National Museum of African American History and Culture

From hip hop through to politics, explore the story of the US with an African American lens.

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National Museum of African American History and Culture: Our most recommended tours and activities

Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum

1. Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum

Meet your guide at the White House and begin your tour of Washington DC. From the outside, learn about the history of the White House and the people who inhabited it. Your local guide will share stories about America’s history and the influence of African Americans in DC. Next, see the Capitol One, one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in the world. Hear about the neoclassical United States Capitol, which is home to the House of Representatives and Senate. Finally, your guide will take you to the Washington Monument. Made of white marble and 550-feet tall, the obelisk is an iconic Washington DC landmark. After the walking tour, use your reserved entry tickets to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Explore the museum on your own at your own pace.

Washington, DC: African American History Tour

2. Washington, DC: African American History Tour

Go back in time to some of the most iconic moments from the civil rights movement with this fascinating African American history tour of Washington DC. Discover some of history's most captivating moments and allow your guide to paint a picture of the city from the African American perspective. Get picked up at the U.S. Navy Memorial and head to monuments such as the Emancipation Statue, Howard Theatre, and vibrant local black communities. Stand where Martin Luther King stood when he gave his famous "I have a dream" address and feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. After taking a glimpse into the past at the Home of Frederick Douglas, proceed to Howard University - one of the oldest black universities in the United States. On the way to Howard University, you will drive by Lincoln Park to visit the statue of educator, activist, and founder of the National Council of Negro Women - Mary McLeod Bethune. Following your visit to the beautiful Howard University campus, drive through Le Driot Park, Shaw Neighborhood, and Historic “U” Street. Home to the largest urban African American community in the United States in the early 1900’s, it created its own “Black Broadway” - a home to entertainment legends from the past and present.  Next, see the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum to discover how the course of the Civil War was impacted by these disenfranchised soldiers. You will then take a journey into downtown DC to the sites of the national headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue, the White house and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Once downtown, enter the Logan Circle historic district to see the historic Metropolitan AME Church and the Mary McLeod Bethune Council house. Finish the tour at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Enter inside and explore the absorbing artifacts and exhibits at your leisure.

Washington DC Must See Sights Half-Day Tour

3. Washington DC Must See Sights Half-Day Tour

Washington D.C. showcases some of the most majestic monuments and memorials in America. With so much to see this sightseeing bus tour makes for a great orientation option, especially for those with little time. Tailored to offer you a historic journey through the rich heritage of the United States, the tour is a quick and efficient way to learn the history of the capital. Ride past the essential monuments, museums, and attractions to relive the history of America on a 3-hour tour. You will stop at the following memorials and monuments on your tour to take pictures: • U. S. Capitol (exterior only and a photo stop only) • White House (exterior only and a photo stop only) • World War II Memorial • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial • Franklin Delano Memorial • Korean Memorial • Vietnam Memorial • Vietnam Women's Memorial • Lincoln Memorial (tour ends at this memorial)

Washington DC: Monuments Self-Guided Walking Tour

4. Washington DC: Monuments Self-Guided Walking Tour

Visit the most iconic landmarks of America’s capital city on this flexible self-guided walking tour. See the White House, Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol Building, and much more, and learn the revolutionary history behind the creation of Washington, D.C. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Along with being developed by local guides, creative writers, and professional voice artists, most stops along the tour have animated videos allowing you to visualize what you cannot see, such as snapshots from different centuries or interior rooms. You'll begin your adventure next to Pershing Park, right across from the White House south lawn. From there, make your way to the White House itself, where you can admire the seat of American power and learn some fascinating tidbits about its construction. From here, head south toward Constitution Gardens and pick up some insight into D.C.’s complicated history along the way. Through the gardens, you’ll find what was once the city’s most controversial monument: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Next, head to the Lincoln Memorial, one of the most iconic memorials in D.C. The Korean War Veterans Memorial is next, where you’ll hear about the fraught political struggle which wracked the White House during this bloody conflict. As you continue east, you’ll be filled in on the aftermath of the War of 1812 and how D.C. grew into what it is today. The next monument you’ll arrive at will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, honoring the nation’s most revered civil rights leader. Then, cross the Kutz Bridge and learn why the Potomac River is so significant to this city’s history. From this bridge, you’ll also be able to see the impressive Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Later, reach the National Mall, which you’ve definitely seen on TV plenty of times. Get an up-close look at the Washington Monument and learn the history of George Washington’s connection to this important city. If you like museums, the next stretch of the tour is absolutely for you. You’ll pass the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery of Art. On the final leg of the tour, visit three of the most crucial buildings in the city: The Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The tour concludes amid these three awe-inspiring structures.

