Monday, June 12, 2006

Podcast #27 - History Hits the Road - Tips for Visiting Washington DC

Hello from our nation's capital. Today's podcast is recorded at a hotel just a couple of blocks from the Capitol in Washington DC. My wife and I are in DC on vacation, along with a little business, and tonight we discuss some tips for making your stay in this wonderful city enjoyable. This podcast is special because my supportive wife joins the podcast for the first time as we share our tips. We have been recording various interviews on our stay in the Washington DC area and will publish these in future episodes.

If you have any questions or comments please e-mail us at

Direct link to Podcast #27 - Tips for Planning Your Visit to Washington DC - MP3 Format (17 minutes)

My Odeo Channel (odeo/10be1ce8d12b1cda)


  1. Great tips, Eric!
    I was in DC and surrounding areas with 68 8th graders last month (my 5th such trip) and would make another suggestion: re-visit places at different times of day. We usually get to Ft. McHenry early in the day, but this year arrived late afternoon. As the fort was closing, rangers in 1812 Army uniforms came out onto the grounds, told us about the attack on Baltimore and the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key's writing of the Star Spangled Banner, and then invited visitors to assist in lowering the 1812 flag (a very large one!) that flies over the fort during the day. It was a great experience for our students, and something we (the chaperones who've been on the trip several times before) had never done.
    Another tip: get to places like Mt Vernon, Ford's Theater, Monticello (kind of far from DC), and the Capitol as early in the day as possible... the lines form quickly and are LONG!

  2. Thanks Mr. C! Your suggestion about going at different times of day is great. I hope on a later trip we do get a chance to go to Fort McHenry. I was visiting with a Kansas City area teacher who had been to the fort last year and he was there very early in day and they asked if he wanted to help raise the flag over the fort! He said he will never forget it.

    It is so great that you have taken so many student groups of DC. In the past I took some high school juniors to DC through the Close Up program but have not yet taken 8th graders.

    I also couldn't agree more with your tip about getting to the sites early. Later in the day the crowds really got big. At Mount Vernon we used the later time of day to our advantage. We took public transportation so we were not tied to leaving at a certain time earlier in the afternoon like many of the people you came via tour bus or the boat cruise. When we arrived the wait in line to tour the home was around an hour. We talked to one of the guides and asked when the best time to get in line was and he said about 4:15 (it closes at 5:00). We toured the rest of the grounds and then got in line at 4:15 and waited only about 15 minutes.

    Thanks for your comments and thanks for listening. Good luck with your future class tours.

    Eric Langhorst