Welcome to DC!
We love it here. We think you will, too. Here are some things to know to help you make the most of your trip.
Tours and Attractions
We know you’re coming here to theater it up, but we’re pretty sure you’re going to visit the Lincoln Memorial while you’re in town. There’s a ton to see! Most of the museums, monuments, and memorials are free, but some require a fee or advanced planning.
To Book In Advance
Touring the White House: Tours of the White House are available in advance through your member of Congress. Tours are arranged for groups of 10 or more; smaller groups and families should request to join a tour. Submit a request through your congressional office up to six months in advance and no fewer than 21 days in advance. Visitors who are not U.S. citizens should contact their embassy in DC.
Pentagon Tours: Tours are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Reservations may be booked from 14 to 90 days in advance.
Touring the Capitol: The U.S. Capitol is open to the public for tours Monday through Saturday. The Capitol Visitors Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tours are conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. Tours are free, but tickets are required. To guarantee availability, you should reserve your tour in advance online at visitthecapitol.gov or through your U.S. representative or senator. A limited number of same-day tour tickets may also be available at the Capitol Visitor Center. Tickets are not required to tour the Capitol Visitor Center. To obtain passes to see the House and Senate in session, call your Representative or one of your Senators at (202) 224-3121. And don’t forget: you may also sign up for an advocacy visit to Capitol Hill as part of your participation in the TCG Conference!
The Washington Monument: Advance tickets are highly recommended.
Ford’s Theatre Daytime Visits: Advance tickets are highly recommended.
The National Archives: Timed tickets are available in advance.
Airports: DCA (Reagan National) is the closest airport and is accessible via Metro. BWI (Baltimore-Washington International) and IAD (Dulles International) also serve the D.C. area. For more information about traveling to DC, visit our Travel and Lodging section.
Metro: Become friends with it.
Pro-tips for riding Metro like a local:
1. On escalators, walk to the left or stand on the right.
2. Purchase a Smartrip card at a Metro station kiosk with cash or a credit card.
3. To pay your fare, have your Smartrip card ready when you enter AND exit the gate
Capital Bikeshare: Daily memberships are available for the over 350 stations across the D.C. area.
We asked local TCG members: What’s Your Favorite Spot in DC? (in 140 characters or less)
“Malcolm X Park - Renamed by Angela Davis in 1969. Statues of St Joan, Pres Buchanan, and Dante. Lily pads, drum circle, dog watching.” • Jordana Fraider, National New Play Network
“The most fantastic place in DC (and maybe the whole world) is the Mansion on O Street. It’s a museum, a tag sale, a hotel, a banquet room, a puzzle, and an IRL CLUE game.” • Wyckham Avery, dog & pony dc
“The Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the beautiful indoor courtyard in the middle of it. It’s the best place in town to go get a bit of work done.” • Kate Langsdorf, Freelance / Individual Member
“Favorite stop is @hirshhorn BIG MAN sculpture. He's alive in there.” • Amy Austin, theatreWashington
“Jazz at the Sculpture Garden” • Beth Emelson, Folger Shakespeare Library
Discover your own favorite spot and explore!
Additional sight-seeing attractions in historical neighborhoods around DC can be found here. Want to find your local Vietnamese Pho or vegan bakery for the weekend? Get in the know about up-and-coming neighborhoods here.