Washington DC: African American History Museum Family Tour

5. Washington DC: African American History Museum Family Tour

Give your family a fantastic taste of African American History and Culture with a professional tour guide. Learn how before the creation of the National Mall and the nation’s capital, much of the land that is now Washington, D.C. was worked by enslaved Africans, your tour guide will take you then for a private tour at The National Museum of African American History and Culture. Your tour guide will focus on important highlights to keep children engaged and stop them from becoming overwhelmed and losing interest. During the tour, see how the stories, histories, and cultures of African Americans are shaped and informed by global influences. With your family, explore what it means to be an American and discover how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture.

Washington DC: Multilingual Private Day or Evening SUV Tour

6. Washington DC: Multilingual Private Day or Evening SUV Tour

Enjoy a private tour in Luxury SUV for your group of up to seven passengers. Explore Washington DC at your own pace and customize your trip to the attractions that you would like to see. Your driver will be there to provide basic information about the monuments, memorials and sights around the city. You will be able to make stops at some of the most important monuments for pictures. The itinerary is the following: US Capitol, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Union Station, Pennsylvania Avenue, The White House, Washington Momument, Smithsonians Museums, Tidal Basin, Jeferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, MLK Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean Memorial, Vietnan Memorial, World War II Memorial, Kennedy Center, Watergate Complex, Rock Creek Parkway, National Cathedral, Embassy Row, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Arlington Cemetery, Iwojima Memorial and The Pentagon. Alternatively, choose the Night Tour option and take this wonderful opportunity to see Washington DC at night. Enjoy the monuments, memorials, and sights illuminated all night with your private specialized driver and guide in a luxury car. This 4-hour tour can be adapted as needed.

Washington D.C: Self-Guided Walking Tour with GPS and Audio

7. Washington D.C: Self-Guided Walking Tour with GPS and Audio

Spend the day exploring Washington D.C., listening to the history narrated by professional voice artists, and reading the information curated by creative writers. See the iconic monuments and buildings of this historic city on this self-guided tour. Begin next to Pershing Park, right across from the White House south lawn. From here, make your way to the White House itself, admire the seat of American power, and learn some facts about its construction.  From here, head south toward Constitution Gardens and pick up some insight into D.C.’s complicated history along the way. Through the gardens, find what was once the city’s most controversial monument: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Next, head to the Lincoln Memorial, and then the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Hear about the fraught political struggle which wracked the White House during this bloody conflict. Discover the aftermath of the War of 1812, and how D.C. grew into what it is today. The next monument will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, honoring the nation’s most revered civil rights leader. Then cross the Kutz Bridge and learn why the Potomac River is so significant to this city’s history. From this bridge, see the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Then, reach the National Mall. Here’s you’ll get an up-close look at the Washington Monument and learn the history of George Washington’s connection to this important city. Along this route, pass many museums. This includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery of Art.  On the final leg of the tour, arrive at three of the most crucial buildings in the city: The Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The tour will conclude here, amid these three awe-inspiring structures.

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Entrance to National Museum of African American History and Culture is free, and you do not need a ticket or pre-booking to visit.

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What people are saying about National Museum of African American History and Culture

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 361 reviews

Our last day, we took the 3 hour tour, thinking it would be OK - it was fabulous! Just the right amount of walking, a bathroom with us, with a fantastic tour guide who was extremely knowledgeable and hilarious! Our only issue was trying to find the right tour bus, since so many take off from the same spot. Arrive more than 15 minutes early so you can find your bus! Our tour person at 10:30am April 16 was a lady around 5'4" so she held a neon orange baton in the air so we could find her in the crowds and it really was helpful. At the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, too many people to know where she was, but you could see that baton! She was also great with the many kids that were on the bus who at first was fussy and talking loud. She not only engaged them by having them participate in Q&A, she had them wanting to participate! I learned so much & had fun doing it! I hope next year we come back, we get the same guide and do the all day tour!

Our tour guide Nur is very passionate about history, preservation of knowledge, accessibility for all and people. You will not mind the walking because there is so much to take in and Nur will answer any questions you may have and will take time to connect with you in a large group.

Really enjoyed this, you can trigger each stop manually or automatically so walk in any direction you want to the stops. Excellent way to guide yourself around DC.

Very well done. Navigation takes some getting used to at first, but then you find your way around. I would do it again and again!

Nur was a great guide. Very engaging and informative. Would definitely recommend.