The White House, Washington D.C.

4 out of 5 stars 4 Stars - 127 Reviews

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 202-208-1631

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  • leafmcgowan's Profile Photo

    The White House

    by leafmcgowan Updated Jan 14, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For two hundred years, the White House has stood as a symbol of the Presidency, the United States government, and the American people. Its history, and the history of the nation’s capital, began when President George Washington signed an Act of Congress in December of 1790 declaring that the federal government would reside in a district "not exceeding ten miles square…on the river Potomac." President Washington, together with city planner Pierre L’Enfant, chose the site for the new residence, which is now 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Construction began when the first cornerstone was laid in October of 1792. Although President Washington oversaw the construction of the house, he never lived in it. It was not until 1800, when the White House was nearly completed, that its first residents, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved in. Since that time, each President has made his own changes and additions. The White House is, after all, the President’s private home. It is also the only private residence of a head of state that is open to the public, free of charge.Public tours of the White House are available for groups of 10 or more people. Requests must be submitted through one's Member of Congress and are accepted up to six months in advance. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (excluding federal holidays), and are scheduled on a first come, first served basis approximately one month in advance of the requested date. We encourage you to submit your request as early as possible since a limited number of tours are available. All White House tours are free of charge.

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  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    Visit the White House

    by joiwatani Written Aug 12, 2007

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    The White House, January 1993
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    I thought that the White House is this huge building because it is so famous around the world. But, it was just an ordinary building. It is the people who lives in there that makes it really famous! The security is very strict and the line is long so I didn't really go inside. I took pictures outside and moved on! (I was there in 1993 so the security was not as tough as today!)

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  • antistar's Profile Photo

    The White House

    by antistar Updated Feb 18, 2014

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    The White House, Washington D.C.
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    When British soldiers entered the White House on August 24th 1814 they found a banquet had been abandoned as President James Madison and his family had fled to safety. The soldiers dined gleefully on good food and fine wine, before ransacking the building and setting it ablaze, leaving behind a decidedly blackened house in their wake. James Madison never returned to the White House.

    That's my big take away from the history of the White House. As an Englishman I take pride in being a subject of the only country to have invaded an independent America. But I'm also glad that we lost the war eventually, and the US could grow, free from foreign tyranny. The White House now symbolises that freedom: the home of the President of the United States, the "leader of the free world" and head of the world's most powerful democracy.

    The White House was completed in 1800 and has been home to every president except the first, George Washington, who lived in Philadelphia. The first president to live in the White House for their entire period in office was Thomas Jefferson, who complained about its size, saying it was "big enough for two emperors, one pope, and the grand lama in the bargain". He still made plans to enlarge it.

    Today it is high security home to President Obama, with snipers on the roof, and secret agents on the street, but it's still a magnet for people wishing to exercise their god given right to protest and say anything they damn well please. When I was there a shaven headed imam, with a neck beard, bulging suitcase stood outside the White House singing "god is great" in Arabic and holding up a placard with quotes from the Koran. And nobody minded.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    How to enter the White House?

    by matcrazy1 Written Jan 5, 2006

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    THE WHITE HOUSE (NO ZOOM)
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    As I already stated you will see only little white house (from Constitution Ave.) unless you take a free of charge White House Tour. Well, it's very complicated. Take your friends and/or family (at least 9 + you), write an application and go to a Member of US Congress to submit the request. But remember, do it at least 6 months prior to your visit. More up-to-date details here.

    Hmm... it's rather impossible for me. Maybe I'd be able to join White House Garden Tour next time in DC. The tours are open to the public, however, a ticket (free of charge) is required for all attendees. Hmm... the tickets are distributed - one ticket per person - on a first-come, first-served basis (details here). Oh, I don't like staying hours in long lines. Any tickets for VIPs (= expensive but no staying in a line) like it sometimes works in Europe? Oh, no, never, this is America. If any doubts, read an inscription on an architrave of the United States Supreme Court: "Equal Justice Under Law."

    Well, just in case you desperately would like to move to the White House keep in mind that U.S. Constitution establishes the requirements you must meet in order to become President. You must be:
    1 a natural-born citizen of the United States (that's why famous actor and Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, born in charming Graz, Austria, can't do that)
    2. at least 35 years old
    3. a resident of the United States for 14 years.
    Hmm, I meet only one requirement and not that one I'd like most. Will I ever visit the White House?

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  • NC_Ziggy's Profile Photo

    The White House

    by NC_Ziggy Updated Feb 3, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    HuH?  It's Nuclear, not Nucular!  Need I Say More?
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    Ok, I know we're not supposed to be political here, but Cheese Whiz! What's a country have to do to get a break? I do pray for our president as he IS our president. I hope it's ok to pray for his wisdom, judgement and for 2008 to get here quick! And that's all I have to say about that...

