricot Verts | Creamy Cremini Mushroom Sauce Broiled Fresh Salmon Filet Roasted Yukon Potatoes | Steamed Bok Choi | Creamy Vegetable & Fresh Herbs Sauce Braised Beef Short Rib Idaho Potato & Horseradish Mash | Baby Carrots | Pearl Onions & English Peas | Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce Pan-Seared Fresh Pacific Cod Baby Spinach & Potato Mash | Steamed Rock Shrimp | Lemon Beurre Blanc Sauce Desserts (choice of one): New York Style Cheesecake Strawberry Compote Triple Chocolate Mud Pie Orange & Ginger Preservatives Duo of Sorbet Seasonal Sorbet | Fresh Fruit Freshly Cut Fruit and Fresh Strawberries Madagascar Vanilla & Orange Sauce | Fresh Mint Odyssey Signature Warm Butter Cake Vanilla Bean Ice Cream | Blackberry Sauce Menu items are subject to change.

Washington DC: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit

4. Washington DC: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit

See the sights of Washington DC from onboard the Spirit of Washington with a 2-hour lunch or 2.5-hour dinner cruise on the Potomac River. Enjoy a buffet dining experience as you sail, and delight in panoramic views. Board your vessel and receive a personal greeting. Have your photo taken by the ship's photographer to capture the memory before being seated at your private table. Once there, gorge on your lunch or dinner buffet consisting of creative entrees prepared fresh daily and listen to the onboard music. After your meal, visit any of the three climate-controlled decks as you glide by the sights.

Washington, DC: ARTECHOUSE Immersive Art Experience Ticket

5. Washington, DC: ARTECHOUSE Immersive Art Experience Ticket

Pre-book your entry ticket to ARTECHOUSE DC and immerse yourself in multi-sensory digital art. Augment your experience by downloading the complimentary ARTECHOUSE XR app which brings virtual art to life. ARTECHOUSE DC was the first ARTECHOUSE location to open. Located just off the National Mall and nearby Smithsonian museums, ARTECHOUSE DC brings a new kind of art experience to the nation’s capital. Experience the nation’s first multi-sensory innovative art destination with evolving immersive exhibits by artists who intersect art, science, and technology. See experiential large-scale installations and witness creative innovation without limits in unique art spaces designed for curiosity-seekers of all ages. You can also enjoy a cocktail, beer, or wine at the ARTECHOUSE Extended Reality Bar located inside the exhibit space. Powered by the ARTECHOUSE app, the XR Bar features a menu of exclusive cocktails inspired by the current exhibition, which also come to life in extended reality through the app. Download the ARTECHOUSE XR App (download information found in your confirmation voucher) and use it to enrich your experience while exploring the digital playgrounds. Staff is on-hand to explain the uses of the app during your visit. ASE: Afro Frequencies (June 11 – Fall 2022): Inspired by aṣẹ, the Yoruba concept of our power to produce change, Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies celebrates the Black experience through the perspectives of artist Vince Fraser and poet Ursula Rucker. Walk alongside African kings and queens as you explore questions of identity, power, and belonging. Alongside the Immersion Gallery, you can explore other multi-sensory experiences — like virtually “trying on” African masks — combining film, technology, Afro-surrealism and poetry. 

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

6. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

See the most popular monuments of the U. S. capital illuminated at night on a guided trolley tour. The route follows streets that have been traveled by presidents and make stops at the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, and the Iwo Jima Memorial. Join a professional tour guide who will entertain and inform you with stories about the Capitol’s colorful past. Hear tales about the curse of the Hope Diamond and the restless spirits who make the city their home. You’ll also hear about the Medal of Honor winner whose leg was amputated. The trolley will stop outside the FDR Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veteran Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the Iwo Jima Memorial. Admire these landmarks beautifully illuminated under the moonlight.

Washington DC: Museum of the Bible General Admission

7. Washington DC: Museum of the Bible General Admission

Steps from the National Mall, the Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, and educational institution with the purpose to invite all people to engage with the Bible. Showcasing rare and fascinating artifacts spanning 3,500 years of history, the museum offers visitors an immersive and personalized experience with the Bible, and its ongoing impact on the world. Admission includes access to 7 floors of informative and interactive displays and exhibits including a 12-minute film immersing viewers in the remarkable story of how the followers of Jesus grew into a thriving community and a 30-minute Hebrew Bible experience, where viewers encounter significant narratives including the stories of Noah's ark, the burning bush, and the Passover. This ticket allows you to explore the museum without the crowds with exclusive early access to the Museum from 9 AM, 1 hour before the Museum is open to the General Public at 10 AM (except on Sundays, when there is no Early Access). You also have the option to upgrade your ticket to include the 6-minute “Washington Revelations” Flight Simulator video. Take a dazzling, multi-sensory tour, "flying" past biblical references in and around Washington, D.C., from the Lincoln Memorial to the Library of Congress. Guests must be at least 42” in height to purchase this option.

