Visiting Washington DC
Are you planning a visit to Washington, D.C.? While you are in Washington, D.C., I encourage you and your family to stop by my office. Whether you're coming on a short business trip, or an extended family vacation, my office can help you make arrangements for some of the more popular Federal attractions in our Nation's Capital.
We are able to help you reserve tours to the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, the Supreme Court, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. You may place an online tour request. These tours are an excellent way to see all that the nation's capital has to offer and all of these tours are of no charge to you. All tickets are provided to my constituents on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the large number of visitors, please request them as early as possible in order to maximize your chances.
Washington D.C. Tourism Information
There's more to see in Washington, D.C. than the Capitol Building. View an extensive listing of other attractions and sights to see while visiting.
CONGRESSIONAL CAPITOL TOURS
Reservations for Congressional Capitol Tours may only be scheduled through your member of Congress. These tours will take place before the Capitol opens to the public and are tailored for families and individuals. The tours will be held Monday through Friday, except holidays, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and last approximately 1 hour. They are given by tour guides instructed by the House Historian’s Office. I encourage everyone planning to visit Washington, D.C. to schedule this tour. Please note that all reservations will be scheduled per availability on a first-come, first-serve basis.
19TH CENTURY SENATE HISTORIC ROOMS AND CORRIDORS TOUR
This tour is new and exclusive. It takes you into the Senate wing of the Capitol and exposes visitors to the great architecture and painting that encompass the Senate. It also gives a thrilling comparison between old, modern, and reconstructive painting that is seen throughout the wing. Tours are offered daily at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. on a first come first serve basis so please call my office the day before you would like to schedule this tour.
PUBLIC CAPITOL TOURS
Public tours of the Capitol are conducted by the Capitol Guide Service Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tours last approximately 1 hour. Free timed entry passes for public tours are offered on a first-come, first serve basis, beginning at 9:00 a.m. daily. Tickets are distributed one per person, so make sure your entire group is present. You may pick your tickets up at either the North or South kiosks in the Capitol Visitor’s Center
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES GALLERY PASSES
House Gallery passes are available through member of Congress' offices. You can receive gallery passes from Congressman Critz by stopping by his office in 2423 Rayburn House Office Building. When the House is out of session, the Gallery is open to guided tours from 9:00am-4:30pm., Monday-Friday. The Gallery is open at all times when the House is in session. A valid Gallery pass is required for all visitors whether the House is in or out of session. For additional information or questions, please contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2065 or toll free from Southwestern PA at (800) 289-2642.
WHITE HOUSE TOURSWhite House Tours take place Tuesday-Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. All White House Tours must be made through your member of Congress or Senator, and there is NO guarantee that each tour request will be granted. Any size group is acceptable, though the number of people may not be increased once the tour has been requested. The requests must be made at least 1, but no more than 6 months in advance. Certain security information from every group member is required for a background check at the time of request. This information includes full name (middle initial), Social Security Number, and Date of Birth. If you are not a permanent U.S. Citizen, a passport number will be required. Please not that the White House Tour Office will notify our office of any approved tours only 2 weeks prior to the requested tour date.
WHITE HOUSE GARDEN TOUR DATES
White House Garden Tours are given one weekend in the Spring and one in the Fall. The tours have been an annual tradition since 1972 when Pat Nixon first opened the gardens to the public. Visitors are invited to view Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Children's Garden and South Lawn of the White House while military bands perform from the White House balcony.
The event is open to the public; however a ticket is required for all attendees, including small children. The National Park Service will distribute free, timed tickets at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Streets on each tour day beginning at 8:00am. Tickets will be distributed - one ticket per person- on a first-come basis.
Please visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/ for current White House Garden Tour schedules, dates and times.
Please note: Tours of the Residence will NOT occur on the dates of the Garden Tours, and these tours are subject to last minute cancellation. For information about the event status, please call (202) 208-1631.