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  • jamiesno's Profile Photo

    White House Visitor Center

    by jamiesno Updated Mar 24, 2007

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    Just next door to the White House there is a visitor center with information about the White House itself. There is lots of information about the architecture, the Presidents who lived there, the way it was build, some artifacts and so on.

    Out of everything I seen in the visitor center I thought the photographs of the White House staff where the most interesting and gave it a more human perspective. Many of the employees at the White House have been employed there spanning decades as butlers, gardeners, cooks, carpenters, administration, engineering and the list goes on.

    There photographs at the visitor center were very well done.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    A must see tourist trap :-)

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jan 5, 2006

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    WHITE HOUSE ZOOMED IN OVER 20X
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    The only place to see the White House, to be more exact it's front facade, is located 0.4 mile (650 meters) south of the edifice on closed for traffic Constitution Avenue. Keep in mind that almost the whole area inside large rectangular area bordered by Constitution Ave., 17th St. NW, Pennsylvania Ave. and 14th St NW is closed for pedestrians. Only some external green parts of that area are open to the public but the White House is not seen from there.

    Constitution Ave. is closed for traffic, flanked by cement slabs, but there are always some crazies from all over the world standing on a "paparazzi sidewalk" and taking pictures of the Small House through a fence under watchful eye of a policewoman who really looked very serious.

    Conclussion:
    - get off the metrorail at Federal Triangle station
    - take a camera with large optical zoom and binoculars (is it allowed though?)
    - keep smiling, it's a must see tourist trap :-).

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  • The White House

    by charrie Written Jul 10, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The White House and my children in front of it

    The White House is so cool to see in person. Unfortunately, we were only 4 people, not 10, so we couldn't even think about requesting a tour of any kind. I was disappointed in the behavior of the others taking pictures, very rude. I was also kind of bummed when a Secret Service Agent wouldn't let me take his picture. I understand, though. We didn't even make it to the visitor's center in time, it closed at 4p and we got there at 4:05. Who wouldv'e thought it would close so early?

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  • 807Wheaton's Profile Photo

    Take a Christmas Tour at the White House

    by 807Wheaton Updated Apr 6, 2006

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    White House Christmas Tour 2005
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    It took almost 14 months to get our tickets to visit the White House during the Christmas Season. I called our U.S. Representative's Office and got our name on the list almost a year before we found out we got the tickets.
    The White House was absolutely beautiful. It was all natural and the flowers and garland were replaced almost every other day. We had visited the White House once before in 1983 - a long time ago. That was back when they opened a line for tourists and let people in as long as the time allowed. Now it is completely different. You are not allowed any purse, backpack, water - only photo ID, a cell phone and a coat if needed.

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    The President's Pad

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 13, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    National Park Service photo

    The White House was constructed between 1792 and 1800. After being burned by British soldiers during the War of 1812 ot was reconstructed, and it has been the home of every president of the United States since John Adams. The exterior of the main structure, despite some additions and minor changes, remains much as it was in 1800. During the Truman administration, the Truman's had to move to Blair House while the termite damage was repaired because Truman's piano was in danger of falling through the floor.

    The White House is open again for historical walking tours. I am not absolutely sure that I have toured the White House, but I think maybe I did. It is now called The President's Park and is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. I don't have, or can't find, a photo, so the National Park Service has made available photos to be used as long as you give them credit for the photo.

    The NPS website says: Public tours of the White House are available for groups of 10 or more people. Requests must be submitted through one's Member of Congress and are accepted up to six months in advance. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (excluding federal holidays), and are scheduled on a first come, first served basis approximately one month in advance of the requested date. Tours are always subject to cancellation.

    Operating Hours & Seasons

    WHITE HOUSE VISITOR CENTER Daily; 7:30 am - 4:00 pm Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year's Day

    ELLIPSE VISITOR PAVILION Daily; 8:00 am - 3:00 pm Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year's Day

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  • aphrodyte's Profile Photo

    The White House

    by aphrodyte Updated Feb 21, 2014

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    The Front of the White House
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    I don't believe I can elaborate anything more than what has already been written or said about this iconic building. The White House is a fortress, command center and home to one of the most powerful person in the world.

    So I'm going to write some not very know facts about the White House.

    1. The White House is worth approximately $287,189,701 in the real estate market.
    2. It has an attached garage
    3. It has 5 different levels
    4. The president pays for his own meals. But it’s not just food. Toothpaste, toilet paper, and nearly every commodity they personally use must be paid for by the president's personal funds. Luckily the president's bill is only for times that are not official state functions.
    5. The White House Honey Ale is the only beer to be brewed at The White House
    6. It take about 560 gallons of paint to keep it white
    7. Unusual White House pets...Hoover’s son, Allen Henry Hoover, had 2 gators that the president sometimes let run around the White House grounds. John Quincy Adams’ gator was a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette. Adams let it live in the bathroom. Of course, neither of these eccentric presidential pet-owners hold a candle to Calvin Coolidge. In addition to his many dogs, Coolidge had a donkey, a bobcat, lion cubs, a bear, a wallaby, and a pygmy hippo.
    8. President Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to use a phone. His phone number was simply 1.

