Many Federal government buildings offer tours to the public. The guides at the Capitol Visitors Center offer group tours throughout the Capitol Monday-Saturday from 8:50am-3:20pm. You can arrange these tours at www.visitthecapitol.gov. Capitol tours last about an hour and run every ten minutes. We will also be providing staff-led tours of the Capitol on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:00am. Please use our sign-up form to arrange a tour of the Capitol as there is limited space. We are able to accept staff-led tour requests up to three months in advance. These tours are best for individuals, families, and small groups. If you are traveling with a group of ten or more people, we recommend you make a reservation through the Capitol Visitors Center. Both tours are fully accessible to people with disabilities.
My office is also pleased to help Minnesotans book tours of the White House. Please note that the White House uses a lottery system for ticket distribution so I cannot guarantee tours will be granted. There are several requirements that must be met for White House tours, including security checks and advance reservations. Please note that all White House tours are self-guided and take place Tuesday through Saturday between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
As always, White House tour schedules are entirely dependent on the President and First Lady's schedule, and sometimes they will have to be either cancelled or rescheduled at the last minute. Due to the limited availability of White House tours, it is imperative that you contact my office at your earliest convenience and AT LEAST ONE MONTH PRIOR to your planned arrival in Washington, as the White House stops accepting requests after this time.
When you request a tour please submit the following information: the name, daytime phone number of the tour group's primary contact person, and the size of your group.
Other popular tours include the Supreme Court, Department of State, Library of Congress, and the National Archives. These tours are less frequent and usually run once or twice daily. These tours do not need to be set up through our office.
National Cherry Blossom Festival
If you're lucky enough to make it out to Washington, D.C. during late March or early April, make sure to head down to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossom trees in full bloom. It'll be crowded but completely worth it - the pink blossoms are shockingly gorgeous, the view of the Jefferson Memorial across the water is beautiful, and it's an easy walk from there to both Jefferson and FDR memorials.
-Maggie Rousseau, Deputy Press Secretary, Moorhead, MN
One of my favorite places to visit is the Lincoln Memorial because it offers one of the best views of Washington, D.C. It is a great place to relax after a long day of walking along the National Mall and its reflection is gorgeous in the Reflecting Pool at night. The statue of Lincoln is also larger than life, which you don't realize until you're standing right next to it!
-Jake Schwitzer, Legislative Aide, St. Paul MN
National Museum of Natural History
While there are many great museums in Washington, the one that has received most of my attention since coming here has been the National Museum of Natural History. Located at a prime spot along the National Mall, it couples things that I remember from a childhood visit (dinosaurs, gems, the elephant in the central atrium) with novel, fascinating exhibits such as the new Hall of Human Origins. While it would take many hours to see everything, it's well worth spending a fun (and educational) afternoon at the Natural History Museum during your visit to DC.
-J.C. Quirin, Systems Administrator, Little Canada, MN