Washington: Introduction to American History & Politics Tour
- Stroll along the National Mall to get a starting glimpse at some of the US's most famed buildings
- Visit the National Archives and catch a glimpse of one of the original copies of the US Constitution
- Discuss the role of American politics as you walk along Pennsylvania Avenue with the White House as your focal point
Begin at the Willard Hotel, where tradition and political lore holds the term "lobbyist" was coined in the 19th century during the Grant administration. With this Beaux Arts structure as a backdrop and the White House just a block away, you set the stage by looking at the plan of Washington and gaining an understanding of how the city was laid out according to certain political principles. Since this is about as close as one can get to the White House, you'll talk a little about that structure and the security restrictions that surround it.
From here you'll begin the walk up Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capitol. You'll make numerous stops along the way and the exact itinerary will depend on your guide's background and expertise. You might stop at the Justice Department and FBI buildings where you can discuss the famous battles between Robert Kennedy and Teamster's boss Jimmy Hoffa, or at the Federal Trade Commission set up during the Progressive Era to protect consumer rights (the beginning of government).
Along your tour, your guide will link anecdote and historical detail together into a comprehensive narrative that provides context to larger questions about the U.S. Government and political power in Washington, DC. You may detour off the Avenue once or twice and many guides visit the National Archives, where the nation's treasures are stored, including an original copy of the US Constitution. By the end of your tour you'll have a much broader understanding of US politics and history.
- Guided tour led a by an expert local guide
- Hotel pickup or drop-off
Prepare for the activity
Meeting Point: Your guide will meet you inside the lobby of the Willard Hotel by the concierge desk. The Willard is located at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, at the intersection of Pennsylvania and 14th Street.Open in Google Maps ⟶
- Comfortable shoes