WalkingTown DC Returns

One of the great annual events held in DC returns again September 23rd: WalkingTown DC. What it is is a series of fantastic free walking tours throughout the city. In some cases they’re commercial walking tours that offer the tours gratis, and in some cases (and typically they’re the more interesting ones) they are organized only for the event.

GM has been doing these for years. His favorite was from a few years ago that was based in Mt. Pleasant and told the story of the neighborhood’s music history as it wound from honky tonk to Hispanic to punk rock.

You don’t have to pay, but in many cases you have to make reservations. This is particularly the case for Georgetown related tours, which fill up well in advance of the day. Here are the Georgetown tours:

9/24/2011 9:30 am – 12 noon 

Spies of Georgetown Walking Tour
Meet at Wisconsin Ave. and R St., NW in front of Georgetown Public Library. End at Wisconsin Ave. and O St., NW.

Metro Start: Foggy Bottom-GWU, Georgetown-Union Station Circulator, exit Wisconsin Ave, NW and R St, NW
Metro End: Foggy Bottom-GWU, Georgetown-Union Station Circulator
Fitness: Moderate, 21 blocks
Reservations required: 
9:30 am – 12 noon 
Subjects: Neighborhood History, Espionage

Georgetown is one of the most fashionable areas of Washington, and is associated with high-profile political figures, media moguls, and society leaders. However, there is another side of Georgetown: espionage and intrigue. This tour will highlight sites associated with spies and covert action, and will include personalities as diverse as Alger Hiss, “Wild Bill” Donovan, James Angleton, and the auburn-haired American beauty who “used her charm” during World War II.

10:30 – 11:30 am 
Georgetown Heights: Herring Hill, Cemeteries, Mansions, and Estates
Meet and end at Dumbarton House, corner of 27th and Q Sts., NW.

Metro Start: Dupont Circle, north exit
Metro End: Dupont Circle
Fitness: Low, 1 mile
Wheelchair accessible
Stroller accessible
Reservations required: 10:30 – 11:30 am 
Subjects: Architecture, Cemetery, Neighborhood History

Experience the immediate neighborhood surrounding Dumbarton House, including huge mansions and small servant homes in Herring Hill. Compare the large European-American to the small African-African cemeteries, the latter serving as part of the Underground Railroad. Hear tales of famous individuals that lived in the area as early as 1703. Outside tour only, no interiors.

9/25/2011

10 am – 12 noon
Georgetown
Meet in the park at 28th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., NW, next to the gas station. End near M and 34th Sts., NW.

Metro Start: Foggy Bottom or Georgetown-Union Station Circulator Bus
Metro End: Foggy Bottom or Georgetown-Union Station Circulator Bus
Fitness: Moderate, 1.3 miles
Reservations required: 10 am – 12 noon
Subjects: Neighborhood History

To put it simply, a walk through Washington’s tony Georgetown neighborhood is a venture through time — of 200-year-old mansions and their eccentric owners, of fortunes in trade won and lost, of marvelous architecture from Federal to Victorian, of the once-bustling freedman community Herring Hill, of political intrigue, of green preservation and urban renewal. And, of course, no one can mention Georgetown without the Kennedys. In the 1950s John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline almost single-handedly turned the neighborhood into the city’s politically fashionable place to live. We’ll point out the houses of the movers and shakers, as well as the remarkable historic properties here that are open to the public (and, yes, The Exorcist steps!). This two-hour, two-mile tour winds up in Georgetown’s shopping and restaurant district just in time for lunch. Or if you’re on a roll, we can point you to the C&O Canal, a historic and bucolic waterway. Note: be prepared to climb a hill or two.

1:30 – 3:30 pm 
Oak Hill Cemetery
Meet and end at Oak Hill Cemetery gate, 30th and R Sts., NW.

Metro Start: Dupont Circle; G2 bus, exit 30th and P Sts., NW
Fitness: High, 1.5 miles
Reservations required: 1:30 – 3:30 pm 
Subjects: Cemetery, Civil War, Historical Figure/Personality

Oak Hill Cemetery at the eastern edge of Georgetown overlooking Rock Creek is a shining example of the Rural Cemetery movement of the mid-19th century. On this walking tour through one of Washington’s most scenic and historic cemeteries, participants will visit the graves of dozens of locally and nationally prominent leaders, including media figures, Cabinet Secretaries, Civil War notables, and the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, Joseph Henry. Fitness level for this tour is high due to short section of steep and rugged roads and pathways.

