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A black and white photo of Off the Mall Walking Tours founder, Katie Kirkpatrick standing in front of the U.S. Capitol Building

"Get Off the MalL 
to explore the deep  history of the  Nation's Capital"

Schedule

Featured FALL Tours

September 

Art ALL NIGHT! The Jazz Ages of U Street

September 30th at 5pm

 

Join Off the Mall for Art All Night on a special tour that is focusing on all things Jazz in the 1920s and beyond. U Street used to host a plethora of jazz clubs and theaters that featured all of the greats. Duke Ellington and his Orchestra started at True Reformers Hall, Pearl Bailey coined the street "Black Broadway", Jelly Roll Morton owned a club near the modern Ben's Chili Bowl, and Billie Holiday belted out Strange Fruit at her favorite DC club. Learn more about the singers and musicians that made DC a jazz hub in the 20th Century.

Tour is 2 Hours, begins at the Howard Theater and ends in front of the Reeves Center on 14th and U Street. 

October 

Lesser-Known Notables of Oak Hill Cemetery

October 28th at 11am

 

You can’t let October go by without walking through at least one beautiful graveyard. The Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown dates back to 1848, when the land was purchased by William W. Corcoran. Gorgeous at any season, it is particularly romantic in the Fall. The cemetery contains the graves of many notable men and women, some of who perhaps are not as noted as they should be, and some who aren’t just notable but notorious! From confederate spies to union generals, educators to architects, Civil War to Cold War, this tour will take you around this beautiful cemetery and recount tales of those who use it as their final resting place. And yes, there will be at least one ghost story. Costumes not only welcome but encouraged!

FALL Schedule 2023
(full Tour Descriptions and booking below )

Tour Descriptions

SEPTEMBER  

1st at 7pm:

Madams of DC

4th (Labor Day) at 4pm:

Jazz Ages of U Street 

3rd at 2pm

Wives Who Won the Cold War

10th at 10am 

Historic Alleyways

17th at 10am

History of Jewish Washington

17th at 2pm

Harlem Renaissance in DC

21st at 7pm

Madams of DC

23rd at 2pm

District of Punk

   24th at 2pm

History of Black Georgetown

30th at 5pm

Art all Night 

Jazz Ages of U Street 

OCTOBER

1st at 2pm

Wives Who Won the Cold War

6th at 7pm:

Madams of DC

8th at 10am 

Historic Alleyways

14th at 2pm

Queer Black Broadway

 

15th at 2pm

Harlem Renaissance in DC

15th at 6pm 

Strolling - Modern Sex Work in DC

19th at 7pm

Madams of DC

28th at 10am 

Lesser Known Notables 

of Oak Hill Cemetery 

28rd at 2pm

District of Punk

   29th at 2pm

History of Black Georgetown

NOVEMBER

3rd at 7pm:

Madams of DC

5th at 2pm

Wives Who Won the Cold War

9th at 7pm

Madams of DC

11th at 2pm 

Echoes of Navy Yard

12th at 10am 

Historic Alleyways

16th at 6pm

French Connections

Beaujolais Nouveau

 

19th at 2pm

Harlem Renaissance in DC

18th at 2pm

District of Punk

OFF THE MALL

ON VACATION

November 20th - 30th 

REgularly Scheduled Tour Descriptions

 Tours are $25 per adult, $15 per child unless otherwise specified.
If desired date does not show up right away, use arrows to move forward in calendar.

Madams of DC

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Washington experienced an unprecedented rise in prostitution during and after the Civil War. During this period, Pennsylvania Avenue became DC's most notorious red light district, from the ramshackle "boarding houses" of Murder Bay to the glamorous pleasure houses of Marble Alley, all within sight of the Capitol. Also, a new profession for women was rising, that of the "female lobbyist." This tour will introduce you to some of the most notorious women of mid-19th Century DC.

 

Route starts at the Willard Intercontinental and travels down Pennsylvania Avenue, which was the main thoroughfare along which DC's red light district arose. There is a half-way stop at Hill Country BBQ for a bathroom break and refreshments. Tour ends at the National Museum of the American Indian. Tour runs approximately 2 - 2.5 hours. Tour runs 1st Friday of the Month and 3rd Thursday of the Month at 7pm.

Wives Who Won 
the Cold War

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An ill-fated artist, an Ambassador's wife, a Baroness, and the most powerful woman in journalism.....What do they all have in common? They were part of the most exclusive club of power-players in Cold War DC. These amazing women made their mark in a man's world using every tool at their disposal.

 

Tour runs approximately 2 - 2.5 hours. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children. Tour is in the Georgetown neighborhood, begins at Thomas Sweet Shop at 3214 P Street NW DC, and ends at Oak Hill Cemetery at 3001 R Street NW. There is a half-way stop at the iconic Martin's Tavern for restroom break and optional refreshments (not included in ticket price). 1st Sunday of the Month at 2pm.

Harlem Renaissance
in DC

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ICome on a winding journey through an era in which the U Street neighborhood of Washington, DC was giving rise to a vibrant jazz scene and establishing the roots of a new movement in black intellectualism. Also known as "Black Broadway", the U Street corridor was a neighborhood where black businesses thrived, Langston Hughes and Jean Toomer were upcoming writers and poets, and Howard University professors were guiding a movement that would highlight black contributions to history.

