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AIRBNB EXPERIENCES

Unique things to do in Washington

Book unforgettable activities hosted by locals on Airbnb.

Travel like a local

The United States capital is not only an epicenter of American history. It’s also one for culture which is on display at its restaurants, on U Street, and behind the secret doors of a historic mansion. When it comes to the iconic things to do in Washington, DC, explore with a fresh perspective on a tour of the White House with a former Kennedy staff member; at twilight on e-bikes to see the National Mall; and on running tours to cover more ground. With Airbnb Experiences, locals help you see the city through their eyes with unique activities.

Top-rated activities

Art & Soul of Black Broadway
Discover the musical heritage of U Street --aka Black Broadway-- from jazz to hip hop to punk to go go. Walk the streets & back alleys and learn how murals, theatres, music venues, and memorials embrace the history of this amazing neighborhood. Along the way, we'll listen to a diverse playlist that will match up with the murals and venues. Other things to note: This tour ends at the intersection of 13th & U NW, 8 blocks from the starting point. Typically I hold tours rain or shine, unless the weather posses a safety hazard (lightning, ice, tornado, etc). If a weather-related emergency arises, I will be in contact with the group to cancel, delay, or reschedule. The tour includes long periods of standing and walking outdoors. Please wear comfortable and weather-appropriate footwear and clothing. Restrooms may not be available during your tour; please plan accordingly.
Private Shoot w/ Celebrity Photographer
This experience takes place at the National Mall. We'll stroll past a few landmarks and monuments and get some amazing photos of you and your family or friends! **All photoshoots are private and not a group experience. **Kids and pets are welcome. (No charge for pets or kids 2 and under.) **You will receive your photos the SAME DAY! **Shoots are only rescheduled for rain or dangerous weather. **Discount for 3+ people **$25 for a different location ----------------------------- Please do not ask if people can hop in just a few photos. Anyone being photographed must pay for their photos. The price is per person. Discount for 3+ people Please keep in mind I have no control over the crowds at the National Mall. Some of the photos shown were taken during the lockdown when we had the National Mall to ourselves. No I'm not a magician. I cannot make you look like anyone on your Pinterest board or IG and no will not replicate a photo you saw online. Please be on time! Arriving after 15 minutes will result in you forfeit​ing your session. If you shoot me a text I'm happy to wait for you. Please plan accordingly to arrive on time. No exceptions! We will be walking the entire time so wear comfortable shoes & dress appropriately for the weather :)
Make a Celebration Ring
We will begin with a peek in the Gallery, featuring jewelry handcrafted by US artisans, and a tour of our Studio School. I will also share some history of our 1890 Victorian-era building. In the workshop, you will use steel letter stamps and a hammer to impress words of your choice onto sterling silver strips. Then, you will form the strip into a circle and solder it together (with help). Finally, oxidize (blacken) the ring, and polish to your desired finish. We limit the workshop to four students to guarantee lots of personal instruction, as well as the opportunity to get to know your classmates. Other things to note Unfortunately, our Victorian-era building is not fully accessible to the handicapped.
See the Sites by Segway
You'll arrive 15 minutes to tour time to check-in and be fitted on your Segway. Segways are perfect for city riding and have a handle bar bag and rack so you can store all the essentials - phone, keys, wallet. I also provide a water bottle for the ride. After getting set up, you'll meet the rest of your group and go through a 30 min training session to get comfortable before heading out. Your tour will cover about 5-6 miles in 2 hours, making stops at all of the major monuments and memorials on the National Mall from the Capitol Building to The Lincoln Memorial and around the different Smithsonian Museums. At each stop, you'll hear some history, and unique facts, and perhaps a dark secret or two. Our tour route will end back at the shop. Other things to note No Experience Necessary! We will teach you how to how to ride :)
Bracelet making in 100-year-old building
We will begin with a peek in the Boutique, featuring jewelry handcrafted by award-winning US artists, and a behind-the-scenes look at my working jewelry studio. I will also share some history of my 1890 building, including a copy of the handwritten deed to the original house. In the workshop you will use a combination of specialized jeweler's hand tools (the same that were used to make jewelry in the 19th century) and modern equipment to make your bracelet. First, you will hammer steel letter stamps to impress inspirational words, phrases, and designs of your choice onto a copper strip. Then, you will form the strip into a cuff bracelet with hammers and steel tools, oxidize (blacken) the metal, and polish to your desired finish. You will go home with a meaningful piece of jewelry that you created with your own hands. We limit the workshop to eight students to guarantee lots of personal instruction, as well as the opportunity to get to know your classmates. You can relax and enjoy a glass of wine. Other things to note Our studio workstations are separated by plexiglass barriers. Hand sanitizer, masks, and disposable smocks are available. Unfortunately, our Victorian-era building is not fully accessible to the handicapped.

