As the weather gets warmer, D.C residents look for free and fun things to do.
There is an abundance of things that residents can enjoy at little to no cost. One such thing is the DC by Foot, a free one mile walking tour of the National Mall. It is one of the most highly rated tours in the District. The tour takes you from the corner of 15th and Constitution all the way to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Full of interesting facts and folklore, the tour lasts about one hour and 30 minutes and includes stops at the Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and finally leaves you at the bottom of the Lincoln Memorial Steps. At a small distance, the White House, Capitol Building and the Jefferson Memorial can be seen.
The tour guides are unpaid and only work for tips ensuring that guests receive the full experience.
“I do it just because I love it,” said tour guide Ben Hindman, a retired school guidance counselor. Hindman shared fascinating details about the city.
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, engraved in granite, is the spot where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famed “I Have a Dream” speech said one tour guide. The spot is unmarked and the etching barely visible. Most guests walk right over it.
Guests also learned that the President’s helicopter travels in a group of three, with the words United States of America etched across the top and lands on the South Lawn of the White House.
“It was either that or become a substitute teacher,” said Hindman. “Kids get that hungry look in their eye when you walk in the room.”
The crowds following the tour guides are young and old, tourists and native Washingtonians who all want to learn more about the city’s rich history.
Kori Flanagan, 10, was excited by the helicopters that flew overhead during the tours.
“When the guide said that could be the president, I got really excited. It was really cool”, she said. “You can see the Secret Service guy on the top of the White House too. He has to be hot wearing all black.”
According to the tour guide it is rumored that the Secret Service agent posted on top of the White House can shoot a coin off of the top of the Washington monument.
“I live in DC and someone recommended this to me. It was very informative and I guess I didn’t realize that there was so much hidden meaning behind the layout of the city,” Maya Reeds, 32, said.
The company also offers the $10 Lincoln Assassination tour that takes visitors through the places where Lincoln’s assassination was plotted and executed. They also offer the $12 Ghosts of Georgetown tour which chronicles the places where spirits are set to haunt this historic section of the city.
Their website www.dcbyfoot.com has all of the information and gives detailed map routes and times for those wanting to take a tour.