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White House Tours

 

White House Tour Information - 2014


There are several types of White House tours available to the public. The most common and easiest tour to schedule is the standard public tour of rooms in the East Wing and main White House Residence. Visitors will enter the White House complex from the south side of East Executive Avenue. After passing through the security screening area, guests will enter the East Wing of the White House and proceed down the East Colonnade following the route depicted on the White House tour map below. The rooms in tan are open for public viewing.

 

White House tour map

 

White House Tour Photo Gallery

  • White House tour - East Colonnade

    The tour begins in the East Wing lobby. Proceed to the East Colonnade.
    Walk, don't run as you pass by the Family Theater on the right!

  • White House tour - East Garden Room

    The East Garden Room serves as the Visitors Entrance for many White House
    events

  • White House East Visitors Entrance

    Now head into the Center Hall on the ground floor of the White House

  • White House tour - East Center Hall

    The Center Hall leads down to the West Wing and the Oval Office.
    Take a peek into the three nearby rooms: Vermeil, China, Library

  • White House tour - Vermeil Room

    Vermeil Room

  • White House tour - China Room

    China Room

  • White House tour - Library

    Library

  • White House tour - staircase

    Head up the stairs to continue your tour on the State Floor

  • White House tour - East Room

    East Room

  • White House tour - Green Room

    Green Room

  • White House tour - Blue Room

    Blue Room

  • White House tour - Red Room

    Red Room

  • White House tour - State Dining Room

    State Dining Room

  • White House tour - Cross Hall

    Cross Hall

  • White House tour - Entrance Hall

    Entrance Hall

  • White House tour - exit at front of White House

    Tour groups exit through the North Portico

  • White House tour

 

 

White House Online Tour

Explore the White House online by using your mouse to click and navigate around. See if you can find the Blue Room, Red Room, Green Room, East Room, and State Dining Room. Can you find the staircase that heads upstairs to the Lincoln Bedroom?
Click on the "1" on the left side of the screen to explore the Ground Floor.


 

 

The West Wing Tour

While the standard public tour is interesting for architectural and historical reasons, nothing can beat the excitement of the West Wing Tour. These coveted tours are led by knowledgeable members of the White House staff and Secret Service. They take you into the working areas of the White House and allow you to witness our democracy in action.

President Obama's Welcome Greeting for the West Wing Tour:

"It is my pleasure to welcome you to the West Wing of the White House. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt relocated his office from the second floor of the residence to this newly constructed building. The West Wing has expanded and undergone several renovations since then, but it has remained the official workplace of the President. In our country, the halls of government are not reserved for a privileged few, and the President’s workplace should be no exception. Your visit today helps to fulfill my goal of creating the most open and accessible administration in American history."

Sadly, this tour is reserved for only the most deserving of citizens. For those of you who do not qualify to tour the West Wing, you can at least view the photos below!

 

White House West Wing map

 

West Wing Tour Photo Gallery

  • White House West Wing tour - Navy Mess

    Navy Mess

  • White House West Wing tour - Situation Room

    Situation Room

  • White House West Wing tour - West Colonnade

    West Colonnade

  • White House West Wing tour - Rose Garden

    Rose Garden

  • White House West Wing tour - Cabinet Room

    Cabinet Room

  • White House West Wing tour - Oval Office

    Oval Office

  • White House West Wing tour - Roosevelt Room

    Roosevelt Room

  • White House West Wing tour - West Wing lobby

    West Wing Lobby

  • White House West Wing tour - Press Briefing Room

    James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

 

 

Official List of West Wing Tour Participants

You may be wondering just who gets to go on a West Wing tour. As part of President Obama's commitment to government transparency, we are releasing this ongoing list of lucky White House West Wing tour participants.

 


View more White House Visitor Access Reports

 



The Expanded Tour: Living Areas, Bunkers and Tunnel System

White House floor plan - second floor residence

This exciting tour starts out by following the same path as the standard public tour. Instead of exiting at the North Portico, guests will walk up the Grand Staircase to the second floor to view the Lincoln Bedroom, the Queen's Bedroom, and President Obama's Master Bedroom.

After a quick stop at the Truman Balcony, visitors will proceed down to the basement of the Residence to an unmarked storage closet opposite the President's private elevator. This closet leads to a secret tunnel connecting the Residence to the Oval Office. White House visitors will then proceed to exit the tunnel via a hidden door adjacent to the President's rest room next to the Oval Office.

