How to Tour the White House Gardens and Grounds

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Since at least 2009, the public has been invited to see the White House grounds one weekend in the spring and another in mid-October. The self-guided tours include exhibits about iconic events on the White House grounds over the years and include entertainment by military bands.

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White House Kitchen Gardener-in-Charge Jim Adams is on hand to answer visitor questions.

What You’ll See
The Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Children’s Garden and South Lawn of the White House, the stunning grounds, and of course the White House Kitchen Garden, the first one there since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden.
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Clockwise from upper left: presidential helicopter on South Lawn, Caroline Kennedy on pony following her dad into the West Wing, the “Beer Summit”, and an accidental biplane landing.

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Architectural details – note the roses.

In addition to reminders of White House history, visitors get to see the White House up close and the views regularly enjoyed by its inhabitants.

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View from the South side of the White House

How To Find Out 

The White House doesn’t announce the dates in advance or promote the opportunity, so DC Gardens checks its website daily in the spring and fall and spreads the word as soon as it’s made public.

IMG_0733Just sign up for our “Insider’s Guide to Visiting DC Gardens” in the sidebar on the right and you’ll receive 10 seasonal updates plus two “White House Alerts” about White House Garden Tours.

Before You Go

There’s NO need for advance tickets and NO need to contact your congressperson. It’s easy – JUST GO. Free, timed tickets are distributed at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Streets on tour days beginning at 9:00 a.m., one per person, on a first-come, first-served basis. To avoid lines, it’s best to arrive at opening time.

And DO read the update we’ll send you in the Alert.  Like this one, it’ll be loaded with helpful details.

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Images above are from a visit in October of 2010.