"Get Off the MalL
to explore the deep history of the Nation's Capital"
About Off the Mall TourS
Off the Mall Tours is a unique walking tour company that brings a fresh perspective to the history of the nation's capital. Its mission is to introduce locals and tourists alike to the DC that awaits "Off the Mall" and into the neighborhoods of this fascinating, energetic city. After one of our tours, our guests are delighted with their newfound understanding of its multi-layered and multi-cultural heritage.
About your Guide
Katie Kirkpatrick is the founder of Off the Mall Tours. She is proud to call herself a DC resident since 2002. She moved to the capital after college for graduate school, and then worked in government for many years. However, history was always her first love. She started her touring career by giving historical ghost tour pub crawls, and discovered a passion for sharing the varied and layered history of the capital area. So, she started her own company, drawing upon her interests in unique stories, a flair for costuming, and her love of DC.
Featured December Tours
December 9th at 6pm
What's more festive than seeing DC's elegant and historic hotels dressed up in their holiday best? On this seasonal walk, you'll visit several historic downtown hotels and enjoy the beauty of their architecture, learn their history, and as well as their holiday displays. The tour will end with a special festive drink (included!) in the Willard lobby where we can sit and take in the beautiful surroundings and nightly carol singers. Tour is 1.5 hours , and tickets are $30 per person. This tour caps at 15 people. so don't delay!
History of Jewish Washington
December 25th at 10am
Join Ami Greener on December 25th for a walking tour about notable Jewish contributions to DC history. This tour goes through the Judiciary Square and Gallery Place neighborhoods highlighting the stories of Jewish-American Washingtonians who made their mark. Learn the answers to such questions as who was the first US president to visit a DC synagogue while in office? Why did the first synagogue built in DC have wheels? Who were the first Jews to live in this new city on the Potomac?
Tour is two hours and ends at the Capital Jewish Museum.
FALL/Winter Schedule 2023
(full Tour Descriptions and booking below )
1st at 7pm - Madams of DC
3rd at 2pm - Wives Who Won the Cold War
9th at 6pm - Historic Hotel Holiday Walk
10th at 10am - Historic Alleyways
14th at 7pm - Madams of DC
16th at 2pm - District of Punk
17th at 2pm - Harlem Renaissance in DC
25th at 10am - History of Jewish Washington
OFF THE MALL ON WINTER BREAK
2024 Schedule Coming Soon!
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.