The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA

The most famous residence in D.C. has been occupied by every U.S. president except George Washington (President John Adams was the first, in 1801). Construction began in 1792, so it’s the oldest federally occupied building in the city. Tours are hard to come by and must be arranged up to six months in advance and no less that 21 days in advance through one’s congressmember (for U.S. citizens) or embassy (for foreign citizens), but anyone can walk along its gates, admire, and take a selfie along the gates of the storied residence. Look out for the Secret Service sharpshooters on the roof. If you find yourself inside, tour highlights include the East Room, the Blue Room, the Red Room, the Green Room, and the State Dining Room.

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White House Easter Egg Roll

For those with kids, an experience to definitely add on your to-do list. Each Easter Monday, the President of the United States, the First Lady, and the Easter Bunny host tens of thousands of guests, mostly children, on the White House’s South Lawn for a springtime tradition that dates back to the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878.

Hello, Neighbor!

Staying at the Hay-Adams almost feels like you’re in the guest quarters for the White House. (In fact, the Obamas stayed at the hotel for two weeks before the 2009 inauguration, enjoying a glorious view of their future home through Lafayette Square’s winter trees.) Don’t miss the chance to walk across the park to the wide, car-free stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue and admire the graceful and symmetrical White House, surprisingly modest in size given its historic significance. Noisy totems of our democracy abound: Protesters, conspiracy theorists, and placards share the space with tourists, police, and locals biking or walking through. Observing this distinctly American floorshow, one is reminded of FDR’s words, “I never forget that I live in a house owned by all the American people…”

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