10/1/2011

9:30 am – 12 noon 
Spies of Georgetown Walking Tour
Meet at Wisconsin Ave. and R St., NW in front of Georgetown Public Library. End at Wisconsin Ave. and O St., NW.

Metro Start: Foggy Bottom-GWU, Georgetown-Union Station Circulator, exit Wisconsin Ave, NW and R St, NW
Metro End: Foggy Bottom-GWU, Georgetown-Union Station Circulator
Fitness: Moderate, 21 blocks
Reservations required: 9:30 am – 12 noon 
Subjects: Neighborhood History, Espionage

Georgetown is one of the most fashionable areas of Washington, and is associated with high-profile political figures, media moguls, and society leaders. However, there is another side of Georgetown: espionage and intrigue. This tour will highlight sites associated with spies and covert action, and will include personalities as diverse as Alger Hiss, “Wild Bill” Donovan, James Angleton, and the auburn-haired American beauty who “used her charm” during World War II.

10:30 – 11:30 am
Georgetown Heights: Herring Hill, Cemeteries, Mansions, and Estates
Meet and end at Dumbarton House, corner of 27th and Q Sts., NW.

Metro Start: Dupont Circle, north exit
Metro End: Dupont Circle
Fitness: Low, 1 mile
Wheelchair accessible
Stroller accessible
Reservations required: 10:30 – 11:30 am
Subjects: Architecture, Cemetery, Neighborhood History

Experience the immediate neighborhood surrounding Dumbarton House, including huge mansions and small servant homes in Herring Hill. Compare the large European-American to the small African-African cemeteries, the latter serving as part of the Underground Railroad. Hear tales of famous individuals that lived in the area as early as 1703. Outside tour only, no interiors.

Presented by Cultural Tourism DC member organization Dumbarton House and led by professional DC licensed tour guide Dwane Starlin.

10/2/2011

10 am – 12 noon
Georgetown
Meet in the park at 28th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., NW, next to the gas station. End near M and 34th Sts., NW.

Metro Start: Foggy Bottom or Georgetown-Union Station Circulator Bus
Metro End: Foggy Bottom or Georgetown-Union Station Circulator Bus
Fitness: Moderate, 1.3 miles
Reservations required: 10 am – 12 noon 
Subjects: Neighborhood History

To put it simply, a walk through Washington’s tony Georgetown neighborhood is a venture through time — of 200-year-old mansions and their eccentric owners, of fortunes in trade won and lost, of marvelous architecture from Federal to Victorian, of the once-bustling freedman community Herring Hill, of political intrigue, of green preservation and urban renewal. And, of course, no one can mention Georgetown without the Kennedys. In the 1950s John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline almost single-handedly turned the neighborhood into the city’s politically fashionable place to live. We’ll point out the houses of the movers and shakers, as well as the remarkable historic properties here that are open to the public (and, yes, The Exorcist steps!). This two-hour, two-mile tour winds up in Georgetown’s shopping and restaurant district just in time for lunch. Or if you’re on a roll, we can point you to the C&O Canal, a historic and bucolic waterway.

1:30 – 3:30 pm
Oak Hill Cemetery
Meet and end at Oak Hill Cemetery gate, 30th and R Sts., NW.

Metro Start: Dupont Circle; G2 bus, exit 30th and P Sts., NW
Fitness: High, 1.5 miles
Reservations required: 1:30 – 3:30 pm 
Subjects: Cemetery, Civil War, Historical Figure/Personality

Oak Hill Cemetery at the eastern edge of Georgetown overlooking Rock Creek is a shining example of the Rural Cemetery movement of the mid-19th century. On this walking tour through one of Washington’s most scenic and historic cemeteries, particiapants will visit the graves of dozens of locally and nationally prominent leaders, including media figures, Cabinet Secretaries, Civil War notables, and the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, Joseph Henry. Expect steep and rugged but short sections along the roads and pathways. Wear sturdy shoes. Note: tour will be cancelled in case of rain due to terrain.

There are tons of great tours beyond Georgetown too. This year they have added bike tours too! Check them out.

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One response to “WalkingTown DC Returns

  1. Pingback: Vox Populi » Lace up your walkin’ shoes, Walking Town D.C. returns to Georgetown

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