OTHER WASHINGTON, D.C. ATTRACTIONS
Washington, D.C. has an attraction for almost every interest. The following is a list of just some of the sites you might want to see while you're in the Nation's Capitol. I hope any visit you make to Washington will start with a visit to the 12th Congressional District office at 2423 Rayburn Building, located just across the street from the U.S. Capitol Building. You can obtain passes to see the House of Representatives at my office, as well as directions and information about the many things to do and see in our Nation's Capitol.
Arlington National Cemetery - The cemetery is free and open to the public at 8:00 a.m. 365 days a year. From April 1st to September 30th, the cemetery closes at 7:00 p.m., the other six months of the year it closes at 5:00 p.m. Over 300,000 Americans are buried at Arlington Cemetery, and visitors can also see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Memorial Amphitheater, the Custis-Lee Mansion, and the graves of Presidents John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft. For the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the changing of the Guard at the Tomb is every hour on the hour October 1st to March 31st. From April 1st through September 30th, the change is on the hour and on the half hour.
Botanic Gardens - The Conservatory is free and open 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. every day. The new National Garden, located immediately west of the Conservatory, will be open 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., June 1st through September 30th. After September 30th, the National Garden will close at 5:00 p.m. The Botanic Gardens are located at 100 Maryland Avenue, S.W. Groups of 10-25 visitors may reserve a free 45-minute guided tour of the Conservatory. These tours are offered Monday through Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Please make tour reservations at least four to six weeks in advance by calling (202) 225-1116.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing - See how U.S. Currency is printed. Free tours are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. by contacting my Washington D.C. office (202) 225-2065 or (800) 289-2642. The Bureau is located at 14th and C Sts., SW.
The Washington National Cathedral - Standing higher than the Washington Monument, the cathedral crowns fifty-seven acres at the city's highest point, a living symbol of our country's heritage of religious freedom and faith. Here you will experience a place of spiritual inspiration and beauty with attention to craftsmanship and artistic detail second to none.
Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI Tours are undergoing extensive renovations and are closed until further notice.
Ford's Theater and Lincoln Museum - Currently close while undergoing major renovations. Located at 511 10th Street, NW.
Georgetown - West of Rock Creek Park. Attractions: Old Stone House, oldest standing house in D.C., the C&O Canal, one of the oldest canals in the Nation, shopping and restaurant district.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - 100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl., SW. Open every day 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. except Yom Kippur and Christmas Day. Free tickets are available for same-day admission at the museum box office beginning at 10:00 a.m., and are required for admission to the permanent exhibition. They can also be purchased in advance through Ticketmaster (1-800-400-9373, $1.75 per ticket charge plus $1.25 per order fee.)
The International Spy Museum - Owning the largest collection of spy memorabilia from various government intelligence agencies, the Spy Museum opens you up to a world of mystery and espionage. For ticket information, please visit the website or call 666-SPY-MUSEUM.
Jefferson Memorial - South Bank of the Tidal Basin. Open daily from 8:00 a.m. until midnight. At the Swan Boathouse, you can rent a pedal boat and cruise the Tidal Basin.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Free tours of the Kennedy Center are given by the Friends of the Kennedy Center from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tours depart from the parking plaza on Level A and feature the Hall of the States and Hall of Nations, the Center's main theaters, and dozens of paintings, sculptures, and other artwork given to the Center by foreign countries. For more information, call (202) 416-8340.
Library of Congress -1st Street and Independence Avenue, SE. Free tours are conducted at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Library asks that groups over 10 people make a reserved tour by contacting my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2065 or (800) 289-2642.
Lincoln Memorial - On the west end of the National Mall, at the foot of 23rd St., NW. Always open.