Don't miss these local landmarks

Guided Twilight DC Tour w/Transportation
See DC with us on this professionally guided 3-hour tour of the National Mall. We tour in small groups which gives you a more personal experience and allows you to cover all of the major DC sites in just 3 hours. This tour is a combination of driving and walking. If you want to “see it all” then this is the tour for you. We start at the Washington Grand Hyatt. Meet your driver and guide in front of the Starbucks, hop in the van, and head over to the National Mall. Your guide will provide you with live commentary and historical background about the monuments, memorials, and other attractions that make up the Americas Capital City. You will have the chance to get out and explore several major DC attractions with your guide. Drop off and pick-ups are as close as legally possible to each of the sites. Tour ends back at the Washington Grand Hyatt. Thirsty? Just ask for complimentary water. Phone needs to be charged? Just let your driver know and they will provide you with charging equipment. We tour rain or shine and provide umbrellas if needed. Interested in a private tour? Check out some of our private tour options. https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/949515?guests=1&adults=1&s=67&unique_share_id=22a9bb34-7291-4be9-bdc0-9ee793272345
Guided National Mall Day Tour w/Transportation
See DC with us on this professionally guided 4-hour tour of the National Mall. We tour in small groups which gives you a more personal experience and allows you to cover all of the major DC sites in just 4 hours. This tour is a combination of driving and walking. If you want to “see it all” then this is the tour for you. We start at the Washington Grand Hyatt. Meet your driver and guide in front of the Starbucks, hop in the van, and head over to the National Mall. Your guide will provide you with live commentary and historical background about the monuments, memorials, and other attractions that make up the Americas Capital City. You will have the chance to get out and explore several major DC attractions with your guide. Drop off and pick-ups are as close as legally possible to each of the sites. Tour ends back at the Washington Grand Hyatt. Thirsty? Just ask for complimentary water. Phone needs to be charged? Just let your driver know and they will provide you with charging equipment. We tour rain or shine and provide umbrellas if needed. Interested in a private tour? Check out some of our private tour options. https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/949515?guests=1&adults=1&s=67&unique_share_id=22a9bb34-7291-4be9-bdc0-9ee793272345
Morning Photo Session in Washington DC
Treat yourself to great pictures as a souvenir while experiencing DC landmarks. The photo session starts at the Lincoln Memorial which has great views of the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument. Then we'll take a 10 minute walk and take more photos along the way at one of the beautiful parks used often by local photographers for it's great scenery. This photo session can be adapted for engagements, elopements, families, graduating seniors, maternity, surprise proposals and business headshots. Price is per person. For groups of two or more, this experience is private. And groups are discounted during checkout. If you are making a reservation for one person, the experience is not private and another guest may book and join you. We will walk together as a group and rotate between who is taking pictures. Select two people if you do not wish to share your session with another person. After signing up, check your Airbnb messages to answer a short questionnaire and to receive the prep guide. Message me if you wish to have a session for a time not listed.
Washington DC Monuments Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour
Visit the most famous landmarks of America’s capital city! See the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol Building, and much more, and learn the revolutionary history behind the creation of Washington, D.C. This 2 mile-long tour covers the essentials of Washington in 1-2 hours. READ BEFORE BOOKING Pick any date, time slot, or group type — it doesn’t matter. Since this is self-guided, use it anytime or any duration. Lifetime validity: once booked, it's yours forever. Use it multiple times across multiple days or be done in an hour — up to you! This is not an entrance ticket. Perfect for holiday travelers and team-building groups. HOW IT WORKS On booking, you’ll get instructions to download my tour guide app. Enter your Airbnb Booking Confirmation Code as the password (enabled within 10min). Complete all steps right away. Don’t wait until you’re onsite (no internet). When onsite, use your GPS to go to the start. Launch the tour. As you follow the tour route, my audio stories will play automatically.
Mini Photoshoots all over Washington DC
Get professional photos at the most iconic picturesque spots in DC with this photo pass! We will meet you at each location throughout the day and provide you with a personal photoshoot at each spot. You will get a 15-20 minute photoshoot at up to 4 spots. You can show up at any of these locations during the day: - White House - Lincoln Memorial - MLK Jr. Memorial - World War 2 Memorial - Atlas Allery We are also available for 1-hour photoshoots on any day at any place in DC at any time. Please feel free to message me directly and check out our IG @seizetheapp

