I love WalkingTown DC (ok, fine, and BikingTown DC). Every spring and fall, Cultural Tourism DC pulls together various Museums, tour guides, historical societies, community groups, and othjer entities less definable and offers over 100 free bike and walking tours. Frankly, if you're in town and not taking in at least one of these, you're really just wasting your time in Washington.
But what to do? With so many to choose from, which to pick. Well, everyone is different, but here's the five I would (and hopefully will) do if I had some free time Saturday and Sunday:
note: be sure to check Cultural Tourism DC's website for full info. Some tours require reservations.
- Congressional Cemetery's Uppity Women Tour:
- Why This One: Well, besides the fact that Historic Congressional Cemetery is awesome, I'll be one of the Dozen Decent Docents checking out some really irritating women who managed to shape the world we live in.
- When/Where: 11 am Saturday, HCC Chapel
- Metro Stop: Potomac Avenue
- U.S. Capitol Building - Olmsted Landscape Tours
- Why This One: Like I've said, skip the inside of the Capitol and let the US Capitol Historical Society take you around the grounds. No annoying security rules, just a fascinating look
- When/Where: 9:30 am Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 pm Saturday, Library of Congress Jefferson Building South Terrace (1st and Independence SE)
- Metro Stop: South Capitol
- Rowdies, Madams, and Painted Women: An Adults-only Tour of Hooker's Division
- Why This One: Because I'm a dirty old man in training. The sterile area now known as Federal Triangle was once anything but.
- When/Where: 10 am Saturday, Federal Triangle Metro Station
- Metro Stop: Duh
- A Free Black Woman: Elizabeth Keckly
- Why This One: Put on by the Ford's Theater Society, this is historical interpetation done right. It traces the life of President Lincoln and family through the war years via a unique perspective; that of Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker.
- When/Where: 11:15 am Saturday, Ford's Theater
- Metro Stop: Metro Center
- The Temperance Tour
- Why This One: Really? You had to ask? Because it talks about beer. Stop pestering me with silly questions.
- When/Where: 1 pm Saturday, the Temperance Fountain, 7th and Penn NW
- Metro Stop: Archives/Navy Memorial
Keep in mind, this is just a small sampling of the tours available. Check them out, and let me know which ones you guys take!