Mount Vernon - Home of President George Washington, 16 miles south of Washington, D.C. via the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Open every day of the year, April through August 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; March, September and October 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; and November through February 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
National Aquarium - 14th Street between Constitution Ave and D St. NW, in the basement of the Department of Commerce, Room B-077. Tanks of fish, frogs, alligators, sharks, etc. Open daily from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. except Thanksgiving and Christmas. General admission for Adults: $5, Seniors and Military Personnel: $4, Children (Ages 2-10): $2.50, and Children under two: Free. For more information, call (202) 482-2825.
National Gallery of Art - 6th and Constitution Avenue, NW. Open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Open Sunday 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Closed Christmas and New Year's Day. For more information, call (202) 737-4215.
The Pentagon - Across the 14th Street bridge from Washington, D.C. in Arlington, VA. Headquarters for Department of Defense. Tours Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m.-3:00p.m. Reservations are required at least two weeks in advance. You can contact my Washington, D.C. office to schedule a Congressional reserved tour at (202) 225-2065 or (800) 289-2642.
Smithsonian Institute - The world's largest museum complex and research organization composed of 19 museums and 9 research centers. Most museums are open daily, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. except Christmas. Admission is free. For more information, call (202) 633-1000.
- Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE
- Arts and Industries Building, 900 Jefferson Drive, SW
- Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave., SW
- Hishhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th Street and Independence Ave., SW
- National Air and Space Museum, 7th Street and Independence Ave., SW
- National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Avenue, SW
- National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Ave., NW
- National Museum of Natural History, 14th Street and Constitution Ave., NW
- National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street and Independence Ave., SW
- National Portrait Gallery, 750 Ninth Street, NW
- National Postal Museum, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
- National Zoological Park, 3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW
- Renwick Gallery, 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
- Smithsonian Institution Building, 10th Street and Jefferson Drive, SW
The Smithsonian is now offering tour packages for groups of 20 or more. More information can be found on their website.
State Department - 2001 C Street, NW. The Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the Department of State, which are used for official functions hosted by the Secretary of State and other high level government officials, are open for free pre-arranged tours. These rooms hold a premier collection of 18th century American furniture, paintings and decorative arts. Guided tours are conducted Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 2:45 p.m. Reservations are required and should be made approximately 90 days in advance, due to the large volume of requests. Call (202) 647-3241.
Supreme Court - 1st St. and East Capitol Streets, NW. Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., except Federal holidays. The Supreme Court is the highest Court in the land, and is made up of nine justices who are appointed to life terms. The Court convenes on the first Monday in October and stays in session until it has heard all of its cases and handed down all of its decisions. Tours are conducted in the courtroom from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. every hour on the half hour when Court is not sitting. For reservations and information, call (202) 479-3000.
U.S. Naval Observatory - 34 St. and Massachusetts Ave., NW. Public tours of the USNO are offered on selected Monday evenings from 8:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m., except federal holidays. Tours will include a presentation of the mission and history of the Naval Observatory, a view of the development of USNO's timekeeping responsibilities, and (weather permitting) viewing of celestial objects with the 12-inch Alvan Clark refractor with an Astronomer. Requests for reservations should be submitted at least 4-6 weeks before a scheduled tour, call (202) 762-1467.
Washington Monument - On the National Mall at 15th St. NW. Hours are 9:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m., closed Christmas. In order to enter the Washington Monument, tickets are required. Free tickets are distributed for that day's visit from the kiosk on 15th St. and Jefferson Drive on a first-come, first-serve basis. Hours for the ticket kiosk are 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., but tickets run out early. Reservations for the Washington Monument may be made by calling (800) 967-2283 or over the internet. Those making advance reservations will be charged $1.50 service fee per ticket, plus a $.50 handling fee per order.
National Zoological Park - 3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW. See Smithsonian Institution above.
Voice of America - 330 Independence Ave., SW. The Voice of America is an international multimedia news broadcast facility operating around the clock. The Voice of America Studio Tour is a behind-the-scenes look at live broadcasting in radio, television, and the Internet in several of our 44 languages. Tours are guided with audio and video features, and last 45 minutes. Cost is free and reservations are recommendation. http://www.voatour.com/