Licensed professional tour guides could tell you about the design plan of the U.S. Capitol, the specifics of the congressional resolution to build the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the quotes engraved on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Or, they could show you.
Excellent Tours' four experienced guides share their knowledge of the capital during three narrated tours aboard vans, mini-buses, and coach buses. Each tour includes stops at the White House, Capitol building, Lincoln Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which is where the similarities end. Tours run at three different times and visit several different additional sights, such as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the World War II Memorial. During each excursion, guides divulge facts such as how President Theodore Roosevelt gave the White House its name in 1901, and why the engineer who laid the cornerstone of the Washington Monument used the same trowel George Washington used nearly a century earlier instead of the nice one his mother bought for him.
The trio of seasoned tour guides understands that being a guide is more than just being able to carry a microphone and CDL driver’s license with style. Being a guide is a great responsibility; it means safeguarding history and passing its great secrets and wisdoms on to others. Whether visiting DC’s iconic structures and memorials in the daylight or evening, they passionately share the stories of the individuals, ideals, and food-based dares that shaped the United States into what it is today. Fueled by the realization that planning a trip to the nation’s capital may be a once in a lifetime experience for some people, they put extra effort into ensuring that experience is as memorable as possible, leading all of their tours in a luxurious 2012 Mercedes bus.
For the past several years, Washington, DC Legend Tours, operated by Jerusalem DC Tour and Transportation, has shuttled passengers around the nation’s capital on entertaining and educational tours. Captained by Yohannes Zeleke, PhD, founder and current research collaborator at the National Museum of Natural History, the company’s guides exude passion while sowing the seeds of history in different languages, including English and Russian. They lead four-hour treks through surrounding neighborhoods and past notable monuments, such as the US Capitol building, as well as helm comprehensive eight-hour tours that delve deeper into iconic sites such as the Arlington Cemetery. When not on a tour, the company uses its fleet to bus customers to and from area airports—a safer alternative than trying to inconspicuously squeeze a moped into the president’s motorcade.
Smithsonian Tours by Segway knows that the best way to see the National Mall is at a swift glide. Teaming up with the Smithsonian Institution, its tours tackle 5 miles of DC's museums, gardens, and monuments. Learned guides tell stories about the history of the national treasures housed in the Smithsonian's hallowed halls, and a stop next to the National Museum of American History highlights the original star-spangled banner that inspired Francis Scott Key's historic anthem.
A nonprofit castle-themed adventure land created by The Good Knight Child Empowerment Network, The Good Knight Enchanted Kingdom & Family Museum is an interactive fairy-tale realm designed to teach children about safety. Founded by a coalition of retired federal officers, The Good Knight Child Empowerment Network's mission is to empower kids and their parents through education, using the fairy-tale format to bring awareness to such hard-to-talk-about topics as child abduction. Through special events, shows, summer camps, and onsite adventures, costumed fairies and brave knights lead their young charges on themed challenges and quests to encourage them to fulfill socially responsible roles and build their self-esteem. The shows also teach children how to employ the ABCs of protection and how to recognize the 10 basic physiological deceptions that criminal predators often use to manipulate their victims, giving kids the skills to defend themselves and their peers.