How to Tour the White House

A few weeks ago I had the rare and exciting experience of getting to stride through the hallowed hallways of our nation’s most historical and sacred monument – the White House. The home of our country’s leader is, as you would expect, abounding in regal decor, historical artifacts, and tributes to its previous residents. During Christmastime, which was when I visited, the scenery was especially awe-inspiring, as each elegant room was abundantly decorated with a distinct theme.

To my surprise, the tour consisted of many rooms that are frequently used today for significant events, such as Presidential announcements, banquets, and meetings. Tours are self-guided and available from 7:30 am to 11:30 am Tuesday through Thursday and from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm on Friday and Saturday. If you’re interested in taking a White House tour, here’s what you need to know.

How to get tickets: You must submit your tour request through your Member of Congress, and it must be made up to three months in advance and no less than 21 days in advance. All White House tours are free.

What to bring: A valid, government-issued photo ID (if you’re over the age of 18). This is required to enter the White House and the name on your ID must match the name provided on your request form. Tickets are non-transferable. All foreign nationals must bring their passport.

What not to bring: No bags or purses of any kind (wallets only), no video recorders (cell phones are okay), no strollers, no food or beverages, no tobacco products, no personal grooming items, and, of course, no weapons.

During your visit to DC, book a stay at our charming Washington DC Inn which is only one mile from the White House.

For an overview of the White House tour guidelines, check out the video below.

Shannon Stiles, Innkeeper at American Guest House

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