Old Town Trolley Tours provide sightseers with extensive, fully narrated tours of the national capital, taking tourists past both the heavy-hitting attractions and the little-known gems. This deal gets you a full-day pass (9 a.m.–5:30 p.m.) to hop on and hop off the trolley at any of its 19 stops. This means you can get on at the Washington Welcome Center, ride it until you're enticed by the hypnotic pilasters and cartouches of the Jefferson Memorial, then get on again at any other stop throughout the day. The full tour of Washington takes about three hours, and each tour is patriotically lead by a licensed tour guide, who'll tell historical anecdotes, share intriguing facts, and cast any tie-breaking votes in the Senate. Sit back and relax as your trolley smoothly takes you past Washington hotspots such as the National Mall and the Smithsonian.
Frank Martz, Sr., started Gray Line DC, Martz Group in 1908 with a 1912 White bus and a route that took him through small mining towns in Pennsylvania. During the Great Depression, the economic collapse inspired Frank and other independent carriers to create the National Trailways Bus System. This system became part of a national network with Greyhound lines, setting schedules and fares for connecting service across the country.
Through the years, the company has passed down from father to son. Today, Frank's great grandson, Scott Henry, helms the company of more than 400 employees, 250 coaches, and one magic-pumpkin carriage. Additionally, Martz boasts a travel agency and repair operations in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and Washington, DC, and operates sightseeing tours in Washington, DC, such as DC After Dark, Monticello & Thomas Jefferson Country, and the Spy City Tour.
Lynford Morton doesn't like to be called an instructor. Instead, he prefers photo coach. To Lynford, coaching more accurately describes his process of giving advice and support and boosting confidence in photographers as they actively snap shots of their subjects. His teaching method sticks to this sports analogy, as he first forms a foundation of photography principles?a playbook of sort. Then during hands-on sessions, photographers practice using techniques and calling audibles to get clouds into the right position. Since Lynford keeps most classes at a ratio of 1 to 12 or fewer, he can guide students with tips or illustrate a point with a teaching app on his iPad.
Lynford has always loved to tell stories with pictures. His father, a self-taught photographer from a village on St. Kitts, fueled Lynford's passion at an early age?which he later bridged with a photojournalism college major and a career in public relations. Now, he walks the historic streets of DC each weekend with troops of eager photographers anxious to tell their own visual stories.
CitySights DC's signature double-decker bus tours of the United States's capital come which comes with hop-on, hop-off privileges?and there's plenty of reason to do both. Hopping on means informed narration in eight languages, including Portuguese and German, and a break for tired feet. Hopping off is appealing too. It means leisurely exploration of some of the country's most important landmarks, such as the White House, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial, whose beard grows if you stare at it long enough. Other tours cover similar terrain in different ways. On boat tours, passengers see the sites from the Potomac River, and on bike tours, they pedal themselves from locale to locale.
On Big Bus Tours' signature hop-on, hop-off double decker adventures, visitors and residents alike can take in all of the sights of the capital city. The distinctive vehicles wind their way through the city, allowing guests to hop-off at landmarks including the Washington Monument, the National Archives, and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. An informative and entertaining commentary enriches each eye-popping location, either from a live tour guide or a recording.
Run by three generations of DC locals, Bike and Roll sends pedalers into the nation's modern and historical capitol. Sightseers are outfitted with ETs with maps so they can undertake self-guided tours along the National Mall, which is lousy with landmarks. To break with the hustle—and should one be so inclined, the bustle—cyclists can explore one of the city’s many meandering bike paths including the Capital Crescent Trail and Rock Creek Trail. The company’s line of tandem bikes and Trek comfort hybrids make for smooth rides along the flat terrain of the capital.
For a more itineraried experience, guided tours spirit groups through the historic sights. Local story-tellers regale cyclists with tales about the Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and Mount Vernon, the home where George Washington lived after hatching from the egg incubated in the Statue of Liberty's torch.