Georgetown Walking Tour, Washington D.C. (Self Guided)

Georgetown is an area located in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., along the Potomac River waterfront. Despite its proximity to downtown Washington, this former port has preserved its own distinct character. Many of the buildings along the tree-lined streets are over 200 years old. Take this walking tour to reveal all the secrets of Georgetown.
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Georgetown Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Georgetown Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Washington D.C. (See other walking tours in Washington D.C.)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Author: clare
1
Georgetown Flea Market

1) Georgetown Flea Market

Held every Sunday of the week, Georgetown Flea Market offers vintage, antique & art lovers an exciting treasure-hunting opportunity . The flea market is located at 1819 35th Street NW, in Georgetown, Washington D.C. Over here, you can find a wide assortment of high-quality antiques, unusual furniture, colorful jewelry, eclectic decorative accessories, vintage fashion, textiles, silverware, ceramics, old books, artworks, etc. Established since 1972, Georgetown Flea Market hosts more than 100 antiques vendors who sell their wares every weekend.

Operation Hours Sunday: 8 am - 4 pm
2
Dumbarton Oaks

2) Dumbarton Oaks (must see)

The estate and gardens of Dumbarton Oaks is a must see for a trip to Washington D.C. The 53-acre estate is located on the highest point in Georgetown. The original structure, which was a Federal-style home, was purchased by Robert Woods Bliss, and his wife, in 1920. The couple added a music room on to the home in 1929. Many years later, the couple built a wing on the home to house their famous Byzantine art collection. A beautiful English garden was built around the whole property.

In 1940 as well, the entire property was given to the Trustees of Harvard University, who still maintain the estate. Another wing was added to hold Mr. Bliss’s collection of Pre-Columbian art. There was also a garden library added around the same time.

The art has been on long term loan to the National Gallery of Art. The Garden library, however, still houses Mrs. Bliss’s collection of rare books on the history of gardens.

Why You Should Visit:
While it's on the smaller side, the collections of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art, the old music and rare books rooms are fascinating to walk through.
You can easily spend a couple hours wandering through the gardens and discovering every hidden corner.
Everything is well-kept up – space, lighting, staff, historical rooms, terraces, gardens, and security.

Tip:
Make sure you get the booklet and follow the suggested garden route as it helps to understand the layout. Also look out for birds and small mammals.

Opening Hours:
Museum: Tue-Sun: 11:30am-5:30pm
Garden: Tue-Sun: 2-6pm (Mar 15–Oct 31); 2-5pm (Nov 1–Mar 14)
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Oak Hill Cemetery

3) Oak Hill Cemetery

Established by an Act of Congress in 1848, Oak Hill Cemetery is a 22 acre historic cemetery, botanical garden, and Mausoleum. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also home to the famous Oak Hill Cemetery Chapel. The cemetery has been in use since 1849.

The cemetery was founded by W.W. Corcoran. He was a banker, philanthroper, and businessman. Corcoran founded the Riggs National Bank, and was an instrumental part in keeping the U.S. financially solvent during the Mexican War.

Mr. Corcoran purchased the property for the cemetery from George Corbin Washington and Lewis W. Washington (both related to the first President.) Over the years, the beautiful architecture of the buildings and grounds were put into place from the likes of George F. de la Roche and James Renwick Jr (of Smithsonian fame).

The architecture of the cemetery represents some of the best of English gardens, Gothic chapels, and 19th Century Romantic Art. But perhaps the biggest draw of the cemetery is the Civil War burial sites located within. It is one of the best you will find in Washington D.C. The maps of the plots located there will help you be able to appreciate the history of the mostly 19th Century cemetery.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Tudor Place

4) Tudor Place

Tudor Place is a mansion in Washington, D.C. that was originally the home of Thomas Peter and his wife, Martha Parke Custis Peter, the step-granddaughter of George Washington, who left her the $8,000 in his will that was used to purchase the property in 1805. The property, comprising one city block on the crest of Georgetown Heights, had an excellent view of the Potomac River. The gardens and the historic house museum's collections are as rich and interesting as the home itself. A focal point is the collection of over 100 objects that belonged to George and Martha Washington. Over the years, both the home and gardens have been enriched by 180 years of Peter family ownership. Tudor Place gives a rare glimpse into American cultural and social history. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960. Tudor Place is located at 1644 31st Street, N.W. and is open to the public.
Open February through December: Tue-Sat 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday noon – 4 p.m
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Georgetown Lutheran Church

5) Georgetown Lutheran Church

The Georgetown Lutheran Church is one of the oldest Lutheran congregations in the United States, and is the oldest Lutheran Church in Washington D.C. You would have to travel to a place like the Holy Trinity Church in Delaware to find much more history for the followers of Martin Luther.

The church was built in 1769.

The original German immigrants that founded the church came to the Potomac Valley to become farmers, and were enticed to settle here by offers of inexpensive land (made possible by Lord Baltimore).

The congregation itself was served for many years by itinerate preachers of the German Lutheran Church. The group officially formed into a church in 1766. Colonel Charles Beatty donated the land for the first building. The church was erected at the corner of Fourth and High Street. The cornerstone was laid in 1769.