Most popular in Washington

Explore Secret Doors & Themed Rooms
From spies to secret passageways put your super sleuth skills to the test as you search for over 70 secret doors and explore our themed rooms. We would never give you a map - this would ruin the surprise of finding a secret door. We do show you a video and talk to you about the Big O before you start your journey. It’s not in the finding, it’s in the seeking that is important. Experience the magic! Your self-guided experience will begin with an in-depth video introduction to our history and our secret doors, as well as what to look for as you go. Then, we will send you off on your own to search for the secrets and treasures that are everywhere to be found. As you explore the mansion, which is steeped in history and intrigue, you'll be walking in the footsteps of presidents, freedom fighters, G-Men, historians, famous musicians, and fiction writers. Built 125 years ago, nearly every President since Teddy Roosevelt has visited. • socially distanced self-guided tour • masks available & required for unvaccinated guests • hand sanitizer stations throughout • complimentary gloves available • signage to promote social distancing Other things to note All ages can attend. If you have a short attention span, this is the place for you because there is so much to see and do. If you are a minimalist, you will be overwhelmed. Museum closes: 5pm except for Fridays and Saturdays: 9pm.
The Spies of Georgetown
If you enjoy real-life spy stories, covert operations, and international intrigue, this tour is for you. All of our tours are developed and delivered by former intelligence officers. Learn spy mindset as you explore the hidden history of Georgetown. Hear about the crucial role residents played in espionage during WWII and the Soviet Era. And…conduct a secret operation! Hint: Bring your map reading skills. This tour is ideal for groups and teams. Don’t forget your walking shoes, bring water, and dress for the weather. Not seeing a tour on the calendar that works for your schedule? Submit a request for a new date/time. We'll work with you and do our best to accommodate your needs.
White House with former Kennedy staffer
This is a walking and history tour that walks the complete outside circumference of the gated portion of the White House. Prior to 09/11, as a former White House staffer, I could simply show my ID and take visitors in for a tour. That perk evaporated on 09/12/2001, and inside tours must be requested through a member of Congress. An external, walking tour is the next best thing to a tour inside, with my sharing features of major rooms in the White House, the West Wing, and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where my office was when I worked at the White House. In addition to the history of the building and stories about some of its occupants, you get the perspective of a former White House staffer who worked for two US presidents and on the campaigns of two candidates who did not win the presidency. I have met every president who has served during my lifetime, from FDR through the current president. The meet place is outside the White House Visitor Center, on Pennsylvania Avenue, between 14th and 15th Streets, NW. The walk begins by passing through the recently dedicated National World War I Memorial, and proceeds past the Sherman Monument to the Ellipse on the side of the White House, with stories, photographs, and opportunities for questions. Continuing toward the official front of the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, we pass the first headquarters of the America
The Spies of Embassy Row
If you enjoy historical stories of conspiracy, politics, cover-ups, and assassinations, this tour is for you. All tours are developed and delivered by former intelligence officers. Begin at Dupont Circle and examine the suspicious death of a Kremlin insider, the first of many suspicious deaths we explore. Hear more about the origins of “Embassy Row” and go to where infamous spies lived and operated. And…conduct a secret operation! Hint: Bring your map reading skills. Don’t forget your walking shoes, bring water, and dress for the weather. Not seeing a tour on the calendar that works for your schedule? Submit a request for a new date/time. We'll work with you and do our best to accommodate your needs.
Ultimate DC Highlights Tour by Bike
You'll arrive 15 minutes to tour time to check-in and be fitted on your bike. Our hybrid bikes are perfect for city riding and we have a variety of sizes to fit you - no matter how tall or small. Our bikes have a handle bar bag and rack so you can store all the essentials - phone, keys, wallet. After getting set up, you'll meet your guide & your group and hear a few safety tips and "rules of the road" before setting off on tour. We'll head out to the first stop, where we'll stop and your guide will share some history, and unique facts, and perhaps a dark secret or two. Your tour will cover about 5 miles in three hours, making stops at all of the major monuments and memorials on the National Mall and around the Tidal Basin. At each stop, you'll hear from your guide before being given a few minutes to explore on your own and snap a photo or two. Don't worry! Your guide will stick close to the bikes, giving you the freedom to wander a bit. Our tour route will end back at our shop, where our staff can help direct you to your next activity. Or you can, choose to keep your bike and keep exploring on your own (additional cost). Other things to note Arrive for check in 15 minutes prior to tour start time. Tours depart on time; we cannot accommodate late arrivals. There is an optional insurance policy available for purchase onsite.

