WalkingTown DC

This past weekend the Cultural Tourism office did something pretty sweet – they put on over 100 walking tours of a bunch of different neighborhoods in DC. You could tour the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the Congressional Cemetery, Embassy Row – there was something for everyone! Here’s a few of the tours that caught my interest:

History of Brookland – Brookland is my neighborhood! This tour points out the homes of famous Brooklanders, and stops at a Civil War fort and the Franciscan Monastery ( I need to stop there sometime soon, too – they apparently have fantastic honey!).

Spies of Georgetown Walking Tour – tours spy-related sites in Georgetown and “tells stories truly ‘stranger than fiction'” It doesn’t mention whether these stories are actually true, or just really strange, but it probably doesn’t matter much in the end.

Before Harlem, There Was U Street – tour “Black Broadway,” where Duke Ellington grew up and where Cab Calloway and Dizzy Gillespie played.

Embassy Row – I better just quote this description verbatim: “Revel in the Beaux-Arts grandeur of Massachusetts Avenue, better known as Embassy Row, and learn about the mining, railroad, banking, and publishing families who showcased their fortunes in the nation’s capital, leaving impressive 1880s and 90s mansions. Imagine fabulous wealth, parties, and scandals of the past while glimpsing the life led by Washington’s diplomatic community today.” Sounds awesome!

Peirce Mill: Two Hundred Years in the Nation’s Capitol – this tour focuses on the Peirce/Shoemaker clan, who built the flour mill on Rock Creek, and their history in the DC area.

A Free Black Woman: Elizabeth Keckly – this tour tells about Elizabeth Keckly, who was a free black woman and a confidante to Mrs. Lincoln.

Chinatown – pretty self-explanatory – it’s the history of Chinatown!

The National Mall: What the Memorials Don’t Tell You – not really sure what this is about, but it sounds pretty intriguing.

H Street Alley Exploration – basically, learn about why alleys were built and what they were used for, and see what they’re used for today.

Scandals, Scoundrels, and Scallywags: The Seamier Side of Georgetown – boy, whoever wrote the names for Georgetown’s tours sure did a good job! This one sounds really interesting – it talks about crime in 1870s Georgetown.

So basically, I wanted to go on a lot of tours! I wish you had been here with me, Mom, because I think you would have loved a lot of these too! We’d have had fun walking around, history-learnin’. I love the idea of these tours, and it looks like Cultural Tourism DC puts them on twice a year, in the Spring and Fall. Pretty sweet, right?

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2 Responses

  1. I love these, they need to have them more often or maybe you can do more than one at a time. Which one did you end up doing? I know, the spy one because you were hoping to see if there was a real life ‘Kool Aid Boy!” I think the National Mall tour would be a first choice followed by Embassy Row or Black Broadway…both sound very interesting and maybe not much walking…

    • I didn’t end up doing any of the tours. 😦 I just put it off until it was too late. But you should come visit me in the spring, and then we can do some together!

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