Your Guide to Visiting the White House with a Tour Group

Your Guide to Visiting the White House with a Tour Group

Many groups are eager to explore the President’s residence while in Washington DC, but navigating the process of visiting the White House can be complex. Planning ahead is crucial to securing tickets, arranging parking, and adhering to all guidelines and regulations.


Our charter bus company is here to assist. With our expertise in group transportation throughout DC, we’ve assembled this guide to ensure you have a fantastic White House tour with your group.


Scheduling a White House Tour


To arrange a tour of the White House, you’ll need to reach out to one of your Congress members. You can locate the contact details for your senator or representative online. It’s important to note that tours must be scheduled between three weeks and three months ahead of time, and they’re allotted on a first-come, first-served basis.


For those residing outside the US, contacting your embassy in Washington DC is necessary to request a White House tour. It’s advisable to initiate this process a full three months in advance, as coordinating with embassies may require additional time.


Tours at the White House take place on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. If your representative or embassy is successful in securing a tour for you, you’ll be provided with a specific reservation time and an RSVP link from the White House. Ensure that you list all guests’ names when responding to the RSVP. Prior to your tour, you’ll receive a White House Boarding Pass containing pertinent health and safety details.


How to Get to the White House


Parking at the White House is not available, and nearby street parking is extremely limited. Due to this, the White House suggests utilizing public transportation. The Federal Triangle, Metro Center, and McPherson Square Metro stations are all conveniently located near the White House.


If you choose to use public transit, your charter bus can drop you off at a Metro station outside the city and then return to your hotel. The Greenbelt Metro station outside the city even offers oversized parking spaces for motorcoaches for a low rate.


However, public transit may not be suitable for everyone. Some groups may find the Metro map daunting, and individuals with young children or disabilities may encounter difficulties navigating the stations. There’s no need to worry as your charter bus can drop you off near the White House and then park nearby.


Tips for Parking and Unloading


If you require your charter bus to navigate through DC, be sure to consult the online motorcoach map and print the PDF version to familiarize yourself with the roads. Additionally, your motorcoach may need to obtain a tour bus permit from the DMV.


For bus parking in close proximity to the White House, you can utilize the 1400 block along New York Avenue NW, near the intersection of New York Avenue NW and 14th Street. This location, just one block east of the White House, offers five oversized parking spaces for an affordable rate. However, there’s a 1-hour limit during certain times on weekends and weekdays. Hence, it’s advisable to use this area for brief stops, such as taking photos or unloading.


Entry Requirements and What to Bring


To enter the White House, your group must adhere to strict identification and security protocols. Upon arrival for your tour, a valid government-issued photo ID is required. For US citizens, acceptable forms of ID include a driver’s license, passport, or military ID. Non-US citizens may present a passport, diplomatic ID, or permanent resident card.


Additionally, you’ll go through a thorough security screening. The White House maintains a comprehensive list of prohibited items, which can be found here. While some items on the list are expectedly restricted, others may come as a surprise. For instance, prohibited items include bags of any kind, food, drinks, strollers, and tablets. Fortunately, many belongings can be securely stored in the overhead compartments on your charter bus.


However, you don’t need to arrive completely empty-handed. Here’s a list of items permitted inside:


  • Baby carriers
  • Wallets
  • Cell phones
  • Essential medical items
  • Compact cameras with lenses under 3 inches


Accessibility at the White House


The White House tour accommodates wheelchair users with full accessibility, and all types of mobility aids are permitted. If you require a wheelchair for the duration of the tour, simply request one from a Secret Service officer during check-in. Guide animals are also welcome on the tour. If you need an ASL interpreter, inform your representative’s office when submitting your tour request.


What You Will See


All White House tours are self-guided, but you can pause and inquire with the Secret Service agents stationed in each room. Typically, the tour lasts 45 minutes, although some groups complete it in 30 minutes while others may take up to an hour.


During the White House tour, you’ll explore the State Dining Room, the China Room, and the East Wing rooms. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the view from the windows overlooking the White House Rose Garden.


Additional Tips for Visiting the White House


Given the numerous restrictions at the White House, it’s advisable to gather as much information as you can before your tour. Here are some additional tips for your tour group:


  • While the White House does not offer public restrooms, facilities are available at the White House Visitors Center.
  • Flash photography and video recording are not permitted.
  • Ensure your phone is on silent mode and refrain from taking calls during the tour.
  • Since the tour entrance line is outdoors, dress accordingly for the D.C. weather.
  • For any inquiries before your trip, feel free to contact the Visitors Office information line.


Visit the White House in Washington DC with DCTrails!


If you’re looking for tour buses to Washington DC, look no further than DCTrails. For years, we have operated as a top charter bus company in the nation’s capital.


For more information about our charter bus tours, contact our team today.


Ready To Book Your Private Group Or A Charter Bus? Contact DCTrails!

Looking for a reliable and simple way to book a charter bus service? You have come to the right place. Reach out to us with your requirements or queries and we will walk you through the step-by-step process to help you plan the perfect trip to Washington DC.