White House Tour
There’s a lot of red tape involved, but its well worth playing some politics to get a tour of the First Family’s home. We had to submit a request for a tour at least 6 months in advance through our congressman’s office.
Approval came only two weeks before our trip. And there are a number of rules: no pictures inside the White House, you can’t touch anything, security check-ins, yada, yada. So it’s definitely more for children 10 and up.
But this was absolutely the experience of a lifetime for our 13 year old son who’s a bit of a history buff and huge presidency enthusiast. After years of learning about the White House in school, actually walking inside was a real history-come-to-life moment for him. He also got a kick out of seeing real Secret Service personnel complete with ear pieces.
Well worth the pomp and circumstance. Kids can even take a White House interactive tour at the official website.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
This was by far one of the most impressive monuments we visited while in D.C. Truly awe-inspiring! It’s dubbed a “landscape experience” and they’re not kidding. Located right on the water at the Tidal Basin, the memorial is flanked by dozens of Cherry Blossom trees and we were lucky enough to visit during full bloom.
King is memorialized in a 30 foot statue called the Stone of Hope. The sheer size is impressive, but they’ve really managed to capture the emotion and spirit of King’s movement.
Behind the monument is a crescent-shaped inscription wall where many of King’s famous words are engraved. The overall effect of the site is both striking and serene.
If you haven’t been to D.C. in a while you’ve missed something special (the monument opened in 2011). It’s definitely one of the most special places our family visited. The memorial is truly worthy of King’s legacy. Do not miss it!
I haven't been to the Tidal Basin in years. I'll be interested to see how the more naturalistic King memorial blends with the Neoclassical memorials to Jefferson and Lincoln.