The church has gone through four revisions through the years, but still has a piece of very old history well worth seeing. The old bell from the church sits in the front yard, after being salvaged from a junk yard in 1937. It had been given away in the 1870’s.
6
Appalachian Spring

6) Appalachian Spring

Appalachian Spring is a retail company founded in 1968 by David and Paula Brooks in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. David and Paula Brooks began with the goal of bringing to the community a collection of quality American Craft. To find the products they looked to the artists and craftspeople that lived and worked in the Appalachian states of the United States, the region in which they had both grown up. Appalachian Spring buyers search for products that are of high quality, unique, and designed for both beauty and function. While most of the work is made in the United States, Appalachian Spring has added the work of craftspeople from other parts of the world.

David and Paula Brooks are founding members of the Craft Retailers Association for Tomorrow, David is chairman and Paula is a member of the Business Practices Committee. Appalachian Spring was voted Top Retailer Of American Craft for two consecutive years, 1995 and 1996 by Niche Magazine and craft exhibitors at the Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft and the Baltimore American Craft Council shows. After winning two years in a row a Hall of Fame was created and Appalachian Spring was inducted as the first Gallery of Honor members.

Hours: Monday - Wednesday 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM; Thursday - Saturday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM; Sunday 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
7
Georgetown Presbyterian Church

7) Georgetown Presbyterian Church

The Georgetown Presbyterian Church got its start with a small group of worshippers, who gathered together in 1760 for the very first time. Twenty years later, the band of Christians organized the group into a formal Church. The official start date of January 1 was picked. In the same year, the first pastor of the congregation was chosen: the Reverend Stephen Bloomer Balch.

Balch was a revolutionary at heart, and served in the army. He was mentored by John Witherspoon, who was a clergyman also, and President of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Witherspoon also signed the Declaration of Independence. Rev. Balch carried on well from his teacher, and would go on to serve this local congregation for over 50 years.

The church has had two different locations over the years: Bridge Street (which is now called M Street) and West Street (which is currently called P Street). In 1821 President Monroe laid the cornerstone for the new construction that was added to the church. In similar fashion, President Grant placed a cornerstone for the church, when it was moved to the P Street location.

This congregation has continued to serve the Washington D.C. community since its founding. It is now the oldest local church in continuous service, and one of the older churches to be found anywhere in the area.
8
Old Stone House

8) Old Stone House

3051 M Street NW is to take a trip back in time, to the day when the United States did not yet exist, and the Revolutionary War was not yet fought. In fact, the building is the oldest surviving example of Pre-Revolutionary Colonial architecture that still stands on its original foundation.

Part of the fun of visiting this fine old homestead is to allow yourself to become wrapped up in the local folklore. It is almost an urban legend. For many years, it has been contended that the domain was the Engineering Headquarters for General George Washington. Another piece of folklore has claimed that the famous Suters Tavern was located here. Sadly, neither piece of historic folklore has ever been substantiated.

In 1953, the land and home was purchased by the United States Government. The Old Stone House is now cared for by the National Park Service, which has also made a museum there. You may visit the site from Noon until 5:00p.m., every Wednesday through Sunday. The house is always closed on Monday and Tuesday, as well as major holidays, such as New Years Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas. So, you will need to plan accordingly.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Blues Alley

9) Blues Alley

Blues Alley, founded in 1965, is a jazz dinner-and-nightclub. Exclusively jazz musicians are booked into Blues Alley for approximately 360 nights out of the year. Over the years many of the world's very greatest jazz musicians have performed at Blues Alley, including Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Byrd, Maynard Ferguson, and Eva Cassidy. In 1975 Earl Fatha Hines spent a week, during the afternoons while the club was closed, making an hour-long solo film for British TV entirely in Blues Alley, prominently featuring Frank Hart, Blue's Alley's famous 'clean-up man'.

Blues Alley also has a non-profit jazz arm, the Blues Alley Jazz Society, dedicated to jazz education and outreach for young performers in the local area. Education and outreach programs include the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra and Blues Alley Jazz Summer Camp. Blues Alley honors its most popular performers by allowing them to create dishes and have them as a regular part of the restaurant's menu. Phyllis Hymans jumbo shrimp dish is one of the most popular items on the menu. Not all performers have this honor and it is shared with the greats such as Nancy Wilson and John Williams.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Washington Harbour

10) Washington Harbour (must see)

Nested along the banks of the Potomac River is the Washington Harbor. Some of the best views of the river can be found here. The views to the Kennedy Center, Washington Monument, Key Bridge, and Roosevelt Island are also very good and will present an avid photographer with some nice photo opportunities.

The Harbour is part of historic Georgetown. The shops, condominiums, and restaurants are the brainchild of Arthur Cotton Moore. This famous Princeton graduate was honored in 1977 by the American Institute of Architectures for the development of an architectural style of his own, called “industrial baroque.” The Georgetown development is among his most famous examples of this style.

Upon visiting the site, one is quickly struck by the low-level construction. Just take a look at the harbor in relation to the water level of the Potomac. You may also want to check out the flood gate system that helps to protect the area.

