Best Historical Tours In Washington DC

June 27, 2016 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

It seems like everything in Washington, DC has some historical significance. From monuments and museums to restaurants and hotels, you can find historical places on almost every block. Watch a show at Ford’s Theatre, have a picnic on The National Mall, walk up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial; there is a lot to see. You can spend weeks trying to visit them all on your own, or you can take one of these fantastic tours.
U.S. Capitol Tour
East Capitol St NE & First St. S.E.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 226-8000
www.visitthecapitol.gov

The United States Capitol Building is a historical landmark, hosting the U.S. Congress meetings since 1800. History buffs, political aficionados and general tourists frequent the capitol every day. If you are one of those thousands of people, you’ll be happy to know that you can take a tour of the building. The tour includes stops at the Rotunda, Visitor’s Center, the Crypt and the National Statuary Hall, as well as a short film at the beginning of the tour. You can make same day reservations, but to ensure you get a spot, you can make reservations in advance through the offices of your Senator or Representative.

History On Foot
 511 10th St. N.W. 
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 347-4833
www.fords.org

Ford’s Theatre was the site of one of the most infamous presidential assassinations ever. Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a play at the theatre, and later died across the street. Many don’t realize that the theatre — still running after multiple renovations — is actually the site of the historical event. Besides their productions of musical and plays, the theatre also offers tours of the theatre as well as a special tour. “History On Foot” is a two hour investigative tour led by Detective James McDevitt as he revisits the sites important to the case. This a great tour for kids and adults who want to learn more about the event, theatre and D.C.

DC By Foot
1740 18th St. N.W., Suite 304
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 370-1830
www.freetoursbyfoot.com

It could take you weeks, maybe months, to tour everything that Washington, D.C. has to offer. Many of the city residents go their entire lives having not visited monuments and landmarks. As a tourist, you can see and learn about some of the city’s best highlights in a few short hours, for free. DC By Foot is considered the best tour company in the area by those who have gone on one of their tours. They offer a name-your-own-price rate so that you can get a great tour at the price you feel is appropriate. Their tours include the Arlington Cemetery, Capitol Hill, a “Lincoln Assassination” tour, Georgetown, the National Mall, and more. Whether you choose to tour by foot or bus, during the day or at night, the folks at DC By Foot will make sure you get your money’s worth.

Related:  5 Historical Facts You Didn’t Know About Washington, D.C.

Monuments By Moonlight
50 Massachusetts Ave. N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
(844) 356-2603
www.trolleytours.com

During the day, the city is filled with tourists on foot, buses, boats and even helicopters, learning about what makes D.C. so special. This can be overwhelming, especially in the humid summer months. An alternative to one of these day tours would be a less chaotic nighttime tour. Monuments By Moonlight is one of Trolley Tours most talked about tours, with knowledgeable tour guides taking guests on a historical trip through the city. Monuments include Korean War Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, and feature a few ghost stories.

Ken’s DC Tours
1132 Geranium St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20012
(202) 306-5658
www.kensdctours.com

Bus tours are popular partly because you can see everything from the comfort of a seat. But if you’d rather be active while sightseeing, you’ll want to take a tour from Ken. Ken’s DC Tours are either walking, running or biking tours. The walking tours will include not only historical facts, but also architectural facts. The running tours will go by various memorials and historic sites, and range from a 5K to a 10-mile run. And the cycling tours roll through D.C. and Virginia, with a portion through beautiful Rock Creek Park. Take one of Ken’s tours if you want a personal touch.

Related: Best Neighborhoods To Go On A Shopping Spree In Washington, D.C.

Folashade Oyegbola is a freelance writer covering all things D.C. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.