Washington, DC tours and excursions
Washington, DC tours
Two-hour themed walks, such as 'The Most Haunted Houses' and 'Georgetown', are run by Washington Walks and bring the city to life. Other thematic topics are available from Thursday to Sunday, but not all tours run each day. Morning and evening tours are available, no reservation required.Tel: +1 202 484 1565.
After the discontinuation of the infamous Tourmobile Sightseeing bus tours, the Old Town Trolley Tours have taken over where they left off, running interesting two-hour guided tours to over 75 points of interest. Tickets permit users to hop on and off at 19 different stops, allowing you to enjoy the attractions at your leisure.Tel: +1 888 312 8687.
Amphibious craft tours
DC Ducks tours are aboard restored amphibious crafts from 1942 and give visitors a 90-minute land/water sightseeing experience. The tours depart hourly from Union Station and take in sights such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, U.S Capitol and a number of other major attractions.Tel: +1 855 323 8257.
African American Heritage tours
Site Seeing Tours, Inc specialise in African American Heritage tours which include Duke Ellington's Jazz Tour and Walking in the Footsteps of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Tours are done by bus or on foot with private packages also available.Tel: +1 301 445 2098.
Bike the Sites runs guided tours on bicycles lasting three hours over a mainly flat 13km (8-mile) route passing an impressive 55 landmarks, including the Washington Monument, White House and Vietnam Memorial. Bicycles, helmets, water and snacks are included in the price. Night time and Segway tours are also available.Tel: +1 202 842 2453.
A pleasant way to get an overview of Washington, DC is to go on a 45-minute boat trip aboard Nightingale II, operated by Capitol River Cruises. The tours depart Georgetown Harbour on Saturdays and Sundays from 1100 until 1900, taking in sights like the Kennedy Center, Key Bridge, Memorial Bridge, Roosevelt Island and Washington Monument.Tel: +1 301 460 7447.
Washington, DC excursions
Just 90 minutes from Washington, DC, Abraham Lincoln made a two-minute speech to dedicate the new cemetery to the Civil War dead. His famous Gettysburg Address at Cemetery Ridge reminded the nation of the true purpose of the sacrifice the people had made. Gettysburg is also the site of the largest battle ever fought on American soil when, in July 1863, the Union Army under General George C Meade defeated the Confederate forces under General Robert E Lee. There are numerous places of interest in the town, including houses that featured significantly in the fighting, now open to the public.Tel: +1 717 334 0035.
Arlington National Cemetery
Just across the Memorial Bridge from the Lincoln Memorial is America's largest national cemetery. Over 260,000 US soldiers, who fought in wars from the American Revolution onwards, are buried here, together with President John F Kennedy and the world champion boxer Joe Louis. Arlington National Cemetery is open daily year-round and admission is free. The nearest Metro station is Arlington Cemetery.Tel: +1 877 907 8585.
George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Garden
Located in Virginia around 26km (16 miles) from Washington, DC, the delightful home of George and Martha Washington covers 200 hectares (500 acres) and includes his mansion, tomb, Slave Memorial, gardens and restaurants. A pleasant way to travel there from Washington, DC is to take the Spirit Cruise Line (tel: +1 866 302 2469; www.spiritcruises.com), which leaves Pier 4 at Sixth and Water Streets, SW, at 0830 for the 90-minute journey and returns from Mount Vernon at 1330. Cruises run from March to October. The fare includes admission to the estate and gardens. Gray Line of Washington (tel: +1 301 386 8300; www.graylinedc.com) also runs tours, which can include Alexandria.Tel: +1 703 780 2000.