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Old 06-19-2015, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Woodstock, GA
2,069 posts, read 3,501,830 times
Reputation: 2558

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slim04 View Post
Honestly, the WH tour is terrible. It is self guided through the older historic rooms. You see about 8 or so rooms (you aren't allowed to enter many of them) filled with antiques. You don't visit the west wing, stuff like the bowling alley, the grounds like the rose garden or basketball court, the oval office, the war room, the Lincoln room or any of the residential areas. You finish in like 20 minutes and then are ushered out. It is one of the most disappointing tours in DC.
We found the WH tour to be one of the highlights of our trip. Yes it was short, but we were in no way "ushered out" as you claim. We were in the building for at least 30 minutes and were able to take our time. People got yelled at for touching anything or for sitting down, but other than that we weren't bothered. We were able to linger in front of the portico for as long as we wanted to take pictures.

Quote:
Another tour I highly recommend is to arrange for your Congressman or Senator to get an intern give you a Capitol Building Tour. They do this for VIPs, but really anyone can ask for one (might have to be pushy to get one if they have a lot of requests). You'll get to go on the Congressional subway, the gallery, and places where the ordinary tours does go.
Absolutely! We were one of only two families that were treated to a Capitol tour. We didn't have to stand in any lines (except for security) and were in a much smaller group than most everyone else. The tour guide (intern) even knew our names! It was a great experience. It ended with tickets to visit the house gallery -- the intern did not accompany us for that and we did have to stand in line for it.

We got this tour automatically with the WH tour, which we arranged through our representative's office. Both tours were a very positive experience. The only disappointment was that congress was not in session and so we didn't really see anything from the house gallery other than the room itself.
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,537 posts, read 9,935,931 times
Reputation: 9051
The new White House Visitor Center is an excellent alternative for you. No reservations needed.
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Old 06-20-2015, 04:06 PM
 
9,423 posts, read 7,071,740 times
Reputation: 12183
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim04 View Post
I highly recommend visiting George Washington's house at Mt. Vernon instead.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing is another good one.. Line up for tickets early in the AM, tho.. If you have kids.. The Zoo is a must-see, but difficult to get... Either to or back from on metro.. It's all uphill one way, I forget which way.

Washington monument.. you get in line at 8am as well.. Unless you get tickets months in advance.

The old FBI tour was good.. They don't do that one anymore.. Replaced it with the Crime museum or something which actually charges.. Bizarre in DC to be charged entrance to a museum.

The Newseum, I haven't been to.. And, the people I've talked to say it's interesting, but not for the price.

One thing I would recommend is a night time tour. Something like Monuments by Moonlight Night Tour (Washington DC, DC): Hours, Address, Tickets & Tours, Reviews - TripAdvisor

There is NOTHING like seeing the monuments at night.. It's generally cooler, which is nice.. And some of the monuments that are just difficult to get to.. Such as the Jefferson Memorial and Iwo Jima (Marine Corps Memorial) are included.

Now, it's been years since I did this.. But you can ride the metro to the Pentagon stop, and coming out of the subway you're on the east side of the Pentagon.. Short walk over to the 9/11 benches, and you're up close to the building itself.. When my dad worked there, i'd ride in and we'd have lunch in the center 'park' area of the Pentagon.

Many years ago.. I think it was 89 or 90.. I had my brush with greatness.. The secret service accosted me at Arlington Cemetary.. My dad lived in BOQ at Ft Myer.. I had a military ID, so, i'd go into Arlington Cemetery from the base... I happened to be there one summer day and wandered into the dedication of the Challenger memorial.. George Bush was there for the dedication.. Seems he was still VP at the time, but.. He had to have been president.

The Boy Scout memorial is perhaps the most disturbing thing.. How times have changed. Most people don't even know about this memorial/monument.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scout_Memorial
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Old 06-20-2015, 06:23 PM
 
11,120 posts, read 8,527,266 times
Reputation: 28070
Quote:
Originally Posted by whocares811 View Post
My husband and I are going to be traveling to DC/Virginia in two weeks with my sister, her husband, and their 11-year-old daughter, and she just got word that her request for all of us to take the White House tour has been denied. (As you may know, background checks are required, which meant that she had to provide SSN's, etc. for all of us.)

All of the adults in our group are at least 50 years old and just typical born-in-the-USA citizens and suburbanites, with no jail terms or past or present memberships in any political group, except that my sister and her husband are Democrats, I think, although my husband and I are Unaffiliated, although we were Democrats for a long time before 2000. (In fact, I am ashamed to admit that I even voted for Obama in 2008, but not 2012.) Obviously we are not terrorists, although I am outspoken in my criticism of Obama (AND George W. Bush) in forums like C-D. I tried to find an explanation online as to why someone would be rejected, but I could not find anything official, or even much of anything unofficial.

So, does anyone have any ideas as to why someone like us would be rejected? Or is it possible that it is just first-come, first-served, and the other applications were received and processed first? (She completed the paperwork and sent it in a little over a month ago.)

Thanks.
It's timing and availability. Do you really think the government is trying to link up your CD (or forums) username to your real life identity just for a simple tour?

