U.S. Capitol Historical Society in Washington, DC

200 Maryland Ave NE #401Washington, DC 20002
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Overview

Escape the crowds and experience the U.S. Capitol Building in an exclusive exterior tour from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. Follow trained, knowledgeable volunteers behind the scenes as they provide in-depth information about our nation’s history, the notable men and women, the building’s construction process and monumental days in history, and so much more.

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Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Washington Travel Experts
  • Tours begin promptly at 7:00 pm.
  • The guide will be available after the tour to answer questions.
  • The tour is approximately 2 hours long.
  • Tours meet at Garfield Circle at the bus drop-off location for the Capitol Grounds.

Description

from U.S. Capitol Historical Society
The U.S. Capitol Historical Society offers a unique alternative way to see and learn about the Capitol Building and the history of the Congress. Away from the hassle of crowds, security, and long lines, you can visit and learn about The Most Famous Building in the World in a small group with personal
attention and no hurry.

Volunteers trained by the Society lead visitors on an extensive tour around the Capitol exterior, providing historical anecdotes and perspectives about the Congress, the origin and construction of the building itself, and the meaning of the democratic form of government.

Learn why it took nearly 40 years to build the original Capitol building and why it has been continually enlarged.  Enjoy stories told of famous incidents and crucial events that have taken place inside. Hear about the daily activities that occur in and around the building as well as the history and purpose of the buildings that make up the Capitol complex.

Tour content:
- The Senate Park Commission and the City Beautiful movement’s effect in the nation’s capital
- The concept of a Capitol
- The Capitol complex today
- Choosing the site
- Construction history
- The Senate extension
- The Capitol Grounds
- The plan of the city
- The original sandstone building: Senate wing, Library of Congress, Rotunda, House wing
- Inaugurations
- Constructing the extensions and dome
- The House extension
- Dome and the Statue of Freedom
- How to tour the public areas of the interior and see the Houses of Congress in session
- Contacting your Congresspeople and Senators
- Where to have lunch
- Other sights to see and tour nearby

The guide will also be available after the tour to answer questions.

Meeting point: These tours will begin at Garfield Circle at the bus drop off location for the Capitol Grounds, 1st Street and Maryland Avenue SW, Washington DC.

End points: The tours will end at the bus pickup location for the Capitol Grounds at Peace Circle, 1st Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC. If requested, guests can be left at the Capitol Visitor Center entrance at East Capitol Street, or at any other location requested by the guests.

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Frequently Asked Questions about U.S. Capitol Historical Society

How long is the tour?
The tour is approximately 2 hours long.

What time does the tour start?
Tours begin at 7:00 pm sharp.

What time should I arrive?
Please arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to your scheduled tour.

Where does the tour meet and begin?
Tours meet and begin at Garfield Circle at the bus drop-off location for the Capitol Grounds. The address is 1st Street and Maryland Avenue SW, Washington DC.

What is the best way to get to the meeting point?
Garfield Circle is accessible by several Metro lines. It is accessible on the Red Line at Union Station, and on the Blue/Orange/Silver Line at Capitol South. There is public parking at Union Station.

Do I need a reservation to attend a tour?
Yes.

Are tours rain or shine?
Yes.

Will the tour guide be able to answer my questions?
Yes. Tour guides are available during and after the tour for any questions you may have.

Can I bring my children on the tour?
Yes. Children ages 10 and under are free.