Washington, DC: African American History Tour

8. Washington, DC: African American History Tour

Go back in time to some of the most iconic moments from the civil rights movement with this fascinating African American history tour of Washington DC. Discover some of history's most captivating moments and allow your guide to paint a picture of the city from the African American perspective. Get picked up at the U.S. Navy Memorial and head to monuments such as the Emancipation Statue, Howard Theatre, and vibrant local black communities. Stand where Martin Luther King stood when he gave his famous "I have a dream" address and feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. After taking a glimpse into the past at the Home of Frederick Douglas, proceed to Howard University - one of the oldest black universities in the United States. On the way to Howard University, you will drive by Lincoln Park to visit the statue of educator, activist, and founder of the National Council of Negro Women - Mary McLeod Bethune. Following your visit to the beautiful Howard University campus, drive through Le Driot Park, Shaw Neighborhood, and Historic “U” Street. Home to the largest urban African American community in the United States in the early 1900’s, it created its own “Black Broadway” - a home to entertainment legends from the past and present.  Next, see the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum to discover how the course of the Civil War was impacted by these disenfranchised soldiers. You will then take a journey into downtown DC to the sites of the national headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue, the White house and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Once downtown, enter the Logan Circle historic district to see the historic Metropolitan AME Church and the Mary McLeod Bethune Council house. Finish the tour at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Enter inside and explore the absorbing artifacts and exhibits at your leisure.

Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum

9. Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum

Meet your guide at the White House and begin your tour of Washington DC. From the outside, learn about the history of the White House and the people who inhabited it. Your local guide will share stories about America’s history and the influence of African Americans in DC. Next, see the Capitol One, one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in the world. Hear about the neoclassical United States Capitol, which is home to the House of Representatives and Senate. Finally, your guide will take you to the Washington Monument. Made of white marble and 550-feet tall, the obelisk is an iconic Washington DC landmark. After the walking tour, use your reserved entry tickets to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Explore the museum on your own at your own pace.

Washington, DC: Full-Day Tour with a Scenic River Cruise

10. Washington, DC: Full-Day Tour with a Scenic River Cruise

Discover all the delights of Washington DC with this day-tour around the city, hitting hotspots such as the White House, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Board your glamourous, climate-controlled, panoramic bus at the U.S. Navy Memorial. Head to all the major highlights of regular sightseeing tours and enjoy a lunch break and an opportunity to travel through the Tidal Basin. Learn about some of the most fascinating landmarks in the USA, including the White House, U.S. Capitol Building, and National Archives, plus breathtaking memorials of Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Roosevelt. After lunch, summer brings the opportunity for a boat ride through Georgetown and the DC Waterfront. In winter, this Washington bus tour culminates with a visit to the Pentagon and several more fascinating war memorials. During your tour learn from your live tour guide who hops off the bus with you to ensure you receive an intimate and personalized experience of each attraction.  Your guide will educate you on the important details of each monument. From March through September, take in the fresh air on a scenic 1-hour cruise along the Potomac River. The full itinerary of this tour includes: • Jefferson Memorial • U.S. Capitol Building • FDR Memorial • World War II Memorial • Iwo Jima Memorial • Vietnam Memorial • Martin Luther King Memorial • Lincoln Memorial • White House • Korean War Memorial

Frequently asked questions about Washington, DC Culture & History

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Other Sightseeing Options in Washington, DC

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What people are saying about Washington, DC

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,402 reviews

Our guide Ellyn was great.. very knowledgeable and had done fun facts to boot! We really enjoyed this tour .. we would have never known all the history and architecture of Georgetown if we had done a self guided tour. Highly recommended!

I would do this activity again. We had a great time. It was super relaxing and the staff was amazing.

We had a great time! Everyone was really nice and accommodating

Our guide did a great job and was super knowledgeable

Nor was fabulous and the places we saw were amazing