    The official website www.whitehouse.gov is very comprehensive and can answer the most frequently asked questions and then some.

    For as long as I have been visiting Washington DC, I have never failed to visit the White House. It's such an amazing place steeped in history.

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  • besbel's Profile Photo

    The White House

    by besbel Updated Sep 21, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    White House
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    As the center of the political power in the US, the White House looks approachable for tourists and onlookers, that can take pictures in the outside, and even for demonstrators that can stand in its front with banners with their claims. However, it is not easy to get a tour inside the House. American citizens should book the tour through their representatives up to six months in advance to the visit, while tourists should contact their Embassies in DC to help them with the booking. Tours are free of charge.
    In case time or other constraints do not allow you to take the tour, you can visit the White House Visitor Center, on 15th and E St, which is open to the public and no booking is needed. You can also check on their website, http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours_and_events/ if there are other tours available (e.g. the Gardens tour) and if they are open to the public.

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  • apbeaches's Profile Photo

    The White House

    by apbeaches Written Jul 15, 2008

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    The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. Built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the late Georgian style, it has been the executive residence of every U.S. President since John Adams. When Thomas Jefferson moved into the home in 1801, he, with architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, expanded the building outward, creating two colonnades which were meant to conceal stables and storage.

    In 1814, during the War of 1812, the mansion was set ablaze by the British Army in the Burning of Washington, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior walls. Reconstruction began almost immediately, and President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed house in October 1817. Construction continued with the addition of the South Portico in 1824 and the North in 1829. Due to crowding within the executive mansion itself, President Theodore Roosevelt had nearly all work offices relocated to the newly-constructed West Wing in 1901. Eight years later, President William Howard Taft expanded the West Wing and created the first Oval Office which was eventually moved as the section was expanded. The third-floor attic was converted to living quarters in 1927 by augmenting the existing hip roof with long shed dormers. A newly constructed East Wing was used as a reception area for social events; both new wings were connected by Jefferson's colonnades. East Wing alterations were completed in 1946 creating additional office space. By 1948, the house's load-bearing exterior walls and internal wood beams were found to be close to failure. Under Harry S. Truman, the interior rooms were completely dismantled, resulting in the construction of a new internal load-bearing steel framework and the reassembly of the interior rooms.

    Today, the White House Complex includes the Executive Residence (in which the First Family resides), the West Wing (the location of the Oval Office, Cabinet Room, and Roosevelt Room), and the East Wing (the location of the office of the First Lady and White House Social Secretary), as well as the Old Executive Office Building, which houses the executive offices of the President and Vice President.

    The White House is made up of six stories—the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, as well as a two-story basement. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. As the Executive Office of the President of the United States, the term White House is regularly used as a metonym for the Executive Office of the President of the United States and for the president's administration and advisors in general. The property is owned by the National Park Service and is part of the President's Park. In 2007, it was ranked second on the American Institute of Architects's "List of America's Favorite Architecture."

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  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    Advance Request!

    by GracesTrips Updated Feb 15, 2009

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    So, this looks like the official site regarding information on White House tours. It appears not just anyone at anytime can visit the White House. A request must be made by one's member of Congress in advance (at least 1 month and as early as six months in advance). Okay, so I wasn't sure how to look up this information. I started a search on the city and state where I live. Wikipedia had the information! I sent off my email to my congressman but the staff replied back that there are no White House tours available at this time due to the recent inauguration of the new president, Barack Obama.

    The tour is free, self guided tours available from 7:30am to 12:30pm Tuesday through Saturday excluding federal holidays on a first come, first serve basis.

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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

    by chewy3326 Written Dec 29, 2006

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    The White House

    This mansion is perhaps the best known in the world; this is the house that contains (most of) the executive power of the United States. And it is... the White House (big surprise here). The White House is the home of the president and the first family of the United States of America. It was completed in 1800, and John Adams (the second president) became its first resident. The house has quite a bit of history; in 1814, the British burned the house down after they captured Washington in the War of 1812, though Dolley Madison, first lady at the time, saved some important artifacts, documents, etc. It was rebuilt and still stands today. However, although the White House belongs to the people of the US, it is quite difficult to enter the building. To get tickets for a White House Tour, you must contact your congressperson a month beforehand and request them; then there's a background check, etc, and if everything looks good, you get free tickets. I, however, did not call my congresswoman (and therefore did not take a tour of this house).

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