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All activities near Washington

Washington DC's Underground Donut Tour
Join us on a donut adventure through our nation’s capital, Washington DC. Our tour begins in Lafayette Square across from the White House itself. Here you’ll learn some history around our nation and how donuts fit in, both historically, but also in current DC food culture. From here, we’ll visit our first stop, Astro Doughnuts and Chicken, which is only a short walk from the White House. After we’ve sampled some freshly made donuts from Astro’s, we’re off to Palmer Alley and an amazing Italian bakery and cafe that has some delicious bomboloni for you to sample. Make sure to have your camera ready - this is quite the photogenic experience. From there, we’ll make our way to Farmers and Distillers for another batch of freshly made and absolutely delicious donuts. There’s quite an interesting history behind Farmers and Distillers, but you’ll have to join the tour to learn about it. And lastly, we’ll end our tour at Toscana Market for some truly decadent donuts from a famous DC chef.
Morning Photo Session in Washington DC
Treat yourself to great pictures as a souvenir while experiencing DC landmarks. The photo session starts at the Lincoln Memorial which has great views of the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument. Then we'll take a 10 minute walk and take more photos along the way at one of the beautiful parks used often by local photographers for it's great scenery. This photo session can be adapted for engagements, elopements, families, graduating seniors, maternity, surprise proposals and business headshots. Price is per person. For groups of two or more, this experience is private. And groups are discounted during checkout. If you are making a reservation for one person, the experience is not private and another guest may book and join you. We will walk together as a group and rotate between who is taking pictures. Select two people if you do not wish to share your session with another person. After signing up, check your Airbnb messages to answer a short questionnaire and to receive the prep guide. Message me if you wish to have a session for a time not listed.
Forge a Knife from a Horseshoe in Northern Virginia
The average person never gets the opportunity to try their hand at blacksmithing. But you're not the average person. Beginning with a horseshoe, you'll use a hammer, anvil, and fire to forge your very own, handmade knife. You'll walk out with an excellent cheese knife, box cutter, herb chopper, or letter opener. Oh, and you can brag about it, too. -Designed with the absolute beginner in mind: no prior experience required -Suitable for ages 6+ -No lifting required (aside from a hammer) and little strength necessary, though hand-eye coordination always helps The curriculum is designed to be tons of fun and to flow seamlessly: 1) You'll begin the class by putting on safety gear and reviewing safety procedures. 2) You'll use traditional blacksmithing equipment (forges, hammers, and anvils) to forge a knife from a horseshoe. 3) Each step will be demonstrated and guidance will be provided throughout the class.
Art & Soul of Black Broadway
