U.S. Department of State
While the State Department is a functioning office and not generally open to the public, 45-minute tours of the 18th- and 19th-century furniture and fine and decorative art in the elegant Diplomatic Reception Rooms, which are used for official events hosted by the Secretary of State and other government officials, are offered Monday-Friday at 9:30am, 10:30am, and 2:45pm. Reservations for these free tours must be made about 90 days in advance of your visit.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The tour is not recommended for children under the age of 12.
- Strollers are not permitted, and storage for personal belongings is not offered.
- Wheelchairs and sign language interpreters are available upon request.
- Be sure to bring photo identification.
How to Get There
The State Department is located near the Washington Mall area and is within walking distance of the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the White House, and George Washington University. Hop on the DC Circulator bus, which runs in between popular D.C. spots, or jump on the Metro and get off at the Foggy Bottom-GWU stop via the blue, orange, and silver lines.
When to Get There
In order to tour the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, you will need to book a tour about 90 days in advance of your visit. Tours are offered Monday-Friday at 9:30am, 10:30am, and 2:45pm. Also, keep in mind that tours can be cancelled at anytime including those that are already confirmed.
What to See Inside the State Department The department’s ornate Diplomatic Reception Rooms contain many early American masterpieces and paintings and notable items including the writing table where the Treaty of Paris (which ended the Revolutionary War) was signed and the desk where it’s believed Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, plus housewares such as George Washington’s porcelain and even his wine cooler are on display.
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