National Archives Tour: Explore American History
36 Ratings
Discover the treasures of American history on a 5.5-hour semi-private tour of the National Archives. Skip the line and explore iconic documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, along with fascinating exhibits on First Ladies and more.
Duration: 5 hours, 30 minutes
Cancellation: 1 day learn more
  • The National Archives Museum - This is the best way to skip-the-line and save time, to explore the experiment that is the United States of America! Start with the original handwritten “Charters of Freedom” housed in their spectacular Rotunda. Your guide will narrate the extraordinary circumstances that brought this nation into existence. No trip to the US Capital city is complete without a visit to the National Archives. Surround yourself with documents and paintings that offer both depth and nuance to the period that founded the United States of America. And at Babylon we take it a step farther. In the Rubenstein Gallery, go even deeper into the philosophical foundations by viewing a 1297 copy of the Magna Carta. Your guide will encourage you to explore the concept of citizenship, what it means and how the criteria for those included have evolved from a declaration which stated “all men are created equal”.
  • National Museum of American History - After a break to ponder the complexity of history (and grab a bite) your guide will lead you to the Smithsonian American History Museum. This museum is a caretaker for an incredible blend of scholarly history and pop culture whose memories create a unique bond among the people who experienced them. Your guide will introduce you to the most famous items in the collection, like the flag that flew over Ft McHenry inspiring the poem that was eventually adapted into the National Anthem.
    Featured too is the most visited exhibition in the history of the Smithsonian: the First Ladies exhibit. While you’re there, see why the most requested artifact is Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers — displayed not too far from the top hat Abraham Lincoln wore that fateful night to Ford’s Theatre. Your guide will provide stories and background to expand on the reason these items (out of hundreds of thousands in the collection) serve as living touchstones for the concept we call the United States of America.
What's Included
  • Small group ambiance with a max of 8 guests
  • Insightful 5.5-hour walking and museum tour
  • Enjoy a break for lunch during the tour
  • Tour operates in all weather conditions
  • Led by an expert professional guide
What's Not Included
  • Tour price does NOT include hotel pickup or drop-off (we recommend UBER or Taxi)
  • Tour price does NOT include gratuities (optional)
  • Tour is NOT available for those with walking disabilities or using a wheelchair
Additional Information

Embark on a 5.5-hour semi-private guided tour (limited to 8 guests) that gives you exclusive skip-the-line access to Washington DC’s two most essential museums. This adventure offers an unparalleled journey through the unfolding narrative of the United States of America - beginning with its birth and culminating in an exploration of its ongoing evolution. Our guides will immerse you in a tapestry of captivating narratives, rich context, and intriguing anecdotes which underscore the dynamism of our collective past.

Expect to witness key highlights such as (but not limited to):

  • The original Declaration of Independence
  • The Constitution
  • The Bill of Rights
  • The 1297 Magna Carta
  • Abraham Lincoln’s iconic top hat
  • The First Ladies exhibit
  • Dorothy’s renowned Ruby Red Slippers
  • The Star-Spangled Banner
  • It is imperative that you provide us with guests MOBILE PHONE NUMBER (including country code)
  • A maximum of 8 people per tour allowed
  • Minimum numbers apply. This tour will not run without a minimum of 2 guests to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund.
  • Notes: The National Archives & American History Museum and other attractions or museums in London may be subjected to occasional closures without previous warning from the museum management. When this occurs, we will provide guests with an appropriate alternative if the museum opening time is delayed more than 1h from the tour starting time. In these cases we are unable to provide refunds or discounts. Appropriate dress is required for entry into some sites on this tour. No large bags or suitcases are allowed inside the museum, only handbags or small thin bag packs are allowed through security. Due to increased security measures at many attractions some lines may form on tours with ‘Skip the Line’ or ‘No Wait’ access. Some specific rooms inside the museum are subjected to a very quiet or restricted right to speak inside, in this cases your guide will provide the information about this places before entering the specific rooms where this rule applies. Some collections may vary along the year.
National Archives Research Center
Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Meet your guide on the corner of 9th Street NW and Constitution Ave.
Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Customer Ratings
(36 Ratings)
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May 27, 2024
Excellent tour of National Archives and Museum of American History - Annemarie did a great job on the tour-- she explained everything well and was informative on extra details we did not know--- it was very good....
Review provided by Tripadvisor
May 27, 2024
From Magna Carta to the Constitution! - We had a great tour of the archives with Annemarie! She was very knowledgeable and led us to expertly through seeing the constitution, the bill of rights and the Magna Carta!!! Among other things. Would highly recommend her tours.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
May 20, 2024
Best Private Tour of National Archives! - World’s best tour of the National Archives … by George Washington’s girlfriend no less (history with a bit of sense of humor)! Ask for Brenda!!!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
May 19, 2024
Great guided tour - The tour was fascinating. It was great to see the original founding documents. Annemarie was very knowledgeable and gave us a really engaging walkthrough.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Apr 29, 2024
Smithsonian Museum of American History - Great tour. Maribeth was an amazing guide. We will ask for her again! She is very knowledgeable and knows the Museum so well Paul K
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Apr 19, 2024
National Archives Tour - Maribeth was fantastic. She was knowledgeable and shared the infrequencies of the national archives in an interesting way. She took time to answer questions and offer insights through the tour. We thoroughly enjoyed her on the tour.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Apr 6, 2024
Annemarie is an amazing, friendly and very knowledgeable tour guide! - We could not have asked for a better tour guide. This is our first time ever doing a guided tour and it was money well spent. We got to skip the entrance line and able to view the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights right away. Annemarie, was very personable and extremely knowledgeable. Couldn’t have imagined a better afternoon and look forward to our next trip to DC and will definitely rebook with Annemarie in the future.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Apr 4, 2024
Learn with Annemarie - Went with Annemarie. She’s really fantastic and we liked how she explains clearly and in an interesting fashion. You will have a blast with this guide.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Mar 31, 2024
Outstanding - Outstanding guide (Donna), very knowledgeable, and we had easy access before the crowds. Great insights about the function and history of the archives. Highly recommend
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Mar 26, 2024
A wonderful experience! - This Guided tour was our favourite of our whole cross country trip. Our Guide Annemarie was Fantastic!!!! So Engaging and informative, without it feeling like a history lecture. Everyone in the group got to see everything that they wanted to and our guide was even helpful in providing tips for the remainder of our trip! Truly knowledgeable of the area, and the history of the artefacts. She was also a genuinely lovely individual to get to know for the day.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Select Date and Tickets
up to 8 guests
1 Adult
July 2024