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The White House and the Washington Monument free

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue | Washington, DC 20500
The White House and the Washington Monument Photo info
Orhan Cam/Shutterstock
  • Type: Sightseeing
  • Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
Overall Rating: 4.5 (4.3)
Value: 5.0 (5.0)
Facilities: 0.0 (N/A)
Atmosphere: 4.5 (4.5)
About these ratings

Even if you're only in town for a short trip, visiting the Washington Monument and the White House — two marbleized symbols of the free world — is a must for any first-time D.C. visitor.

At 555 feet and 5 inches, the Washington Monument (at its completion in 1884) was the tallest structure in the world. And nowadays, you can ride one of the Monument's glass-encased elevators to the top observation deck to enjoy 360-degree views of the city. Though the Monument is free to visit at any time of year, if you book tickets to the top of the Monument and explore the small 490 level museum in advance on the National Park website, you'll be charged a $1.50 service fee per ticket. If you don't book in advance, arrive early to ensure you get a timed entry ticket; tours of the Monument are offered from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. from May 31 to September 6 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the remainder of the year. You can pick up same-day tickets — distributed on a first come, first served basis — at the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Street, between Constitution and Independence avenues.

Neighboring the Washington Monument to the north is the White House. Home to every U.S. president since John Adams in 1801, the White House is America's most famous homestead. If you opt to tour the building, you'll have the opportunity to visit the State Floor, which includes the East Room, the Green Room and the Blue Room. In order to participate in a tour, you'll need to contact the office of your senator or House representative at least 21 days in advance to ensure your entry, and bear in mind that tours can be canceled last minute. Self-guided tours take place from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The White House is a short walk from the Farragut West, McPherson Square, Metro Center or Federal Triangle Metro stops on the Blue and Orange lines; you can also take the Red Line to Farragut North or Metro Center. To plan your visit, consult the White House's official website.  

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