Frequently Asked Questions
How early should I submit a tour request?
I suggest submitting a request as soon as you have set the dates for your trip to DC because many tours fill up quickly, especially during high travel times (Spring Break/Cherry Blossoms/Summer/Winter Holiday). The White House accepts tours 3 months in advance, the Capitol - 5 months, the Library of Congress - 2 months, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing - 6 months in advance.
When will I know if I have received a White House tour?
You will receive an email directly from the White House with an update on your tour request. The White House usually emails about 2 weeks before your requested dates and no sooner for scheduling and security reasons.
Where can I store my things during a White House tour?
For security reasons, the White House is very strict about what each person is allowed to bring with them for the tour. If the prohibited items list includes things you need for the rest of your day we suggest leaving them in your hotel room while you are at the White House and picking them up after the tour. If your hotel is not conveniently located you are welcome to drop off strollers or backpacks in our office at 2338 Rayburn House Office Building. Please keep in mind that our office is 2.5 miles away from the White House.
You can also find lockers at the following Museums to store your things:
- African Art Museum - lockers with keys
- American History Museum – lockers with keys (various sizes) on 1st floor (Constitution Ave)
- Freer Gallery and Sackler – lockers with code lock
- Hirshorn Museum – lockers with code lock
- Natural History Museum – lockers with keys (Constitution Ave. And Mall)
- Postal Museum – lockers with keys
- Reynolds Center for Art and Portraiture – lockers with digital locks (F & G Streets)
- Udvar-Hazy Center – lockers with keys.
How do we get passes to the House and Senate Gallery?
You are welcome to stop by our office at 2338 Rayburn House Office Building (the 3rd floor of the Rayburn building) to receive Gallery passes to visit the House of Representatives and Senate Gallery between the hours of 9am and 5pm EST.
How do we get to your office?
The Rayburn building is a block or so away from the Capitol building. Rayburn is bordered by Independence Ave to the north, C Street SW to the south, S Capitol Street to the east, and First Street SW to the West. The closest Metro stop to our office is Capitol South located on the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines. This stop will let you out on C Street, facing north. You will want to make a left on C Street and you will see Rayburn once you’ve walked two blocks. You will have to cross S Capitol Street, turn right, and walk up S Capitol Street to enter the Rayburn building on the left.
There are several entrances to the Rayburn building (all will make you go through airport-style security): the entrance on Independence Avenue will take you onto the Ground (G) floor and you will take the elevator or stairs up to the Third (3) floor. The entrance on S Capitol Street SE lets you into the building on the First (1) floor, and you will again take the elevator or stairs up to the Third (3) floor. If you take the metro, you will most likely enter at the S Capitol Street SE entrance.
If you have any questions or can’t find us on the day of your tour, feel free to call our office at 202-225-0508.
Where can we park around the White House and the Capitol?
There are a number of parking garages in the area and some street and metered spots available, depending on the time of day.
Please keep in mind that there is very little public parking available near the Capitol. The nearest public parking facility is at Union Station, to the north of the Capitol. Metered street parking is found along the Mall to the west of the Capitol.
Where are good places to eat near the Capitol?
There are a number of great food places near the Capitol. There is a cafeteria in the Library of Congress Madison building (extension/office building part of the library) that you can go to for lunch, there are also a variety of lunch places on Pennsylvania Ave just behind the Library of Congress.