Exclusive Behind the Scenes Sightseeing Tours in Our Nation’s Capital
Let me take you on a very different, personalized tour of Washington, DC. This is not your typical mass-market packaged tour. Let's duck into those out-of-the-way places and unravel history from behind the scenes. Come hear the real stories of intrigue, power, and symbolism that many locals don't even know. We will dig a little deeper to uncover the stories, and the scandals, that have formed the history of our nation's capital. You may even discover a few surprises along the way!
My exclusive private walking tours are customizable and tailored for you. With a knowledgeable and experienced local guide, you will experience Washington DC from a unique perspective. You'll hear the backstories and the debunked urban legends surrounding our most famous sites. Learn about the people who have lived here and call this place home. This is not just another boring sightseeing tour.
GO OFF THE RECORD
Every working day more than twenty Americans who sacrificed for their country are buried at Arlington National Cemetery. On this tour we learn that while Arlington's dead rest in peace, they are always working. Here we will explore how people from every background remind us of our heritage and our responsibility to one another.
Few people think beyond the Capitol when they think of the Hill. This tour takes you to the heart of a neighborhood with a fascinating history that still speaks to us today. Learn about these famous locations from a former Capitol Hill resident.
Most Embassy Row tours don’t venture far beyond Dupont Circle. But ours does. We see it all from top to bottom. This stretch of Massachusetts Avenue used to be called Millionaires Row where Gilded Age robber-barons built grand mansions. Today those mansions house most of Washington’s embassies, along with private clubs and statues of world heroes such as Mandela, Gandhi, and Churchill – and we will be right in the heart of it.
There are no limits here! This tour is whatever you want it to be. See the part of Washington, DC you’ve always wanted to with an expert guide who has been in the city for more than thirty years. Our Washington Private Tours are perfect for those looking to learn more about DC in a fun and safe manner. See what you like for however long you like, accompanied by an expert guide!
Washington National Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece. Perched on a hill overlooking the city it is the second largest cathedral in the country and the 6th largest in the world. It is a living work of art filled with stained-glass, hand-carved wood, and wrought iron. While a modern structure (finished in 1990) it is constructed in the old-world way and has no structural steel.
Why choose us?
Out of the Ordinary Experiences With Your Private Tours in Washington DC
At Off the Record Tours, I know how valuable your vacation time is. You are not looking for a generic experience, listening to time-worn stories. Savvy travelers know that the best way to see this area is with Washington DC private tours with a local. I provide a personalized tour experience with a highly knowledgeable tour guide. Your excursion will be led by a Certified Master Guide of the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC who is also certified as a National Cathedral guide.
Expert Local Guide
David is a Certified Master Guide of the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC, holds a District tour guide license, and is a certified National Cathedral guide — there’s no doubt you’re in the best hands!
Due to COVID, for your safety and ours, all of our tours are private so you feel more comfortable with the people you know.
David treasures the history of the city and loves nothing more than to show it off. He keeps things factual (in addition to a lot of urban legends) coupled with a dry sense of humor and wit — hear what’s Off the Record. Get real time availability and instant confirmation for your upcoming trip.
Reviews From Our Previous Guests
See What Lies Beyond the Capitol Building
Each year, visitors flock to Washington DC for the history, the museums, the memorials and the iconic landmarks. Happily, many of these sights are free! While most visitors are familiar with such sites as the White House, the Smithsonian Museums, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, many people have yet to see where the locals go.
Beyond the well-known sites lies a city of vibrant neighborhoods. Plan to check out the prestigious houses on Embassy Row. On our private guided tours of Washington DC you will hear stories of the Gilded Age residents who once called this neighborhood home.
Frequently asked questions
Off the Record Tours follows the latest US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for wearing masks and vaccinations. All guests must be fully vaccinated (2 shots & booster). All guests must wear masks in indoor areas (such as inside the Lincoln Memorial or Eastern Market) or crowded outdoor areas (such as the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier). All tours are private tours, so you feel more comfortable with people you know.
Due to COVID, we are offering easy rescheduling for any cancellation and full refunds in the event you need to cancel your booking 24 hours before the tour. Contact us as soon as you know you are unable to keep your reservation.
Currently, White House tours are suspended. When they resume contact your Senators and Congressperson (202-224-3121) as soon as you know when you will be in Washington to request tour tickets. Tickets are free but subject to cancellation depending on White House events. International visitors wishing to tour the White House should contact their embassy in Washington.
We get wet. Fortunately, we are waterproof. Tours go on as long as it is safe to do so. We recommend that you bring an umbrella for outside portions of tours. If there are extreme weather conditions such as a snowstorm, ice, lightning, flooding, etc. the tour will be rescheduled.
Washington is a great city for walking and you’ll appreciate it so much more by seeing it on foot. That means comfortable walking shoes are essential. Dress for the season. Be comfortable, not fashionable. This isn’t New York City.
Don’t let dehydration ruin your vacation. Drinking plenty of water is important. Please bring a bottle of water. Often we will be in areas without water fountains or shops. Also, it’s good to have sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses along.
Tips for the tour guide are not included in the price. They are never expected but always appreciated.
In a previous episode we explore famous actors buried here at Arlington National Cemetery. Today, let’s look at some famous authors. "In an old house in Paris all covered in vines, lived 12 little girls in 2 straight lines." Those…
There is a statue of a young boy, a naked man, and a partially clothed woman. It is the Boy Scout Memorial. I guess when this was dedicated in 1964, a naked man with a Boy Scout wasn’t as…
It seems you can’t throw a rock in Washington without hitting a statue of some sort. There are so many ideas, events, and people (actually mostly white men) that we want to memorialize. But the work of one person…