Thank you for your interest in WalkingTown DC 2018! We had more than 2,500 registrations for 75 guided walking and biking tours from September 15-23, 2018. A sampling of the 2018 tours is listed below.
Art at the Center – The art collection at theWalter E. Washington Convention Center is the best-kept secret in the nation's capital. A world-renowned collection of 137 works by 93 artists, it also is one of the largest public art collections in Washington, DC outside of museums. It is the only venue where you can see a work by artist Sol LeWitt that spans two levels, Wall Drawing #1103, and uses the inside and outside of an interior spiral staircase as the canvas. The LeWitt is steps away from another extraordinary site-specific installation,Untitled, by award-winning artist Sarah Sze. Also on view is the Shaw Wall, a 72-foot wall of dynamic artwork that honors and celebrates the Shaw neighborhood that is home to the Convention Center. Note: This tour requires going up and down an escalator or elevator to cover two floors of art and walking a distance between each piece of art.
Creating Capitol Hill: Place, Proprietors and People -- See the neighborhood and historic sites described in Creating Capitol Hill: Place, Proprietors, and People, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society's latest publication. Explore the streets around the Capitol as you learn about the circumstances and compromises that were necessary to create a permanent seat for the federal government. From structures still standing to those long-since destroyed, discover how hundreds of acres of wooded farmland became one of the most important communities in the nation.
DC's Instagram-able Marvelous Murals Bike Ride -- There are so many new murals in the DC area. Some are in plain sight, and others are tucked away. Take a ride with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) to appreciate some of the city's newest wall paintings and discover some tricks to travel confidently through the city by bicycle. Please bring your own bike.
Hidden Gems of SE: Hillcrest Architecture -- This popular Hillcrest tour continues to challenge assumptions about neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River. This year's tour focuses on the structures designed by many of DC's most acclaimed residential architects, including A.H. Sonneman, Leon Chatelain, Edward Burton Corning, George T. Santmeyers and Louis T. Rouleau, as well as pioneering African-American architects R.C. Archer, Jr. and Lewis W. Giles. Tour highlights include an interior tour of the 1935 polychrome Aztec Deco "Fealy House" by John Joseph Earley, and the striking 2012 Frances A. Gregory Library by David Adjaye (best known for the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture).
Irish Influences in DC -- Discover the many and varied contributions of Irish-Americans who, from the colonial era through today, helped shape the nation and define the character of Washington, DC. This tour features the actions of historic figures and unsung laborers, of Revolutionary and Civil War heroes, and of U.S. presidents, artists, advocates, architects and others -- all of whom share an Irish heritage. This is fun and easy two-hour walking tour that stops in downtown parks, the White House, historic landmarks in the downtown business district, and one of DC‘s oldest churches.
Kids' Tour: Building Penn Quarter! -- Discover buildings! Who designs them? How are they put together? This walking tour for children takes an interactive approach to learning about architecture in the vibrant Penn Quarter neighborhood. Participants will learn new terms like keystone, cornice, pilaster, pediment, portico, and many more architectural features that make up buildings. Kids 8 to 12 years old will enjoy this tour. Parents are encouraged to join the tour and participate.
Kingman Island-- Join Tommy Wells, Director of DC's Department of Energy and Environment, for a bike ride to and walking tour of Kingman Island. Cyclists will ride up Anacostia River Walk to the island, where Director Wells will lead a walking tour and talk about the future of the island and what makes it special. You will learn about the island's birth in 1916 and the environmental efforts to maintain its ecosystem and environs as well as the work to clean up the Anacostia River. Please bring your own bike.
Marching Along with John Philip Sousa -- Musical history comes to life on a "marching" tour of the important sites in the life of conductor and composer John Philip Sousa. Fall in step with your guide, in character and in uniform as DC native son John Philip Sousa, as he leads guests on an amazing expedition of Capitol Hill and the Navy Yard where Sousa was born and raised. A legendary composer, he wrote over 135 marches. Two of the most famous are "Stars and Stripes Forever" and "The Washington Post March".
Queering Capitol Hill -- Capitol Hill has long been a social and residential center for Washington, DC's gay and lesbian community. It has also been a center for bars and clubs, innovative women's businesses, and a variety of communities. Come hear stories of radical lesbian separatists, First Amendment fights, the underpinning of LGBT religious organizations, interactions with Marines, the community's response to AIDS, and other tales from seven decades of gay and lesbian life in the shadow of the Capitol. Outdoor tour only.
Rising Tides of DC -- Sea levels are rising, our portion of the Chesapeake Basin is "settling" and Washington DC is projected to see a dramatic increase in tidal flooding in the next 10 to 30 years. In fact, experts predict that DC will experience tidal flooding that is twice as bad as any city along the East Coast! On this bike tour we will go rollin' along the rivers, canal ways and flood prone areas of our great city, which also happen to be some of the more scenic and vibrant neighborhoods. This casual 6- to 8-mile ride will include a few city streets, streets with bike lanes, bike trails, and even a few sidewalks (where it is legal to do so) as well as several stops along the way. Please bring your own bike.
Southwest Waterfront: Change, Change, Change and a Blending of the Old and the New -- See the latest redevelopment of the southwest waterfront (The Wharf) and the adjacent, mostly residential, neighborhood. A working-class neighborhood until the 1950s, nearly all of the waterfront community was razed to create something new in one of the nation's first urban renewal experiments. Now the neighborhood is a mix of mid-20th century multi-story and townhouse residential projects; older row houses and apartments; recent retail, office, and residential projects; and a few historic properties. Explore the neighborhood and learn more about its history, residents, culture, development, and redevelopment.
Washington's Historic Downtown Theaters – Walk with NPR's Bob Mondello on this one-of-a-kind tour of two iconic cultural institutions – National Theatre and Ford's Theatre. Established in 1835, National Theatre is the oldest continuously operating theatre in DC and has been home to many celebrated national productions. At Ford's Theatre, uncover the details of the conspiracy to kill President Abraham Lincoln as you relive the actions of key players onstage and off, and stand in the spot where Booth waited outside the President's Box. Together, the National Theatre and Ford's Theatre capture the essence of great theatre, rooted in a tumultuous past and looking, always, to a vibrant and challenging future. Great stages and downtown D.C. go hand in hand!