The White House is the president's official residence and a large complex that's open for visitors on scheduled tours. It's on the US National Register of Historic Places and is a US National Historic Landmark. It's frequently heralded as an architectural marvel as well, so simply visiting the exterior can be a worthwhile adventure. Still, a tour of the interior is necessary to get the complete picture, and those are all organised by the White House Visitors Office.

Everyone can enjoy a trip to the White House, as it has immense historical value. Adults and kids alike can learn a lot about what goes on here and the history this influential building was a part of. Tours generally take about an hour or so, but they're unguided, so you can theoretically take as long as you like within open hours.

The White House in Washington DC - one of the highlights of 10 Best Historic Things to Do in Washington DC and 10 Best Things to Do in Washington DC (Read all about Washington here)

What are the highlights of the White House in Washington, DC?

The White House tour covers a great deal of the complex, though there are some parts that you're not allowed to see. For example, the tour only covers the East Wing of the White House, which includes quite a few iconic rooms. The State Dining Room is particularly popular with its extravagant chandelier and room for up to 140 people to sit comfortably.

Some of the other rooms you can visit in the White House include the Red Room, the Blue Room, and the Green Room. These are parlour rooms with classical decor evoking a sense of history and importance. Additionally, you can visit the aptly named China Room, which showcases the ever-growing collection of presidential fine china and glassware. Don't forget to check out the view of the White House Rose Garden as well.

A brief history of the White House in Washington, DC

The White House is one of the oldest standing structures in the country, dating back to 1792 when the cornerstone was first laid. The first president to live here was actually the second US president, John Adams, who took up residence in 1800. Just 14 years later, the White House was burned during the War of 1812. It was quickly rebuilt, of course, and the West Wing was added on to it during the American Civil War.

In 1949, following World War II, the Truman administration ordered a comprehensive reconstruction of the building's interior. It took 2 years in total, and the interior layout and foundation still stand to this day. In the '60s, the White House saw a drastic change in its decor as ordered by Jacqueline Kennedy, the First Lady of the Kennedy administration. To this day, these changes have remained.

What else is good to know about the White House in Washington, DC?

You'll need to be prepared before visiting the White House. First, make sure you have a valid form of identification if you're over the age of 18. That means a government-issued ID or passport. If your ID is expired or photocopied, you won't be let inside. Additionally, expect it to take about 30 minutes just to get through security. Items like cameras, bags, strollers, food, and, of course, weapons are not allowed at all.

When visiting the White House, you may want to check out some of the surrounding attractions as well. The Washington Monument is just to the south, with the National Museum of African American History located along the way. Past the Washington Monument, you can visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by the Tidal Basin.

The White House in Washington DC

Location: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA

Phone: +1 202-456-1111