While you are marveling at the unique architecture, you may also want to partake of some of the good food that comes from one of the four main restaurants in the complex: The Sequoia, Tony & Joe’s, Nick’s Riverside Grill, and Cabanas. After a great meal, try taking a river cruise aboard one of the small river boats that depart from here each day.

Why You Should Visit:
Crowded area but very nice. Elegant but not super fancy.
The perfect spot to culminate a self-guided walking tour of the Georgetown area.
You can watch all the watersports in the summer and feel the breeze with a nice drink in hand :)

Tip:
There are tons of places to either grab a drink or a meal by the water.
If you'd rather enjoy a restaurant, most take reservations, so plan ahead, if you can.

Walking Tours in Washington D.C., USA

Create Your Own Walk in Washington D.C.

Create Your Own Walk in Washington D.C.

Creating your own self-guided walk in Washington D.C. is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Art Galleries and Museums Tour

Art Galleries and Museums Tour

Looking for inspiring and notable art venues? Washington D.C. is well-appreciated for the wide range of art museums and galleries that it offers. Take this self-guided tour and discover the treasures hidden by these art institutions.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 km
History Museums Tour

History Museums Tour

Washington D.C. is well-known for its world-class museums. The Smithsonian Institution, the largest museum complex in the world, maintains most of the official museums in Washington, D.C. and the entrance is free of charge. Explore some of the most outstanding ones by taking this walking tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 km
Historic Monuments and Memorials Walking Tour

Historic Monuments and Memorials Walking Tour

Washington D.C. is a city of historic memorials and monuments that commemorate key chapters in American history. They are dedicated to all the noteworthy generals, politicians, statesmen and artists who played a major role in shaping the American nation. This walking tour will offer you a glimpse into the history of the U.S.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 km
Nightclubs Tour

Nightclubs Tour

Washington D.C. offers a great nightlife. You can dance all night long in any of the clubs from its liveliest neighborhoods, playing rock, hip hop, punk, jazz, country, gospel or alternative music. Make sure not to miss such an exciting opportunity by checking out the tour below with the suggested music and dance clubs.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 km
City Orientation Walking Tour

City Orientation Walking Tour

Washington D.C, capital of the United States, is a cocktail of politics, cosmopolitan energy and multiculturalism manifested in a thriving and diverse dining, nightlife and shopping setting. The city is renowned for its historic neighborhoods, world-class museums, memorials, beautiful gardens and arts venues. Take this self-guided walk and discover the city which defines some of the greatest...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Washington DC without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Washington D.C., that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Washington D.C. for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Washington D.C. has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Washington DC's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as Washington DC Explorer Pass, Go Washington DC, or Washington DC Sightseeing Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Washington DC's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving your precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Washington DC hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Club Quarters Hotel in Washington DC, The St. Regis Washington, D.C., The Hay - Adams.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Washington D.C., it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Washington DC typically costs somewhere between US$30 and US$90 per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off trolley to enjoy sightseeing of Washington DC in comfort listening in the headsets to the prerecorded narration in a variety of foreign languages or a live on-board commentary (English only) from a local guide, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the route as often as you like. The tickets are valid for one day (Silver or Gold Pass) or two days (Platinum Pass).

- Pedal your way around Washington DC on a 3-hour educational and fun bike tour to appreciate the city's most spectacular sights while stopping at some of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning interesting facts about the attractions en route from a knowledgeable group leader.

- If you want to pay tribute to the late members of the Kennedy clan including, primarily, President JFK himself, or the unknown soldiers fallen in the wars fought by the United States throughout centuries, you would definitely be interested in taking a 2-hour guided walk around Arlington National Cemetery and get insight into some of the chapters of the American history along the way.

- Embark on a culinary quest in one of DC’s iconic neighborhoods to see what makes U Street so delicious, satisfying both your stomach and cultural appetites alike on the tour set to explore great eats, architectural trends and the history of the neighborhood over the past century.

- Discover the historic side of Washington, DC in a different light on the Monuments By Night tour. See the National Mall, White House, Capitol Hill and other landmarks ablaze with nighttime illumination after the daytime sun yields way to the moonlit magic!

- Cap off your Washington DC experience with a sumptuous 3-hour dining adventure aboard a cruise ship sailing along the Potomac River offering postcard-worthy views of the nation's greatest monuments to complement the freshly-cooked 3-course dinner.

Day Trips


If you have a day to spare whilst in Washington DC, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Mount Vernon, Gettysburg PA, or Charlottesville VA. For as little as circa US$55 to US$150 per person you will get a chance to visit George Washington’s plantation estate in Fairfax, Virginia, set foot on the site of the largest battle ever fought on the American soil to this date and where President Lincoln delivered his historic Gettysburg Address, enjoy the picturesque views of the Maryland and Pennsylvania countryside, explore Monticello - the home of President Thomas Jefferson, learn about his professional accomplishments and personal life, as well as see the University of Virginia founded and designed by Jefferson himself, and so much more. For any of these tours you will be picked up from a designated place in Washington DC and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle to the destination of your choice and back again.