Discover the musical heritage of U Street --aka Black Broadway-- from jazz to hip hop to punk to go go. Walk the streets & back alleys and learn how murals, theatres, music venues, and memorials embrace the history of this amazing neighborhood. Along the way, we'll listen to a diverse playlist that will match up with the murals and venues. Other things to note: This tour ends at the intersection of 13th & U NW, 8 blocks from the starting point. Typically I hold tours rain or shine, unless the weather posses a safety hazard (lightning, ice, tornado, etc). If a weather-related emergency arises, I will be in contact with the group to cancel, delay, or reschedule. The tour includes long periods of standing and walking outdoors. Please wear comfortable and weather-appropriate footwear and clothing. Restrooms may not be available during your tour; please plan accordingly.
Washington DC Monuments Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour
Visit the most famous landmarks of America’s capital city! See the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol Building, and much more, and learn the revolutionary history behind the creation of Washington, D.C. This 2 mile-long tour covers the essentials of Washington in 1-2 hours. READ BEFORE BOOKING Pick any date, time slot, or group type — it doesn’t matter. Since this is self-guided, use it anytime or any duration. Lifetime validity: once booked, it's yours forever. Use it multiple times across multiple days or be done in an hour — up to you! This is not an entrance ticket. Perfect for holiday travelers and team-building groups. HOW IT WORKS On booking, you’ll get instructions to download my tour guide app. Enter your Airbnb Booking Confirmation Code as the password (enabled within 10min). Complete all steps right away. Don’t wait until you’re onsite (no internet). When onsite, use your GPS to go to the start. Launch the tour. As you follow the tour route, my audio stories will play automatically.

Your guide to Washington

What do locals do in Washington DC?

Washington, DC is an extremely walkable city, and many locals skip the Metro and ride shares so they can enjoy the storied streets by foot. Hill East (part of Capitol Hill) is a family-friendly neighborhood that makes for a low-key stroll or bike ride to enjoy charming homes; meanwhile those looking for a more lively outing head to U Street (also known as Black Broadway for its impressive African American arts and culture scene) and H Street NE for the arts and some of the best food in the city. In-the-know residents of the capital city of the United States head to the museums after hours, when the crowds have dissipated.


What are the best ways to see Washington monuments?

Join Washington insiders at the National Mall

What better way to learn about the National Mall favorites such as the White House than with the people who had access to presidents and their staff? Tour the perimeter of the White House to hear entertaining stories in places like Lafayette Square from political insiders.

Go on food tours

Walk the beautiful Potomac River, see parts of the Georgetown University campus, pass by historic churches and homes — and top it off with coffee and donuts. Explore Washington’s African American food, art, and music on a neighborhood tour. Taste a sampling of locally owned restaurants in Old Town. For those who want hands-on history, master French macarons, Puerto Rican dishes, and Italian cookies, among other goods, with local chefs during cooking classes.

Kayak to the National Arboretum

One way to avoid the crowds of walking tours: take a kayak instead. On a kayak tour, a local expert shares stories about the Anacostia neighborhood and its surroundings, including the story of the Peace Tree, which survived the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, and was later gifted to the Arboretum.