March 20 to March 26 March 20 to March 26






I just can't put good in front of morning today. Like you, Cultural Tourism DC's staff and board are seeking ways to carry on in a prudent manner and adjust to the fluid conditions in which we find ourselves. We are together with you but, in keeping with the new vernacular, we are apart by practicing social distancing. We also are modeling our civic duty. Both guide our decision making during these challenging times.

Typically, the Culture Communiqué offers an abundance of cultural activities to enjoy in a social setting—performing arts centers, theatres, museums—that accommodate many people. Today's special edition of the Communiqué offers things to do solo or in very small groups. I know that isolating ourselves is difficult so below are some things to do and places to go that I believe to be safe. We will feature some self-guided DC Neighborhood Heritage Trails and the African American Heritage Trail during the next few weeks. In addition to providing a relief to penned-in people, more pedestrian traffic should help neighborhood retailers and restaurateurs if you grab something to go.

It is in everyone's best interest to keep money flowing in our neighborhoods. Transactions are the fuel that will help us stay in business and recover more rapidly from the economic harm caused by coronavirus.

Coronavirus is also responsible for our decision to postpone Passport DC and its hugely popular embassy open houses. In addition to local advisory statements, many embassies reduced operations in keeping with the guidance from their national capitals. We do not have a new date for these events right now. As you can imagine, we need to make lots of arrangements to set a new date for Around the World Embassy Tour and then start recruiting embassies to participate. I'm hopeful that we will have more definitive information for you very soon.

Stay safe.

Steve Shulman
Executive Director
Cultural Tourism DC, Inc.











DC by Foot, Virtual Tours and more...

* Virtual tours on Facbook @freetoursbyfoot

* Tour Guide Tells Allpodcast

* Should Have Asked a Tour Guide storytelling series 


As you practice social distancing during the next few weeks, consider taking a stroll along Cultural Tourism DC's Neighborhood Heritage Trails. These self-guided walks are the official walking trails of the District of Columbia. Each trail offers a one- to two-mile trek adorned with large poster-sized markers that combine stories, historic photographs and maps to bring DC history and culture to life. There are 17 heritage trails throughout the city, so pick one and get some fresh air!



Over the centuries, groups ranging from Native American traders to freedmen and freedwomen to the U.S. military have all found a home on this hilly land along the Anacostia River. Today's neighborhood started as two 19th-century villages, one white and one African American, that remained separate for a century. The mid-20th century brought great upheaval, still playing out in the 21st century. An East-of-the-River View: Anacostia Heritage Trail is two-mile trail punctuated by 20 signs—mostly along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Good Hope Road—whose historical markers and old photographs reveal the origins and development of a dramatic story.



From rural beginnings to the bustling neighborhood it has become, Tenleytown has combined the transience of Washington's workforce with a surprising number of multi-generational native Washingtonians. The quiet, tree-lined streets just off the major thoroughfares are reminiscent of the area's suburban past and show few signs of the urban bustle only a few blocks away. But don't be fooled by the sleepy pulse of its residential areas; Tenleytown is also home to American University, numerous schools and churches, a television station and a radio studio. Step out to stroll and enjoy the 19 signs of Top of the Town: Tenleytown Heritage Trail.



Columbia Heights

This lively city neighborhood began as an elite suburb on the high ground overlooking Washington City. Over time transportation innovations, starting with streetcars, transformed Columbia Heights from remote farmland to accessible suburb. Follow Cultural Convergence: Columbia Heights Trail to experience both the old and new Columbia Heights with all its cultural and economic diversity. You will find 19 poster-sized street signs that combine storytelling with historic photographs and maps as you walk the neighborhood. The two-hour self-guided tour loops through Columbia Heights, ending at 14th Street and Columbia Road, NW.



The African American Heritage Trail

Gain insight in to the people and places that shaped the District of Columbia as you explore the African American Heritage Trail (AAHT) in downtown DC. Comprised of 16 sites and overlapped by two Neighborhood Heritage Trails, together Trail #5 - Downtown and Trail #6 - National Mall shed light on the Freedman's Savings and Trust Co., Wormley's Hotel and the slave quarters at Decatur House. Explore these two AAHT walking tours and the companion AHHT guidebook, which is full of compelling historical research and intriguing stories about black life in the nation's capital. Download the AAHT guidebook here.

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