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One Day Tour of Washington, DC

Take a Trolley Tour to See the City


One Day Tour of Washington, DC

Aerial View of Georgetown Waterfront

Photo by Jason Hawkes for Washington, DC Tourism & Convention Corporation

Only have one day to spend in Washington, DC? I've put together a one day tour of the District that highlights the best of the best must sees for a first time visitor.

One of the best ways to see our nation’s capital is by hopping aboard an Old Town Trolley Tour. I like the Trolley Tour because it covers a lot of ground and allows you to decide how much time you want to spend at the sites that really interest you.

How the Trolley Tour Works

Tickets are $32 for adults, $16, but if you purchase them online, $28.80 for adults and $14.40 for children. Tickets can be purchased at just about any hotel or at one of four different locations spread out around the city:

Union Station (stop #1) sales desk 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.

Welcome Center (stop #9) sales desk 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily.

Georgetown (stop #15)-Spring and Summer Trolley Tour only. Cash only.

White House Visitor Center (stop #10)-Spring and Summer Trolley Tour only. Cash only.

Tours begin daily at 9:00 a.m. and the last re-boarding is at 5:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. during the winter. Once you have a ticket in hand, you are able to get on and off the trolley wherever and whenever you see something you would like to spend more time at.

Begin Your Tour

I suggest starting your morning in Georgetown by catching the trolley’s Green Line.

Washington, DC doesn't have a quintessential breakfast but Dean & Deluca

Morning Tour

When you've had your fill of Georgetown, hop back on the Green Line and ride it until you reach the White House. 1600 Pennsylvania is by and far the number one must see. Here you can snap photos from afar or if you plan in advance, you can arrange for a self-guided tour by contacting your Member of Congress.

Tours of the White House are available for groups of ten or more and must be arranged at least one month prior to your visit and up to six months in advance. Tours are given Tuesday thru Saturday beginning at 7:30 a.m. and conlcuding at 12:30 p.m.

After the White House, it’s back on the Green Line until you reach Stop #9, The Trolley’s Welcome Center, and then a transfer to the Orange Line.

The Orange Line will take you to the Washington Monument. Tickets are required to tour this 555' 5-1/8" tall architectural work of wonder and can be purchased in advance by calling 1-800-967-2283 or over the Internet at http://reservations.nps.gov. I strongly recommend buying tickets as the free tickets that you can get the same day from the kiosk at the bottom of the hill from the monument (15th St and Jefferson Dr) tend to go very quickly. Each person is allowed to obtain up to six tickets.

Next it’s back on the Orange Line to the Air & Space Museum. This is a favorite destination among young and old. There you'll find the Spirit of St. Louis, catch a glimpse of the original 1903 Wright Flyer, or feel the awe of Apollo 13. And don't forget to check-out the IMAX movie scheduleto find out what’s playing, as well as purchase tickets($8.50) online.

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