DC Design Tours
DC Design Tours
5
City ToursHistorical & Heritage ToursWalking ToursPrivate Tours
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
About
BOOK DIRECT on our website for the best prices. DC Design Tours offers historic walking and driving tours of Washington DC focused on architecture, urban planning, and design. Our tours explore Washington's most prominent architectural marvels and best kept secrets, while hearing about the conflicts, controversies, and personalities involved in the development of our Capital City. From Neo-Classical to Brutalist, learn the history behind the brick and mortar with DC Design Tours!
Washington DC, District of Columbia

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Tours and Tickets by DC Design Tours
Travelers talk about
(30 reviews)
(7 reviews)
(4 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles434 reviews
Excellent
422
Very good
8
Average
1
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Terrible
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MigratingSwann
San Diego5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
We hired Carolyn for a private half-day tour and it was the best money spent! She customized the itinerary with us in advance and had expansive knowledge about DC, we especially enjoyed the "secrets" she shared about the city with us and her collection of vintage pictures that enhanced her narrative. Additionally, she did not miss a beat during the driving part of our tour. She managed to give driving directions simultaneously while narrating through our surroundings- including points of interest we would have never found on our own.
We were specially impressed with her flag knowledge through Embassy Row!
Carolyn is friendly, accommodating, and most importantly, vaccinated. She even stayed with our dog outside while we did some ‘cupcake shopping.’ Oh, by the way: she loves dogs!
Highly recommend working with her!
Written April 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much! I really enjoyed spending the day with you and your crew, both the humans and the dog! :)
Written April 15, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Julia P
Leesburg, VA11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
Carolyn, our intrepid tour guide on a sweltering summer day, provided a thoroughly enjoyable and educational experience of Capitol Hill. Her training in both architecture and history, coupled with her obvious and voracious love of learning, combine to provide the ultimate touring experience. My only complaint - rather than satiating my desire to learn more of this beautiful and fascinating city - Carolyn has merely whetted my appetite!! She provided a plethora of intriguing and anecdotal stories, both immense in their ramifications whilst humorous in their content. I am now determined to partake of EVERY tour offered by DC Design Tours! Plus, while the current COVID-19 continues, it is actually a PERFECT time to tour outdoors with fewer crowds!
Written July 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your kind and eloquent recommendation! Looking forward to seeing you again!
Written August 8, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ALMALIKA A
30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Solo
I have now done 8 of the 10 offered public tours, and have had 3 different guides, and every tour has been excellent. I even took one tour a second time because I wanted my daughter to experience it. She also enjoyed it a great deal. Taking these tours as a native Washingtonian (yep, born and raised here) I was pleasantly surprised by how many new things I learned on each tour. On every tour we visited places I have never seen before, a few of which I didn't even know existed! All of the guides I've had - Carolyn, Ellery, and Christine - are friendly, engaging and very passionate about what they do. They each have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the city and its history. This combination is what makes these tours so enjoyable. I always ask a ton of questions on walking tours and all of the quides answered all of my questions with patience and grace. If you take more than one tour, you will find a bit of overlap as the history of the city is always the same. Despite the overlap, the tours are never boring and don't feel scripted or repetitive. All of the tours cover different areas of the city so you're always seeing and learning about something new. As an added bonus, you will also meet some really great people from all over the US who share similar interests. If you plan to visit Washington, DC, I HIGHLY recommend you take at least one walking tour with DC Design Tours. You won't regret it!
Written October 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks you so much, Malika! It is ALWAYS a pleasure to have you on tour with us, and your kind words are especially meaningful coming from a native Washingtonian! See you soon. :)
Written October 26, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Anne G
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
Sam was a most entertaining tour guide and the Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom. We met at the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial , then made our way around the Tidal Basin, exploring the FDR Memorial and Thomas Jefferson Memorial- who knew FDR could be so interesting. I would recommend the Cheery Blossom tour to anyone, including the people who live in the area. There was so much more to the tour than the Cherry Blossoms.
Written March 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for your kind review!
Written March 29, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

