Why You Should Take a Tour of the White House

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Most federal museums and historic sites have free admission. This includes the historic house where our country’s leader lives, The White House. Visiting the White House alone is a priceless experience, but its free admission is an added bonus and makes it an even better low-cost date
option. However, it is not an easy one to come by. You can’t just walk up to the White House and ask for a tour. You have to request tours of the White House through your Member of Congress at least 21 days before your planned visit. If you are a citizen of another country you must contact your embassy to arrange a tour. You can get all that information here.

I am not a DC native and neither is my boyfriend. This date option came about back in the summer of 2015 when we were discussing the touristy things we have done since living in the DC area. We discovered neither of us has ever visited the White House. A few days after the first conversation I got a text from him saying “I need your social to schedule the tour” (Side note: I do not recommend this date if 1. You are in a new relationship or 2. Don’t completely trust your partner with personal information). We requested our tour in July for dates in August and it did not get approved until November, hence why it would be best if you were in a long-term relationship for this date option.

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The date of our tour was November 14, 2015, which happened to be the day after the attacks in Paris so security was extra tight. It took about 40 minutes just to get into White House. Thankfully we dressed for the weather. Once we got inside it felt a little surreal because, you know, you’re inside one of the most important buildings in the world. Also, President Obama was home, so the time we’re hoping he would walk by (which of course, he didn’t, unfortunately).

There is no time limit on the tour but it took us about an hour. The tour was self-guided but each room has a Secret Service agent to answer any questions you have. We recognized each room from TV, iconic photos, and movies. It was pretty cool.

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The only negative thing I have to say about the tour is it didn’t feel different from any other house museum tour I’ve been on. I work in a historic house museum so that may have been part of it. I was hoping for a wow factor since it is the White House but it never came. We also felt that some areas you would normally get to see were closed due to the attacks the previous day, which is completely understandable.

Overall, we enjoyed it. It was cultural and it was FREE. We plan to go back after Obama is out of office (insert sobs) so we can see his presidential portrait, which you know will be badass. It was definitely a priceLESS experience.

Have you taken a tour of the White House? What did you think? Let me know!

My favorite FREE museums in DC

The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

National Museum of American History

National Portrait Gallery

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site

National Museum of African Art

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