This tunnel is part of an extensive secret underground White House Tunnel System leading to various government locations throughout the DC area including the subterranean President's Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) bunker located six stories under the East Wing; the tunnels to the Executive Office Building, Blair House, the bunker under the VP Residence at the Naval Observatory; and the emergency escape tunnel running from the basement of the East Wing to the basement of the Treasury Building.

West Wing floorplan

Once you exit the tunnel from the residence to the West Wing, a decision will be made whether it is convenient for President Obama to have guests peek inside the Oval Office. Please remember the President is a busy man and will usually not have time to chat with visitors. If allowed to proceed, guests will slowly and quietly circle around the Oval Office one time. It is important for visitors to walk at a steady pace with no unexpected movements.

After exiting the Oval Office, the White House tour is officially over. Hungry visitors may proceed to the basement of the West Wing to grab a snack at the takeout window of the White House Mess. Be sure to ask for a souvenir menu from the White House Mess along with an autographed box of Presidential M&Ms. Secret Service agents are conveniently stationed throughout the White House complex in case you need directions.

For more photos and information, visit our White House Tunnel System page.

 

 

White House Tour Tickets


Standard Public Tour

Requests for the standard public tour must be submitted through your Member of Congress. If you are a citizen of a foreign country, contact your embassy in Washington, DC for assistance in submitting a tour request. These self-guided tours are available in the morning Tuesday through Saturday. Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. You can submit a request up to six months in advance. The earlier, the better as only a limited number of spaces are available. Your congressional representative will submit your request to the White House via our online White House Tour System.

The West Wing Tour

Many people are interested in taking the West Wing tour. Generally speaking, this tour is available to celebrities, business and political leaders, major donors, movers and shakers, and people who know someone who works inside the White House. That's about as open and transparent we can be about this particular tour.

The Expanded Tour: Living Areas, Bunkers and Tunnel System

The Expanded Tour is a recent addition to our White House tour offerings. The participant selection process is still undergoing modifications due to the highly sensitive nature of the tour. The White House is working on a strategy in cooperation with the Domestic Surveillance Directorate to ensure that only the most trustworthy Americans are allowed access. Additional information about requesting this tour will be posted here in the near future.

 

Video:  President Obama Greets Visitors on the White House Tour


 

 

Map of White House Grounds

map of White House grounds - tour entrance and exit points

 

 

White House Tour Security


All guests 14 years of age or older are required by the United States Secret Service to submit their name, date of birth, social security number and country of citizenship. All guests will be required to present photo identification with information exactly matching the name previously submitted for clearance. Individuals whose identification does not exactly match the name cleared for entry may be denied access.

 

Prohibited Items

Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, the following: handbags, book bags, backpacks, purses, food and beverages of any kind, strollers, cameras, video recorders or any type of recording device, tobacco products, personal grooming items (make-up, hair brush or comb, lip or hand lotions, etc.), any pointed objects (pens, knitting needles, etc.), aerosol containers, guns, ammunition, fireworks, electric stun guns, mace, martial arts weapons/devices, or knives of any size.

The U.S. Secret Service reserves the right to prohibit any other personal items. Umbrellas, wallets, cell phones and car keys are permitted. Also, the White House prefers that visitors, artistic and otherwise, leave their cans of spray paint at home.

 

Parking

The closest Metrorail stations to the White House are Federal Triangle (blue and orange lines), Metro Center (blue, orange, and red lines) and McPherson Square (blue and orange lines). On-street parking is not available near the White House, and use of public transportation is strongly encouraged.

 

Restrooms

The nearest public restrooms to the White House are in the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion (the park area south of the White House) and in the White House Visitor Center. Please take advantage of these public facilities prior to your tour. The White House restrooms are reserved for the President and his staff only.

 

 

White House Gift Shop


The small gift shop located by the White House Mess is not open to visitors on the White House tour. You can purchase your White House souvenirs online from the official White House Gift Shop by clicking on the banner below.

 

official White House Secret Service Gift Shop

 

 

 


 

Nope, this is not the official website of The White House. It's a parody of whitehouse.gov.  No person, department, or agency of the U.S. Government approved, endorsed, or authorized this site. No animals were harmed while making this website (except maybe that one time when I was a little late feeding my dog his dinner).
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