Washington, DC – White House Visits

Visiting The White House is a memorable experience for the lucky Americans who are able to come to the capital and who are organized about writing ahead for tickets to their Member of Congress.

For foreign nationals, you must get tickets through your Embassy, in Washington.

No tickets are available at The White House Visitors Centers. The tour times are always with The White House official duties, in mind, first. Often a good time is when the President is away, as less official events occur, leaving more chance for a new public tour time.

My first visit was in a quieter, more benign time, when President Jimmy Carter was away, and the atmosphere was much more relaxed. Now, I am sure that the strict security makes a difference for most visitors, but hopefully you can still be well reminded that this is “The People’s House“. You have access to it, as like no other country.

This is a relatively small mansion, certainly not like the regal palaces of other leaders, so that makes security even more of an issue, as you are really close to where the main branch of government operates and where the family actually lives. It is an example of the real difference that makes America unique.

Learn more here: White House tickets” , and below.

Tour ticket requests are “accepted up to six months in advance. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Fridays, and 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturdays (excluding federal holidays). Tour hours will be extended when possible based on the official White House schedule.”

“Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Requests can be submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 30 days in advance. You are encouraged to submit your request as early as possible since a limited number of tours are available. All White House tours are free of charge.”

For the most current tour information, please call the 24-hour line at 202-456-7041. Please note that White House tours may be subject to last minute cancellation.”

Because of security rules, please pay strict attention to what you are and are not allowed to bring to The White House. There is nowhere to store prohibited items there or at The White House Visitor’s Centers.

Before your White House tour starts, include at least 30 – 60 minutes, minimum to see the Center’s introduction to The White House, via Films, exhibits and more.

During the holiday season, ornaments and ribbons that coordinate with this year’s White House decorations will be on display at the Visitor Center, including one of Michigan artist, James Lutke’s, natural peacock tree toppers. So, even if you do not have White House tickets, head over to see these items at the Center.

The WH Visitor’s Center is located inside the north end of the Department of Commerce building, between 14th and 15th Streets at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Restrooms are available there, but food is not.

The other nearest restrooms and public telephones to the White House are in the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion (the park area south of the White House). Restrooms or public telephones are not available at the White House

At the main WH Visitor’s Center, you will find interesting exhibits, tourist information, and helpful staff to answer your questions.

Mobility-Impaired / Wheelchairs
Visitors scheduled for White House tours who require the loan of a wheelchair should notify the officer at the Visitors Entrance upon arrival. Unfortunately, reservations are not possible. Visitors in wheelchairs, or with other mobility disabilities, use the same Visitors Entrance and are escorted to the State floor.

Hearing-Impaired & Visually-Impaired
Please contact your Member of Congress if you have a hearing or visual impairment which requires assistance during your White House tour. Guide dogs are permitted in the White House.

General Tour Information
All visitors should call the 24-hour Visitors Office information line at 202-456-7041 to determine if any last minute changes have been made in the tour schedule.

Prohibited Items
Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, the following: handbags, book bags, backpacks, purses, food and beverages of any kind, strollers, cameras, video recorders or any type of recording device, tobacco products, personal grooming items (make-up, hair brush or comb, lip or hand lotions, etc.), any pointed objects (pens, knitting needles, etc.), aerosol containers, guns, ammunition, fireworks, electric stun guns, mace, martial arts weapons/devices, or knives of any size. The U.S. Secret Service reserves the right to prohibit any other personal items.

Umbrellas, wallets, cell phones and car keys are permitted.

Because so few things are allowed, a trip to The White House means that you will need to return to your hotel for your “usual” tourist gear! Make sure to keep your passport and money with you or arrange for proper, secure storage at your hotel.

The closest Metrorail stations to the White House are Federal Triangle (blue and orange lines), Metro Center (blue, orange, and red lines) and McPherson Square (blue and orange lines). On-street parking is not available near the White House, and use of public transportation is strongly encouraged.

Washington, DC Travel – Archived Articles

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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