Price & Hours
- Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
- 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Local Experts Scorecard
Based on 9 interviews
If You Have Time
Read about how we rank Things to Do.
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. However, the Monument's elevators are currently undergoing renovations, so visitors will not be able to go to the top until early 2019. You can explore the attraction's exterior for free 24 hours a day, but National Park Service rangers are only available from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. to answer questions. Visit the National Park Service's Washington Monument page for more information.
Neighboring the Washington Monument to the north is the White House. Home to every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800, 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. Security lines can be long (especially during the summer months), so recent visitors recommend arriving at least 15 minutes early. The White House is a short walk from the Farragut West, McPherson Square, Metro Center and Federal Triangle Metro stops on the Blue, Silver 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.
- Thing to Do