 

Tour begins at the historic Howard Theater at 620 T Street NW and ends at the Georgia Douglas Johnson house at 1461 S Street NW. The tour also makes a halfway stop at the famous Ben's Chili Bowl for a bathroom break and optional refreshment. Tour runs Third Sunday of the month at 2pm. 

History of Black GeorgetowN
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Someone visiting Georgetown today may see it as another wealthy enclave in a continuously gentrifying Washington, DC. However, this charming area that boasts high-end shopping and gourmet restaurants has a diverse past.  At one point African Americans counted for as much as 30% of the Georgetown population. Descendants of enslaved peoples and free black folk have lived in Georgetown for generations, but their contributions to its history do not often receive recognition. This tour will reveal the stories of the black citizens who made their mark on one of DC’s oldest neighborhoods.


The tour starts at 3206 O Street NW DC and ends at the Mt. Zion/Female Union Band Cemetery at 2501 Mill Rd. NW. There is a half-way stop at Thomas Sweet Shop for a bathroom break and refreshment.

Last Sunday of the Month at 2pm. 

Historic

AlleywaYS 

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The alleyways of DC served a distinct purpose as a city planning feature, but they also provided a hidden safe space where escaped enslaved people and the economically disadvantaged could find inexpensive housing and live their lives away from prying eyes. While city officials condemned life in the alleyways as dangerous, dirty and diseased, they were in fact a place where communities sustained each other and provided security. This walking tour takes you through the Blagden Alley/Naylor Court Historic District, and reveals their secrets. 

 

Tour starts at 909 M Street NW DC and ends in Blagden Alley. Guests will have a half-way stop at the La Colombe Coffee for a bathroom break and optional refreshments. Tour runs approximately 1.5 hours. 

2nd Sunday of the Month at 10am.

 District of

 PUNK

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In the 1980s, the Reagan Administration was reinstating the Selective Service, hippies were turning in yuppies, and the punk scene rose as a reaction to what they saw as a conformist, soulless government. While punk is often associated with London, New York, and LA, there was a substantial scene in DC that had anchors in downtown and elsewhere. The original 9:30 Club and other spaces were the venues where bands like Minor Threat and Bad Brains got started before going on to world renown. On this tour you'll discover what made the DC punk culture distinct from others, the major contributors to the scene, and its lasting impact on the local music scene today.

 

Tour begins outside of the F and 7th Street Exit of Gallery Place Metro Station (red, green and yellow lines) and ends at the MLK Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street NW DC. Third Saturday of the Month at 2pm. 

Booking by Date
If on mobile version, click Book Now to be taken to schedule
If desired date does not show immediately, click on "Following Days" 

Private Tours

Tours by Private Request Only
If you're in Washington, DC and looking for a unique experience, we are available for private tour requests. Choose any of the tours described above or below, or with enough advance notice we can customize something special for you!  Write to offthemallwalkingtours@gmail.com and tell us your travel dates, available times,  and interests, and we'll work with you to create an amazing tour.  Minimum $200 for up to 8 people and then rates vary depending on time and number of people. 

Queer Black Broadway

The U Street Corridor was known as "Black Broadway" in its heyday of the early 20th Century, and was also the center for social justice and fringe movements that fought to bring more opportunity for marginalized groups, including an active Queer community that was associated with the Harlem Renaissance, the Pansy Craze, underground crime worlds, and the wide world of entertainment. This 1.5 hour walking tour begins at 2204 14th Street and ends at Shaw Tavern. 

Echoes of Navy Yard

The Navy Yard is DC’s oldest neighborhood, and was also one of the largest sources of employment for the city's citizens, the entry point into the capital, a destination of DC’s first mass transit system, and much more. This  2-hour walking tour will show you the hidden historic side of this amazing and rapidly changing neighborhood. Tour begins at the New Jersey exit of the Navy Yard - Ballpark metro station (green line), and ends at the Capital Waterfront. 

Lesser Known Notables of Oak Hill Cemetery

The Oak Hill Cemetery in the Georgetown neighborhooddates back to 1848, and contains the graves of many notable but lesser-known men and women. From confederate spies to union generals, educators to architects, Civil War to Cold War, this tour will take you around this beautiful cemetery and recount wild tales of those who use it as their final resting place. And yes, there is at least one ghost story. *Cemetery hours are only 9am - 4pm, so this tour is limited to those times only. 

 History ofJewish Washington

OTM's partner guide Ami Greener leads this tour about notable Jewish contributions to DC history!  It will also answer such questions as: Who was the first US president to visit a DC synagogue while in office, and why did he donate $10? Why did the first synagogue built in DC have wheels? Which historic synagogue was saved at the last minute from turning into a nightclub? And who were the first Jews to live in this new city on the Potomac? You'll get the answer to these questions and more on that fascinating and insightful tour.  ​​​

 French 
Connections

France and Washington, DC have a very special connection, and this tour will show you the many ways in which our Gallic friends have influenced the nation's capital.  This 1.5 walk takes you around Lafayette Square and the surrounding neighborhood covering such topics as the Revolutionary War hero General Marquis de Lafayette, the city's heavily French-influenced architecture, African American DC residents who lived in France to escape segregation in America in the early 20th century, and the original planner of Washington, Pierre L'Enfant.   Tour begins at Lafayette Square's SE Corner (Lafayette's Statue) and ends at the Willard Intercontinental.

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Not sure what to get the person who has everything?

Give the gift of a memorable experience! Gift vouchers are available in $25 increments, are good for one year, and applicable to any tour. All of your holiday shopping can be done right here! 

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