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White House Visitor Center

Learn About the Presidents' House and First Families


White House Visitor Center

The President's House - 1801

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

The White House Visitor Center provides an introduction to many aspects of the White House, including its architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders. At the Visitor Center, you can see a 30-minute video, entitled "Where History Lives", explore six historical exhibits and purchase souvenirs at the gift shop run by the White House Historical Association.

Tours of the White House are available on a first-come, first-served basis for groups of 10 or more and must be requested in advance through one's member of Congress. If you haven't planned ahead and reserved a tour, you can still sample some of the history of the White House by visiting the White House Visitor Center. The National Park Service offers interpretive programs and special events at various times throughout the year.

Renovation Plans: The White House Visitor Center is currently closed to undergo renovations that will provide a dramatically improved experience for visitors. A temporary visitor facility is open at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion near the corner of 15th and E Streets, NW. and it will remain open until the rehabilitation project is completed. The project is a public private endeavor between the National Park Service and the White House Historical Association. Clark Construction Group, LLC will be managing the construction and engineering portion of the project. The Visitor Center is expected to reopen in late 2013.

Improvements to the Visitor Center will include interactive exhibits and a model of the White House, as well as a new permanent museum gallery, a temporary exhibit area, an improved book sales area, visitor information facilities, and opportunities for children and families to connect to the history of the White House and President’s Park in new ways.

1450 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 208-1631

The White House Visitor Center is located in the Department of Commerce Building on the Southeast corner of 15th and E Streets. See a map

Transportation and Parking
The closest Metro stations to the White House are Federal Triangle, Metro Center and McPherson Square. Parking is very limited in this area, so public transportation is recommended.

7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Daily
Closed Thanksgiving, and Dec 25 and Jan 1

Read more about the White House

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