During my year abroad in Washington D.C. I have not been able to go for the tour around the White House. For the American citizens, the requests for the tickets for a tour around the White House must be submitted through one’s Member of Congress. However, for citizens of foreign countries, they have to contact their embassies in Washington D.C. for assistance in submitting a tour request, but there is no mention, which countries are not allow to enter the White House, as I believe some kind of restrictions are in place.
In the end though, I managed to visit the White House’s gardens! Better than nothing! The White House Garden Tours have been a tradition since 1972 when the First Lady of the United States Pat Nixon first opened the White House gardens to the public. Since, visitors have been invited to enjoy the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Children’s Garden and South Lawn of the White House.
It was an amazing day, it felt a bit surreal. The fact that I was walking around the places, where so many prominent politicians walked around the gardens next to the Oval Office discussing for example the strategy for the ‘domino theory’ and the future of Vietnam or the Cuban Missiles Crisis! Surprisingly, despite the high security checks and snipers on the roof, I was allowed to have a camera with me so I can share the memories with you now.
The tickets for the White House Garden Tours are open and free to the public. However, a ticket is required for all attendees, including small children. The free, timed tickets are distributed by the National Park Service at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Streets on tour days beginning at 8 a.m. They are normally distributed on first-come, first-served basis.