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Capitol Tour

Illinois
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34 posts
54 reviews
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Capitol Tour

I visit Washington at least once a year, and have never toured the Capitol. I scheduled a tour through my Senator's office for 12/27/12, but found out today that the tour will not be given by his staff, but regular Capital Visitor Center staff, as the Senator's office is closed for the week. My question is, should I wait and do the tour another time so that I can be guided by my senator's staff, or is it really that much different than the regular public tour?

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Capitol Tour

DC residents don't have a Senator, so I can't give you first-hand knowledge. But from reading this forum I know that some people get a better tour from a staffer, while others get a lousy tour from a bored staffer who wishes they were doing something else. Unless it is inconvenient for you I would just go ahead and do the tour. Don't miss the excellent museum in the back about building the capitol.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Capitol Tour

Take the tour, I think you will enjoy it. The Capitol Visitor Center tour guides are professionally trained and can give you great information on the history of the Capitol. Staff tours can also be great, but as Darrell6t said, it is really about the motivation of the staff member. Some are excellent, others aren't that interested.

I also second Darrell6t's recommendation to visit the exhibition hall in the back (behind the replica Statue of Freedom) on the history of the Capitol. They have great stuff back there, including rotating documents on congressional history.

Also, make sure you stroll around the statues in Emancipation Hall. All, or virtually all, are part of the National Statuary Hall Collection (aoc.gov/the-national-statuary-hall-collection).

dctravel

Illinois
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3. Re: Capitol Tour

Thanks so much for your replies!

Fortaleza, CE
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4. Re: Capitol Tour

I'm surprised a senator's staff gives tours, and would assume that when the Senate is in session they could get pulled away at any minute. I would assume the staff member giving you a tour may be an intern. I'd personally rather have a tour from guides who know the history, etc. best and have given the tour before. And won't have to curtail the tour due to a vote, etc. Still visit the senator's office (Congressperson's office may be even better since they'd be familiar with your home disrict.

I've taken the tour and found it very interesting. Do read up on the building's history a bit in advance if you can.

Edited: 10 December 2012, 13:02
Redlands, California
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5. Re: Capitol Tour

We visited in September and had one of the regular tour guides. She was absolutely fantastic and absolutely loved her job! She had worked at the capitol for decades and had participated in many inaugurations. She had a passion for sharing the history of the building.

6. Re: Capitol Tour

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