GeeJAre
Westfield, NJ265 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Couples
We took the tour of the National Cathedral and Cleveland Park with Carolyn. The tour was FABULOUS! Chock full of fascinating information and interesting history, we loved the fact that Carolyn has an architectural background which allied her to speak knowledgeably about the Cathedral’s construction and answer the group’s questions. On our next weekend trip to DC, we are definitely going to take another DC Design tour!!!
Written November 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for such a kind review! See you next time!
Written November 15, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

FemaleSoloTrek
Washington DC, DC196 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Friends
I took the brand new Rock Creek Park tour today. I would highly recommend this to tourists who want to experience this urban park. Our group were locals who love this park and wanted to learn more about it. I don’t think people realize it is a National Park. We started at the entrance to the National Zoo. Next we walked down Connecticut Avenue to two Historic DC apartment buildings to discuss the architecture. Then we walked to a hidden entrance to reach the new Klingle path in Rock Creek Park. Carolyn provided so much information about the Klingle Mansion, the Peirce mill, the remnants of old mills, the Boulder Bridge, and more. We learned how Theodore Roosevelt often practiced speeches in the park and made diplomats swim in the creek. There is a section in the park where you hike uphill in a rugged area with lots of underground growth so you should wear good shoes. This is a atypical hiking tour for DC Design Group. I highly recommend it!
Written September 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
What a kind and thorough review! Thank you so much Terri for all of your support!
Written September 19, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Andrea M
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Solo
I took 2 tours with Carolyn: a walking tour of Cleveland Park and a virtual tour of the Smithsonian museums

Carolyn is a dynamic and engaging tour guide. For the Cleveland Park tour, she helpfully used a tablet with historic photos and documents to supplement the scenery. At the National Cathedral, we learned that flying buttresses are what holds up the soaring pointed roof of cathedrals -- and I thought they were just for drama! That's the benefit of an architecture tour. She also pointed out fun details like the birds' nests on the heads of some of the apostles. Walking through the streets, Carolyn told the story of how the neighborhood evolved since its founding through the styles of the houses. Love a good chronology.

For the Smithsonian virtual tour, it was interesting to see different ethics expressed through the aesthetics of the museum buildings, as they evolved from European styles to the indigenous and African influences behind the Native American and African American history museums. It was also nice to see Carolyn's "regulars," some of whom shared their own architectural discoveries.

I'm looking forward to taking another tour on my next visit to DC
Written September 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the very kind review, Andrea! Looking forward to seeing you again soon!
Written September 19, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SteveGent
Luton, UK9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
I arranged a private tour to cover all of the major buildings and sights of the Washington DC area. Visiting from the UK and staying in Baltimore, it was a one day opportunity to pack in as much as possible.

My guide for the day was Christine, who was extremely knowledgable about the history and architecture of the area, and a great companion for the day. I don't know how she remembers everything.

In just over 7 hours, we covered Union Station, the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Capitol Building, Pennsylvania Avenue, the Old Post Office Tower, the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and many other buildings and locations as we passed by. Luckily there was also time to see inside the Library of Congress and have a tour of the Capitol Building, with Christine timing things to perfection.

Tired feet, but lots of great memories and photos to take back home.
Written October 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much Steve, for trusting us with your one day in DC! Hope to see you back again sometime! :)
Written October 16, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

kridem220
Cookeville, TN4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
This walking tour was absolutely the very best I have ever been on! Carolyn, the guide, was extremely knowledgeable, not just the architecture but also the historic events driving the design styles. The tour was perfectly paced. I did this tour with a friend and it was immediately before the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdowns in DC and the entire nation. Please go on this tour when you are next in DC!!!
Written March 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for your kind recommendation! I'm so glad we were able to tour together, and hope to see you and your friend again soon.
Written April 12, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jill214058
Toronto, Canada4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
On Sunday morning we were fortunate to do the George Town tour with Sam from DC Design Tours.
We were very impressed with the sites that had been obviously very carefully chosen to illustrate the history and significance of the area.
We we even more impressed with Sam, our guide. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable and insightful, but he has a great sense of humour.
He also speaks loudly and clearly so we had no trouble hearing him.
We have done a great many walking tours over the years in many countries, so we feel we are very good judges of walking tours and guides.
We were very impressed
Written November 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for your review! We really appreciate the recommendation, especially from seasoned travelers. Hope to see you back again soon!
Written November 28, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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