Self-Guided White House Tour

Everyone has heard of the White House in Washington DC. It is where the President lives and self-guided tours are offered to the pubic!

It is less than an hour from where we live. Surprisingly we have never visited so we decided to change that.

White House South Lawn
White House South Lawn

Step 1 – Learn How to Request Tickets

Our first thought…how easy will this be? Truthfully it was much easier than expected. Here’s how we did it.

  1. Began searching the web for white house tours. The site we started with was the White House Tours & Events page. It was helpful and directed us to request the tour by contacting a member of congress.
  2. We then began searching for members of congress and found Senate Contact Information. This page allowed us to search senators by state making it easy to find our representative. We selected Mark Warner and were provided with a link to his contact information.
  3. The senators contact page didn’t have a direct link to request tickets so we searched for “White House Tour”.
  4. Searching the senator’s site found White House Tour Information/Requesting a White House Tour. This was the page! It told us how to request, when tours are offered, who can tour and additional information.

Step 2 – Request Tickets

On March 19th we emailed the senator’s office @ Warner Tours and provided the requested information: our party size, best contact email and three dates (actually we only gave two date, June 14 & 15).

Things to remember

You can’t request a date within 3 weeks of today or a date more than 3 months of today.

Only 20 minutes later, we received an email stating we would soon receive an RSVP from the White House. Now we wait…

Step 3 – Wait for RSVP

On May 25 we received our email. It said we were confirmed for June 14 at a specific time. It also contained a link to our guest list and another for our boarding pass (print this and take with you on day of tour).

Things to remember

All guests are required to present the boarding pass on the day of the tour. We only brought one copy yet we were a party of two.

Step 4 – Enjoy Your Visit

Step 5 – Final Thoughts

We arrived 45 minutes before our scheduled tour time and were let in just minutes after that. Since the tour is self-guided you have all the time you’d like in each room and there are plenty of secret service officers if you have questions. There are lots of photos of current and past presidents their families, pets and big events. You could easily complete the tour in 15 minutes or over an hour. We say….take your time and enjoy the moment!

Things to remember

When you exit the White House and are now outside, look to your left. You will see the only unpainted part of the White House. It was unpainted on purpose so people could see the original buildings color. Thought I took a photo but didn’t.

This is the view as your exit the tour and are now outside under the giant building columns. I’m sure the tourists were hoping for someone else but we decided to smile and wave.

End to a Perfect Day!

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