Thousands of people apply for the tour. Doesn't that mean that some will get rejected? Why can't one of those people be you?
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:40 AM
 
1,623 posts, read 4,332,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
Bureau of Engraving and Printing is another good one.. Line up for tickets early in the AM, tho.. If you have kids.. The Zoo is a must-see, but difficult to get... Either to or back from on metro.. It's all uphill one way, I forget which way.


Ha! Here's the locals tip for the Zoo. You take the Metro Red Line to the Cleveland Park station, the Zoo is on Connecticut Ave going south and it is all downhill for about 1/3 of a mile. When you return to the Metro, you walk south down Connecticut Ave. for about 1/4 of a mile to the Woodley Park/National Zoo station.

That way it is downhill both ways. Both stops are among the wealthiest parts of DC, so they are both really safe as well.

I love the zoo, but it is really a smaller city zoo, though done very well. It isn't like that sprawling zoos that are almost like theme parks across a big campus like in Miami, Columbus or San Diego. If you are in DC for a short time, you can skip it.

Also, for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, your Congressional offices may offer you passes to do the tour without waiting or before it opens officially. My Congressman used to give these out as an alternative to the WH or Capitol tours.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Woodstock, GA
2,069 posts, read 3,501,830 times
Reputation: 2558
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
Bureau of Engraving and Printing is another good one.. Line up for tickets early in the AM, tho..
We got to the BEP around 11:30 and they still had tickets for a 3:45 tour. We went next door and got tickets for the holocaust museum then had lunch at the only place nearby (museum cafe) to wait for our tour times. We spent the entire day on or near the same block, which was quite a change from the previous day when we crossed the mall twice and hit 4 museums and the carousel!

FYI: the entire mall between the Washington Monument and the Capitol is ripped up and under construction. Won't be completed until next year. I was very sad to see that as I've always enjoyed the view down the mall to the Capitol. Also, the Capitol dome is covered in scaffolding as they are in the midst of a restoration.

If you enjoy modern art, then don't miss the Hirshhorn.


Quote:
There is NOTHING like seeing the monuments at night.. It's generally cooler, which is nice.. And some of the monuments that are just difficult to get to.. Such as the Jefferson Memorial and Iwo Jima (Marine Corps Memorial) are included.
Oh I wish we had thought of that! We were pretty much exhausted by the end of the day, and we never made it down to the monuments. That would have been a great alternative.

Quote:
Now, it's been years since I did this.. But you can ride the metro to the Pentagon stop, and coming out of the subway you're on the east side of the Pentagon.. Short walk over to the 9/11 benches, and you're up close to the building itself.. When my dad worked there, i'd ride in and we'd have lunch in the center 'park' area of the Pentagon.
It's what the people who work there call "ground zero". Can't get in there unless you know someone who can get you a pass in to the building (other than the usual visitor's tour).
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:47 AM
 
4,445 posts, read 3,522,371 times
Reputation: 5304
I was just denied yesterday for White House tour due to limited availability. I am scheduled to be there July 9th so no surprise.
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Old 06-24-2015, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
517 posts, read 566,980 times
Reputation: 588
lol, op, calm down on the tin foil hat theories. It has nothing to do with your political leanings.

As others have said many times....you need to plan this SEVERAL MONTHS in advance...1 mo is not enough time and they likely did not have enough spots for you. The white house tour is one of the most popular tourist destintions in the usa by demand so you likely need to plan, i would say, at least 6mo ahead of time
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:38 PM
 
358 posts, read 663,492 times
Reputation: 318
If you really want to see DC and not get tired I recommend buying the 24 hour pass for the open-top double deck bus. They go everywhere, even out to Arlington National Cemetery & part of the Pentagon parking lot. You can get on & off at any stop, sit up top on a nice day and get some really awesome pictures.

It's a little expensive, but they take credit cards. My kids loved it and it made for a neat experience. It was better than some of the overcrowded tours.
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,318 posts, read 21,872,221 times
Reputation: 33476
Quote:
Originally Posted by whocares811 View Post
My husband and I are going to be traveling to DC/Virginia in two weeks with my sister, her husband, and their 11-year-old daughter, and she just got word that her request for all of us to take the White House tour has been denied. (As you may know, background checks are required, which meant that she had to provide SSN's, etc. for all of us.)

All of the adults in our group are at least 50 years old and just typical born-in-the-USA citizens and suburbanites, with no jail terms or past or present memberships in any political group, except that my sister and her husband are Democrats, I think, although my husband and I are Unaffiliated, although we were Democrats for a long time before 2000. (In fact, I am ashamed to admit that I even voted for Obama in 2008, but not 2012.) Obviously we are not terrorists, although I am outspoken in my criticism of Obama (AND George W. Bush) in forums like C-D. I tried to find an explanation online as to why someone would be rejected, but I could not find anything official, or even much of anything unofficial.

So, does anyone have any ideas as to why someone like us would be rejected? Or is it possible that it is just first-come, first-served, and the other applications were received and processed first? (She completed the paperwork and sent it in a little over a month ago.)

Thanks.
I wouldn't discount your political leanings from causing you to have been denied, the reach of the security departments knows no bounds, although I'd probably be more worried about other lists your name may have found a way on to.
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